When did America lose its mind?
The Atlantic magazine has a cover that purports to explain inside "How America went haywire." The very, very, very long cover story, titled "How America went crazy," highlights a variety of false beliefs that bedevil the sort of people who don't read The Atlantic. For example:
A third of us believe not only that global warming is no big deal but that it's a hoax perpetrated by scientists, the government, and journalists. A third believe that our earliest ancestors were humans just like us; that the government has, in league with the pharmaceutical industry, hidden evidence of natural cancer cures; that extraterrestrials have visited or are visiting Earth. Almost a quarter believe that vaccines cause autism, and that Donald Trump won the popular vote in 2016.
Kurt Andersen blames Rush Limbaugh for introducing an "alternative reality," as if the media Rush critiqued were objective reality and El Rushbo a fantasist. As Clay Waters of Newsbusters summarized, "Andersen only portrays a single side of ideological slant, as if the major networks were fair and balanced before nasty Fox News came along."
I have several ideas as to when America lost its mind that would never occur to writer Kurt Andersen or the editors of The Atlantic. Here are some of them.
America lost its mind:
When it started to believe Al Gore on climate change despite all the lies and false predictions.
When it believed repeated lies that if you liked your insurance and your doctor, you could keep them, and your premium would go down.
When the Great Society programs pretended they would reduce poverty instead of making people more dependent on government.
When it believed that food stamps and unemployment are the best stimulus programs, and allowing people and businesses to keep more of their own money is not.
When it re-elected a president who left people to die in Libya while making up a lie to protect his political power. (The media never cared what Obama did that night. We still don't know.)
When it was acceptable for an organization, founded by a racist woman fond of eugenics, to kill and dismember humans for profit. (The Atlantic is a prolific and creative supporter of Planned Parenthood.)
I can think of many more reasons America lost its mind that would never occur to the folks at The Atlantic.