How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America interviews John Avalon, author of the book Wingnuts: How The Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America.

Hyper-partisans and rhetorical extremists on the left and the right—characters such as Reps. Alan Grayson and Michele Bachmann, commentators such as Keith Olbermann and Glenn Beck—are not simply polarizing the debate, argues Avlon, who is a regular presence on CNN and a columnist for The Daily Beast.

Far more importantly (and destructively), they are obscuring the fact that the U.S. electorate is, in the main, proto-libertarian. Independents are the fastest-growing group of voters, says Avlon and, “They tend to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal to libertarian.” Avlon is also the author of Independent Nation: How Centrism Can Change American Politics.

I’m trying to figure out just how the libertarian Beck is part of the far-right fringe, and there are plenty of libertarian lunatics as well (a lot of the truthers are left-leaning libertarians). But he makes an interesting argument anyway, I suppose.


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