SIMON BARBER: The paranoid style still simmers in US politics
Donald Trump is the latest in a long line of conspiracists convinced that evil forces are plotting the country's downfall
“Paranoia strikes deep in the heartland, but I think it’s all overdone. Exaggerating this, exaggerating that, they don’t have no fun.”
That’s a verse from Have a Good Time on Paul Simon’s 1975 album Still Crazy After All These Years. Simon may have had in mind a famous essay by Columbia University historian Richard Hofstadter, “The paranoid style in American politics”, published 11 years earlier in Harper’s magazine but ringing no less true today.