The John Birch Society was, at the time of its creation in 1958, the lunatic fringe of the far right. Formed by several wealthy right wing businessmen in a rage against the “activist” Supreme Court that unanimously declared segregation of public schools unconstitutional, Birchers believed this communist judicial activism was leading us down a slippery slope toward “forced integration”, integrated labor unions, full rights for women and other abominations of majoritarian tyranny. Movement conservatives steered clear of these rich extremists who saw commies everywhere, pulling the strings, making intolerable outcomes happen — like forcing whites who honestly hated Blacks to send their children to school with… you know. The lunatics who started this paranoiac right-wing interest group (which is still alive today, google these insane funsters) included wealthy fossil fuel baron Fred Koch, admirer of Mr. Hitler and father of American far-right titan and architect of the modern Republican party, Charles Koch. They’ve come a long way since 1958, taking over the Republican party with the vitality of their big ideas, as Heather Cox Richardson explains:
In Michigan, Republican Ryan Kelley, who is running for governor, has openly attacked the idea of democracy. “Socialism—it starts with democracy,” he said. “That’s the ticket for the left. They want to push this idea of democracy, which turns into socialism, which turns into communism in every instance.” Kelley’s distinction between “democracy” and a “constitutional republic” is drawn from the John Birch Society in the 1960s, which used that distinction to oppose the idea of one person, one vote, that supported Black voting.
In turn, the Birchers drew from the arguments of white supremacists during Reconstruction after the Civil War, who warned that Black voters would elect leaders who promised them roads, and schools, and hospitals. These benefits would cost tax dollars that in the postwar South would have to be paid largely by white landowners. Thus, white voters insisted, Black voting would lead to a redistribution of wealth; by 1871, they insisted it was essentially “socialism.”
Democracy, a dirty, slippery slope down to providing equal rights and equal protection of the law to everyone. Where does this decadent slide toward socialism end? Socialized medicine, a so-called right to affordable health care in the richest nation in human history? Making billionaires, who made two trillion in pocket change during the pandemic, pay more than 8% tax on that money? Jesus, socialism is un-American, as anti-American as anti-fascism and the millions of unhinged “woke” maniacs protesting when one black guy, with a criminal record, no less, gets accidentally killed by four cops. God save our flawed vessel king! Who are you gullible dummies going to believe, the fake news or Jesus Christ Himself?