Taking Our Country Back
There’s this movement in America for more than half a century to ‘taking our country back’ [to take back America] and this group is now seen as special interest, lobbyist and so called Libertarians. These special interest groups are controlling the Radical Right-wing of the Republican Party – Tea Party Republicans and Libertarians! They feel that the time is – now! Their goal is too…thinks about it! ‘Divide and Conquer’ – get Democrats to fight among themselves [pit Democrat against Democrat, Labor against Labor] by confusing them and disputing their policies at every opportunity – get them to cross the line to get things moving in a negative manner and direct everything at the black guy to make him seem incompetent to run this country. They’re using certain buzz words like “privatization – privatize as much as possible and get rid of the public altogether, to rely on self and individual responsibility and not social responsibility and freedom is free from government” [intervention]. “Capitalism” another buzz word used by conservatives, “it arises in a socialist discourse and is seen as the opposite to socialism and in attacking capitalism is to accept socialism and accepting socialism is falsely identified with communism” [Excerpts from writings by George Lakoff's ] – this is the real beginning of the Conspiracy Theory of Conservative(ism)!
In addition, Congressional Republicans Lawmakers are to refuses everything for now on, every policy and procedure from the Democrats, obstruction the process, filibuster; use the Conservative majority on the Supreme Court – if necessary! These are the orders handed down from the special interest groups like the Koch Brothers, the group of 20 richest conservatives and lobbyist like Grover Norquist’s no tax pledge. So, read the story below that Claire Conner is telling with an open mind and you should see the story being played-out – today in our time! Let’s take our country back from these corporate lobbyists, special interest groups and keep America out of the hands of David and Charles Koch! Gbismarc! July 06, 2012
Articles by: George Lakoff, AlterNet
Why the GOP Campaign for the Presidency is about Guaranteeing a Radical Conservative Future for America by George Lakoff, AlterNet
Lakoff: Why the Conservative Worldview Exalts Selfishness by George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling, AlterNet
George Lakoff: How Right-Wingers Scam People into Buying their Toxic Philosophy by Joshua Holland, AlterNet
Lakoff: Why Conservatives Sell Their Wildly Destructive Ideology Better Than Democrats by George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling, AlterNet
Most John Birch Society scoundrels are buried deep in the recesses of American history, known only to politics junkies, history wonks and me, a Birch kid.
There is one exception however, a Birch name that echoes across today’s political landscape: Fred C. Koch, founding member and national council member.
Before Koch’s sons―David and Charles―became synonymous with 2000s corporate power, Koch built a fortune from an oil drilling techniques he developed. When oil companies in the United States ignored him, Koch looked elsewhere. In 1929, he landed a big contract to build fifteen oil refineries in Russia, Joseph Stalin’s Communist Russia.
Koch supervised the refinery installations, traveling extensively across the country over three years. He claimed that his hatred for Communism grew out of his Russian experiences, but he had pocketed bundles of money before his outrage set in.
In 1960, Koch wrote his book, A Businessman Looks at Communism , in which he rails against labor unions and civil rights efforts as part of the Communist plot to take over America.
“Labor Unions have long been a Communist goal,” Koch wrote. “The effort is frequently made to have the worker do as little as possible for the money he receives. This practice alone can destroy our country.” (p. 16)
My father’s views on “right to work” aligned perfectly with Koch’s.
“As long as there is breath in my body,” Dad vowed, “there will never be a union in my company. I’ll board it up first. Fred (Koch) sees it like I do, one hundred percent.”
Koch had equally damning views of civil rights. “The colored man looms large in the Communist plan to take over America,” he said (p. 25) and “it will use the colored people by getting a vicious race war started.”
Fred Koch died in 1967, leaving his company and his vast fortune to his four sons: Freddie, Charles, David and Bill who spent the next twenty years battling over the estate. Eventually, David and Charles emerged with control over Koch Industries, one of the largest privately-held corporations in the country.
The Koch brothers have enormous personal fortunes, 50 billion dollars in net worth. They’ve invested millions and millions of dollars of it in their favorite causes, right-wing, libertarian, anti-government ones.
David identified himself as the wallet behind Americans for Prosperity, the big umbrella for Freedom Works and the Tea Party. Charles founded the Cato Institute, a powerful think-tank specializing in selling right-wing policies on everything from taxes to entitlements.
This libertarian utopia would free businesses and individuals to produce, unrestrained by regulation. Corporate taxes and taxes on the rich would be tiny, allowing vast accumulations of wealth for the wealthy. Workers incomes would be set by corporations without the requirements of minimum wages and union scale.
If my father were still alive, he’d be at the front of the pro-Koch parade. I can hear my him crowing, “They are taking the country back. It’s about time.”
On Wednesday, November 16, 2011, Lauren Pierce, the president of the College Republicans at the University of Texas, Austin tweeted a little “joke.”
“Y’all as tempting as it may be, don’t shoot Obama. We need him to go down in history as the WORST president we’ve EVER had!”
I recoiled in horror at her words. This young woman with her Texas y’all and her Texas ha-ha is too young to remember November 1963, and all that led to that terrible day. And, it seems, she is too invested in hating President Obama to even care.
If I could, I’d drag her back in time to Dallas, Texas, November 22, 1963.
Lauren could stand next to me and wave as the presidential motorcade makes its way down Main Street toward Dealey Plaza. She could step off the curb onto the face of John Kennedy on a “Wanted for Treason” poster, and worry with me that my father might have written it. She could read the somber reflections and the black-wrapped editorials in the Dallas papers the next day. Lauren could weep with me and my roommate as little John Kennedy honors his father with a final salute. She could listen to my father, back home in Chicago, remind me that “the Communists killed one of their own.”
Maybe, just maybe, Miss Lauren Pierce would take to heart what the Dallas Morning News said on November 23, 1963:
“ We join the rest of the nation in expressing heartfelt sympathy and trust that the warped and distorted who become unstable in their opposition (to Kennedy) will retreat into the darkness and not emerge until they regain the light of reasonableness and balance.”
Maybe Lauren would learn something from November 1963 in Dallas and she’d rethink her tweet. And, maybe just maybe, the rest of the red-meat, hate-Obama crowd she leads at UT Austin would learn something, too.
The day before President Kennedy arrived in Dallas thousands of these handbills labeling Kennedy a traitor appeared in downtown Dallas.
At the time, I was a college freshman at the University of Dallas, a small conservative college just outside Dallas.
My father, Stillwell J. Conner, a John Birch Society National Council member and Birch spokesperson, had attacked Kennedy as a Communist for four years. When I saw the poster on the street in Dallas, I worried that my father and his John Birch friends―friends like Fred Koch, General Edwin Walker and Robert Welch—had a hand in it.
Months later, the Warren Commission identified the creator of the poster as Robert Surrey, a right-wing Dallas activist and associate of Major General Edwin Walker, who lived in Dallas. Despite the connections outlined in the Warren Commission report, my father never acknowledged the existence of the handbill or any Birch connection to it. When I mentioned it, I was told to “stop telling tall tales.”
Shortly after the election of 2008, I cleaned my office and turned off my computer. “I don’t have to do this anymore,” I told myself. “I can stop writing and researching. I can stop uncovering and documenting. My parents are dead. And, thank God, their ideas are dead, too.”
Two years later, I realized I was 100% wrong. My parents were back.
- I recognized them in the “stop socialized medicine” crowd protesting healthcare reform.
- I recognized them in 2010 Republican politicians dreaming of voting against the landmark 1964 civil rights bill.
- I recognized them in the effort to cut and dismantle safety net programs.
- I recognized them in the pundits decrying the imminent destruction of our constitution and the imposition of a socialist America.
- I recognized them in the branding of the president as un-American and dangerous.
- I recognized them in the new laws to limit access to the polls and dismantle public unions.
- I recognized all of this because I lived it inside the John Birch Society, the right-wing populist insurgency of the 1960s.
I’m not an historian or a political scientist. I’m not a politician or a think-tank analyst. I didn’t study extremism in school or write articles analyzing its root causes or sociological outcomes.
I know radical because my father was a radical. I know fanatic because my mother was a fanatic. I recognize true believers because my parents and their Birch allies were true believers.
My parents were determined, dedicated and very, very wrong and they seeded the rhetoric that’s poisoning American politics today and destroying any chance for effective government.
I want to warn anyone who dismisses the current Republican stampede to the right as harmless: we have to say “no” to this new radical agenda before we wake up in a country controlled by big-money corporate bosses, no-government libertarians, radical Christians and John Birchers.
I lived extremism and finally got away from it.
Now I’m able to share my story with you
In 1958, after more than a decade of hating Communists and Democrats, my father found his ideological home in the John Birch Society, a new movement dedicated to “ taking back the country .”
My father was the first member in the city of Chicago. My mother was the second.
Because I was an obedient Conner girl, I didn’t argue when my parents handed me a John Birch membership application to sign. I was thirteen years old.
In no time, our house was all Birch, all the time and my father became a national leader, a position he maintained until his death.
Birchers faced two daunting tasks.
First, defeat the Communists, Communists who were only a couple of years from taking total control of the United States. Adding to the difficulty, secret Commies who’d already infiltrated the government had to be uncovered and exposed.
Second, “ taking our country back ” meant that every government program not specifically mentioned in the Constitution had to go. Birchers gleefully anticipated the end of federal funding for almost everything. Soon the federal government would be 60% smaller (than it was in 1958).
When I hear Grover Norquist, the king of “ no tax increases ever ” and his plan to shrink the government until it was small enough to drown in a bathtub, I remember my father and his John Birch Society friends with their 60% smaller idea.
Sounds like Grover copied his ideas from Birchers, doesn’t it?
For as long as I could remember, my father and my mother hated Communists and Democrats in almost equal measure. If anyone said the word “Roosevelt” or “Truman,” they were sure to get a double dose of socialist and “fellow travelers.” While I could not have defined either of those terms, I recognized swearing when I heard it.
My parents found the perfect place to express their politics in the John Birch Society, a brand-new (in 1958) anti-Communist, anti-government organization dedicated to “taking back the country.”
Anti-Communist was the first thing Mother and Dad said, but the internal threats to the country soon became their rally cry. Their main attacks focused on the federal government where socialism was “taking over the joint,” as my Dad would say.
For my parents and their Birch allies, that evil socialism took the form of every government program not specifically mentioned in the Constitution. The only cure was to end them all, as quickly as possible.
They gleefully anticipated the end of Social Security, the demise of all welfare programs and the elimination of federal funding for anything. They insisted that regulation was such a threat to business that it all had to be done away with, even nuclear regulation, all environmental regulation and anything that could, in anyway, limit free enterprise.
All monetary policies passed after the Great Depression had to be undone along with that pesky Sixteenth Amendment (allowing for income tax), and that scary Seventeenth (allowing for the direct election of Senators).
The resulting utopia, according to my parents, would free business and individuals to do anything, unrestrained by regulation while dismantling labor unions, ending the safety net and cutting corporate taxes and taxes on the wealthy to almost nothing.
“What happens to the poor, the old, the unemployed, the disabled if you succeed?” I asked my mother.
“It doesn’t matter, not at all,” she told me. “It’s all about the Constitution.”
“The Constitution doesn’t feed a hungry child,” I said.
“That’s not my concern,” she answered.
Claire Conner [...] her book Wrapped in the Flag is available July 2013: Beacon Press
Let’s keep this momentum alive! As Clint would say [Make my day!], please make our day! Support President Obama and the Democratic Party! Make your contributions – Today!
If you’ve noticed, larger corporations and their Conservative, Lobbyist, Hench men are spending copious amounts of money to buy this election. These special interest groups are willing to spend over a billion dollars to buy this election, to oust the president and replace him with a controllable puppet. You have to ask yourself why that is. Why are so many outside groups spending all this money in this election? Now that you’ve read the story above, you know that we can’t allow these radicals to take over America in their insidious way! You know this, you’re informed and people who are in the know don’t vote Republican. But, the reasons are: governmental agencies are putting the squash to their illegal practices, trying to reverse outsourcing of jobs, taxation and what I call; causing “ Life Changing Events ” in their lives. Incredibly, these people, groups are greedy and they, literal don’t care how these practices are affecting people at the bottom of their food chain. Not to mention, there’s this President, a minority at the top of the spectrum and that can’t be in their eyes. He can’t be the one causing their “ Life Changing Events ” and they can’t have that! This explanation is plain and simple; however, I think you get the message.
We are the people of America and America should be run by the people and not by corporations and their Hench men – lobbyist and special interest groups. We can’t allow them to drown-out the voices of the 98% of us! Please listen, hear me and this is reality “We can’t stand by while America is sold to the highest corporate bidder. We can’t allow the Supreme Court to just say: Your concerns don’t matter – the 1% and Corporations rule. Go home.” Sounds like Dorothy in the land of OZ – Go home! So, what can we do? What’s the alternative? The answers to those questions are: We wake-up, get the facts and vote in droves for President Obama and his administration that, in their eyes, is causing their “Life Changing Events” – vote Democratic this November 2012!
You know, I haven’t been pushing this issue, however time is getting short and November is just around the corner. I would like to contribute to the president’s campaign in the name of Democratic Liberal Umbrella and I can’t do this all alone. I need my friends at times like this, especially, when the opposition wants to destroy what the president has accomplished and the fabric of the American people.
Do you see how they’re treating the Attorney General Holder with this in contempt of Congress charge? AG Holder along with President Obama are targets, they both have a big zero on their backs from the Right-wing conservatives and from AG Holder’s stand-point; he’s advancing equal rights, LGBT , defending voting rights among other things vehemently opposed by the Right-wing conservatives. I’m not at all trying to down-play the death of the ATF Border Patrol officer Brian Terry ; not at all, death in the line of duty is catastrophic for his family and for the community at large! Well, that’s another topic in itself!
The Democrats and Democracy had a good day June 28, 2012 with the Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of ACA , in spite of the in Contempt of Congress charge on AG Eric Holder by the GOP ! Let’s keep this momentum alive!
So, if you can contribute in whatever amounts, [$3, and $5, $10, and/or $25 dollars contribution] to advance the cause; it is greatly appreciated and thanks – DLU ! And to expedite this process you can find several options on this site for contributing to the cause. Just a note, my personal goal is to be news central for mainstream, grassroots liberal democrats; not excluding others in however you may label yourself and you can help make that happen! Support, subscribe, like and recommend the DLU and please remember to:
We need people to come together and support the President in this election of 2012, the push to turn Congress and this Country – Blue; strengthening our democracy. Your contributions are vital to our success — take this opportunity and donate today. In addition, the GOP is spending 1 billion dollars to remove Obama from the office of: POTUS ! This group consisting of K och’s, K arl Rove and in the shadows the K han because Obama has caused “Life Changing Events “- for them! Let’s make these events last four more years for the three K’s!
Thank you! Democratic Liberal Umbrella – Organization of Mainstream Grassroots Americans! Join the DLU !
If you tweet! Let me repeat! #RT Join me, Join the
# DLU – Re-elect the President and Turn Congress – Blue! [Say it!]