Stop Mass Hysteria

America's Insanity from the Salem Witch Trials to the Trump Witch Hunt


By Michael Savage

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#1 NYT bestselling author Michael Savage calls out the mass hysteria mongers and their methods, and shows Americans that we must look to history to understand the present and avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.

Since Donald Trump’s historic ascendance to the presidency, American politics have reached a boiling point. Social and economic issues, even national security, have become loud, violent flashpoints for political rivals in the government, in the media and on the streets. This collective derangement has a name: mass hysteria.

In his new book, Stop Mass Hysteria, #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Savage not only deconstructs the Left’s unhinged response to traditional American values like borders, language, and culture, but takes the reader on an unprecedented journey through mass hysteria’s long history in the United States. From Christopher Columbus to the Salem Witch trials to the so-called “Red Scares” of the 1930s and 40s and much more, Dr. Savage recounts the many times collective insanity has gripped the American public – often prompted by sinister politicians with ulterior motives.

Dr. Savage provides vital context for the common elements of dozens of outbreaks of mass hysteria in the past, their causes, their short and long-term effects, and the tactics of the puppet masters who duped gullible masses into fearing threats both real and imagined. By shining a light on the true nature and causes of American mass hysteria in the past, Savage provides an insightful look into who and what is causing dangerous unrest in our lives – and why.




Hatred is in the air. We are living in an age of hate, in which mental pollution is worse than air pollution. The most accessible and comprehensive of all unifying agents, hatred is spreading like a virus into all-too-willing hosts. It unifies knee-jerk liberals, no matter what their other differences. Hatred of conservatives, Trump, and his voters is just one of many cases of mass hysteria infecting American society today, but it is likely the most destructive.

As I write these words, three of the most malicious acts in living memory have been perpetrated by agents of the left. First, AntiFA—that group of lawless, self-styled, antifascist anarchists masquerading as “activists”—has published the home addresses of agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),1 essentially guaranteeing that these hardworking, law-abiding, honest, and decent men and women will be harassed at levels no citizen should be forced to endure. And that’s if they’re lucky. With these cowardly, masked goons, violence against our public servants is inevitable.

The second obscenity was the odious suggestion by Peter Fonda, brother of the infamous Hanoi Jane, son of the onetime gray-listed communist sympathizer Henry Fonda, that Barron Trump, son of the president of the United States, be locked in a cage with pedophiles.2 It’s appropriate that, in this stoner’s view, the real animal is the one outside the cage.

Flip that for a moment. Can you imagine what would have happened to anyone who tweeted that kind of sentiment about the daughters of Barack Obama? Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and every shockable Democrat on Capitol Hill would have been calling for blood.

The third obscenity is courtesy of mad California congresswoman Maxine Waters, who screamed to an audience at a toy drive that they should harass President Donald Trump and the people who work for him. “If you see anybody from that Cabinet… you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them.…” 3 She has decided, apparently, that God is on her side. Maybe she heard that from a burning bush. Or a burning tire at a riot… the kind caused by the kind of incendiary, high-decibel, hysterical rhetoric of which she is so fond.

Where is the outrage? More important, where is the humanity? Where is the decency?

It is gone. It is lost in the sea of mass hysteria that dominates our world in a way and at a level that history has never before seen. Can it be stopped before we have an actual civil war? Can it be stopped before America is lost?

The question is a real one.

On the same day as those earthquakes hit the cheering mainstream media, President Trump—after just one day of bad social media and press—issued an executive order that terminated the administration’s policy of splitting migrant families.4 Mind you, the policy was designed to stop criminals, to prevent individuals from crossing our borders illegally. For these people, children were just the props to make leftist hearts bleed and to let the lawbreakers take advantage of the benefits of living in this country.

I was initially disappointed in the president. But then I thought about what he said: “We’re keeping families together and this will solve that problem. At the same time we are keeping a very powerful border and there continues to be zero tolerance.”

There was a storm of protest from the left, one that the media would have fanned so that the smoke of that fire would obscure every goal President Trump has for this nation. He made a disagreeable decision, one that went against the law and his own ideals. He made a political decision. Maybe that’s why he may turn out to be the greatest commander in chief of our era.

Trump put statesmanship above the desires of his electorate. You know, if President Richard Nixon had done that when the Watergate scandal broke—owned up to an environment he created that allowed for corruption—he might never have had to resign. It would not have defined his administration and obscured his real achievements.

The president capitulated so that we could get off this topic and try to solve the problem of illegal immigration and anchor babies through legislation, which, of course, the Democrats have been stonewalling in an effort to poison Trump to voters. Care for the illegal immigrants? That’s not even on the Democrats’ radar.

The jury is out on whether the president, by putting out this fire, can turn to stopping the bigger one: our porous and ineffective borders. My fear—and my gut—tell me that the social virus of all-consuming hate of the left is impervious to dispassionate reason, just as physical viruses are impervious to antibiotics.

The left does not just hate President Trump. They hate this nation.

In this book, I will expose the many contemporary and historical cases of mass hysteria, going as far back as Columbus. Whether the mass movement is run by Farrakhan, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Muhammad—it doesn’t matter. The cause and the symptoms are the same.

I’ve found that virtually all mass movements rely upon hatred, with perhaps the exception of modern Christianity. In the beginning, Christianity was not born of nor was it spread by the gospel of hatred. Christianity was born of love and spread through the gospel of love, overcoming the gospels of hatred in the past and during our time. Can you say the same about other religions?

In The True Believer, Eric Hoffer wrote, “Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.” He posited that the strength of the mass movement was proportionate to the “vividness and tangibility of its devil,”5 an insight not lost on Adolf Hitler. Hitler once said that if the Jew did not exist, “We should have then to invent him. It is essential to have a tangible enemy, not merely an abstract one.”6

Hoffer relates the story of a Japanese mission, visiting Berlin in 1932 to study the National Socialist movement, lamenting they had no “devil” equivalent to the Jews in their own country.7 Chiang Kai-shek had the same problem in galvanizing his mass movement when he failed to replace the vanquished Japanese with a new devil.8

The new “Jews” for progressives are Trump and his supporters. The hatred for Trump is at the same fever pitch as was the hatred for Jews in early Nazi Germany. The patriarchy, the family, the church, white people, the police, the military, capitalism, conservatives—the Bible itself—are all hate piñatas for hysterical progressives. They attack anyone and anything the liberal media tell them to hate.

As Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens who, reading newspapers, live and die in the belief that they have known something of what has been passing in the world in their time.”9 That’s just as true today. Do television viewers really know what’s been passing in the world in their time because they watch the news? I don’t care what channel it is. Is what you see on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC really representative of what has been passing in the world in your time?

No, it’s a snapshot. It’s not a movie. Whether you know it or not, you’re living through a mass hysteria primarily of the left, but not solely of the left. How absurd they have become in their hatred of Donald Trump and those who voted for him. Their hatred has reached a fever pitch comparable to mass movements in totalitarian states.

Hatred has now become mainstream, especially on CNN and MSNBC. FOX does not use hatred as a unifying principle. But the news czar of CNN was apparently raised on the mother’s milk of hatred, because it’s all his marionettes spew. Whoever it is that runs NBC must also have been suckled at the breast of hatred, because that’s all you hear from MSNBC’s mouthpieces. It’s their stock-in-trade.

Samuel Johnson, one of my favorite essayists, wrote the following in 1780: “Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it. Martyrdom is the test.”10 Now, what does he mean by “martyrdom is the test”? Are you willing to die for your beliefs? Let’s hope you don’t have to, but anyone can shoot off their mouth.

You know which side you’re on by who you hate. If you hate Trump, you also hate white people—with impunity, by the way. From there you conclude that all people who voted for Trump are racists, which on its face is absurd, but your unhinged hatred and anger allow you to believe it. And you go on watching and listening to hate shows that preach that anything they disapprove of is racist.

Today the word racist is used the way communist was used in the early 1950s. They used to smear people by saying, “Are you now or have you ever been a communist or a communist sympathizer?” And now these left-wingers play a new game, which is, “Are you now or have you ever been a racist?” That’s the one word that fits all they hate.

Ironically, while there certainly were people wrongly accused of being communists during the so-called Red scares, the accusations of communism or sympathy with communism during the mid-twentieth century were mostly true. The Venona Project proved communists had infiltrated Hollywood, newspapers, academia, and even the government.11 At least two members of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration, Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White, were Soviet spies!12

Today, however, while racism certainly exists, and some people are rightly called out for it, the accusations of racism against anyone and everyone who criticizes a non-Caucasian person in any way are mostly unfounded. While African Americans and other minorities suffered real inequities during the first half of the twentieth century—virtually all institutional racism by some level of government—that fight was won. Today, the idea that “people of color” are disadvantaged is just another case of mass hysteria, propagated mostly by people who have no one’s best interests at heart but their own.

So, if you voted for Trump, fill in the blank. You’re a racist. If you believe in the Second Amendment and own guns, you’re a racist. If you believe in the traditional family, the traditional institution of marriage, or the church, you’re a homophobe. If you are a person who achieved some degree of financial success, you’re a “capitalist pig” who hates poor people. If you support the police, you’re a racist who hates blacks. If you support the military, you’re a mass murderer. If you go to a NASCAR race, well, fill in the blank.

Certain things hold true. No matter what changes, they remain the same. Many examples of covert racism in America today can be seen in the newspapers, which is why they’re going out of business. By and large, the primary readers of newspapers are old “progressive” or self-described “liberal” white people. And so they appeal to them with their propaganda sheets attacking police, patriotism, the traditional family, the military, and one race in particular. For example, newspapers in San Francisco don’t exist anymore. When I moved here, there were two good newspapers: the San Francisco Chronicle and the Examiner. But they died. They died because they submitted to covert propaganda.

For example, rarely do they show pictures of criminals unless the criminal is Caucasian. The physical characteristics of a “minority” criminal are almost never described. Neither are the names or religious affiliations of terrorists released, until it is impossible to conceal them any longer.

On June 4, 2018, the Supreme Court, in a landmark 7–2 decision, said that the misnamed Colorado Civil Rights Commission had trampled on the rights of a Colorado baker who declined to make a cake for a gay couple. “The Commission’s hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in his majority opinion.13 What we learned—what history failed to teach us, but the Constitution ultimately did—is that mass hysteria cannot, must not, and will not be tolerated in this nation.

Did the newspapers across the nation celebrate this affirmation of one of our most basic, cherished freedoms? Of course not. Instead, they blared, “IN A NARROW MARGIN SUPREME COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF CHRISTIAN BAKERS.” The vote was 7–2. Only editors in the grip of liberal mass hysteria could call that margin “narrow.”

A few months ago, a headline I posted on my website,, screamed, “FASCIST LIBS IN UK ARREST ANTI-IMMIGRATION PROTESTER, IMPOSE TOTAL PRESS SILENCE! LIBERALISM WILL BRING ABOUT A CIVIL WAR HERE IF THIS IS TRIED.”14 They had arrested the anti-immigration protester and activist Tommy Robinson, head of the English Defense League, without charges. The judge then imposed a total press blackout on the arrest. They redacted the charges, saying they will be shown to the public after he is released from prison.

A van full of police officers pulled up and told Robinson to stop live-streaming, even though he wasn’t disturbing the peace in any way. This is an example of the religion of liberalism run amok. It’s what happens when a religious fervor takes over a political movement, something that is happening all over the West among antipopulist, antinationalist, and, in America’s case, anti-Trump mobs.

This book covers not only the present madness, but similar instances of mass hysteria going all the way back to 1492. It is an attempt to stop the mass hysteria of our time before it leads to a civil war.

In short, today’s mass hysteria must end before it ends us.



The run-up to the 2018 U.S. midterm elections has proven that the voices of mass hysteria now control the news media and social media with everything from vile tweets to Bolshevik-like marches. They are attempting to corrupt our political system with undocumented voters and uninformed rhetoric to demonize President Trump, Republicans, and conservative thinking in general. If they are allowed to triumph, if Congress is lost to the Democrats, Trump will be impeached, and all his work will be undone.

So will the future of our nation.

The bases for fomenting and maintaining hysteria have been in place long before there was an America. Only the goals and slogans have changed. That is why I have chosen to write about history. It is scary to see how little we have learned over time, and I hope—with your help—we can start to change that. If we do not, then we will again prove true George Santayana’s chilling but prescient statement: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”1

This book is about the past, the present, and the future. If you listen to my radio program, The Savage Nation, then you know I am very, very concerned about the mass hysteria choking our nation. It is manifested in shouting and bullying that prevents dialogue and hardens adversarial stances. We will be discussing the many forms mass hysteria has always taken, but here are three topics you will instantly recognize:

Guns. Donald Trump. Russophobia.

Gun control is an area where mass hysteria has trumped sound regulation. The left exploits horrors like school shootings—a mental illness and pharmaceutical issue, not a gun issue—as opportunities to repeal the Second Amendment. This is using mass hysteria, trying to implement regulation based on emotional reactions to traumatic events.

As we have seen throughout American history, guns have a place. Many of the events that led to the founding of our country would not have occurred if the colonists hadn’t kept weapons. The Founding Fathers knew this when they included the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights. We cannot, must not, and will not let the left weaken us, opening us up to tyranny with cheap emotional ploys designed to generate mass hysteria.

As for President Donald Trump, is there a figure who has been so consistently, maniacally, and wrongly reviled as the forty-fifth president? Every commander in chief, like every human being, makes mistakes. But the way the mainstream media and social media fan the hate, this effective leader is not only called the Antichrist, he is called a bigot, a misogynist, an Islamophobe, a hater—the list is nearly endless. Most of those are agenda-driven lies. No one in the media will give him credit for what he is: a leader.

His administration has accomplished more in nearly two years than Obama managed in eight. But people make obscene gestures when they see him, have chest pains when they hear him, spit when someone mentions his name favorably. That is mass hysteria at work.

I had my own brush with this madness when President Trump invited me to visit him in the Oval Office this past April. We discussed a topic about which I am passionate: a ban on the catastrophic and inhumane hunting of elephants. About ten minutes into our meeting, a red button flashed on his desk. I thought—I feared—that it was a nuclear launch button. I asked, half-joking, “Mr. President, did you just launch a nuclear weapon?”

The president laughed and answered, “Yeah, I launched an atomic bomb.” Then he waited a moment—with what professional entertainers would call perfect comic timing—and added, “No. I’m ordering a Diet Coke.”

He asked if I wanted one. I laughed. It was self-effacing and funny. How did the Trump-hating mainstream media play it?

“President Trump Jokes About Launching Nukes with Talk Show Host Michael Savage.”2

They will say anything, twist any event, distort any fact, spin any achievement, to make him appear incompetent, dangerous, and hateful. None of it is true. All people can, and should, have differences of opinion. But the media contemptibly uses mass hysteria to transform disagreements into psychotic breaks.

The insanity over Russophobia is unlike anything we have witnessed in a half century. Without evidence, with just bold propaganda, half our population3 has decided that Russia controlled the 2016 presidential election. No one can quite articulate how or why Russia did this, not even individuals investigating the claim—which, of course, was promulgated by the losing party and magnified thousands of times by the corrupt, degenerate left-wing media.

I’m not sure readers will even remember that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s own “witch hunt,” as the president calls it, was begun to investigate Russian interference in the election and whether any members of the Trump campaign “colluded” with Russia. As of this writing, it has been going on for more than a year, at the cost of tens of millions of dollars, and hasn’t produced any evidence of such collusion.4 Not able to do so, it has morphed into a personal vendetta against the president and anyone associated with him.

The Mueller investigation has become so protracted and far afield of its original purpose that even Mark Penn, pollster and adviser to former president Bill Clinton and political strategist for Hillary Clinton in 2008, has called for its end. In an op-ed for the Hill, Penn wrote, “Rather than a fair, limited and impartial investigation, the Mueller investigation became a partisan, open-ended inquisition that, by its precedent, is a threat to all those who ever want to participate in a national campaign or an administration again.”

Even the story that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort engaged in collusion with Russian officials is falling apart. Manafort has been indicted on money-laundering and tax evasion charges unrelated to the Trump campaign, in an effort to pressure him to turn state’s evidence against the president or former members of his campaign. But according to the Washington Times, when Manafort’s attorney, Kevin Downing, asked the special counsel’s office during mandatory discovery for evidence of the widely reported phone calls, during which Manafort supposedly worked with the Russian government to hack the Democratic Party’s emails, the Special Counsel’s office replied that they had no such evidence.

“The special counsel has not produced any materials to the defense—no tapes, notes, transcripts or any other material evidencing surveillance or intercepts of communications between Mr. Manafort and Russian intelligence officials, Russian government officials [or any other foreign officials],” wrote Downing in his filing.5 “The Office of Special Counsel has advised that there are no materials responsive to the request.” So, the news reporting trumpeting such evidence is mass hysteria at best, deliberate lies at worst.

Sometimes mass hysteria morphs into sheer hypocritical stupidity. For example, the Trump administration has made it a priority to reinvigorate our moribund space program. In so doing, he saves us the $70 million we pay Russia each time they send one of our astronauts to the space station,6 which is the only way we have of getting there since Obama killed the manned space shuttle. So you have President Trump depriving “malicious” Moscow of income it sorely needs, creating both American jobs and a sense of national purpose. Yet to the illiberal lunatics, he is still Russia’s pawn and bad for America.

Sadly, even facts and reason cannot instantly tamp out mass hysteria. Like the reckless push to legalize a dangerous hallucinogenic drug, called marijuana, mass hysteria is stoned on its own fumes. Like the hateful, unfounded cries of “white privilege” that stain the lips of people looking to blame someone for their own failures, mass hysteria hears only the echoes of its own mind.


Shocking historical events have always brought out the best and worst in human beings. The 2001 World Trade Center attacks saw victims helping victims, strangers helping strangers, and first responders helping everyone. In the hours and days following 9/11, there was little mass hysteria. By that I mean the unhinged impulses that occur when a self-serving charlatan politicizes or monetizes an event and then rallies disciples blinded by manufactured outrage.

Unfortunately, the opportunists eventually poked their heads from the still-smoldering debris. There were the cries of the self-described “Truthers” that this was a government operation. The anti-Zionists declared “Israel knew!” and told Jewish workers to stay home. The warmongers used false evidence to launch a disastrous invasion of Iraq.

There was no social media then like we have now. It took time for the madness to catch fire among a wounded, susceptible populace looking for order in a suddenly disordered world.

Fifteen years later, another form of mass hysteria emerged: the widespread conviction that Donald J. Trump was the Antichrist. As I wrote in Trump’s War, and discussed with candidate Trump many times on my radio program, no one at first took him seriously as a candidate. As he began to win primaries and knock off well-financed, machine-supported, veteran political rivals like Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz, half the nation slept soundly, comfortable in their belief the self-serving, corrupt, victim-harvesting, born-again progressive Hillary Clinton—with the full might of an equally corrupt Democrat machine—would send the upstart home to Trump Tower.

As we know, that did not happen. The pundits, the polls, the still-diapered Millennials, and, most of all, the agenda-driven factions on the left had a collective coronary from which they still have not recovered. Shock shaded to denial shaded to mass hysteria, vigorously and unrelentingly fanned by the twin evils of social media and the extreme left-wing, biased, mainstream media. According to these people—who are still suffering from postelection psychosis—there was and is nothing President Trump can do right.

Considering the generally respectful conservative opposition to the man who preceded him, a president who did very little right, this reaction is hysterically over the top.

The unthinkable mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, which left fifty-nine people dead and more than 520 wounded at an outdoor country music performance,7 was another opportunity for the hysterics to deliver a body blow. Rational minds and compassionate souls immediately called for blood donations, offered free hotel rooms for the victims’ families, and rallied to find missing persons. Law enforcement swiftly but methodically sought motives and possible accomplices.

The left’s response was another story altogether. Before the blood had even dried, liberal politicians and hysterics were out in force. Within hours, Hillary Clinton went on a Twitter rampage against gun silencers, arguing that more people would likely have died had the murderer used a suppressor.8 Ignoring the fact that a high-caliber automatic rifle cannot be silenced, the failed presidential candidate quickly turned that baseless allegation into a full-throated roar against the National Rifle Association.

Clinton was joined by a fellow Democrat, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who said, “thoughts and prayers are not enough.”9 Translation: mass hysteria against everyone who does not think like you is the only possible response. Warren got her way when an attorney at CBS took a jackhammer to the cause of national unity by saying she was “not even sympathetic” to the victims because “country music fans often are Republican.” That attorney was fired from her post, and good riddance.

On October 3, that progressive mouthpiece the New York Times did its part to create divisiveness and hysteria when it recounted how, in 1966, shooter Charles Whitman defined the twisted phenomenon of mass sniping by shooting sixteen people during a rampage at the University of Texas at Austin.10 The point of the article? Fear the male—implicitly, he is more dangerous than Radical Islam or AntiFA. The article neglects to mention that those latter two movements are driven by ideology, not sociopaths. Mass hysteria does not bother with fact or reason.

Part of the reason mass hysteria takes root more readily is that we no longer have a legitimate, responsible press to arrest it. Today the press skips from manufactured crisis to crisis, from Trump and groping to Trump and Russians to Trump and chaos on his staff to Trump and “white supremacy” to Trump and imagined racism. But unlike the proven crimes of Hillary Clinton, none of those issues are valid or sustainable. They are mass hysteria.

In addition to all things Trump, today’s hysteria often revolves around the concept “fear the male,” whether he is Christopher Columbus or movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. The abuse of women by that Hollywood mover and shaker and major Democrat donor—for whom former first daughter Malia Obama interned11—rocked the news media for weeks. Weinstein wasn’t unique: Women have been victimized by filmmakers probably as far back as the days of the pioneering Lumière brothers of the late 1800s. The so-called casting couch is not a new phenomenon.


  • "This book is sure to both enlighten and provoke. . . . By shining a light on the true nature and causes of American mass hysteria in the past, Savage provides an insightful look into who and what is causing dangerous unrest in our lives - and why. . . . You finish the book wanting more."—Times of Israel

On Sale
Apr 16, 2019
Page Count
352 pages
Center Street

Michael Savage

About the Author

Michael Savage was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. The SAVAGE NATION, one of America’s top streaming radio shows with millions of listeners, is broadcast on over 200 stations, including KSFO and KABC, as well as the show’s podcast. A multiple NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author, Dr. Savage has been profiled in the NEW YORKER, featured in the New York Times, and he has been awarded the Freedom of Speech Award from TALKERS magazine. He earned two master’s degrees and a PhD in in epidemiology and nutrition sciences from the University of California at Berkeley. He lives in California.

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