Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
A few days prior to President John F Kennedy's assassination in Dallas, a flyer was widely distributed in the form of a "Wanted" poster.
With front and side views of the president emblazoned at the top of the flyer, this is what it said:
Wanted for Treason
THIS MAN is wanted for treasonous activities against the United States:
1. Betraying the Constitution (which he swore to uphold). He is turning the sovereignty of the US over to the communist controlled United Nations. He is betraying our friends (Cuba [sic!], Katanga, Portugal) and befriending our enemies (Russia, Yugoslavia, Poland).
2. He has been WRONG on innumerable issues affecting the security of the U.S. (United Nations-Berlin Wall-Missile Removal-Cuba-Wheat Deals-Test Ban Treaty-etc.)
3. He has been lax in enforcing Communist Registration laws.
4. He has given support and encouragement to the Communist-inspired racial riots.
5. He has illegally invaded a sovereign State with federal troops.
6. He has consistently appointed Anti-Christians to Federal office. Upholds the Supreme Court in its Anti-Christian rulings. Aliens and known Communists abound in federal offices.
7. He has been caught in fantastic LIES to the American people (including personal ones like his previous marraige [sic] and divorce).
Several themes are worth noting. First, is the claim of "betraying the Constitution" coupled with evidence that they have no idea what the Constitution actually says, for example, that it is "treasonous" to be "wrong", even assuming he were wrong. Second, is what has come to be known as the Palin word-salad, with total disregard for accuracy or coherence. Look, for example, at their list of "friends"--Cuba(!), Katanga (not a country, but a province in the Congo), and Portugal(?).
Anything that changed the status quo was, by definition, communist inspired. What more need be said, right? If racial equality were communist, the 14th and 15th amendments be damned.
Then, everything they do not like is explained by key appointees being "anti-christian". JFK was, of course, the first non-protestant president, so that may have been their hook. Communists were the '60s version of today's muslims, and the '30s jews. Louis Gohmert (TP/R-TX) just changed a few words in the script: anchor babies, muslim brotherhood advisors, and presto(!) , updated paranoia.
The difference between the '60s paranoia and today's is that now we have FoxNews, Drudge, talk-radio the internet, and billionaire funders so that this insanity can magnified and instantaneously transmitted to larger and larger audiences. Even if the percentage of the mentally-unbalanced is unchanged, the numbers who can hear it, and hear it repeated over-and-over-and-over, are substantially greater.
The Kochs' daddy funded the John Birch Society that considered fluoridation of drinking water to be a communist plot, and accused President Eisenhower and Chief Justice Earl Warren of being communists. William F. Buckley, Jr., helped exclude such craziness from the conservative movement.
If water fluoridation (to protect children's teeth from cavities) were a communist plot, then the billionaire's vendetta against the Affordable Care Act must be a holy war against islam. Other than the individual mandate, Republicans have still not detailed which specific provisions of the Act they would scrap, so they denounce the entire Act as blasphemy, despite it being hatched by the conservative Heritage Foundation in the '90s.
But, today, there is no William F. Buckley, Jr., and those who should be responsible to denounce the talk as crazy and marginalize it to the lunatic fringe remain silent.
Could it be that real conservatives are so few in number that they cannot afford to lose the money and votes of the extremists?
Is that worth their integrity and the price of their souls?
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