Do you know about Glenn Beck? Maybe you’ve been living outside the U.S. or don’t watch a lot of MSNBC or The Daily Show and so don’t know who he is. Beck is a crazy person with the complexion of a boiled potato who retails a particularly mean, paranoid version of right-wing populism on Fox News. (If you don’t know about him you should probably be thankful–your brain is cleaner.) Anyway, he gave the keynote at CPAC, an annual gathering of similarly unhinged white people. The speech will make your skin crawl if you watch it (if you want to do that, it is available on YouTube). If you’d rather not, read this post by George Packer, the New Yorker’s awesome foreign correspondent / current affairs guy. Stay on top of this stuff; remember, more than 50 million people voted to re-elected George W. Bush. Don’t count the stupid out.
Of course, the authoritative statement on this kind of stuff is still Richard Hofstadter’s 1964 essay “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” All Americans should read it once a year.