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Diary #1 "Taking Back the Country"

Diary #2 "They're Coming For Us"

Diary #3 "The John Birch Society and America's Glory Days"

Diary #4 "The John Birch Society:A Household Name and a National Embarrassment"

Diary #5 "I May Not Be a Radical Right Winger After All, just posted.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, TomP, JayRaye, Vatexia, hnichols

    for your series. There was a house right outside of my city that for years  had a billboard sized sign on the front lawn extolling the JBS message.

    The Ghost of Tom Joad

    by Illinois IRV on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 05:54:46 PM PST

  •  Come document the Birchers for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Vatexia, hnichols

    the History Commons, if you like. DK is a tremendous blog. HC is a tremendous information repository.

  •  Claire, I have some computer glitch (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, cuphalffull

    that for months on end limit my participation to commenting.  I can't tip, can't see who recced me, can't diary, but if I could tip and rec, I would do so for all your diaries.  I will buy your book.  I have known Birchers, and know people who at least know the Koch Brothers, although are not Birchers themselves.
    I could read about this ALL NIGHT LONG.
    I am so happy for your first hand story!!!!
    Happier you survived it!!!!  

  •  I was born in '53 in a very political liberal home (6+ / 0-)

    and I have clear memories of both my parents talking about "Birchers" in the late '50s and early '60s; it was always with high levels of disgust, contempt, and frequently laughing derision. Even before I was old enough to grasp the nature of their lunacy, I understood that Birchers were crazy people who couldn't be trusted.

    Once I became old enough in my early teens to understand what the issues were, I learned that Birchers had relatively little support within the mainstream Republican Party, and that even staunch conservatives like William F. Buckley eventually concluded that the Birchers and other crazies needed to be driven from the ranks of the conservative movement and the GOP. The GOP of my youth had plenty of conservatives, but it also had a large number of prominent members who would be considered to be outright communists by today's GOP standards.

    It's truly amazing how the Bircher mentality survived and quietly reasserted itself in the guise of the tea partiers, and has now essentially taken effective control of the Republican Party. However, when you consider the direct involvement of the Koch family in both the original John Birch Society and the present-day teabaggers, it's perhaps not really that surprising after all.

  •  I've been thinking a lot about the Birchers lately (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I grew up in one of their primary havens in suburban Chicago and our favorite thing to do was get an ice cream cone and wander into their library/bookstore next door to giggle over their tracts on the Bavarian illuminati or how the Beatles were obviously trained in Russia. (You see, their music was too sophisticated to be British.) It was a simple pleasure to antagonize their volunteers but, I have to say, the discussions were always civil ---perhaps because my father was with us and we were all just neighbors. And white. For all their crazy ideas, they seem almost benign in contrast to the obscenity and hate you see now. I was feeling some nostalgia for them until reading your posts and seeing the continuum to today's right wing. It was and is about fear, power and powerlessness.

    The local Catholic church advocated fervently for them. My mother would get regular calls from Catholic neighbors outraged about our textbooks in public school ---as if that was any of their business. Not incidentally, the public schools were far better the Catholic ones; we were years ahead of our friends in the same grades. My little Catholic friends did get me scared of the Russians marching down the street to take us away.

  •  Interesting. My dad liked Eisenhower a lot. (0+ / 0-)

    I went to Catholic school and never heard anything about the Birchers. It will be interesting to read the next chapter. Thanks for the interesting series.

    As for getting more people to read these, it seems to me that certain sort of more flagrant titles on diaries get more recs, I am not sure what the combination is that works though.

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