It’s the weirdest thing. When I was writing The New Hate, I got so caught up in the swamps of Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, Michelle Malkin, and Michael Savage, that I felt like it started to stick to me like the smells of a pig farm must stick to its workers when they come home. Friends and relatives rolled their eyes affectionately when I explained the connections that professional haters drew between the billionaires that they believed were drinking human blood at their Illluminati conclaves and the bloodsucking Jews who they believed were building the Davidic superstate. Strangers edged away from me or tried to change the subject; activists told me that I was wasting my time on a fringe of a fringe of a fringe.
The real issue for me wasn’t that crazy people believed crazy stuff–it was that smart, entrepreneurial writers and radio hosts, and worse still, mainstream politicians, borrowed those batshit crazy, destructive tropes. That was terrible. But you know what? It’s gotten worse. And I’m not even talking about the rise of Donald Trump, though it’s unfathomably horrible that such a shallow, bad, ignorant, mean-spirited person has such a good chance of becoming president. It’s that people are so inured to crazy now that they don’t even notice it anymore. Never mind that Trump spends his first day as the nominee plotting revenge on Cruz and Kasich; have you seen the viral ad he released that quantifies how much applause his speech got? I don’t want to sound able-ist, but he’s beyond certifiable.
Yet even so, there are millions, yes millions, of people out there who will defend his financial ties to Russian oligarchs and his open admiration for the biggest oligarch of all–many of them the same people who insist that Obama is a treasonous alien traitor or even the anti-Christ. There are millions of people who think nothing of the fact that Trump’s campaign director worked for a Russian puppet.
I never look at Glenn Beck or Michelle Malkin anymore–it’s all on the front page of The New York Times.