Skip to comments.The Rise of the Neo-Birchers
Posted on 04/30/2013 7:07:38 AM PDT by Kaslin
A cancer is eating away at a once Grand Old Party, and if the party doesn't wake up and take precautions, it may wind up only a shadow of its better self -- a hollowed-out refuge for haters and paranoids and the kind of ideological parasites that can reduce a major party to a minor one.
The historian Richard Hofstadter spoke of a "paranoid style in American politics," and noted its "sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy." He called it "an old and recurrent phenomenon in our public life," one that it isn't confined to left or right. It's an equal-opportunity form of craziness and, sure enough, it's back. If it ever went away.
Somewhere there must still be a remnant of the John Birch Society buried in the woodwork of American politics and still burrowing away. Such types swarm in the fever swamps of any society's culture, but in hard times, or just uncertain ones, they tend to overflow and threaten the health and stability of even long established and respected institutions, societies and whole civilizations.
Think of Germany in the 1930s and the Nazi sickness, or the conditions that led to the rise of bolshevism in Russia as the West destroyed itself in a first world war that would prove but a harbinger of an even greater and more calamitous second one.
Or take the long view and see what has befallen Islamic civilization since it was once renowned for its arts and sciences, its tolerance and hospitality, its architecture -- and its poetry! The civilization that gave us Ibn Khaldun and Harun al-Rashid now languishes, and in its decline produces al-Qaida types whose idea of progress is death and destruction. Their murderous rhetoric, once lightly dismissed by a West grown fat and careless, proved all too serious.
There's a lesson in all this if we in the West will ever learn it -- and act. Whether it's Mein Kampf or the Communist Manifesto or today's fatwas coming out of the Arab world, words can lead to acts. Horrible acts. And shouldn't be lightly dismissed.
Consider a couple of recent rhetorical performances here in bucolic Arkansas of all places:
Right in the middle of the citywide shutdown in Boston that followed the bombings at the finish line of its famed Marathon, a state representative and gun enthusiast named Nate Bell twittered a nasty little message about Bostonians "cowering in their homes" without firearms -- just when the rest of America was thinking of their calm courage and vigilance. (Which once again paid off.)
Happily, that state legislator was rewarded by a flood of responses -- not just from Arkansas but many another state -- that let him know just how far over the line he'd wandered. America seems awake to the danger that words as thoughtless as his represent. Even he soon thought better of them -- though he apologized only for their "timing," not their substance. Sad.
About the same time, a Republican couple in the hills of picturesque Benton County up in the Ozarks spewed out the same sort of vitriol -- not in private conversation or emails to their fellow fanatics but in the newsletter of the county's Republican organization. Words like "traitors" and "turncoats" were used to describe their party's state legislators. Or at least those who finally, patiently worked out a compromise on the contentious and convoluted issue of Obamacare and its impact on Medicaid in this state.
At one point the article in the newsletter referred to legislators who don't agree with its views as "bullet backstops." The article asserted that the Second Amendment "means nothing unless those in power believe you would have no problem simply walking up and shooting them...." No reservations or context can justify that kind of trash talk. Which has a way of leading to trashy actions. Or worse.
The head of that country's Republican organization wasted no time demanding these people's resignations from the party's county committee, which may be the best news about this whole mess. Because if Republicans aren't vigilant, loudmouths like these will become the voice of their party -- and decent Americans of all political persuasions will be repelled. Rightly so. And react. Which is what happened to the Birchers in their less than glorious heyday.
Lest we forget, the John Birch Society didn't fade away on its own, any more than malignant cancers clear up on their own. All good men -- and women -- came to the aid of their party and cleaned it out. Thinkers and leaders of courage and conviction, and of unquestionably conservative credentials, rose up to expose and oppose the danger the John Birch Society represented. Thinkers and leaders like the late great William F. Buckley Jr., who would not be silent in the face of what he recognized as a fatal threat to his party and its principles -- and to the conscience of conservatives regardless of party.
For what is conservatism except an attachment to the tried and true, to the wisdom of hard-earned experience over the zealotry of empty theory, to custom and tradition, to the civilities and grace notes of life, to tolerance and manners rather than the crudities of the moment? For conservatism is more a civilized inclination than a point-by-point program to be outlined in some party newsletter or elaborated to death in one of Rand Paul's 12-hour filibusters. It is a belief in the kind of positive change that, because it is based on the past, will endure in the future.
These neo-Birchers aren't conservatives. They're the opposite: radicals who believe they've got the true faith and all the rest of us are infidels.
Unless the Republican Partys leaders -- and its grass roots, too -- get a grip on this slithering danger and proceed to rise up and root it out, someday Americans may wonder what ever happened to the party of Lincoln, who spoke of charity for all and malice toward none. That forgotten party will have gone like the Whigs, torn apart.
At that point, Republicans will have become like the old man in a dark shop that Whittaker Chambers warned his party about as the original Birchers proliferated. The old man in his dark shop wasn't really interested in selling anything, just sitting there and stroking his merchandise.
Both the Birchers and now these neo-Birchers represent the greatest obstacle to a Republican comeback in American politics, which is Republicans themselves. Or at least the kind who fall for this load of ideology, or who think they can safely ignore these fanatics out to hijack their party. Remember: Silence gives consent.
Republicans out to save their country might consider saving their party first.
If we can’t get the idiot GOP to impeach Obama based on his fraudulent records and numerous perjuries, maybe we can impeach Bohner for failing to act out his constitution requirement to uphold the law?
Sharia teaches that YOU are, indeed, an infidel.
Are you a Bircher?
Pres. Washington warned against political parties. This writer acts as though the Republican Party is more vital than the nation. Hogwash.
He should be researching what is happening to the political parties in the Netherlands. It may enlighten him to see how citizens respond to domestic evil when pushed far enough.
The GOP is already dead.
Dead, dead, dead.
It has assumed Obama IQ temp.
It’s pining for the fiords.
So who gives a smelly Obama about postmortems?
What precisely is this facist talking about? Cause if he has a plan for getting rid of destrictive aholes wrecking the Republican party then I'd like to suggest we start by using it on Karl Rove.
The Democratic party has done very well for itself as the party of lunatics. Is Greenberg going to call for the expulsion of any of them? Didn’t think so.
Yes. They are RINOs
So Townhall has now become part of the New World Order, geez and to think they said Hamilton was a radical.
OBTW _ the people in Boston did cower in their homes, most unarmed and wishing otherwise.
The latest Democrat spin is that the GOP has been taken over by far right nutbags (i.e. conservatives).
“The Republican Party must be like I want it to be or it will die!”
Yep.....yadda yadda........thank you for the comparison to Nazis and communists.....that’s always helpful.
Sure, you can always find some over-the-top rhetoric if you look hard enough - and the RINOs are guilty of that as well in their attacks on the Tea Party. The larger points are, who has the clear vision for the country and who wins elections? It ain't the squishes.
It ain’t paranoia if they really are after your freedoms.
RINO hit piece.
This is from the Onion, right?
I had no idea that Paul Greenberg was a sniveling coward.
Thanks for enlightening me.
Wow! This is the kind of garbage being printed by Townhall.com now? What a load of pansified leftwing crap.
Every day, the local rag has an editorial or letter mentioning the far-right extremist Tea Party.
Yes...and if the author calls himself a Republican I call him a cancerous tumor!
Basically, what Mr. Greenberg is saying is that anyone that believes in limited government, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the wisdom of the Founding Fathers and that there are very powerful people that want to undermine all that is a potential violent terrorist. Funny, that's what the DHS says too.
Didn't the Birchers warn the the Federal Government would come to view the Patriots, Christians, conservatives, libertarians, etc as terrorists.
It’s the RINO’s that have taken “charity for all and malice toward none’ to the extreme and bankrupted the country with their govt. handouts and put the countries security and it’s peoples lives at risk by refusing to see the threat from this countries enemies.
Feminized, castrated dhimmi!
I think I like the Birchers and “neo-Birchers” more than the GOPe and Paul Greenberg.
And least they stand for something.
I think I get it.
If a birch tree falls in the forest and lands on a leftists head -don’t gloat!
Paul there is jumping the shark a tad. Now, let me destroy him ~ if we look back to the 1930s in Germany we see the mind-numbed, knee-jerk, robot-like Weimar Republic clearing the way for the ubber lib fest to be held by the Nazis. There are many articles on the period showing the relationship between Leftwingtardism and Nazi ‘medicine’ ~ here’s one http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/national-health-care-medicine-in-germany-1918-1945#axzz2RxOTzRPz
This Report explains why senior FBI officials (including FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover) came to the conclusion in FBI memos that the Birch Society was “extremist”, “irrational”, “irresponsible”, “fanatics”, and “lunatic fringe.”
Apparently, we just learned today that the Democrats will sweep the November 2013 elections in VA again.
The RINO’s say we need more gun control, more illegal immigration, more gay marriage, more environmental protection, more tolerance of terrorists and more taxes.
How are they different from Democrats again?
Jefferson put the sword to that idea by figuring out quickly that all he needed to do to build a nationwide very powerful and popular party was get more voters to the polls dedicated to voting for Democratic Republican candidates than the federalists could find.
About 3 elections and he'd erased that particular federalist notion from American politics forever!
The very system of single member districts and first past the post voting REQUIRES the existence of two major polls in politics ~ each dedicated to gaining 50%+1 vote to win!
They aren’t regardless of what their fanbois on FR keep screaming. Proof is in their actions.
RINO’s are different from dems the same way a moderate muslim is different than a regular muslim.
Both will take the time to sharpen the knife before they cut your throat.
The John Birch Society rejected me. I'm too right-wing for them.
I used to be..and may rejoin again. What is wrong with that?
BTW, the feds really got concerned about the society the last time crap like this happened. That was during the Carter administration. They even sent agents out to check on local chapters. The result was that we managed to get some of those agents to join.
There was another “Bircher” William F Buckley, who was funded by the founder to start his mag. How did the founder get repaid for this? Buckley promptly attacked him and the organization. Bit the hand that fed him.
RINO’s are always trying to figure a way to sell us out. Why would people vote for a RINO when a Democrat will give them free goodies like phones?
American electoral politics drive a bipolar party system. Coalitions are formed BEFORE the elections.
For all practical purposes the US and Nederland end up with the exact same sort of politicians ~ thinking the same thoughts, operating the same way.
Nope, I’m a cowboy.
“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!” ~Barry Goldwater 1964
The Birchers that used to hang out here always had an underlying paranoia about the Jews. They just hid it a little better.
Those signs make more sense to me now.
Here is what the JBSers believe. Take some time and see if any of you agree or disagree with it. There are 4 parts and it brings a tear to my eye..watching all that men and women have fought and died for go down the tubes.
Is, by chance, the author actually projecting his frustration with his heartfelt need to moderate his opinion, while constantly being called out and scooped?
The reason we are in the mess we are in, is because politicians are engaged in too damn much "charity towards all"!
There's always somebody around who wants to make the SS and SA look better by comparing them favorably to Republicans.
Wow. Old Paul really put on his hate hat today, shaking the bushes for every type of dangerous right wing ghoul. This crappy thing even loaded up “Nazi” “dark shop,” “fanatics,” “zealotry,” “infidels,” “malignant cancers,” “zealotry,” “old men” and even “Germany in the 1930’s.” There’s even more wordsmithing wizardry here, but you get the point.
The Asspress itself should issue a commendation to Paul. He is top of the line at packing weasel words into a piece of left wing drivel. But he better watch using “infidels” because the Asspress and the Wapo may have eliminated it from their style books for use in propaganda.
Take some aspirin, Paul. You and your side have complete power. Enjoy your tyranny.
You wrote: “I think I like the Birchers and neo-Birchers more than the GOPe and Paul Greenberg. And least they stand for something.”
They “stand for something”, alright:
Michelle Malkin Confronted by Alex Jones and mob at the DNC
Listen to the audio clip of Alex Jones bashing Rush Limbaugh and Free Republic on 11/20/2009 because they wont pimp his nutcase websites:
Alex Jones (Conspiracy Theorist) Claims Govt Staged Batman Shooting For Gun Control (Leading To 2nd Amendment, The Gun Ban)
Who Is Alex Jones, Anyway? Five Fun Factoids
Partial list of right/left-wing extremist nut-cases and websites banned from posting on FR:
Stormfront -a white nationalist and supremacist neo-Nazi Internet forum that has been described as the Internets first major hate site. (They just LOVE David Duke) http://www.stormfront.org/forum/
Lindon La Rouche and his trolls
Cindy Sheehans boyfriend Lew Rockwell and his trolls
The Birchers (The John Birch Society) and their trolls
Prison Planet.TV and Alex Jones and his trolls
Infowars and Alex Jones and his trolls
Alex Jones, please pick up Line 1.
Alex Jones, Line 1.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.