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ETpro's avatar

Is the Tea Party of today really a remake of the John Birch Society?

Asked by ETpro (34208 points ) January 15th, 2013

Here are some of the reasons why it’s worth asking:
•     Historian, Sean Wilentz’s The New Yorker article, ’‘Confounding Fathers: The Tea Party’s Cold War roots.’’
•     Right Wing Watch‘s ’‘The John Birch Society’’
•     blogger Upper West’s Daily Kos article, ’‘Doesn’t Anyone Remember the John Birch Society?’’

So what’s your opinion? Same song, new singers? Is the Tea Party just a new way of find willing foot soldiers to advance the fortunes of a few billionaires. Was it a legitimate grassroots movement that got subsumed? Or is it a whole new ballgame? Is the Tea Party something new under the sun; or something old perhaps, but still entirely separate of the Birchers?

Birchers and Birthers? Just an amazing coincidence, or a confluence of the “usual crazy suspects”?

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19 Answers

Ron_C's avatar

The John Birch society had some points and so do the Tea Party. The problem is that the Tea Party has been taken over by big business. The Party are now senseless dupes for corporate rulers.

The John Birch society got too big and too radical so they fell apart. The Tea Party is suffering from the same fate. I just hope it doesn’t end the Republican party. Lincoln would be appalled if he could see what happened to his party. They’ve gone from freeing slaves to creating them.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Another Republican-bashing party? yawn

Ron_C's avatar

@KNOWITALL the tea party isn’t bashing the Republican party, it is attempting a take-over.
I just can’t vote for a party that has 70 year old people telling the government to stay away from their Social Security. If they are so demented that they don’t know that SS comes from the government they they are too demented to lead in Congress.

KNOWITALL's avatar

If another party put God first, it would be the easiest way to defeat the Tea Party. I don’t see what is so hard to comprehend about them/ us.

Ron_C's avatar

@KNOWITALL the absolute worse combination is religion and politics. Nothing good ever happens.

ragingloli's avatar

“If another party put God first, it would be the easiest way to defeat the Tea Party.”
Groups that put god first:
– the Taliban
– Al Qaida
– The Muslim Brotherhood.
– Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran
– Team Kony
– The Westboro Baptist Church
– Association of child raping priests (aka the Catholic Church)

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Ron_C For most of us nothing is seperated from our religion, I don’t understand why it’s so hard for everyone to understand.

@ragingloli I said God, not a god, not the Twelfth Imam, not Mohammed, not Buddha.

By the way, there are a LOT of Muslims now turning to Christianity, which is incredibly exciting. Peace.

syz's avatar

@KNOWITALL Oh, crap, so somehow, magically, your imaginary deity is better than everyone else’s imaginary deity? Based on what?

I also have the firmly held belief (shared by the founding fathers) that religion and politics should not intersect.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

In the late 1940’s there was the “do-nothing” Congress also a Republican controlled, with Truman a Democratic President.

ragingloli's avatar

@KNOWITALL
Allah is the same god as Yahweh.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I am NOT getting into another God-bashing session with you people- this was supposed to be about politics and I simply mentioned that the uber-religious consider the Bible as much as the Constitution part of politics.

I don’t know why I still bother, it turns into a juvenile attack on religion and God every single time here.

tom_g's avatar

@KNOWITALL: “I am NOT getting into another God-bashing session with you people”

To be fair, didn’t you type this bit of god-bashing?...

@KNOWITALL: “I said God, not a god, not the Twelfth Imam, not Mohammed, not Buddha.”

syz's avatar

“Since the beginning of recorded history, which is defined by the invention of writing by the Sumerians around 6000 years ago, historians have cataloged over 3700 supernatural beings, of which 2870 can be considered deities. Those numbers are probably a very conservative estimate because we have no accurate information before 4000 B.C. This means any dieties worshipped by man before this period are unaccounted for.
In truth, the possibilities are nearly infinite. For example, in Hindu the entire living universe is merely a unique manifestation of Ishvara. This leads to the fact that there are 330 million “gods or goddesses.” ” Source

@KNOWITALL So, statistically, if you only believe in one of them, you’re practically an atheist. And it’s not a “juvenile attack on religion and God every single time here”, it’s a commentary on your critical thinking skills. And it seems to me that you were the one that introduced religion into this discussion.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I think that the Tea Party did its best to emulate the John Birch Society. They certainly have no tolerance for any of the minority groups & they have worked very hard to ‘demonize’ the poorest among us. It would not surprise me to find that the corporations have taken them over. After all, the corporations have taken over almost every government entity.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@syz I’m one of the only Republicans that evens responds to these questions anymore because of the constant attacks, so I will start ignoring as well. No problem.

tedd's avatar

@KNOWITALL I’m not going to join in on Republican bashing. I have no problem bashing the Tea Party, who just happen to consider themselves Republicans as well. I think your party would be about 10000x better off if you cut them out.

More importantly though I commented on this to inform you that the Islamic God is the same as the Christian God. Islam is an offshoot of Christianity, much as Christianity is an offshoot of Judaism. In fact, Islam shares much of the same religious stories (Moses for example) as Christianity and Judaism. Allah is simply the word for God, and Mohammed was simply the prophet they chose as opposed to Jesus.

emilianate's avatar

From JBS Q&A

“How is The John Birch Society different from the Tea Party?”

“As mentioned earlier, The John Birch Society is not a politcal organization but rather educational. JBS President John F. McManus has spoken at various Tea Party rallies as well as at meetings of many other conservative organizations. The John Birch Society has been around for far longer, warning and educating regarding many of the same problems that Tea Party activists are now focused on. For over 50 years, since 1958, The John Birch Society has distributed an estimated total of well over 250 million pieces of literature ranging from warning about increased government spending, taxes, centrally planned inflation, the centralization of power in the government, and the gradual appeasement toward Communism to other topics heralding the virtues of sound money, withdrawing from the United Nations, and a foreign policy of non-interventionism.”

bossob's avatar

Most of my life I considered myself an Eisenhower Republican. Then the far right labelled me a RINO, and some old, fat, bald, cigar smoking radio host has been calling me ‘spineless’ for a number of years. I don’t have a problem with that, as being affiliated with a party is not important or of value to me.

I find the Tea Party’s obstructionism in Congress detrimental to the country in the short term; in the long term it may very well just be a blip that moved our politics slightly right, which is not necessarily a bad thing. What they’ve accomplish at the local and state levels is impressive, although I don’t agree with most of their positions.

@ETpro wrote: ” Is the Tea Party just a new way of find willing foot soldiers to advance the fortunes of a few billionaires”. I find this concept realistic, intriguing, and consider the forces behind the movement to be geniuses. For at least 3 decades, the movement has been targeting a group of people who readily respond to idealisms like independence, self-reliance, patriotism, and machismo. (we discussed independence and self-reliance in this thread) When they threw in the concepts of small government, and government is bad, they had a winning combination that could galvanize voters for a cause.

What I find most fascinating is that ‘the cause’ is detrimental to the voters themselves, yet the voters support it anyhow. That’s some strong Kool-Aid in my opinion. I believe the objectives of the Tea Party movement are in fact designed to benefit the wealthy forces behind the movement. ‘Smaller government’, to me as an individual, means an elimination of programs that were intended to protect me. ‘Smaller government’, to the wealthy, means fewer regulations, thus more profit. Lower taxes, to me, means fewer services for the good of the commons that voters can’t provide themselves. Lower taxes for the wealthy means more money in their pocket even after paying for services that the rest of us can’t.

When I consider the objectives that the Tea Party is fighting for, all I see is more and more money flowing into the pockets of the fat cats.

Paradox25's avatar

I would say yes, to a reasonable extent. The only thing according to my opinion that makes me say reasonable rather than a far extent here is that the TEA Party is not a centralized movement, and it has different factions despite some obvious similarities between each of them. It doesn’t appear that the roots of the TEA Party were reactionary towards Democrats/liberals originally, but these various groups did not identify themselves as the/a TEA Party back during W Bush’s years either.

I also don’t buy the left-wing conspiracy theories (it seems) that this so-called TEA Party movement was created by megarich right-wing capitalists. I do think that these billionaire TEA Partiers knew a good thing when they seen it, and as a result started to fund the movement, but mainly on the political scale towards funding their candidates of choice. Obviously many Republicans/Conservatives wanting to jump away from the establishment label took advantage of this new career opportunity.

On a side note I do think that the majority of these TEA Party organizations out there were made up of right-wing reactionaries in response to Obama’s win in 2008, but like I’d said above the TEA Party roots pre-existed Obama. Many of you on fluther should be glad actually with these happenings since I feel the TEA Party is the beginning of the end for the Republican Party. I really don’t see the Republican Party surviving to the end of this century.

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