The author posits that there has always been room in America for "cranks;" the folks who believes stuff without a shred of evidence. But only in recent decades have they moved out of the churches and corner soapboxes and into Congress, legislatures, even the White House. How did that happen?
How DID ignorance become a virtue in America? Well,
A. revocation of the Fairness Doctrine in 1984,
B. fringe religion getting back into politics, and
C. news organization abandoning all standards of journalism (news has to make a profit), together have created the
Three NEW Principles of Broadcast Media:
1. its worth saying if it makes money
2. if enough people repeat it, it COULD be factual, or at least worthy of consideration (all opinions are equal)
3.if enough people say it LOUDLY enough (put enough energy into it) it MUST be true, or partly true or true enough, or plausible, or at least it makes money.
The book is is a brief history of American loonies, their place in society and how the law has traditionally protected them. The village idiot, the schizophrenic, the gun nut, the "end-is-near" sign waver did no harm. But now their place has been hijacked by cynical manipulators for profit and power. Parts of the West are in OPEN ARMED REBELLION with some CONGRESSMEN are supporting them...for votes.
This very well researched book is hilarious to listen to and really informative. (Who would have thought, armed revolution by super-patriots?)