The Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the nation's most highly regarded social reform groups, publishes a quarterly magazine called "Intelligence Report." The summer 2010 issue came out this past week and it's a useful primer of the New Patriots -- the "new generation (that) leads the reborn antigovernment movement."
This is the face of the future of America and it is not pretty. Oh, they smile all right. But their's is the smile of a cat that swallowed the canary. They represent the most dangerous arc of ultra-conservative politics since the Red Scare days of Senator Joseph McCarthy and their hateful bile and outright lies are aimed at bringing about armed insurrection against the government.
"Patriots" is the word they use to describe themselves. "Take back our country" is their rallying cry. But the nitwits who buy into their screeds don't question this bumper sticker "wisdom". They respond to it with visceral glee and campaign dollars. What they advocate is nothing short of sedition. Who they are is the opposite of patriots. Traitors is the word that comes to mind.
"Intelligence Report" has 35 capsule summaries of the worst of the lot. Most of them are names you've never heard of -- yet. I don't have the stomach or the inclination to give you all 35 profiles. But here are some of the worst offenders and what IR has to say about these creeps.
Jon Roland. "When a militiaman claims the federal government is trampling the Constitution, he might have Roland to thank... In the mid'90s, Roland founded the Constitution Society, a Patriot organization whose website assembles writings of all manner of constitutional issues, including a section on the alleged right to assemble a militia. The site delves into the world of conspiracy theories by providing links to sites questioning the Oklahoma City bombing and the role of researchers in creating the HIV virus."
Cliff Kincaid. "Whether he's sounding the alarm about the Vatican's role in the 'New World Order' or the prospect of the U.S.military becoming a sinister homosexual fighting force, Kincaid persistently churns out columns savaging liberals, making groundless claims and trumpeting far-right conspiracy theories.... He is the founder and president of America's Survival Inc., a group that said it monitors the United Nations in order to "expose the influence of global institutions" on people's lives."
Gary Franchi. "Franchi is one of the leading promoters of a resurgent Patriot conspiracy theory that alleges the government is creating concentration camps for U.S. citizens. In 2009, he produced 'Camp FEMA: American Lockdown,' a video contending that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is behind the camps that could be used to house political dissenters. The camps 'are on existing military bases now, it's not a big secret.' "
Norm Olson. "Few people played a bigger role in transforming Michigan into a hotbed of militia activity during the '90s than Olson. Today, the founder of the Michigan Militia is living in Alaska and working with others to build the Alaska Citizens Militia. He told the Reboubt Reporter that he was convinced Americans would be forced to repel "tyrannical, oppressive federal aggression......America is very very ill," he said, "and people across the country are preparing themselves."
Mike Vanderboegh. "On March 19th, Vanderboegh, enraged at the imminent passage of health care reform, furiously called on Americans to break the windows of local Democratic Patry headquarters offices around the country. 'If you wish to send a message that [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and her party cannot fail to hear, break their windows,' he wrote. "'Break them NOW. Break them and run to break again. Break them in broad daylight.' Over the next few days, party office windows and those of several members of Congress were indeed smashed with bricks in several states, criminal attacks followed with glee by Vanderboegh in his blog's 'Window War' feature."
Does anyone besides me hear the echoes of the rise of the National German Socialist Workers' Party in all of this? Can our own version of Kristallnacht be far behind?
Let's call these people what they are: the lunatic fringe. Neo-cons. Radicals. Arch-enemies of the state. Traitors to the constitution.
They bring shame to the word "conservative." Where is the conservative outrage?