Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Guest Post by Dave Miller

 This is where our country is.


Millions of Americans believe the following sets of ideals…


America needs Christian prayer in public schools, government funding at state levels for Christian academies, parental veto over sex education and bans on text books not deemed sufficiently patriotic.


Further, millions defend white rights, as opposed to equal rights for all Americans, clamor for the use of government to enforce Christian beliefs, practices and morality in public places, and venerate the inviolate freedom for the individual to do as he or she wishes economically, free from government interference.


They believe certain Americans have a right to a constitutional government, as they understand it, and if they do not get it, they’ll “get it in the streets” through the use of violence.


After a simple reading, you might be excused if you thought this sounded like a typical Trump follower or booster. But in fact, these words are from Matthew Dallek’s new heavily footnoted and annotated book, “Birchers: How the John Birch Society Radicalized the American Right”.


Dallek takes us on a journey of another time in America, the 50’s and 60’s when Robert Welch and his devoted band of America First people pushed the above series of ideas that bear a striking resemblance to the political rhetoric of the unhinged right we see in politics today.


Here’s more, from an article by Wayne Allen Root at the Gateway Pundit and cited by many on the right across the internet over the last few days...


“We are living in an age of mass deception, distraction and denial, of mass brainwashing. We might as well all be living in Jonestown, Guyana and following the orders of Jim Jones.


It’s all Obama. It’s always been Obama. Obama is the REAL “Big Guy.” Obama is the REAL criminal mastermind. Obama was the head of the snake. Obama was the John Gotti of the US government, overseeing a massive criminal conspiracy. Obama was the head of the “Obama Crime Family.”


And the worst part of all: Obama’s still in charge. Obama is pulling all the strings. He’s the one calling the shots. He’s the ventriloquist, speaking for the wooden dummy puppet Joe Biden. Obama is the real President of the United States, back for his third term.


What’s the response of typical bloggers to this?


“Obama is the monster, why he wants America destroyed, I don’t know.”




All the while, these folks, the descendants of the Birchers of the 1950’s and 1960’s continue as if the clarion call they are sending is the cure for all that ails America.


If they could even get to a platform for their preferred political party, impossible in 2020, it would surely include this list…


Bring back prayer to school, remove regulations on businesses across America, ban abortion nationwide, don’t speak of sex in schools, give Americans more guns and please, let’s not transition to environmentally safer energies. Oh, and arrest Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe, and Hunter Biden too for their crimes, in spite of a lack of evidence.


The fact is, that crowd, the deplorables as Hillary Clinton once described them, are the ones working daily to destroy America. In a few short years they have…


·      Turned their back on their own Christian morality in the service of electing Donald Trump in 2016.

·      Waged a war on compassion, believing that compassion, as exhibited by Jesus on the cross, is for losers.

·      Have militarized their faith in support of President Trump.

·      Called for the death of a sitting US Vice President.

·      Excused the beatings of US Capitol Police Officers.

·      Excused lie after lie by President Trump, even as they believe other political leaders should be punished for “their” lies.


All of that is recounted in evangelical writer Jon Ward’s newest book, “Testimony, Inside the Evangelical Movement That Failed America”


As the indictments seem to be nearing for former President Trump, his supporters seem to be feeling the pressure. And like a defeated army, rather than surrender to the truth, they are digging in, seemingly willing to fight to the death.


Conservatives, and Birchers in America, conspiratorial in nature then and now, stood against FDR’s new deal that provided millions of Americans an economic safety net. They fought against Medicare, expansion of that program to include prescriptions, the ADA and many other measures that have improved health care and the lives of Americans across the country. They also stood against the SCOTUS case that ushered in the Civil Rights era of the 1960’s, the Loving, Griswold, Obergefell cases, and the Voting Rights Act.


Even today, they continue to favor laws that restrict, rather that expand access to the ballot for American citizens. Think I’m wrong? Explain to me why the mostly white GOP in Missouri passed a more restrictive set of polling laws in black and minority areas of the state than in their own suburban neighborhoods?


These present day Birchers, like their ancestors, do not believe in a multiethnic religiously diverse society. They are mostly uninformed, racially ignorant, white “My” America Firsters.


Unless and until we see significant numbers of this crowd step forward and disavow their beliefs, rather than just melt quietly away into the crowd only to return again as the Birchers that they are, America will never achieve her great promise.


Never, ever.


Les Carpenter said...

We began life as a nation with a built in moral failure and contraindication to our stated values. The institution of slavery.

That moral weakness remains to a degree yet today in America. Not in the depraved form of slavery, but in the insidious form of othering those not members of the tribe. Those not believing exactly as the tribe itself does.

We are a confused, suffering nation. And yet we seem not able to see the very things that would clear the confusion and suffering.

Every conservative, Bircher, and religionist ought to read to understand the book The Book if Joy. A 5 day period of time in India with H.H. the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with Douglas Abrams. They could stand to learn a lot and grow out of their shriveled view of life, happiness, and joy.

Mike said...

That's a lot Dave, but I'm sure you've missed a few things. But you would probably have to write a book, several volumes, to catch it all.

Dave Miller said...

Oh Mike...

Look, all of this begs the question of the day.

Why do the great majority of people who trashed our nation's capitol, celebrate white supremacy, decry compassion for outsiders, decry Brown v Topeka, commit mass shootings and march with Nazi and Confederate flags and symbols identify with the GOP?

Can anyone seriously answer this?

Why do those people, embodying evil, feel at home with the GOP?