I was a first-hand witness to the radical John Birch Society. My unique perspective connects the dots from those old radicals to today’s right-wing extremists.
My father was a charter member and a national leader of the Birch Society, recognized as one of the most radical right-wing organizations of the 1960s and 70s. For years, my parents and their Birch associates stoked hatred of the federal government and an irrational fear of socialism. The Birchers focused on their main “socialist” targets: federal legislation that created Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, labor laws, civil rights protections, and regulations on business practices.
It took me a long time to figure out that repealing all progressive legislation (a John Birch dream) would push this country back to 1900 when the government was tiny, workers had no protections, and corporations were free to do whatever they wanted. In those “good old days,” poverty, illness, and early death were the plight of the vast majority of Americans while the wealthy enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. That was the era beloved by Birch leaders and their followers.
Most of the Republicans running for office sound like clones of the John Birch Society leaders I knew. They support everything to help the rich and turn their backs on the middle class and the poor. If Americans continue to elect these right-wingers, our country will be controlled by a scary alliance of religious fanatics, anti-government zealots, and super-wealthy men like the Koch Brothers.
Most people still have no clue what these radicals are up to. That has to change. My book, Wrapped in the Flag, tells my story of growing up in the radical right, how I escaped, and how today’s right-wing sounds eerily similar to the John Birchers I knew. Help me share my story, and we can take one step to stopping the Kochs and their associates.
When Americans understand what is happening and why, they will answer these radicals with a huge, overwhelming NO. We the People can send that message.
Let’s get busy.
READ about the Koch Brothers, gun violence, right-wing policies, and why my story matters today . . . more than ever
MEET ME as I share my life, my decision to break with my parents, and my hope for my country
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EXPLORE “THE BRAINWASHING OF MY DAD” by Jen Senko
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UNLOCK KEYS to UNDERSTANDING RADICALS
Who they are and why they are dangerous