A lot of ink has been used in recent month examining the change in the Republican party. My take is a little different.
The R’s have become the home of the Evangelical wing of Christian churches and the former John Birchers’. The John Birchers are the most interesting additions to the party. They were the first to migrate to the party when President Nixon embarked on his southern strategy to win re-election. The John Birchers’ were previously the dixicrats or southern democrats that Nixon and the Republicans targeted. The John Birch Society is a political advocacy group that, in their words, supports anti-communism, limited government, a constitutional republic and personal freedom. The society upholds an originalist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, which it identifies with fundamental Christian principles, seeks to limit governmental powers, and opposes wealth redistribution, and economic interventionism. It not only opposes the practices it terms collectivism, totalitarianism, and communism, but socialism and fascism as well, which it asserts is infiltrating US governmental administration. Congressman Larry McDonald (D-Georgia), (who I worked for in 1978) then its newly appointed president, characterized the society as belonging to the Old Right rather than the New Right.
The society opposed aspects of the 1960s civil rights movement and claimed the movement had communists in important positions. The Society produced a flyer titled “What’s Wrong With Civil Rights?,” which was used as a newspaper advertisement. The group is Anti-Semitic, racist, anti-Mormon, anti-Masonic, and filled with a paranoid fervor. They are against the trilateral commission and at one time tried to tie the Queen of England to an international drug cartel. The UN’s role in the Gulf War and President George H.W. Bush’s call for a ‘New World Order’ appeared to many society members to validate their claims about a ”One World Government” conspiracy. It should surprise no one that Chuck Colson, convicted White House Aide to Nixon, (found Jesus in jail) was an architect of the Southern Strategy for Republicans as well as a supporter and leader of the Family. The “Family” is the secretive evangelical group responsible for the National Prayer Breakfast and the infamous “C Street House”. I lived in another one of their houses while in college. Sen Brownback (R-KA) in 1999, joined together with fellow Family members, Senators Strom Thurmond and Don Nickles to demand a criminal investigation of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. They run a convert operation and have a burnt earth policy against those who challenge them.
What do these two groups have in common? Both need to feed upon people with low analytical skills and suffer some form of paranoia. The average member of each group is less educated then average and believe the world to be seen in terms of black and white, us against them. There is no room for nuance. In one group there is a constant undertone of conspiracies set to undermine their lives. The others group has that plus a belief that there are invisible forces at work that only they understand because of their special calling. There is an invisible force that created the universe and they have a special intimate relationship with. Because of this relationship they get special treasures after they die. While alive they are give a special insight into the universe. They need to see the world in terms of black and white. The Devil is out to destroy them and their way of life with temptation. This is why they eschew facts and reality because there is no proof to substitute their belief patterns in both cases. Therefore evidence base science directly challenges their belief and cause them to lash out.
(Part 2 – Why they hate education)