Saturday, April 25, 2009

Is the Republican Party becoming the John Birch Society?

From Think Progress

State Republican party leaders are incensed that RNC chairman Michael Steele isn't labeling President Obama a "socialist." "We don't see this president so much as a socialist as we see him as a collectivist," Steele said earlier this week. At least 16 state leaders are now backing a resolution that would pressure Steele to adopt their partisan rhetoric by calling on the Democratic party to rename itself the "Democrat Socialist Party":

RESOLVED, that we the members of the Republican National Committee call on the Democratic Party to be truthful and honest with the American people by acknowledging that they have evolved from a party of tax and spend to a party of tax and nationalize and, therefore, should agree to rename themselves the Democrat Socialist Party.
In other news, while listening to AM radio the other day (it was during Michael Savage's show if I recall correctly) I heard an apocalyptic survivalist commercial for "survival seeds."

Survivalists believe the collapse of society is imminent, and thus they collect weapons and conduct field exercises in armed self-defense and reconnaissance. Some survivalists store large quantities of grains, dried foods, canned goods, water and vitamins in anticipation of long-projected economic or political collapse and racial rioting. Many have moved to isolated rural areas. Not all survivalists are part of the white supremacist movement, but many are. Randy Weaver was a survivalist as well as a promoter of racist Christian Identity.
The Branch Davidians were survivalists, too.

Update: Judging from the first comment I received, I seem to have created some confusion with the above quote. That is part of an article Chip Berlet wrote about survivalism and its relationship to extremist right-wing movements - it isn't the commercial!

I probably should have linked to the more neutral Wikipedia entry on survivalism in the first place, since that would have better made the point I wanted to make about JBS style kookiness becoming mainstream (at least, AM is mainstream for movement conservatives ... just ask Laura Ingraham.) The reason that I went with the Berlet bit is that it touches upon how survivalism can be a dangerous mix when it overlaps with other forms of extremism; and I think that mixing the hate that Michael Savage preaches on a regular basis with apocalyptic survivalist fears is probably not such a good idea.

For example, the cop-killer Richard Poplawski, who we already know was partly influenced by conspiracy theories and was a starter white supremacist, was also a survivalist, according to a friend who maintains Poplawski wasn't racist.


Sheldon said...

Are you kidding me!? That was the text of a commercial broadcast on an AM radio, talking openly about white supremacy? Wow, tha't scary.

Hume's Ghost said...

No, that's Chip Berlet's description of survivalists who overlap with other right-wing extremists. (I thought about going with the more neutral Wikipedia link but since the commercial is targeting Savage's audience I went with Berlet's.)

The commericial talked about how survival seeds would be worth more money when the great crisis comes; that global elites were stockpiling seeds or something like that ... that the only way to feed yourself will be with survivial seeds, etc.

Hume's Ghost said...

I wonder if this guy bought any survival seeds.

Sheldon said...

Ok, of course, I should have read more carefully. But still. I know the right was going crazy in the Clinton years as well, but they seem to have amped it up a bit.