The prion disease that has afflicted American conservatism—and the Republican Party, which is its outward expression—ever since Ronald Reagan fed the movement the monkey brains in 1979 now has reached full-blown epidemic proportions. It’s beyond even that which researchers anticipated would happen with the election of the current president* of the United States, although he has been a formidable vector for its transmission. Between the actual pandemic and the current turmoil, the prion disease is manifesting itself in several dangerous ways.

Read the rest of Charlie Pierce’s piece at Esquire.