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Replacement anxiety was also a concern in New York City during the big influxes of immigrants to New York City in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Wealthy white people believed that Italian, Jewish, and Eastern European immigrants were putting them and their children at risk because they emitted a "miasma". Of course the cholera and typhus was really was really from raw sewage being dumped everywhere, but "miasma" was the 19th c. version of this same phenomenon. I understand you're interviewing historian Ann Buttenwieser on Friday! Ask her about it and the relationship between miasma-fear and public baths.

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Not Friday--end of May!

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Think of the children!!! This has been used by all political factions as well as nutty people with an agenda. Long before PizzaGate there was the McMartin Preschool scandal, phony accusations against Catholic priests, wild claims of pederastic Boy Scout troop leaders . . . oh yes, and 'Kids in cages!'

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Yes--we all want to protect children, and too often, we don't think about whether they really need protecting.

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All of this reminds me of historical cases of “the paranoid style” in Hofstadter’s famous essay. Fantastical conspiracies of the Illuminati and the Pope/Catholic Church are no match for today’s changing but consistently far-fetched, and always amusing, Big Lies, which are much better amplified and platformed. One of my profs at Berkeley, Michael Rogin, claimed Hofstadter got something wrong. Hofstadter located the emergence of paranoid style politics at the margins of political life. Rogin found paranoia to be a malady of the political center. It appears that this center/margin opposition has collapsed, possibly because of social media and the volume of cable news. Conspiracy thinking has integrated the margin and the center, at least in the space of conservative politics.

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What a great comment--I was a huge Rogin fan, and he influenced my first book enormously. But this is a terrific observation, which I am hanging onto: "It appears that this center/margin opposition has collapsed, possibly because of social media and the volume of cable news."

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