But one wonders how real wingnuts feel about this usage. Are they offended? And what are their political leanings, anyway?
Fearless, no-nonsense, big city reporter from New York Wilma Hastings did the ultimate preparation for interviewing on the street: she took a few tokes of that heathen killer weed before encountering the Great Unwashed. Hey, if you write for a newspaper catering to the uptown clientele, you have to make some sacrifices. So, after getting a good buzz on, the donned her urban sombrero to pass as an ordinary citizen and sallied forth!
Only there were no wingnuts in evidence. Wilma said, "My bad."
So she went into a hardware store, and found more likely candidates there. Big ones, little ones, wingnuts of color, wingnuts with rounded wings, those with squared wings, and so forth. You might say that she found a random sample of wingnuts; or at least a sample good enough for reporter work. Anyway, she saw no tinfoil hats in evidence. Curious.
Wilma Hastings: "Mr. Wingnut, what do you think of political extremists being referred to as 'wingnuts'?"
Big Wingnut: "I don't approve of that term. First of all, it's disrespectful to Wingnut-Americans. Secondly, very few metallic, hardware wingnuts hold to political extremes."
Wilma: "Oh, and where do their political loyalties lie?"
Ms. Wingnut: "Well, 2% of wingnuts are Democrats, 1% are Republican, 22% are middle-of-the-road, and 75% are apolitical."
Wilma: "Well, what do you wingnuts do?
Tom Wingnut: "Oh, mostly we screw around and follow the Wichita Wingnuts minor league baseball team."
Wilma Hastings was a little disappointed at this. Her first thought was no story!
However, she re-thought things and came up with a new angle:
[Headline] WINGNUT-AMERICANS NEGLECT CIVIC DUTIES FOR SEX AND BASEBALL