It really is an upside down world when I am posting a Bret Stephens column. As a political junkie, the world has titled off its axis a little too much for comfort. It is indeed, a lopsided world for many of us.

Sean Hannity reminds us that the paranoid style in politics is alive and well today.

But as the Turkish example reminds us, whatever else exists in Washington, it isn’t a deep state. When Mr. Trump demanded the resignations of 46 U.S. attorneys, they all left, except for Manhattan’s Preet Bharara, who asked for a firing and got it. The CIA is run by a Trump appointee, and the only generals in charge of federal departments are the ones the president nominated to their positions. The GOP establishment has rolled over for the new president. As for the “corporatist, globalist media” that Steve Bannon rails against, it also includes Fox News. This is paranoid time. Specifically, we are again in territory best identified by Richard Hofstadter in “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” The paranoid style can be evidence of irrationalism bordering on mental illness. It can also be a form of a cunning instrumentalism to destroy your political opponents by stoking hysterical fears in your supporters. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a master of the latter method. What about Mr. Trump? Conservatives used to understand the ideological provenance of words and the consequences that flow from treating political differences as mortal threats to the state. Too bad too many intelligent conservatives gave up worrying about the use of language sometime last year. They will come to regret what they’ve allowed, perhaps only when they, too, become its victims. ~Conservative Opinion Writer Bret Stephens

https://www.wsj.com/articles/deep-states-and-demagogues-1489446006

 

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