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American politics are deeply contradictory of course, but anti-intellectualism . . . is the common st…

American politics are deeply contradictory of course, but anti-intellectualism . . . is the common strain. This includes a deep suspicion of anything that isn’t simple, fundamental, traditional, down-to-earth and American in the ideological sense, and can be exploited easily by demagogues and cynical politicians of the right. The key word is freedom, which includes the freedom to own and use firearms, the freedom to trade and use the marketplace without restraint even if it means serious injury to health and decency, the freedom above all to make America’s will rule all over the earth

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