Now and then I read where folks deride the Tea Party movement as if it were some sort of blemish on the face of America. Words or combinations of words complete the thought process, crazy, stupid extremists, zealots, insane; you get the picture. My thoughts turned to another time not so long ago when a different group of folks were in the cross hairs; pardon the politically incorrect use of cross hairs, when a different group of folks were singled out for destruction because they’d pointed out how communism was a direct threat to our constitutional republic.
The John Birch Society was a voice against the threat of communism at a time when China and Cuba had already been consumed by it. The communist party in Russia held strategy sessions on how to neutralize the John Birch Society because the spot light on the socialization of America was a danger to their cause. Anyone who aligned themselves with the John Birch Society was labeled a fool, crazy extremist who had to be insane and couldn’t be trusted to carry a loaf of bread home from the store; much less run for President like Barry Goldwater.
How successful was the campaign to destroy the John Birch Society? To this day many folks are afraid to mention the name in public. Anyone who dares to carefully dig into muddied political waters can expect the same treatment; Birthers, Climate Warming Deniers and of course Tea Baggers.
Historically the same pattern has been used to destroy and discredit opponents of communism over the years. Ezra Taft Benson, in his talk, Stand Up For Freedom given on February 11, 1966, pointed out that immediately after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated two things happened.
“First was the speed with which the Communist leaders spread the word that the slaying of the President must have been the work of American conservatives. Moscow has conducted a five year propaganda campaign to make American conservatives look like hysterical fanatics. It has called them “rightists,” “extremists,” and even “fascists.” Within an hour after the assassination and before Oswald was captured, Moscow was assuring the world that this crime was a product of the “rightist” movement on the United States.
The second thing which happened was the amazing rapidity with which American liberals took up the Moscow line. They too were quick to fix the blame even though there hadn’t been the slightest hint as to who had committed the crime. I wonder what would have happened if Oswald had not been captured and identified as an active Communist who was in direct contact with Party headquarters in New York City? Undoubtedly the liberal element would be blaming this tragedy on conservative Americans to this day.”
Does this sound familiar? It should, this is exactly the way the drive by media handled their explanation of the shooting which nearly killed U.S. Rep. (D) Gabrielle Giffords outside a grocery store in Tucson Arizona a year ago. The bullet casings were almost to the ground when the first accusations flew from the leftist press. The shooter, who was already in custody, must be some extremist rightwing nut-job trying to make a political statement. No facts had been established to justify such a line of thought; but that didn’t keep the press from repeating the absurdity for quite some time; destroy or diminish the ability of conservatives, in particular, destroy the Tea Party movement at any cost.
“Americans at the grass roots level have sensed that their way of life is being threatened. During the last several years there has been a rising tide of resistance to the prevailing political trend. Compromises with Communism abroad and flirtations with socialism at home have stirred up opposition in both political parties. If this has lead to disunity then by all means let us return to a program of sound Constitutional principles on which we can unite.”
In case you’re wondering, that last quote was also spoken by Ezra Taft Benson in the very same talk over 40 years ago. Sound reasoning and a glimpse at our present day dilemma should make reading the rest of his advice worth while.
When I hear folks speak in derogatory terms about the Tea Party, folks who hold the constitution dear, folks who see the dangers of following the road to socialism and destruction; I have to wonder. Have they never read nor understood the invaluable lessons of history? Instead of flinging insults at Tea Party supporters might I suggest a different strategy; join us.
This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.