The Texas Tribune reports that one of the most prominent leaders of the Tea Party movement in Texas used to be the Director of Propaganda for the now-defunct American Fascist Party. But don’t worry, he has multiple contradictory excuses for that.
As recently as 2003, the president of the Greater Fort Bend County Tea Party had a very different title: director of propaganda for the American Fascist Party.
James Ives, a prominent Tea Party activist who has hosted statewide rallies and political debates and has been a regular contributor on conservative radio, was the AFP’s fourth in command, commenting about the party’s principles on a fascist message board. An image of Ives in what appears to be a black uniform with yellow shoulder patches can be seen in a 2006 promotional video for the party.
Ives tells a more nuanced story; the Richmond, Texas, resident says he stumbled across the fascist party — which supports extreme right-wing authoritarian regimes — online in the early 2000s as an “amateur political science student and frustrated novelist” and was merely curious.
“From my point of view, it was all pro-Constitution, pro-America,” Ives said of the group, which appears to be defunct.
“I never did anything,” he added. “There really weren’t enough people involved to be a gathering, let alone a rally. It was basically a scattering of people across the continent just complaining.”
That’s the first excuse. Here’s the second:
He said he believed he’d uncovered an underground cabal — and decided to stick around to do research for a “political novel of intrigue.”
“I thought, ‘I can blow the lid off of this. … I can go inside and find out what’s going on,’” Ives said.
Ives never wrote a novel. He did write a range of posts on the party’s Yahoo message board, communicating with his fellow “blackshirts” and the party’s chief organizer, a man who identified himself as the “Glorious Leader.”
So it was nothing, just a handful of people complaining. But he thought he could “blow the lid off” this irrelevant bunch of people complaining. Oh, and being the director of propaganda is totally no big deal too:
But he said he did agree to be the group’s “director of propaganda.” One website updated as recently as last year still had him listed with that title.
“I think I was the only one” who volunteered for the position, Ives said, calling the fascist group “a chat room with a fancy title.”
Well that explains it all. No big deal, right?