The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
TEA party activists have long denied accusations of racism and anti-Semitism, yet these charges are still heard. According to The Michigan Messenger, “The Institute for Research and Education and Human Rights has a report on the TEA Party group FreedomWorks, led by Dick Armey, and their increasing association with the John Birch Society. ‘Dick Armey need look no further than the front-page of his FreedomConnector site to see John Birch Society (JBS) activism in TEA Party ranks. Numerous JBS events have shown up in the Latest Activities section on the homepage of FreedomConnector.’ Most notably, the FreedomWorks staff has been busy promoting the Birchers on their social networking site.” The June 26, 2011 edition of The Daily Caller states, “The John Birch Society, a group denounced by the late conservative icon William F. Buckley, has been making the rounds at several TEA Party events and will host a table at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February.” An article in the February 4, 2011 Pittsburgh Post Gazette, quotes Clark Curry, a JBS executive committee member from Oklahoma, as saying, “One of the wonderful things, I think, about the tea party movement is that people were sitting there and they started thinking, ‘We may lose this country. I can do something.’ Fortunately, the John Birch Society has been there providing the tools and ammunition to bring these newbies into the movement.” Links between the TEA party and the John Birch Society are irrefutable. The two organizations are practically one.
While racism and anti-Semitism are not normally associated with either the TEA Party or the John Birch Society, the odious specter of race hatred seems to waft about each of these organizations, just beyond their perimeters, enough to quietly infest them both. According to information obtained from the Southern Poverty Law Center, Bob Mathews, Tom Metzger, and William Pierce, author of the infamous Turner Diaries and founder of the National Alliance, all belonged to the John Birch Society. Mathews gained fame in the 1980s, leading the Order, a violent white supremacist gang which engaged in counterfeiting, and robbing banks and armored cars. Metzger, an active leader in the John Birch Society in Fallbrook California, also led the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and founded the White Aryan Resistance. Pierce’s Turner Diaries are alleged to have been a source of inspiration for Timothy McVeigh.
Umberto Eco, Italian scholar and author of The Name of the Rose, addresses a “Fear of Difference”, in a treatise on fascism, written in 1995, where he states, “Fascism seeks to exploit and exacerbate, often in the form of racism or an appeal against foreigners and immigrants.” Fascists place a very strong emphasis on patriotism and nationalism, and are fervently anti-communist in their patriotic zeal. John T. Flynn wrote of an affectation for militarism, in his 1944 work, As We Go Marching. Each of these factors, qualities of JBS, strongly attracted these men. Chris Hedges, in American Fascists, explores a thread of intolerance, suspicion, and reactionary religious beliefs weaving through much of American fundamentalist Dominionist Christianity, which provided a vector to carry each of these men into the John Birch Society and thrust them onward into full-blown, violent, race hatred.
The JBS lauded Oklahoma debutant Neo-Nazi, Carol Howe, with front cover exposure on the Sept.1997 New American, its official publication. Howe was involved with white supremacist and anti-Semite, Dennis Mahon, an organizer active in several states in the Midwest and Arizona, holding leadership positions in several groups, including the Klan and White Aryan Resistance. As an organizer, Mahon cultivated alliances within domestic and even international extremist circles. So dedicated to racial and ethnic hate, Howe brandished a swastika tattoo on one arm, and came to reside in the white supremacist settlement, Elohim City, Oklahoma, linked to the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building. Timothy McVeigh was an itinerant resident. A private community founded in 1973, by charismatic religious leader, Robert G. Millar, the tiny hamlet is a haunt of Christian Identity followers, a movement which maintains that non-white people do not have souls. Prior to his April 19, 1995, execution in Arkansas, former Elohim City resident, Richard Snell bragged that something drastic would happen on the day of his execution. The Oklahoma City bombing happened just before he died.
If Elohim City gained national attention for its ties to Bob Matthews’ Order, it became notorious for its association to Timothy McVeigh. Secrecy forbids attainment of information directly linking JBS to the Klan and Nazis, but the above connections defy denial. If relations can be drawn between the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis and the John Birch Society, and JBS is shown to be overtly connected to the TEA party movement, then it does not take much of a leap of faith to connect the Klan and Nazis to the TEA party. In a recently posted YouTube video, contrary to the official denial, TEA partiers proudly bragged of their racism, wearing it as a badge of honour.