One may object that there have been conspiratorial acts in history, and there is nothing paranoid about taking note of them. This is true. All political behavior requires strategy and many strategic acts depend for their effect upon a period of secrecy, and anything that is secret may be described, often with but little exaggeration, as conspiratorial. The distinguishing thing about the paranoid style is not that its exponents see conspiracies or plots here and there in history, but that they regard a "vast" or "gigantic" conspiracy as the motive force in historical events. History is a conspiracy set in motion by demonic forces of almost transcendent power, and what is felt to be needed to defeat it is not the usual methods of political give-and-take, but an all-out crusade.
This was true in Hofstadter's time and it is even more true today. From those who see vaccines as some kind of big pharma, "new world order" take over scheme to those who see Disney princesses as a device of the patriarchy to condition women for domestic subservience and so much else, MOST social and political discourse Stateside these days is increasingly coming from an armed camp, siege mentality. This is but one example of the consequences of there being such a toxic political environment.