Well, it turns out that I may be right, at least to this writer from Psychology Today. It's been my opinion that commitment to a hardcore partisan ideology is essentially an affliction, a disease, that can infect even perfectly intelligent people. Jeremy Sherman, Ph.D., compares fanaticism and alcoholism, and offers a similar 12-step program for those who are afflicted: Fanaticism Is a Disease Like Alcoholism Fanaticism is a drug. Let loose on society it's like crack cocaine or alcohol only worse. Fanatics drive through life like alcoholics driving under the influence. They think they’re perfectly fine driving. They kill innocent bystanders, sometimes by the thousands or millions. What's needed is an AA-style safe-haven for recovering political and religious fanatics, ideologues and absolutists. It’s message is, "Yes, you’re a wreck and have done real damage. But don't beat yourself up over it. Like so many of us, you became host to a powerful parasite that mutates quickly and has taken over minds throughout human history. Don't blame yourself. You are not alone. Join us. Together we can lick this thing." Here’s a rough draft for the 12 Steps of Fanatics Anonymous 1. We admitted we were powerless over fanaticism—that our lives had become unmanageable. 2. Came to believe that Reason, a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of Reason. 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 5. Admitted to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. 6. Were entirely ready to have Reason remove all these defects of character. 7. Humbly invoked reason to remove our shortcomings. 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. 11. Sought through inquiry, debate, conversation, curiosity and doubt to improve our conscious contact with Reason seeking for better understanding of the human tension between what we want to believe and what’s most likely to be true. 12. Having had an awakening to Reason as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to fanatics of all kinds, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. .