The Republican Party has devolved into an unruly and dangerous coalition of political extremists, anti-government libertarians, right-wing billionaires, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists and Christian zealots with Donald Trump as their great and powerful leader. When this gang is finished, America will look like the early 1900s–those “good old days” when the federal government was tiny, workers had no protections and no safety net, and the wealthy had it all.
For most of you, this is not news. But if we are going to stop these radicals, we have to figure out who they are and what they want.
In other words, we have to get to know these radicals.
Here’s their secret: Wealthy right-wing radicals have been plotting to take over the government for more than 60 years. In that time, they’ve spun webs of influence and created organizations to promote their goals. Think Koch Brothers, Betsy DeVos, the Goldman Sachs gang in Trump’s administration, and the libertarian anarchists in the so-called “Freedom Caucus.” Along the way, these radicals have embraced religious zealots, racists, bigots, and haters of every stripe. Sprinkle in a disdain for the environment, a disregard for the rights of women and minorities, and a total who-cares for those in need . . . and, PRESTO! You’ve got what we’re living through right now.
So, how did I figure this out?
I learned about the radical right from my father, a charter member and a national leader of the John Birch Society, one of the most radical right-wing organizations of the 1960s. The Birch Society preached a dark view of what government is–and what it should be. Birchers were taught that government is essentially evil. With that view, it is not a stretch to assert that almost everything the government does should be undone or turned over to private enterprise. That means the end of all safety nets programs, all civil rights protections, all regulations on business.
For Birchers, the free market is God. Anything that interferes with a totally free market is evil. Rich people are good. Poor people, not so much.
The Birch Society went way beyond wanting to shrink the government. They ginned up fear and paranoia about evil men within the government who planned to take over the world and merge the US into the Soviet Union. The conspiracy lurked behind every corner, plotting in secret, ready to take over when their masters ordered. Protected by the liberal media, the socialist, Communist web was only a few years from complete domination. By 1970, the United States and its glorious experiment in free-market capitalism would be wiped off the face of the earth.
Hell was always just around the corner. Darkness was everywhere. America was a wreck and evil was running amok. It would take an army of real Americans to save the country from the Communist menace and the alien hoards pouring over the border.
It took me a long time to figure out that this worldwide conspiracy is nonsense. The Birch Agenda, however, is real and dangerous.
Pay attention to what Donald Trump and the Republicans are proposing. They sound like the John Birch Society leaders who came to our home for dinner. They sound identical to what the John Birch Society advocates today.
Look at this list. Can you tell the difference between John Birch Society policies and the policies of today’s Republican party?
- Hate the federal government.
- Cut taxes on the rich and abolish the IRS
- End most federal programs and privatize the rest
- Reduce the safety net and end all welfare.
- Repeal healthcare reform and let the free market work
- Make it harder to vote
- Stop immigration and block all reform that would offer a path to citizenship
- Oppose reproductive rights and equal rights for the LGBTQ community
I bet you figured out that these are the policies of the Birch society, Donald Trump, and the GOP. But, even today, most people have no clue that the GOP really believes those things. And I can understand why. They’ve gone to great lengths to frame their ideas in sound bites. At the same time, they’ve become masters at telling half-truths and outright lies about the real-world consequences of their radical ideas.
But now, there is no mistaking their intentions. Millions of Americans are figuring out that our government is controlled by anti-government fanatics, religious zealots, and libertarian billionaires. And at the top of this mess is a president who is unprepared, incompetent, and dangerous.
We’re in for a rough ride. It will take all of us to fight back. Let’s get busy.
Let me introduce you to the Koch Brothers and their father, Fred, infamous John Birch Society founding member. This video is an outtake from my interview with Jen Senko, documentary filmmaker. Her new film, "The Brainwashing of My Dad" premieres on March 18, 2016. It is impossible to understand where the radical right got its mojo without knowing the Kochs. David and Charles are the architects of … Read more...
I've spent a lot of time connecting the dots between old right-wing radicals, particularly John Birch Society radicals and today's new radicals in the Republican party. At first, I felt like I was the only one who realized that the GOP absorbed so much Birch thought that they had become nearly identical twins. The GOP doesn't like the comparison. The older establishment Republican types remember … Read more...