Reining in the crackpots?


Sir, – Kathy Sheridan’s column on the arrival of far-right conspiracy theories and “abhorrent views” imported from the US, and how these could be combatted, made for interesting reading (“Mockery is oxygen for Covid-19 deniers”, Opinion & Analysis, February 3rd).

Perhaps, however, the challenge would be easier understood if there was an acceptance that these far-right views have not come about in a vacuum. In the US, for example, there has been a lurch to quite extreme viewpoints on the left (pioneered by many Democrats, the “sensible” party), on a range of cultural issues, such as race, gender and sexuality, the nation’s history, law and justice, and cancel culture, among others. These ways of thinking have started to spread to the rest of the West, including Ireland. This challenge will not be overcome until the liberal-left (across the West) accepts that Donald Trump and the increasingly common attitudes associated with him are not some strange aberration, but part of a wider trend towards extremist thinking that the left is also a part of. The solution is that the whole spectrum must push back to moderation. That includes reining in and criticising the crackpots on your side too, not just the opposition’s. – Yours, etc,