Robert F. Kennedy wrote: "What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."
The following are the traits and tactics utilized by political extremists.
1. CHARACTER ASSASSINATION.
2. NAME-CALLING AND LABELING.
3. IRRESPONSIBLE SWEEPING GENERALIZATIONS.
4. INADEQUATE PROOF FOR ASSERTIONS.
5. ADVOCACY OF DOUBLE STANDARDS.
6. TENDENCY TO VIEW THEIR OPPONENTS AND CRITICS AS ESSENTIALLY EVIL.
7. MANICHAEAN WORLDVIEW.
8. ADVOCACY OF SOME DEGREE OF CENSORSHIP OR REPRESSION OF THEIR OPPONENTS AND/OR CRITICS.
9. TEND TO IDENTIFY THEMSELVES IN TERMS OF WHO THEIR ENEMIES ARE: WHOM THEY HATE AND WHO HATES THEM.
10. TENDENCY TOWARD ARGUMENT BY INTIMIDATION.
11. USE OF SLOGANS, BUZZWORDS, AND THOUGHT-STOPPING CLICHES.
12. ASSUMPTION OF MORAL OR OTHER SUPERIORITY OVER OTHERS.
13. DOOMSDAY THINKING.
14. BELIEF THAT IT'S OKAY TO DO BAD THINGS IN THE SERVICE OF A "GOOD" CAUSE.
15. EMPHASIS ON EMOTIONAL RESPONSES AND, CORRESPONDINGLY, LESS IMPORTANCE ATTACHED TO REASONING AND LOGICAL ANALYSIS.
16. HYPERSENSITIVITY AND VIGILANCE.
17. USE OF SUPERNATURAL RATIONALE FOR BELIEFS AND ACTIONS.
18. PROBLEMS TOLERATING AMBIGUITY AND UNCERTAINTY.
19. INCLINATION TOWARD "GROUPTHINK."
20. TENDENCY TO PERSONALIZE HOSTILITY.
21. EXTREMISTS OFTEN FEEL THAT THE SYSTEM IS NO GOOD UNLESS THEY WIN.