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How the Right Lost Its Mind by Charles J.…

How the Right Lost Its Mind (edition 2017)

by Charles J. Sykes (Author)

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463361,685 (3.93)None
Title:How the Right Lost Its Mind
Authors:Charles J. Sykes (Author)
Info:St. Martin's Press (2017), 274 pages
Collections:Your library, EBooks
Tags:Ebooks, American Writer, American Nonfiction, Nonfiction, Politics, Conservatism

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How the Right Lost Its Mind by Charles J. Sykes



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A good insider account of the transformation of the Republican Party in recent years. ( )
  3njennn | Nov 25, 2018 |
I'm not quite sure what was the point of this book. I think it was to explain how Wisconsin radio talk show host, Charles J. (Charlie) Sykes became disenchanted with being a far-right conservative who could not support the Republican party and their candidate for president, Donald J. Trump. There were many words used in the book that aren't in my vocabulary. I didn't take the time to look them up. The book has many footnotes, back of the book source citations and an index. Overall I thought it was a good conservative account of the situation we are in. ( )
  MrDickie | Dec 20, 2017 |
While Charlie Sykes refers to himself as a “recovering liberal”, I am a lifelong liberal. As such, I REALLY wanted to know what brought our country to this place, with this person as our (sort-of) chosen president. I wanted to understand how & why many of my fellow Americans could bring themselves to vote for a self-avowed sexual abuser, an undeniable misogynist, and clearly one of the least self-aware and most narcissistic individuals in public life. So, I turned to “How the Right Lost Its Mind” – not only for its incredibly accurate title, but also because I’ve heard/seen Sykes speak on the subject and thought he might be a good source of information.

And he Is a good source of a LOT on information. Even for a wonk like me, this book really gets into the weeds of the turning of the conservative movement into the lunatic fringe we have now. He gets right to the point in the Introduction: “Another obvious question is whether the sweeping successes of Republicans in 2016 essentially refute my argument that the Right has indeed lost its mind or render this book irrelevant. Actually, I would argue that the 2016 victory makes the need for a reassessment even more urgent. After Trump’s defeat of Hillary Clinton, the Democrats need to perform an autopsy; Republicans need an exorcism.”

Sykes identifies pivot points and sea changes in the road to the 2016 election, and does an excellent job walking the reader through the highlights (lowlights, really). “…I’ve tried to identify certain pivotal moments for conservatives (e.g., the selection of Sarah Palin, the Drudge Report’s decision to link to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh’s attack on a female law student….” (I’d almost forgotten about that insane week of hate, misinformation and attack in our country. Now it just seems like a typical Wednesday.)

His points are excellent ones. Sykes, a talk radio host from Wisconsin, certainly does a good job of examining the world he lives in and how it has changed over the years. He quotes Caleb Howe (RedState.com), “The problem, obviously, is that the talk/radio/conservative publishing/Fox opinion show model isn’t about conservative policy and ideas, or good governance, or increasing our liberty, or social conservative values, or even really about the Constitution,” he wrote. “To a great extent, it is essentially about getting the audience outraged.” This country and its president, now runs on outrage. And the volume keeps turning up – beyond 11. Once upon a time, a candidate for president caught admitting on VIDEOTAPE that he often sexually abused women would have destroyed his campaign. Again? In a Trump adjusted world, that’s just midway through a daily news cycle.

I must end with one of the best quotes of the book, one from Sykes himself. In it, the level of his frustration and what his industry and what our country has become, comes through blazingly clear. “There’s a kind of fundamental decency about Wisconsinites that you can’t downplay. We’ve never had a huge division between the Tea Party and the establishment. We’ve got think tanks and radio talk show hosts that have been through the fire and are intellectually driven. And you don’t get that elsewhere. I was driving here (DC) listening to Sean Hannity and after 15 seconds, I could feel myself getting dumber.” ( )
  karieh | Nov 3, 2017 |
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"Bracing and immediate." - The Washington Post Once at the center of the American conservative movement, bestselling author and radio host Charles Sykes is a fierce opponent of Donald Trump and the right-wing media that enabled his rise. In How the Right Lost Its Mind, Sykes presents an impassioned, regretful, and deeply thoughtful account of how the American conservative movement came to lose its values. How did a movement that was defined by its belief in limited government, individual liberty, free markets, traditional values, and civility find itself embracing bigotry, political intransigence, demagoguery, and outright falsehood? How the Right Lost its Mind addresses:*Why are so many voters so credulous and immune to factual information reported by responsible media?*Why did conservatives decide to overlook, even embrace, so many of Trump's outrages, gaffes, conspiracy theories, falsehoods, and smears?*Can conservatives govern? Or are they content merely to rage?*How can the right recover its traditional values and persuade a new generation of their worth?… (more)

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