"His frequent speeches before large crowds all across the country are full of obtuse circular arguments about good and evil, and in interviews and small gatherings, like ones he has held for academics and journalists when he visits the United Nations in New York, he answers questions with questions, ending with a joyous smile that reads as a distinct putdown. His logic is seldom convincing, but then he cares little about what elites and experts think of him. He knows that the poor masses like his folksy style. Though he may seem comical, to many in Iran he comes across as daring and confident. They like his audacity, and especially the way he stands up to the elites, belittling their education, their wealth and their blue blood," - Vali Nasr, on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Fundamentalist politics - whether Christianist or Islamist - often assumes the same basic structure. What must be resisted is logic, argument or follow-up questions.

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