Sunday, July 18, 2010

Caveat Lectores on Teabaggers and Dixiecrats and John Birch

Recent research has informed me that I am not the only political hack who sees a similarity between Teabaggers and Dixiecrats and John Birchers. It makes me feel a little better to know that I do not stand alone. I just wonder why this is not a more frequent topic.

All three groups, dating back to the days of FDR, were firmly in favor of right wing conservatism, limiting the federal government and social regression to times long past.

For those who forgot or never knew about Dixiecrats, this was the nickname of the States’ Rights Democratic Party. The underpinnings of the Dixiecrats began in the 30’s when the southern Democrat voting bloc accepted the Depression motivated economic intervention of the federal government but would not accept civil rights for Negroes. In 1948, the official party was formed primarily to protect against racial desegregation. Strom Thurmond ran for President as a Dixiecrat and lost. The Dixiecrats eventually self destructed as the country moved forward on civil rights. Some of the Dixiecrats remained with the Democrat Party while others like Thurmond became Republicans. The original Dixiecrats changed their public racist tune and became champions for right wing conservative causes that included states’ rights. (A common code word for segregation)

In subsequent years, various segregationist elements and the Republican Party and its “Southern Strategy” were able to siphon off more southern Democrat politicians and voters. The 60’s civil rights movement further splintered the southern Democrats. Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Newt Gingrich and G.W. Bush were able to find ways to further fragment what was once the Democrat monolith of the South by promising right wing conservatism, limited government intervention and appealing to single, otherwise unimportant issues (at least to the Republican leadership), that would entice southern Democrat politicians and voters.

Beginning in the Cold War 50’s, the John Birch Society (JBS) had much the same right wing conservative base but focused on fighting the evils of Communism instead of segregation to build its base. Limiting federal government, personal freedom, patriotism, return to 18th century values and government based on Christian principles were the hallmarks in addition to anti-Communist zealotry. The JBS opposed the Civil Rights Act, the U.N. and OSHA, as well. The JBS purportedly opposed the Vietnam War because of a belief the war itself was a Communist plot to take over the United States.

The JBS is pretty much against anything proposed or carried out by the federal government. It still exists but has been largely marginalized. It was never a political party as such that competed with the conventional parties but it probably hindered the Republican Party efforts to consolidate voters.

In today’s political world, does any of this sound familiar. Can you say Tea Party Patriots?

Tea Baggers are hard to corral because they are not exactly organized enough to define their core beliefs. Remember, they are “mavericks.” We know they are against anything the Democrats OR Republicans do. The Republican Party has been accused of being behind the Tea Baggers, but it seems the Rs have more voters to lose if the Tea Baggers succeed at whatever they are trying to do.

Apparently, they are trying to take over government but are proud of the fact they know nothing about government except they do not like government. They want anyone with knowledge of government put out of office.

We know they convulse at the mention of Barack Hussein Obama although they assure us it has nothing to do with his race. When a member goes off the deep end, they disavow any support but do not refute. They still think President Obama is a foreign born illegal alien. The senior Tea Baggers do not want “socialist” healthcare for all but do not want the federal government messing with their Medicare or Social Security. They want less government regulation but demand the federal government correct the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Actually, they blame over regulation for the disaster.

They seem to be made up of a foundation of heretofore disinterested but otherwise “patriotic” conservative non- participating citizens who got involved only after a partially Negro man became President of the United States. They believe this man is a Muslim. They religiously believe anything told to them by Fox News pundits.

They are not poor or uneducated, just naïve. BOHICA

And oh yes, have a nice Day?


Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
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