Anyone else remember the John Birch Society? I had relatives wrapped up in it — they were dangerously nuts and full of evil ideas that even I, as a young kid, could tell were demented and destructive — and that last article brought back ugly memories. They seemed to have declined rather precipitously in the 90s, but I should have known…they were just going underground. They’ve risen from the dead now, as the Tea Party.
Here’s an account by a woman who grew up in a John Birch family. I only saw these jerks tangentially, on the fringe of my family, but I can tell you that this story rings true, and I agree — life in that kind of society would be hell.
I recognized the anti-government rhetoric and the unlimited money and I realized that Tea Party had locked arms with libertarians, big business, the religious right and the John Birch Society. This was a potent coalition of ideology, money and power—a coalition fifty years in the making.
Most Americans have no idea that these “new” ideas are the same “old” ideas that the John Birch Society preached fifty years ago.
I lived in the heart of radical right-wing extremism. I left the movement when I realized that living in a Birch society, libertarian America would be hell.