lunatic fringe

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lunatic fringe (plural lunatic fringes)

  1. The members of a political or social group espousing extreme, fanatical, or irrational views.
    • 1913, Roosevelt, Theodore, Theodore Roosevelt — An Autobiography, ch. VII, page 211:
      Among the wise and high-minded people who in self-respecting and genuine fashion strive earnestly for peace, there are the foolish fanatics always to be found in such a movement and always discrediting it — the men who form the lunatic fringe in all reform movements.