Most of us, me included, have lived our entire lives with this rosy certainty that America, at heart, is a moderate and decent nation, more concerned with What’s Right than with domination. It used to be an article of faith that the American voter was fundamentally moderate. Whole presidential races were predicated on this belief; two men struggling mightily to scramble right to Dead Center and viciously suppressing any of their personal impulses or attitudes that even smelled extreme. Remember Howard Dean?
Dean ran for president in 2004, not all that long ago. Lost in the Iowa primary and had what has come to be called a meltdown but was then called the “I Have A Scream” speech. In an excess of frustration, Dean ended a concession speech with a lusty, red-faced bellow of stubborn persistence and freaked out an entire country. It ended his candidacy because people thought he was unhinged.