Top 10 Characteristics of a Fanatic

Eric Hoffer, a well-reputed psychologist, in 1951, defined characteristics of what he called a True Believer, in the wake of World War II. He noticed that Nazis and Communists, despite being strongly opposed to each other, shared the same traits. We also notice such about our political parties today, that the most devout people on both sides use the same rhetoric and tactics.
The Top Ten
1 Interchangeability

They can go from one obsession to the next with equal fervor. Perhaps a Marxist who becomes a die-hard capitalist, or a Christian who converts into an atheist who is obsessed with insulting religious people.

2 Dogma

Their beliefs are always right and can never be proven wrong, and anyone who offers constructive criticism is greeted with intense anger.

3 Identity

Their beliefs don't just pertain to the cause but are a part of their identity. They often indulge in "us vs. them" politics. They defend their beliefs because they equate them to their own identity.

4 Discounted Similarities

A Sony fan believes the PS4 is way better and more powerful than the Xbox One, despite functioning mostly the same. Or a Christian who views Muslims as much different than themselves, despite the fact that the two religions share a lot of common ground.

5 Lack of Depth

Some people who supported Obama like him because "he supports change," but they can't speak in much depth about his policies. And some people who opposed Obama say "he's anti-freedom," but can't provide concrete reasons as to why he's reducing their freedom.

6 New Poverty

Many fanatics are people who once had middle-class lives but then, as their circumstances went downhill, they felt betrayed by the world.

7 Ennui

Many fanatics are bored. They don't have much going on in their lives and they lack the creativity for hobbies and artistic pursuits, so they join a movement.

8 Parroting

They don't form their own thoughts or think critically. They often repeat statements that someone else says verbatim and use them as their own argument.

9 Black-and-White Thinking

There is no in-between for them. It's all one way or the other. Many Democrats and Republicans feel like their party is always right and the other party is always wrong.

10 Obsession

They talk about their cause constantly and post about it on Facebook every day.

The Contenders
11 Apocalyptic Predictions

They say that God told them about some apocalypse (rapture or second coming) and set a date for it. They also constantly talk about their predictions on YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook.

I think the last one was Harold Camping on 21st May 2011. Believers sold things they owned, pets, and got rid of their money. Haha, idiots.

12 Can’t Be Reasoned With

They always slam back at anyone who says they are either wrong, false prophets, or cranks.

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