Crackpot: (n) a person who is eccentric, unrealistic, or fanatical.
So what is a crackpot?
It may not be a word we use much nowadays. We favor asshole. But asshole has too broad a beam to it (pardon the expression).
A crackpot is something specific. A crackpot is a person who may start out well-intentioned but ends up ridiculous because he or she always makes the same mistake.
Crackpots leave out a step.
For instance, it’s easy to find crackpots in religion. Many start out with a common theme: God created us. It’s a good beginning. But then they jump ahead to crazy notions:
God only loves us.
God wants us only concerned with worship.
God wants us to preach vigorously against sin.
God wants us to keep heaven on our mind.
God wants us to fight for Him.
They leave out the middle steps which justify our faith. For instance:
God created us all—and then here comes life.
You see? There’s a lot of living before we get about the business of dying. There’s a lot of living that needs to be done in peace and joy before we stand face-to-face in an afterlife of eternal glow.
The same thing is true in politics:
Our country needs to have its problems solved, says the politician. Well, it would be difficult to disagree with that. What makes these politicians crackpots is that they skip plans, responsibilities, taxes and timelines—and they jump straight ahead to attack their political enemies, blame other countries or try to load down great legislation with too many programs—and this brings everything to a screeching halt.
In business: “We are out to make a good product…” Then the crackpots of industry leap ahead to this statement: “…and more importantly, make a huge profit.”
Somewhere between the product and the profit there needs to be a happy consumer, a well-cared-for work force and balanced books.
A crackpot is someone who starts out with a good idea and skips all the work it takes to achieve solvency, assuming that the reward should be enjoyed right here and right now.