How the Right Lost Its Mind - Charles J. Sykes

How the Right Lost Its Mind

By Charles J. Sykes

  • Release Date: 2017-10-03
  • Genre: Political Science
Score: 3
From 19 Ratings


"Bracing and immediate." - The Washington Post

Once at the center of the American conservative movement, bestselling author and radio host Charles Sykes is a fierce opponent of Donald Trump and the right-wing media that enabled his rise.

In How the Right Lost Its Mind, Sykes presents an impassioned, regretful, and deeply thoughtful account of how the American conservative movement came to lose its values. How did a movement that was defined by its belief in limited government, individual liberty, free markets, traditional values, and civility find itself embracing bigotry, political intransigence, demagoguery, and outright falsehood? How the Right Lost its Mind addresses:
*Why are so many voters so credulous and immune to factual information reported by responsible media?
*Why did conservatives decide to overlook, even embrace, so many of Trump’s outrages, gaffes, conspiracy theories, falsehoods, and smears?
*Can conservatives govern? Or are they content merely to rage?
*How can the right recover its traditional values and persuade a new generation of their worth?


  • So far, missing the point.

    By Ruben Sano
    I hestitated to buy this book since it might seem to be a contribution to a man I once called the spawn of Satan. I listened to perhaps hundreds of hours of his show while perfoming my duties in my warehouse. Initially I thought I would keep myself informed of conservative viewpoints but eventually I listened because I was aghast at an ugly cultural phenomenon that was evolving. I paid for the book to see if Sykes had indeed achieved some insight in his role in the rise of the alt-right. I haven’t gotten far into the book and may change my opinion upon completion, but so far it seems to only reveal a continuing self-deception regarding his role in the rise of the new right. He seems to consider himself to have been part of a once dignified and intellectually well grounded conservatism. In fact, on his show he was routinely anti-intellectual and preferred insults and hyprebole to genuine argument, He constantly extolled the virtues of popular common sense over science. Three consecutive cold Wisconsin winter days obviously meant that all science regarding climate change was humbug. He loved to use hyperbolic hypotheticals to characterize liberal thinking which he portrayed as startilingly monolithic and always waco. He never missed an opportunity to exacerbate "us vs.them" hostilities. Content of his show was pretty much rip and read journalism and talking points were generally in lockstep with all the other conservative talk shows in town on a daily basis. The purpose of his show was clearly to shape and train the beliefs of his listeners. Call in sessions were done primarily to make certain everyone had learned the lessons of his show, which included a disregard and disdain for facts, and could repeat them uniformly at work or the local tap. Dissenting opinions were usually disconnected after talking over or turning down the volume of the call. All discussion in his book of the power of the conservative argument are a farce when remembering the nature of his talk show. Perhaps at some point he realized that he didn’t care for the bad mental health he helped create, but his book so far shows no admission of the depth of his role in its creation. But I’ll read on and will offer a revision if a more genuine depiction of his role emerges.