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A typical wingnut, sporting an attractive bright zinc plated finish.
Note that the right wing is diametrically opposed to the left wing, but otherwise identical.

A wingnut is a specialized, convenient item of hardware.

Like a normal nut, it has threads on the inside to engage the threads on a bolt or stud. However, instead of flat faces that must be engaged with a wrench (or Mr. Goodpliers), a wingnut has (typically) two large "wings" that allow it to easily be tightened or loosened with the fingers.

Wingnut is also a snarl word referring to anyone who the speaker considers unreasonably far to the right, analogous to "moonbat."

[edit] Alternative meaning

Just like not all conservatives are neocons, not all conservatives are wingnuts either. In fact, more often than not, the term is usually used interchangably with "reactionary" or "radical right".

Being a wingnut requires a particularly paranoid worldview, teetering on the edge of or falling wholesale into tinfoil hat territory, as wingnuttery causes the victim to refuse to accept any source of information that doesn't back up their prejudices (essentially, wingnuts are almost always authoritarian as well as being politically right-wing). Constant gibbering about the "liberal media" as well as a slavish devotion to cognitive dissonance, conspiracy theories, global warming denialism, psychological projection, and crackpot theories of economics (i.e. Austrian school) are also, if not required, at the very least nearly universal symptoms. This is all usually accompanied by a side dish of a severe persecution complex. Not all wingnuts are racists, misogynists, homophobes, or transphobes, though many racists, misogynists, homophobes, and transphobes are also wingnuts.

Unfortunately, in the United States, that seems all the more common every day.

[edit] See also

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