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John Avlon: "How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America"

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Uploaded on Mar 11, 2010

"Politics is the last place where we're supposed to be satisfied between Brand A and Brand B," says John Avlon, author of the engaging new book Wingnuts: How The Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America.

Hyper-partisans and rhetorical extremists on the left and the right—characters such as Reps. Alan Grayson and Michele Bachmann, commentators such as Keith Olbermann and Glenn Beck—are not simply polarizing the debate, argues Avlon, who is a regular presence on CNN and a columnist for The Daily Beast.

Far more importantly (and destructively), they are obscuring the fact that the U.S. electorate is, in the main, proto-libertarian. Independents are the fastest-growing group of voters, says Avlon and, "They tend to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal to libertarian."

Avlon is also the author of Independent Nation: How Centrism Can Change American Politics.

Reason.tv's Nick Gillespie sat down with Avlon in Reason's D.C. offices. Filmed by Dan Hayes and Meredith Bragg; edited by Bragg. Approximately 10 minutes.

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