Imperfect Agent or Imperfect Argument?

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Dr. Malcolm Cross

Heated argument has erupted among different factions of evangelical Christians over whether they should be supporting President Trump.  Their arguments raise grave concerns over the degree to which religion should be used to justify political positions.

Since Ronald Reagan pledged his support for traditional family values and thereby successfully enlisted the Christian Right in his quest for the presidency in 1980, conservative Christians have been  indispensable backers  of the Republican Party, giving overwhelming support to each of its presidential candidates.  No doubt the Christian Right helped pad the margins by which Reagan and George H. W. Bush won their elections, while contributing the winning margins in the too-close-for-comfort victories of George W. Bush and Donald Trump as well.  

And through every scandal, investigation, and controversy since the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency, the Christian Right has remained adamantly supportive.  It’s lauded President Trump’s judicial appointments, his anti-abortion policies, and his transfer of the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, all on the grounds that President Trump is doing God’s work.  There have been few signs of dissatisfaction with the President within the ranks of conservative Christians—until now.

Recently Christianity Today, a magazine founded by the late Reverend Billy Graham, ran a scathing editorial calling for President Trump’s removal from office, either by Senate vote or the next election, arguing that both his personal lifestyle and several of his public policies were too immoral to justify the continuation of his tenure. The precise editorial can be found here:  https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/december-web-only/trump-should-be-removed-from-office.html.

The editorial has been denounced not only by President Trump but by many of his conservative Christian supporters, including the Reverend Franklin Graham, Billy’s son, who said that his father had, in fact, voted for Trump in 2016.  The President’s supporters in the Religious Right argue that God frequently uses imperfect people to carry out his will.  King David arranged for Uriah to be killed in battle so he could marry Uriah’s wife.  Saint Paul fiercely persecuted Christians before his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.  So what if President Trump is no Mister Rogers?  It’s the policies that count.

They have a point:  Policies do count.  The President’s defenders can rightly point to his superb judicial appointments to justify his re-election.  And even his objectively awful polices—his fiscal irresponsibility and refusal to tackle entitlement reform, for example—are better than proposed budget-busting big government power grabs such as the Green New Deal and Medicare-for-All.  

But to argue that God uses imperfect people in general, and President Trump in particular, to achieve His goals is weak.  To use this line of reasoning is to argue not only that the President is God’s chosen agent for public policy implementation, but that the President’s policies, whatever they may be, are what God wants as well.

Now, whoever supports or opposes President Trump or any other person or policy on religious grounds is well within his constitutional rights to do so.  The religiously motivated have, at the very least, their First Amendment free speech rights.  And contrary to popular mythology, the First Amendment did not create a “wall of separation” between Church and State.  Indeed, that phrase appears nowhere in the Constitution, having first appeared in a private letter President Jefferson wrote in 1802.  There’s nothing unconstitutional with invoking religion to justify stands on political candidates and policies.  

But the fact that a course of action is not unconstitutional doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wise.  The President’s supporters should go beyond saying that what the President wants is also what God wants.  They should make their cases in support of the President with facts and logic, as should those who oppose the President as well.  To invoke God as an authority for particular policies fails to supply any meaningful information about the costs and benefits of the policies in question.   Such an argument is less likely to change minds than it is to raise the possibility that those who dislike policies enacted in God’s name will transfer their hostility to those who cloak themselves in what they say is God’s word, if not God Himself.  What do you think of the argument, and those who make it, that we should double the property tax because God says so?

And whoever truly wants to consider God as a supporter or opponent of a particular policy or candidate should remember the response Abraham Lincoln is alleged to have made to a minister asking about Who’s side God supported in the Civil War.  Lincoln, so the story goes, made no claim to knowing what God wanted, saying only that he hoped he was on God’s side.  Unfortunately Lincoln’s intellectual modesty, restraint, doubts, and wisdom are too badly needed, and too short in supply, today.


Malcolm L. Cross has lived in Stephenville and taught politics and government at Tarleton since 1987. His political and civic activities include service on the Stephenville City Council (2000-2014) and on the Erath County Republican Executive Committee (1990 to the present).  He was Mayor Pro Tem of Stephenville from 2008 to 2014.  He is a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Stephenville Rotary Club, and does volunteer work for the Boy Scouts of America. Views expressed in this column are his and do not reflect those of The Flash as a whole.

22 Comments

  1. In your opening paragraph Mr. Cross you used the word “factions”. Let me remind you Mr. Cross that the Republican and Parties are “FACTIONS” ran and manipulated by unprincipled men. A warning given to John and Jane Doe, you and I.

    I refuse to talk Administration’s with you about Ronald Reagan because you use him, the first John Birch Society President of America because you know so very damn little about his administration Mr. Cross and I care not a tinkers darn about your Doctorate qualifying you as a political expert and hear explain all this to your readers about Ronald Reagan sir: https://listverse.com/2015/01/15/10-reprehensible-crimes-of-ronald-reagan/ And let me inform you the Iran-Contra illegality stopped short on its real title. It was Iran-Contra-Ollie North-CIA cocvaine plane deliveries to “Freeway Ricky Ross” in the Watts area in L.A. and starting the crack addiction and epidemic and supplying also the guns to them and began nationwide “drive by shootings” starting and going through the Bush Administration. Ft. Worth,Texas city leaders and parents has to tart a citywide project named “COMING UP” which included reaching out to the poorer class kids doing things like taking poor blak, Mexican and white kids to TCU football gmes and including taking them to TCU’s Bowl game in Shreveport Louisiana. How I know is talking with Ben Hogan I grew to learn Mr. Hogan gave money for expense to that Coming Up program.

    You also used God in one of your paragraphs. Let me use God in explaining “global warming” to you and also I’ll use the smoker of tobacco to help explain God’s house Rules! In the Gentiles Bible authored by the Jewish tribes and translated largely from Greek Times and a brief change ordered by King James it says ‘GOD” created the heavens and the earth. God first gave us Adam and it failed which led Noah to build an Ark and away we go again. This time God gave us a child. Named Jesus. Here we are in 2019 and Jesus hasn’t returned. Will he return? Only God knows but God is thinking maybe just maybe the cats running earth today are the very same cats that killed him last time. There is a biblical story about men building and worshiping Golden Cows or at least a movie along those lines. Well today’s Golden Cows are yachts, etc. So God created the heavens and the earth remember. And the earth has House Rules. Those House Rules get violated then the lights go out on man and its happening and it is called Global Warming.Global Warming takes mother nature’s ability to supply life support systems for humans. Well iits time we call in the say cigarette smoker. He smokes and smoke and smokes and we’ve learned tar builds on his lungs and increasingly the lungs ability to supply life support system to the smoker. Oxygen can’t meet its requirement for the smoker. Well it’s the same thing for earth. In the spring God’s earth inhales a limited amount of Carbon Dioxide and in the fall earth can only exhale a certain amount of Carbon Dioxide yet man keeps on smoking about 24 to 26 million barrels of oil a day. Emissions! Emitted into the air and ut-oh they produce carbon dioxide and like nicotine it puts another layer of tar im the earths lungs and that’s what you call earths lings. Warms up.

    As I coined the term back when everyone was back talking about James Carville’s day under the Clinton administration and –It’s the economy stupid — I had been saying since the late 1980’s —it’s not the economy silly it’s the climate– but who listen to the village idiot when they already called me Mr Ozone Layer in the mid 1970’s. There may be a child living today that may never get the opportunity to have great-great-great grand-children because humans have disappeared..All we are doing right now is stealing the children’s time.

    Jesus said his 2nd commandment love thy neighbor would be the toughest to adhere to.
    .

    • Your comment is silly. Reagan was not the first “John Birch Society President” and, in fact, the current leadership of the JBS writes hostile articles regarding Reagan and his Administration and they describe Reagan as a “phony conservative”.

      • The John Birch Society that Fred Koch joined and controlled after he came back from Russia is the John Birch Society that Reagan is out of. Fred Trump father of the Koch brothers the owners of Koch Industries. One of the brothers just died recently.

      • The John Birch Society that Fred Koch joined and controlled after he came back from Russia is the John Birch Society that Reagan is out of. Fred Trump father of the Koch brothers the owners of Koch Industries. One of the brothers just died recently.

        • Randall, you obviously have no genuine understanding of JBS history. Koch never “controlled” the JBS. In fact, when you review the available factual evidence (which, obviously, you have never done), Fred was never even much involved in JBS activities. He did NOT attend many National Council meetings and he was not given special assignments by Robert Welch (as was William Grede for example).

          In fact, Fred Koch resigned from the JBS because of policy disagreements with Robert Welch. Same thing happened to Charles Koch—who resigned in May 1968.

          Fred Koch was too busy with his business empire to spend any significant time with what was going on with the JBS. His primary value was because he contributed significant sums of money—similar to Nelson Bunker Hunt— who also had no major role within the JBS.

          One of the indicators regarding who was actually involved in a major way can be found in the personal papers of JBS National Council members which are archived at various colleges and universities and state historical societies around the U.S. When you review those documents (as I have done–and which you obviously have NOT), it is very clear which people were given responsibilities — such as being on the JBS Executive Committee or the JBS Finance Committee and which ones participated in debates or gave interviews to the media acting as a spokesperson for the JBS and which ones exchanged regular correspondence with Welch and with other National Council members and which ones were asked by Welch to head specific ad-hoc committees,

          Unfortunately, for your argument, Fred Koch is rarely even mentioned in those personal papers and his correspondence is almost nil — because he was just a money bag — not an operational person.

          • Oh is that right? I see…

            https://www.prwatch.org/news/2016/01/13017/how-charles-koch-backed-john-birch-society-height-its-attacks-martin-luther-king

            How Charles Koch Backed the John Birch Society at the Height of Its Attacks on Martin Luther King
            Submitted by Lisa Graves on January 18, 2016 – 10:03am

            As noted in the new book, Dark Money, by The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, Charles and David Koch have spent millions on public relations in the past few years to try to re-make their image as many Americans have grown increasingly concerned about their efforts to distort democratic elections to serve their corporate and ideological agenda.

            This week’s issue of the magazine focuses on that campaign, which has generated positive press for the Kochs for supporting the bipartisan “criminal justice reform” movement.

            The Kochs’ interests in certain changes to the law was exposed by CMD (the Center for Media and Democracy) last month, when CMD documented the substantial Koch-backed effort to change criminal intent laws that would make it harder to prosecute corporations and CEOs, like Koch Industries and the Koch brothers, for any financial or environmental crimes. (The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on criminal intent this Wednesday.)

            As Mayer notes, the Kochs have also secured positive press for a major grant to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) in 2014.

            UNCF is led by Michael Lomax, who received $1,310,130 in total compensation in 2014, along with twelve other executives who help administer UNCF donations and receive between $187,290 and $378,776 per year, in addition to nearly $5 million in fees for “management” to non-employees of the charity. (The previous year, Lomax had received $783,470 in total compensation.) UNCF spent about $50 million on grants to individuals plus about $70 million in grants to institutions that year, such as $776,107 to Bethune-Cookman University, $357,427 to Morehouse College, and $359,989 to Spelman College. UNCF spent over $3 million on travel that year.

            As Inside Higher Ed reported, Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation gave UNCF $25 million grant, but they will play a substantial role in selecting the African American scholarship students, who must express an interest in the Kochs’ economic agenda. Two Koch Industries employees sit on the committee to review candidates.

            The President of AFSCME, Lee Saunders, issued a “stinging rebuke” to Lomax after he appeared at one of the Kochs’ “Freedom Partners” gatherings of right-wing billionaires, saying: “The Koch brothers and the organizations they fund have devoted themselves for more than a decade to attacking the voting rights of African Americans. They support voter identification laws. They seek to restrict early voting and voter registration. They support laws that threaten organizations that register voters in the African American community.”

            For example, the Kochs’ top lobbyist, Michael Morgan–who recently touted Kochs’ record before seizing and running off with the phone of Greenpeace researcher Connor Gibson, who was interviewing him–has served on the Board of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which pushed a measure that made it harder for Americans to vote through ID restrictions following the election of President Barack Obama, the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.

            And, as CMD broke last year, the Kochs’ new effort to spy on its opponents is led by a voter fraud huckster.

            “In many ways,” CMD has noted, “the playbook deployed by the Kochs today through myriad organizations resembles a more sophisticated (and expensive) playbook of the John Birch Society back then. Even the recent announcement of the Kochs to give a $25 million gift to the United Negro College Fund (with strings attached requiring the recruitment of free market African American college students) echoes that past. In 1964, in the face of criticism for its assault on the civil rights movement, the John Birch Society also funded a scholarship program to give college funds to African Americans who were not active in the civil rights movement.”

            In fact, CMD has traced the Koch legacy against the civil rights movement back to the 1960s, documenting how Charles Koch fundraised for the John Birch Society at the height of its attacks on the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., (and Rosa Parks)–breaking that story on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now!

            Many commentators have noted that the father of the controversial Koch Brothers, Fred Koch, was a leader of the John Birch Society from its founding in 1958 until his death in 1967. But, in fact, Charles Koch followed his father’s footsteps into the John Birch Society for years in Wichita, Kansas, a hub city for the organization in that decade of tremendous societal unrest as civil rights activists challenged racial segregation.

            “Charles Koch was not simply a rank and file member of the John Birch Society in name only who paid nominal dues. He purchased and held a “lifetime membership” until he resigned in 1968. He also lent his name and his wealth to the operations of the John Birch Society in Wichita, aiding its “American Opinion” bookstore–which was stocked with attacks on the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, and Earl Warren as elements of the communist conspiracy. He funded the John Birch Society’s promotional campaigns, bought advertising in its magazine, and supported its distribution of right-wing radio shows.”

            As CMD has noted:

            In 1961, at the age of twenty-six, Charles moved home to Wichita, Kansas, to work for Rock Island Oil and Refining Company, which was led by his father, Fred Koch, who was on the national council of the John Birch Society. Charles subsequently opened a John Birch Society bookstore in Wichita with a friend of his father, Bob Love, the owner of the Love Box Company in Wichita.

            The John Birch Society’s “American Opinion Bookstores” were stocked with material opposing the civil rights movement.

            Birchers had put up billboards in Kansas and elsewhere calling for the impeachment of Earl Warren, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court who had ordered the desegregation of the public schools in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.

            There’s no indication that Fred or Charles objected to the Birch campaign to impeach Warren.

            There is no indication they objected when it ran ads in Dallas in 1963 with President John F. Kennedy’s head depicted like two mug shot photos, with the word “Treason” below, shortly before the assassination of the President …

            Or when it opposed the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, based on the Bircher claim that the movement was created as a forty-year front for the communists.

            Or when it supported billboards calling Martin Luther King a communist.

            None of these things was cited by Charles Koch and Bob Love in their resignation from the John Birch Society in 1968, according to correspondence with Robert Welch, who had launched the organization a decade earlier with Fred and a few other businessmen.

            Oddly, it was Welch’s “Win the War” strategy of signing up people to support the Vietnam War that caused the breakup between Charles Koch and the John Birch Society.

            In 1968, Charles Koch bought a full-page ad, “Let’s Get Out of Vietnam Now,” based on the isolationism of a competing flank of the far right movement, but he made no similar gesture expressing any opposition to its long-standing, high priority anti-civil rights agenda, which his financial support made possible.

            Charles also gave public speeches espousing the view that government’s only proper role was to police the interference with the free market—an ideology that inherently rejects civil rights laws, child labor laws, minimum wages or safety rules, the protection of union rights, and more.

            TIMELINE: The Koch Family, the John Birch Society, and the Civil Rights Movement
            1958

            Fred Koch attended the initial meeting of right-wing businessmen called by Robert Welch, who proposes creating the John Birch Society to fight the spread of communism in the U.S., after the ignominious death of Senator Joe McCarthy, who was censured. Fred joins the Executive Committee, which met monthly to plan Birch Society strategy.

            1961

            Charles Koch moved home to Wichita to work for his dad and joins the John Birch Society, which his father, Fred, co-founded. (According to Sons of Wichita, Charles joined the Birch Society when he moved home.)

            That year, Fred Koch published and circulated his pamphlet, “A Businessman Looks at Communism,” which claimed the U.S. Supreme Court was pro-communist, that President Dwight Eisenhower (the former allied commander in WWII) was soft on communism, that the public schools used many communist books, and that many teachers were commies.

            Also that year, David Koch–a student at MIT–helps incite an anti-communist, anti-Castro protest that turns into a riot where students are arrested.

            Also that year, African American and white “Freedom Riders” began traveling between the Southern states to test the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Boyton v. Virginia that the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment barred laws requiring segregated travel interstate. The buses were attacked by white mobs and the Ku Klux Klan.

            The John Birch Society announced that its top priority that year was the launch of its “Movement to Impeach Earl Warren,” the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, appointed by President Eisenhower; Warren was previously a Republican governor.

            One of the core documents promoted that year and for years afterward was by the founder of the John Birch Society, Robert Henry Winborne Welch (of the Junior Mints/Sugar Babies candy fortune). That document was titled “A Letter to the South on Segregation” (1956). It claimed that the “easy-going colored man” of the South will be “easily misled by agitators,” that the phrase “civil rights” is a communist slogan, and that the push for racial integration “embarrassed” good African Americans.

            The John Birch Society’s Movement to Impeach Earl Warren also promoted Rosalie Gordon’s defense of segregated public schools “Nine Men Against America” and the right-wing Regnery publishing house’s book by James Kilpatrick (“The Sovereign States”) defending the Southern States’ “right” “to believe that they were proceeding constitutionally in erecting and maintaining a system of racially separate schools.” The Birch Society also promoted the extremist and segregationist “Dan Smoot Report.”

            In 1961, James Meredith, who had served in the U.S. Air Force, asked Medgar Evers for help after he was denied admission to Ole Miss, the University of Mississippi. Evers asked Thurgood Marshall to take Meredith’s case and the NAACP filed a federal lawsuit.

            Accordingly to a Time magazine profile that year, the John Birch Society launched reading rooms and book stores “manned … by local members of our organization” promoting the 100 books approved by the Society to be sold, along with membership, posters, pamphlets, and Birch magazines. The approved material included the Bircher monthly magazine, “American Opinion,” and “Dan Smoot’s Report,” which ran numerous pieces attacking the integration of schools. The John Birch Society also pushed many right-wing radio shows.

            According to Time magazine’s profile, Wichita was designated a “pilot” town for the John Birch Society and it mentioned Fred Koch’s leadership of the organization. Professors at the city college, Wichita University, reported being harassed by Birchers for their books and what they taught. At a major Birch event there, Fred Koch introduced the John Birch Society founder, Bob Welch, at a town hall meeting of 2,000 people. Friend of the Koch family and fellow Bircher, Bob Love of the Love Box Company shut down a news filming of the speech in which Welch was tape recorded claiming “The Protestant ministry is more heavily infiltrated by Communists than any other profession in America.” The Wichita Eagle-Beacon editorialized that “Welch is selling snake oil, and that a lot of people are buying it.”

            1962

            In 1962, based on the reasoning in the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, a federal appeals court ordered that the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) admit African American student James Meredith. Mississippi’s segregationist governor, Ross Barnett, responded by trying to stop the integration of the state college.

            When James Meredith sought to enroll in Oxford, Mississippi, Governor Barnett personally blocked his entrance and was joined by World War II veteran Major General Edwin Walker, who issued this statement: “I am in Mississippi beside Governor Ross Barnett. I call for a national protest against the conspiracy from within. Rally to the cause of freedom in righteous indignation, violent vocal protest, and bitter silence under the flag of Mississippi at the use of Federal troops….” Riots ensued and two people were killed. Only President John F. Kennedy’s executive order for the National Guard to escort Meredith allowed him to enroll in the state university and he had to have ongoing protection from federal agents.

            The John Birch Society hailed General Walker as a hero for standing up in Oxford to what it described as the communist creation of the civil rights movement. The Dan Smoot Report promoted by the John Birch Society claimed the desegregation order was illegal and equated the whites protesting Meredith’s admission to the students protesting in Hungary in 1956. It also defended General Walker as standing up to American “tyranny.”

            The John Birch Society promoted a pamphlet by Alan Stang called “It’s Very Simple” attacking the civil rights movement. Among other things, Stang called Martin Luther King, Jr., a communist and claimed that his goal was to pressure Congress “to install more collectivism.” Stang, in John Birch Society publications, claimed Rosa Parks was trained by communists before she refused to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery in 1955.

            The John Birch Society also announced that it had erected more than 100 billboards calling for the impeachment of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren. Birch leader Bob Welch noted “We believe that the Warren Court is gradually destroying all the safeguards which made this a republic instead of a mobocracy.”

            1963

            Martin Luther King helped organize demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama, was arrested, and wrote on non-violence and injustice in “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (which was published by The Progressive along with other of his writings).

            The John Birch Society claimed that its “detailed study of ‘the life and lies’ of Martin Luther King … will convince any reasonable American that this man is not working for, but against, the real welfare and best interests of either the Negroes in the United States, or of the United States as a whole.” (Robert Welch, “Two Revolutions at Once” published in 1965) In its publications of Alan Stang’s writings the John Birch Society claimed Martin Luther King was the “biggest” “liar in the country” and what “he really wants is to be a black plantation boss giving orders to ‘his people.”‘

            Medgar Evers, the NAACP’s Mississippi field staffer, is assassinated at his home.

            Bull Connor directed Birmingham, Alabama, police to use attack dogs and high-pressure fire hoses on civil rights marchers, including children.

            The John Birch Society claimed that “The truth is that the infamous picture of a dog attacking a Negro, while the dog was held in leash by a Birmingham police officer, was so carefully rehearsed until the ‘civil rights’ agitators got exactly the picture they wanted, that the leg of the Negro victim’s trousers had even been cut with a razor in advance, so that it would fall apart more readily at the first touch by the dog. Yet this picture was shown on the front pages of newspapers all over the United States – most of which did not know it was a contrived phony – and became an extremely important part of the Communist propaganda about ‘civil rights.'” (Robert Welch, “Two Revolutions at Once” published in 1965)

            In July 1963, the John Birch Society launched the “Support Your Local Police” Movement providing bumper stickers, window stickers, and flyers through its bookstore and by mail. The posters often appeared with “Impeach Earl Warren” billboards and touted the need for “law and order” in Birmingham, Alabama, and other cities.

            Thousands travel to Washington, DC, for the March on Washington for Jobs where Reverend King delivers his “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

            As segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond spoke out against civil rights and the “collectivist” menace on the Senate floor, the John Birch Society invites him to join its council, but he declines to retain his “independence.”

            Four little girls are murdered in a bombing at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

            A John Birch Society front group runs advertisements in Dallas before President Kennedy’s arrival, depicting his head in mug shots with the word “TREASON” below, along with claims that Kennedy is guilty of treason for purportedly being soft on communism.

            President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

            Fred Koch then helped spearhead a national advertisement in the New York Times blaming Kennedy’s assassination on the communists.

            1964

            John Birch Society ads blaming communists for the assassination of President Kennedy run nationally. The Society also promotes material called “Marxmanship in Dallas.”

            The Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) organizes voter registration drives in Mississippi and plans for “Freedom Summer” demonstrations.

            James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, three civil rights workers investigating the firebombing of a church where they were organizing voter registration, were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan.

            Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 over the objections of South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond and other racists.

            That year, the Supreme Court also issued its ruling in Reynolds v. Simms, which is famous for its principle of “one person, one vote.”

            The John Birch Society created a “scholarship” fund for anti-communist/capitalist African American students, and its first recipient received $1000 in September 1964.

            1965

            The John Birch Society touts that 26 million Americans voted for a conservative, Barry Goldwater, even though Goldwater criticized the Society.

            Jimmy Lee Jackson, an unarmed African American who was protesting the arrest of civil rights worker James Edward Orange, was killed by police. Hundreds of SNCC activists, including John Lewis, marched from Selma to Montgomery in protest, and were stopped on the bridge by police wielding fire hoses, clubs, and tear gas. Martin Luther King joins them.

            The John Birch Society’s main publication claims that “the march from Selma to Montgomery led by Martin Luther King” was a “sham and farce.”

            Congress passes the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

            The John Birch Society claimed that the few “handicaps to Negro voting” “could be and were being corrected” without federal legislation and that “To tear a whole great nation to pieces, and to try to plunge a large part of it into civil war, over the few such injustices as do exist, is on a par with sinking a mighty ship in order to get a rat out of the scupper.” (Robert Welch, “Two Revolutions at Once” in American Opinion and then published as a stand-alone John Birch Society pamphlet in 1966.)

            Among other things in 1965, Charles Koch helped promote the John Birch Society bookstore in Wichita, which was managed by Bob Love. The bookstore peddled John Birch Society pamphlets like Earl Lively’s “The Invasion of Mississippi,” which claims the racial integration of Ole Miss was unlawful and sides with the white racist protestors. Other titles included Robert Welch’s pamphlet, “A Letter to the South on Segregation” and a tract titled “Is the Supreme Court Pro-Communist.” It also offered “Support Your Local Police” stickers from the campaign begun in 1963.

            Charles Koch’s confidante and assistant George Pearson joined the John Birch Society and began volunteering at the American Opinion Bookstore in Wichita, too.

            The John Birch Society also promoted its new “What’s Wrong with Civil Rights” campaign in its bookstores and newspapers. The campaign claimed African Americans are better off in the U.S. than in other countries and have personal security on par with whites:

            “The average American Negro has a tremendously higher material standard of living than Negroes anywhere else; and far higher, in fact, than at least four-fifths of the earth’s population of all races combined.”

            “The average American Negro not only has a far higher standard of literacy, and better educational opportunities, than Negroes anywhere else; but a higher level of literacy, in fact, than at least four-fifths of the earth’s population of all races combined.”

            “The average American Negro has complete freedom of religion, freedom of movement, and freedom to run his own life as he pleases.”

            “His security of person, and assurance of honorable treatment by his fellow citizens in all of the utilitarian relationships of the living, have been exactly on par with those of his white neighbors.”

            “[T]he agitators behind the civil rights movement demand complete and absolute disregard for those differences [‘in the economic, literate, and social level of the two races” and “the natural or human-natural results of these differences”], and a pretense that they do not exist, must be forced by federal law upon the total population everywhere, and with respect to every activity of human life.”

            “[T]he civil rights movement in the United States, with all of its growing agitation and riots and bitterness, and insidious steps towards the appearance of a civil war, has not been infiltrated by the Communists, as you frequently hear. It has been deliberately and almost wholly created by the Communists …”

            “[T]he American Negroes as a whole did not plan this, have not wanted any part of it, and are no bigger dupes on yielding to the propaganda and coercion of the comsymps among them, than are the white people of the United States in swallowing portions of that propaganda labeled idealism.”

            Also, in 1965, the riots in Watts in Los Angeles over the treatment of an African American and his family by a police officer resulted in more than 30 deaths, primarily of African Americans.

            1966

            James Meredith is shot during the “March against Fear” to register African American voters.

            The John Birch Society continued its campaign to Impeach Earl Warren and also pushed to raise $12 million to take over Congress through launching political action in 325 districts.

            Charles Koch sent out a fundraising letter with Bob Love to raise money for the John Birch Society. They said they had contributed $3500 toward the goal of $5000 (the average annual wages of an American worker that year).

            The John Birch Society also promoted its “Liberty Amendment,” opposing graduated income taxes as a marxist plot to impose collectivism. It also took out “Support Police” ads and opposed “Civilian Review Boards” that would impose citizen oversight against police brutality.

            That year, with his father ill, Charles Koch took on the leadership of the family corporation that would become Koch Industries.

            1967

            The Supreme Court struck down laws against inter-racial marriage in Loving v. Virginia.

            Thurgood Marshall was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

            Martin Luther King begins the “Poor People’s Campaign.”

            The John Birch Society calls President Johnson’s “War on Poverty” a scam to promote collectivism and promoted Dan Smoot’s claim that it would create a socialist dictatorship.

            Fred Koch died on November 17, 1967. Donations in tribute were requested by the family in his name for Wichita’s John Birch Society American Opinion Bookstore.

            Charles Koch became Chairman of the family business.

            1968

            Martin Luther King came to speak during the Memphis sanitation workers strike, and he was assassinated.

            April 11, 1968, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 barring discrimination in housing.

            The John Birch Society promoted opposition to anti-discrimination legislation, with publications like “Open Occupancy v. Forced Housing,” which extolled “freedom of choice” and property rights.

            On May 19, 1968, Charles Koch and Bob Love ran a full-page ad in the Wichita Eagle headlined “Let’s Get Out of Vietnam Now,” calling for an unconditional pullout because it was too expensive. Love also stated that pulling out was necessary to prevent the U.S. from adapting to communism philosophically through wage and price controls and taxes to pay for the war: “This country will surely vote for a dictator, if the chaos and confusion of inflation continue to mount.”

            Charles Koch resigned his “life membership” in the John Birch Society and also withdrew his advertising from the John Birch Society’s “American Opinion” monthly magazine and from supporting its radio programs. Robert Welch wrote to ask him to reconsider, but he did not do so.

            Charles Koch announced he was renaming the family company “Koch Industries.”

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            Lisa Graves
            LISA GRAVES
            Lisa Graves is President of the Board of the Center for Media and Democracy and Director of Illumination Investigations. She is a well-known researcher, writer, and public speaker. Her research and analysis have been cited by every major paper in the country and featured in critically acclaimed books and documentaries, including Ava Du Vernay’s award-winning film, “The 13th,” Bill Moyers’s “United States of ALEC,” and Showtime’s “Years of Living Dangerously.”

            Read more here.

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            Comments
            Lisa Graves replied on January 19, 2016 – 10:12am PERMALINK

            ERNIE
            Dear Ernie: I was adding a reply to your comment and accidentally deleted it. Can you please repost? Thank you! Lisa
            reply
            ernie replied on January 22, 2016 – 2:53pm PERMALINK

            REPLY
            Lisa: the original message I posted was very similar to the one I am re-posting below. I should add, however, that I certainly respect the research which Jane Mayer has done. She is one of the very few people whom have sought to discover new primary source documentation. My point continues to be that we do not really know a lot (for certain) about the reasons why Fred or Charles Koch joined the JBS. It appears that Charles has never discussed this although one of his former friends (Gus diZerega), gave Jane Mayer some details which Jane summarized in her August 2010 article “Covert Operations” published in The New Yorker magazine. [truncated for space]
            reply
            ernie replied on January 26, 2016 – 12:30pm PERMALINK

            FRED KOCH
            After I sent you my message, I thought of additional information I should have presented. [Truncated for space] I just think it is important to understand that our current political climate is responsible for hyperbolic attacks which seek to link the Koch family to the JBS as if the principles, values, and beliefs of Fred and Charles Koch are indistinguishable from the principles, values and beliefs of the JBS as an organization. My point is that we do not currently know with any degree of confidence the degree to which Fred and Charles Koch accepted some of Welch’s most lunatic-fringe ideas. We do know, however, that many JBS members supported politicians, public figures, or political objectives which Welch did NOT agree with. In some cases, the disagreements are rather stark — such as when some Birchers were supporting Governor Orval Faubus for President and Welch was writing that Faubus was a Communist! To bring this into contemporary times — significantly, the current CEO of the JBS has written highly critical articles regarding individuals who are highly respected and admired by the Tea Party Movement — including, for example, Sarah Palin and Cong. Paul Ryan. And the annual “Freedom Index” compiled by the JBS which scores the voting behavior of members of Congress gives “poor” or “fail” scores to many members of Congress whom the left-wing thinks are indistinguishable from the JBS!
            reply
            Lisa Graves replied on January 26, 2016 – 3:12pm PERMALINK

            KOCH
            Ernie– We have correspondence between Fred Koch and Welch before 1960 about Birch. We have a number of materials that we will be releasing about Fred’s views on JBS many positions. And, we have more materials on the Kochs and Birch and more. I appreciate your taking the time to write, but I don’t think our writing about this has been hyperbolic, and I know it in fact to be well documented, because we possess numerous documents about these issues. We have additional stories in the queue that further document a variety of extreme positions the Kochs have taken, despite some of the claims that appear to minimize their views or role. The current JBS is a separate matter. Please send me an email so we can discuss this further. Thank you, Ernie.
            reply
            Ernie replied on January 27, 2016 – 11:32am PERMALINK

          • Instead of copying and pasting the Lisa Graves article, you could have saved a ton of space — because it does NOT support your original contentions. I sent Lisa some information which she used in her article.

            The bottom-line has not changed:

            1. Fred Koch was a financial contributor to the JBS but he ultimately resigned from the JBS because he disagreed with Robert Welch’s ever-more-lunatic arguments.

            2. Fred Koch was NOT deeply involved in JBS operations. Careful research shows that he made a couple of pro-JBS speeches but he rarely engaged in any correspondence with Robert Welch or with other JBS National Council members. Furthermore, UNLIKE other senior officials of the JBS, Koch was NOT given special assignments. For example: Welch asked T. Coleman Andrews to lead the impeachment effort against Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren.

            3. Welch often asked William Grede to handle very sensitive internal JBS matters. In fact, it was Grede who got the assignment to contact Charles Koch and JBS National Council member Robert Love (both of Wichita KS) and ask them to resign from the JBS — which they did.

            4. Fred Koch was NEVER as influential within the JBS as were other National Council members like Thomas J. Anderson, Clarence Manion, and William Grede.

            I know it is fashionable to create cartoon caricatures of everyone whose political views do not conform to whatever you prefer to believe but, nevertheless, facts are stubborn things. You cannot “prove” something by quoting sources which have never done the required research in order to make an informed judgment. MANY JBS critics repeat assertions or accusations which they have read in publications authored during the 1960’s but which they have never INDEPENDENTLY verified through their own research.

            In other cases, (such as Lisa Graves and her organization) they HAVE done exceptionally good research which add to our understanding BUT they have NOT seen other data which would change their previous statements or conclusions OR (at a minimum) require further research in order to establish what would be a fair-minded conclusion.

          • And his two son’s were never involved in forming and financing the Tea Party. When you were partnered with Stalin and making the gasoline for the U.S.S.R. Communist party it isn’t great to have your name known as an influence of things done in something like the JBS. I worked for Clint Murchison, Jr. on the 23rd floor of the First National Bank Building in Dallas. Mr Murchison stayed in Los Angeles with the owner of the Los Angeles Rams and so I went to work on the 22nd floor for the law firm started by Clint Murchison Sr. after Mr Murchison Sr struck all that oil. Well on the 29th floor was Hunt Oil. I went to work at the law firm real early and rode the elevator with H.L. Hunt and his driver-bodyguard many many early mornings and have heard Mr Hunt say “we need to get in touch with Mr So and So because he can do a lot for us and the radio station that will keep my name involved and known.

            Anyhow Australia is ablaze and Mother Nature is losing it’s ability to support humans as capitalist rape and pillage Mother Nature. So I guess you’d like to talk about the DOW-Jones and other things like John Tarleton going big time Division 1 which won’t help Mother Natures struggle in helping the future for Tarleton’s new Presidents grandchildren and great grandchildren. I understand that the Athletic program at Tarleton will now be flying in planes to new conference games. New emissions to a sick atmosphere.

            The only way to win with Mother Nature is to give up. Mother Nature never lost and never will. It wins all ties to. Ernie we are way behind because we keep playing with the same old rules. Greedy methods like Jerry Jones owner of Mr Mirchison Jr.’s old Cowboy football franchise is also an owner of a yacht. Mrs De Voss Trump’s Department of Education secretary owns 10 boats and 2 helicopters.

            https://www.newsweek.com/can-you-afford-betsy-devoss-lavish-lifestyle-708369 I don’t want to take their wealth away but want them to stop their emissions and return dignity to families that deserve dignity more that she deserves a cleaning lady to clean her toilet. I am sick of seeing grown men doing things that only steals life time and eventually removes humanity away. A 16 year old girl name Greta Thunberg is telling us right. No matter was Donald Trump’s tweet say about her the young lady isbring facts that are much more important than any sport ever played. Tarleton’s new president is much better off listening and acting on Greta Thunberg’s words than being a yes man for A&M’s regents desire to make sports headlines for Tarleton’s athletic program.

          • You keep trying to evade the FACT that your original statements were FALSEHOODS.

            You wrote:

            “The John Birch Society that Fred Koch joined and controlled after he came back from Russia is the John Birch Society that Reagan is out of. Fred Trump father of the Koch brothers the owners of Koch Industries. One of the brothers just died recently.”

            1. Fred Koch never “controlled” the JBS. Not even the Democratic-dominated California Senate Factfinding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities made such an absurd statement in the only official investigation ever made about the JBS.

            2. As the Subcommittee accurately stated:

            “Robert Welch is the undisputed authority in this movement, and from his decisions there can be no appeal. Operating under him is an Executive Committee and a National Council, but these are purely advisory bodies. If Welch makes a decision and both the Executive Committee and Council unanimously, vehemently, and implacably disagree, there is no question about who will prevail: Welch. Indeed, since he appoints the members of these bodies, he can fire them individually or collectively at will.” [California Report, 1963, page 18].

            3. Ronald Reagan was hostile toward Welch and the JBS and the JBS did not regard him as a genuine conservative. In fact, the former President of the JBS once stated that if Reagan was nominated for President by the GOP, it would mean that Reagan would become “a lackey” of the Communists.

            Ronald Reagan (10/28/66 at Commonwealth Club – San Francisco, when asked about Robert Welch:

            “I think his statements about President Eisenhower are thoroughly reprehensible.”

            Ronald Reagan (Los Angeles Times, 9/5/66, p10)

            “In my opinion those persons who are members of the John Birch Society have a decision to make concerning the reckless and imprudent statements of their leader, Robert Welch.”

          • See this Ernie?
            Ronald Reagan (10/28/66 at Commonwealth Club – San Francisco, when asked about Robert Welch:

            “I think his statements about President Eisenhower are thoroughly reprehensible.”

            Ronald Reagan (Los Angeles Times, 9/5/66, p10)

            “In my opinion those persons who are members of the John Birch Society have a decision to make concerning the reckless and imprudent statements of their leader, Robert Welch.”
            ___________________________________________________________________________________T

            ——————————————-That’s called political camouflage—————————————————-

            Refresh your memory..

            https://listverse.com/2015/01/15/10-reprehensible-crimes-of-ronald-reagan/

          • You can post as many links as you want which keep changing the subject — but you cannot find ANY link to ANYTHING ever written by ANY historian or political scientist which claims that Fred Koch “controlled” the JBS or that he even had any major role within the JBS. As previously mentioned, he actually resigned from the JBS because of policy differences with Robert Welch.

            The issue is not your personal opinion of Ronald Reagan. Reagan’s closest advisers were hostile toward the Birch Society. Reagan associated himself with the comments made by Bill Buckley’s National Review magazine when Buckley described Welch’s views as “paranoid drivel”. The most influential conservative intellectual of the 20th century (Russell Kirk) used the pages of National Review to describe Welch’s mental processes as “metaphysical madness” and then Kirk declared that the JBS was anathema to genuine conservatives — and Ronald Reagan agreed — along with other major conservatives.and conservative publications such as Human Events and American Spectator.

            I don’t understand your process of making informed judgments. It obviously is NOT based upon factual evidence. In that regard, you appear to mimic the John Birch Society!

          • https://www.prwatch.org/news/2016/01/13017/how-charles-koch-backed-john-birch-society-height-its-attacks-martin-luther-king

            How Charles Koch Backed the John Birch Society at the Height of Its Attacks on Martin Luther King
            Submitted by Lisa Graves on January 18, 2016 – 10:03am

            As noted in the new book, Dark Money, by The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, Charles and David Koch have spent millions on public relations in the past few years to try to re-make their image as many Americans have grown increasingly concerned about their efforts to distort democratic elections to serve their corporate and ideological agenda.

            This week’s issue of the magazine focuses on that campaign, which has generated positive press for the Kochs for supporting the bipartisan “criminal justice reform” movement.

            The Kochs’ interests in certain changes to the law was exposed by CMD (the Center for Media and Democracy) last month, when CMD documented the substantial Koch-backed effort to change criminal intent laws that would make it harder to prosecute corporations and CEOs, like Koch Industries and the Koch brothers, for any financial or environmental crimes. (The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on criminal intent this Wednesday.)

            As Mayer notes, the Kochs have also secured positive press for a major grant to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) in 2014.

            UNCF is led by Michael Lomax, who received $1,310,130 in total compensation in 2014, along with twelve other executives who help administer UNCF donations and receive between $187,290 and $378,776 per year, in addition to nearly $5 million in fees for “management” to non-employees of the charity. (The previous year, Lomax had received $783,470 in total compensation.) UNCF spent about $50 million on grants to individuals plus about $70 million in grants to institutions that year, such as $776,107 to Bethune-Cookman University, $357,427 to Morehouse College, and $359,989 to Spelman College. UNCF spent over $3 million on travel that year.

            As Inside Higher Ed reported, Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation gave UNCF $25 million grant, but they will play a substantial role in selecting the African American scholarship students, who must express an interest in the Kochs’ economic agenda. Two Koch Industries employees sit on the committee to review candidates.

            The President of AFSCME, Lee Saunders, issued a “stinging rebuke” to Lomax after he appeared at one of the Kochs’ “Freedom Partners” gatherings of right-wing billionaires, saying: “The Koch brothers and the organizations they fund have devoted themselves for more than a decade to attacking the voting rights of African Americans. They support voter identification laws. They seek to restrict early voting and voter registration. They support laws that threaten organizations that register voters in the African American community.”

            For example, the Kochs’ top lobbyist, Michael Morgan–who recently touted Kochs’ record before seizing and running off with the phone of Greenpeace researcher Connor Gibson, who was interviewing him–has served on the Board of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which pushed a measure that made it harder for Americans to vote through ID restrictions following the election of President Barack Obama, the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.

            And, as CMD broke last year, the Kochs’ new effort to spy on its opponents is led by a voter fraud huckster.

            “In many ways,” CMD has noted, “the playbook deployed by the Kochs today through myriad organizations resembles a more sophisticated (and expensive) playbook of the John Birch Society back then. Even the recent announcement of the Kochs to give a $25 million gift to the United Negro College Fund (with strings attached requiring the recruitment of free market African American college students) echoes that past. In 1964, in the face of criticism for its assault on the civil rights movement, the John Birch Society also funded a scholarship program to give college funds to African Americans who were not active in the civil rights movement.”

            In fact, CMD has traced the Koch legacy against the civil rights movement back to the 1960s, documenting how Charles Koch fundraised for the John Birch Society at the height of its attacks on the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., (and Rosa Parks)–breaking that story on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now!

            Many commentators have noted that the father of the controversial Koch Brothers, Fred Koch, was a leader of the John Birch Society from its founding in 1958 until his death in 1967. But, in fact, Charles Koch followed his father’s footsteps into the John Birch Society for years in Wichita, Kansas, a hub city for the organization in that decade of tremendous societal unrest as civil rights activists challenged racial segregation.

            “Charles Koch was not simply a rank and file member of the John Birch Society in name only who paid nominal dues. He purchased and held a “lifetime membership” until he resigned in 1968. He also lent his name and his wealth to the operations of the John Birch Society in Wichita, aiding its “American Opinion” bookstore–which was stocked with attacks on the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, and Earl Warren as elements of the communist conspiracy. He funded the John Birch Society’s promotional campaigns, bought advertising in its magazine, and supported its distribution of right-wing radio shows.”

            As CMD has noted:

            In 1961, at the age of twenty-six, Charles moved home to Wichita, Kansas, to work for Rock Island Oil and Refining Company, which was led by his father, Fred Koch, who was on the national council of the John Birch Society. Charles subsequently opened a John Birch Society bookstore in Wichita with a friend of his father, Bob Love, the owner of the Love Box Company in Wichita.

            The John Birch Society’s “American Opinion Bookstores” were stocked with material opposing the civil rights movement.

            Birchers had put up billboards in Kansas and elsewhere calling for the impeachment of Earl Warren, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court who had ordered the desegregation of the public schools in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.

            There’s no indication that Fred or Charles objected to the Birch campaign to impeach Warren.

            There is no indication they objected when it ran ads in Dallas in 1963 with President John F. Kennedy’s head depicted like two mug shot photos, with the word “Treason” below, shortly before the assassination of the President …

            Or when it opposed the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, based on the Bircher claim that the movement was created as a forty-year front for the communists.

            Or when it supported billboards calling Martin Luther King a communist.

            None of these things was cited by Charles Koch and Bob Love in their resignation from the John Birch Society in 1968, according to correspondence with Robert Welch, who had launched the organization a decade earlier with Fred and a few other businessmen.

            Oddly, it was Welch’s “Win the War” strategy of signing up people to support the Vietnam War that caused the breakup between Charles Koch and the John Birch Society.

            In 1968, Charles Koch bought a full-page ad, “Let’s Get Out of Vietnam Now,” based on the isolationism of a competing flank of the far right movement, but he made no similar gesture expressing any opposition to its long-standing, high priority anti-civil rights agenda, which his financial support made possible.

            Charles also gave public speeches espousing the view that government’s only proper role was to police the interference with the free market—an ideology that inherently rejects civil rights laws, child labor laws, minimum wages or safety rules, the protection of union rights, and more.

            TIMELINE: The Koch Family, the John Birch Society, and the Civil Rights Movement
            1958

            Fred Koch attended the initial meeting of right-wing businessmen called by Robert Welch, who proposes creating the John Birch Society to fight the spread of communism in the U.S., after the ignominious death of Senator Joe McCarthy, who was censured. Fred joins the Executive Committee, which met monthly to plan Birch Society strategy.

            1961

            Charles Koch moved home to Wichita to work for his dad and joins the John Birch Society, which his father, Fred, co-founded. (According to Sons of Wichita, Charles joined the Birch Society when he moved home.)

            That year, Fred Koch published and circulated his pamphlet, “A Businessman Looks at Communism,” which claimed the U.S. Supreme Court was pro-communist, that President Dwight Eisenhower (the former allied commander in WWII) was soft on communism, that the public schools used many communist books, and that many teachers were commies.

            Also that year, David Koch–a student at MIT–helps incite an anti-communist, anti-Castro protest that turns into a riot where students are arrested.

            Also that year, African American and white “Freedom Riders” began traveling between the Southern states to test the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Boyton v. Virginia that the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment barred laws requiring segregated travel interstate. The buses were attacked by white mobs and the Ku Klux Klan.

            The John Birch Society announced that its top priority that year was the launch of its “Movement to Impeach Earl Warren,” the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, appointed by President Eisenhower; Warren was previously a Republican governor.

            One of the core documents promoted that year and for years afterward was by the founder of the John Birch Society, Robert Henry Winborne Welch (of the Junior Mints/Sugar Babies candy fortune). That document was titled “A Letter to the South on Segregation” (1956). It claimed that the “easy-going colored man” of the South will be “easily misled by agitators,” that the phrase “civil rights” is a communist slogan, and that the push for racial integration “embarrassed” good African Americans.

            The John Birch Society’s Movement to Impeach Earl Warren also promoted Rosalie Gordon’s defense of segregated public schools “Nine Men Against America” and the right-wing Regnery publishing house’s book by James Kilpatrick (“The Sovereign States”) defending the Southern States’ “right” “to believe that they were proceeding constitutionally in erecting and maintaining a system of racially separate schools.” The Birch Society also promoted the extremist and segregationist “Dan Smoot Report.”

            In 1961, James Meredith, who had served in the U.S. Air Force, asked Medgar Evers for help after he was denied admission to Ole Miss, the University of Mississippi. Evers asked Thurgood Marshall to take Meredith’s case and the NAACP filed a federal lawsuit.

            Accordingly to a Time magazine profile that year, the John Birch Society launched reading rooms and book stores “manned … by local members of our organization” promoting the 100 books approved by the Society to be sold, along with membership, posters, pamphlets, and Birch magazines. The approved material included the Bircher monthly magazine, “American Opinion,” and “Dan Smoot’s Report,” which ran numerous pieces attacking the integration of schools. The John Birch Society also pushed many right-wing radio shows.

            According to Time magazine’s profile, Wichita was designated a “pilot” town for the John Birch Society and it mentioned Fred Koch’s leadership of the organization. Professors at the city college, Wichita University, reported being harassed by Birchers for their books and what they taught. At a major Birch event there, Fred Koch introduced the John Birch Society founder, Bob Welch, at a town hall meeting of 2,000 people. Friend of the Koch family and fellow Bircher, Bob Love of the Love Box Company shut down a news filming of the speech in which Welch was tape recorded claiming “The Protestant ministry is more heavily infiltrated by Communists than any other profession in America.” The Wichita Eagle-Beacon editorialized that “Welch is selling snake oil, and that a lot of people are buying it.”

            1962

            In 1962, based on the reasoning in the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, a federal appeals court ordered that the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) admit African American student James Meredith. Mississippi’s segregationist governor, Ross Barnett, responded by trying to stop the integration of the state college.

            When James Meredith sought to enroll in Oxford, Mississippi, Governor Barnett personally blocked his entrance and was joined by World War II veteran Major General Edwin Walker, who issued this statement: “I am in Mississippi beside Governor Ross Barnett. I call for a national protest against the conspiracy from within. Rally to the cause of freedom in righteous indignation, violent vocal protest, and bitter silence under the flag of Mississippi at the use of Federal troops….” Riots ensued and two people were killed. Only President John F. Kennedy’s executive order for the National Guard to escort Meredith allowed him to enroll in the state university and he had to have ongoing protection from federal agents.

            The John Birch Society hailed General Walker as a hero for standing up in Oxford to what it described as the communist creation of the civil rights movement. The Dan Smoot Report promoted by the John Birch Society claimed the desegregation order was illegal and equated the whites protesting Meredith’s admission to the students protesting in Hungary in 1956. It also defended General Walker as standing up to American “tyranny.”

            The John Birch Society promoted a pamphlet by Alan Stang called “It’s Very Simple” attacking the civil rights movement. Among other things, Stang called Martin Luther King, Jr., a communist and claimed that his goal was to pressure Congress “to install more collectivism.” Stang, in John Birch Society publications, claimed Rosa Parks was trained by communists before she refused to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery in 1955.

            The John Birch Society also announced that it had erected more than 100 billboards calling for the impeachment of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren. Birch leader Bob Welch noted “We believe that the Warren Court is gradually destroying all the safeguards which made this a republic instead of a mobocracy.”

            1963

            Martin Luther King helped organize demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama, was arrested, and wrote on non-violence and injustice in “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (which was published by The Progressive along with other of his writings).

            The John Birch Society claimed that its “detailed study of ‘the life and lies’ of Martin Luther King … will convince any reasonable American that this man is not working for, but against, the real welfare and best interests of either the Negroes in the United States, or of the United States as a whole.” (Robert Welch, “Two Revolutions at Once” published in 1965) In its publications of Alan Stang’s writings the John Birch Society claimed Martin Luther King was the “biggest” “liar in the country” and what “he really wants is to be a black plantation boss giving orders to ‘his people.”‘

            Medgar Evers, the NAACP’s Mississippi field staffer, is assassinated at his home.

            Bull Connor directed Birmingham, Alabama, police to use attack dogs and high-pressure fire hoses on civil rights marchers, including children.

            The John Birch Society claimed that “The truth is that the infamous picture of a dog attacking a Negro, while the dog was held in leash by a Birmingham police officer, was so carefully rehearsed until the ‘civil rights’ agitators got exactly the picture they wanted, that the leg of the Negro victim’s trousers had even been cut with a razor in advance, so that it would fall apart more readily at the first touch by the dog. Yet this picture was shown on the front pages of newspapers all over the United States – most of which did not know it was a contrived phony – and became an extremely important part of the Communist propaganda about ‘civil rights.'” (Robert Welch, “Two Revolutions at Once” published in 1965)

            In July 1963, the John Birch Society launched the “Support Your Local Police” Movement providing bumper stickers, window stickers, and flyers through its bookstore and by mail. The posters often appeared with “Impeach Earl Warren” billboards and touted the need for “law and order” in Birmingham, Alabama, and other cities.

            Thousands travel to Washington, DC, for the March on Washington for Jobs where Reverend King delivers his “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

            As segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond spoke out against civil rights and the “collectivist” menace on the Senate floor, the John Birch Society invites him to join its council, but he declines to retain his “independence.”

            Four little girls are murdered in a bombing at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

            A John Birch Society front group runs advertisements in Dallas before President Kennedy’s arrival, depicting his head in mug shots with the word “TREASON” below, along with claims that Kennedy is guilty of treason for purportedly being soft on communism.

            President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

            Fred Koch then helped spearhead a national advertisement in the New York Times blaming Kennedy’s assassination on the communists.

            1964

            John Birch Society ads blaming communists for the assassination of President Kennedy run nationally. The Society also promotes material called “Marxmanship in Dallas.”

            The Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) organizes voter registration drives in Mississippi and plans for “Freedom Summer” demonstrations.

            James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, three civil rights workers investigating the firebombing of a church where they were organizing voter registration, were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan.

            Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 over the objections of South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond and other racists.

            That year, the Supreme Court also issued its ruling in Reynolds v. Simms, which is famous for its principle of “one person, one vote.”

            The John Birch Society created a “scholarship” fund for anti-communist/capitalist African American students, and its first recipient received $1000 in September 1964.

            1965

            The John Birch Society touts that 26 million Americans voted for a conservative, Barry Goldwater, even though Goldwater criticized the Society.

            Jimmy Lee Jackson, an unarmed African American who was protesting the arrest of civil rights worker James Edward Orange, was killed by police. Hundreds of SNCC activists, including John Lewis, marched from Selma to Montgomery in protest, and were stopped on the bridge by police wielding fire hoses, clubs, and tear gas. Martin Luther King joins them.

            The John Birch Society’s main publication claims that “the march from Selma to Montgomery led by Martin Luther King” was a “sham and farce.”

            Congress passes the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

            The John Birch Society claimed that the few “handicaps to Negro voting” “could be and were being corrected” without federal legislation and that “To tear a whole great nation to pieces, and to try to plunge a large part of it into civil war, over the few such injustices as do exist, is on a par with sinking a mighty ship in order to get a rat out of the scupper.” (Robert Welch, “Two Revolutions at Once” in American Opinion and then published as a stand-alone John Birch Society pamphlet in 1966.)

            Among other things in 1965, Charles Koch helped promote the John Birch Society bookstore in Wichita, which was managed by Bob Love. The bookstore peddled John Birch Society pamphlets like Earl Lively’s “The Invasion of Mississippi,” which claims the racial integration of Ole Miss was unlawful and sides with the white racist protestors. Other titles included Robert Welch’s pamphlet, “A Letter to the South on Segregation” and a tract titled “Is the Supreme Court Pro-Communist.” It also offered “Support Your Local Police” stickers from the campaign begun in 1963.

            Charles Koch’s confidante and assistant George Pearson joined the John Birch Society and began volunteering at the American Opinion Bookstore in Wichita, too.

            The John Birch Society also promoted its new “What’s Wrong with Civil Rights” campaign in its bookstores and newspapers. The campaign claimed African Americans are better off in the U.S. than in other countries and have personal security on par with whites:

            “The average American Negro has a tremendously higher material standard of living than Negroes anywhere else; and far higher, in fact, than at least four-fifths of the earth’s population of all races combined.”

            “The average American Negro not only has a far higher standard of literacy, and better educational opportunities, than Negroes anywhere else; but a higher level of literacy, in fact, than at least four-fifths of the earth’s population of all races combined.”

            “The average American Negro has complete freedom of religion, freedom of movement, and freedom to run his own life as he pleases.”

            “His security of person, and assurance of honorable treatment by his fellow citizens in all of the utilitarian relationships of the living, have been exactly on par with those of his white neighbors.”

            “[T]he agitators behind the civil rights movement demand complete and absolute disregard for those differences [‘in the economic, literate, and social level of the two races” and “the natural or human-natural results of these differences”], and a pretense that they do not exist, must be forced by federal law upon the total population everywhere, and with respect to every activity of human life.”

            “[T]he civil rights movement in the United States, with all of its growing agitation and riots and bitterness, and insidious steps towards the appearance of a civil war, has not been infiltrated by the Communists, as you frequently hear. It has been deliberately and almost wholly created by the Communists …”

            “[T]he American Negroes as a whole did not plan this, have not wanted any part of it, and are no bigger dupes on yielding to the propaganda and coercion of the comsymps among them, than are the white people of the United States in swallowing portions of that propaganda labeled idealism.”

            Also, in 1965, the riots in Watts in Los Angeles over the treatment of an African American and his family by a police officer resulted in more than 30 deaths, primarily of African Americans.

            1966

            James Meredith is shot during the “March against Fear” to register African American voters.

            The John Birch Society continued its campaign to Impeach Earl Warren and also pushed to raise $12 million to take over Congress through launching political action in 325 districts.

            Charles Koch sent out a fundraising letter with Bob Love to raise money for the John Birch Society. They said they had contributed $3500 toward the goal of $5000 (the average annual wages of an American worker that year).

            The John Birch Society also promoted its “Liberty Amendment,” opposing graduated income taxes as a marxist plot to impose collectivism. It also took out “Support Police” ads and opposed “Civilian Review Boards” that would impose citizen oversight against police brutality.

            That year, with his father ill, Charles Koch took on the leadership of the family corporation that would become Koch Industries.

            1967

            The Supreme Court struck down laws against inter-racial marriage in Loving v. Virginia.

            Thurgood Marshall was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

            Martin Luther King begins the “Poor People’s Campaign.”

            The John Birch Society calls President Johnson’s “War on Poverty” a scam to promote collectivism and promoted Dan Smoot’s claim that it would create a socialist dictatorship.

            Fred Koch died on November 17, 1967. Donations in tribute were requested by the family in his name for Wichita’s John Birch Society American Opinion Bookstore.

            Charles Koch became Chairman of the family business.

            1968

            Martin Luther King came to speak during the Memphis sanitation workers strike, and he was assassinated.

            April 11, 1968, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 barring discrimination in housing.

            The John Birch Society promoted opposition to anti-discrimination legislation, with publications like “Open Occupancy v. Forced Housing,” which extolled “freedom of choice” and property rights.

            On May 19, 1968, Charles Koch and Bob Love ran a full-page ad in the Wichita Eagle headlined “Let’s Get Out of Vietnam Now,” calling for an unconditional pullout because it was too expensive. Love also stated that pulling out was necessary to prevent the U.S. from adapting to communism philosophically through wage and price controls and taxes to pay for the war: “This country will surely vote for a dictator, if the chaos and confusion of inflation continue to mount.”

            Charles Koch resigned his “life membership” in the John Birch Society and also withdrew his advertising from the John Birch Society’s “American Opinion” monthly magazine and from supporting its radio programs. Robert Welch wrote to ask him to reconsider, but he did not do so.

            Charles Koch announced he was renaming the family company “Koch Industries.”

            Special
            News
            Attachment Size
            PDF icon Full CMD timeline Koch-Birch 125.53 KB
            PDF icon UNCF 990 from 2014 2.41 MB
            Lisa Graves
            LISA GRAVES
            Lisa Graves is President of the Board of the Center for Media and Democracy and Director of Illumination Investigations. She is a well-known researcher, writer, and public speaker. Her research and analysis have been cited by every major paper in the country and featured in critically acclaimed books and documentaries, including Ava Du Vernay’s award-winning film, “The 13th,” Bill Moyers’s “United States of ALEC,” and Showtime’s “Years of Living Dangerously.”

          • This will be my last comment.

            The material by Lisa Graves is NOT new to me. As I previously pointed out, I sent Lisa information and a YEAR before she published her article, I was the FIRST person to post online the correspondence which explained why Robert Welch asked Charles Koch (and Robert Love) to resign from the JBS.

            Nothing you posted regarding the Birch Society’s views about our civil rights movement is new information. My online Report on the JBS devoted an entire chapter to JBS falsehoods about our civil rights movement. Last year, I wrote a 97-page analysis entitled ‘Racism and the John Birch Society” which demolished all the usual defenses which JBS members post online about their history.

            Unlike yourself, I have spent over SIX DECADES fighting the JBS. For my trouble, the JBS bans me from posting messages on their websites.

            I was the FIRST and ONLY person to obtain the entire FBI HQ main file on the JBS along with most FBI field office files. Numerous historians, political scientists, journalists, and other researchers cite material they received from me in their books, academic journal articles, internet blogs, academic conference papers, and in their master’s theses and doctoral dissertations.

            The reason they use material I discovered is because I spent tens of thousands of dollars acquiring not only pertinent FBI files, but also the personal papers of JBS National Council members which are archived at various colleges and universities and state historical societies around the U.S.

            SO….please stop pretending that you know more than I do about JBS history.

          • Ernie the John Birch Society actually coming from the Brown vs The Board of Education and Fred Koch said that the Civil Rights movement was a Communist plot use the black Americans…

          • You wrote:

            “Ernie the John Birch Society actually coming from the Brown vs The Board of Education and Fred Koch said that the Civil Rights movement was a Communist plot use the black Americans…”

            SO WHAT? That was NOT what your original comment said. Why can’t you just admit graciously that your original comment has NO basis in factual reality. Fred Koch never “controlled” the JBS. He had no operational assignment. He was a financial angel and he was appointed to the JBS National Council but that Council was purely advisory. And, for the third time, Fred grew so disenchanted with Welch’s more extreme ideas that he resigned from the JBS — as did his son, Charles.

            If you want to create cartoon caricatures of people so that you can always identify them as villains — so be it but there is no reason to deliberately LIE about historical facts.

  2. It’s not the economy its the climate!

    https://www.alternet.org/2019/12/how-trump-quietly-handed-billions-more-in-tax-breaks-to-huge-corporations-report/?utm_source=push_notifications

    How Trump quietly handed billions more in tax breaks to huge corporations: report
    Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin | 7/25/17 (Official White House Photo by Ricky Harris)
    Written by Jake Johnson / Common Dreams December 30, 2019
    A “disturbing” New York Times story published Monday detailed how President Donald Trump’s Treasury Department, led by former Goldman Sachs banker Steve Mnuchin, has quietly weakened elements of the 2017 tax law in recent months to make it even friendlier to wealthy individuals and massive corporations.

    Lobbyists representing some of the largest corporations in the world, the Times reported, targeted two provisions in the original 2017 law designed to bring in hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue from companies that had been dodging U.S. taxes by stashing profits overseas.

    “The corporate lobbying campaign was a resounding success,” the Times noted. “Through a series of obscure regulations, the Treasury carved out exceptions to the law that mean many leading American and foreign companies will owe little or nothing in new taxes on offshore profits… Companies were effectively let off the hook for tens if not hundreds of billions of taxes that they would have been required to pay.”

    The two provisions are known by the acronyms BEAT (base erosion and anti-abuse tax) and GILTI (global intangible low-taxed income). Shortly after Trump signed the $1.5 trillion tax bill—which slashed the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%—lobbyists from major American companies like Bank of America and General Electric as well as foreign banks swarmed the White House in an effort to gut the BEAT and GILTI taxes.

    Trump’s Treasury Department largely granted the lobbyists’ wishes, turning what was already a massive corporate handout into an even more generous gift to big companies and banks.

    The Times reported:

    The Organization for International Investment—a powerful trade group for foreign multinationals like the Swiss food company Nestlé and the Dutch chemical maker LyondellBasell—objected to a Treasury proposal that would have prevented companies from using a complex currency-accounting maneuver to avoid the BEAT… This month, the Treasury issued the final version of some of the BEAT regulations. The Organization for International Investment got what it wanted.

    The lobbying surrounding the GILTI was equally intense—and, once again, large companies won valuable concessions… News Corporation, Liberty Mutual, Anheuser-Busch, Comcast and P.&G. wrote letters or dispatched lobbyists to argue for the high-tax exception. After months of meetings with lobbyists, the Treasury announced in June 2019 that it was creating a version of the exception that the companies had sought.

    David Enrich, financial editor for the Times, said the newspaper’s estimate that major companies received tens of billions of dollars in additional tax breaks thanks to the Treasury Department is “conservative.”

    “The cumulative effect,” said Enrich, “is that a tax law already disproportionately benefiting the richest of the rich has become an even greater windfall for the world’s largest companies and their shareholders.”

    David Enrich

    @davidenrich
    Replying to @davidenrich
    The ridiculous thing: companies appear to not be properly disclosing what they’re paying under these new taxes. Which makes it very hard to see how big this bonanza really is. Our estimate of tens of billions in savings is conservative. By @uwsgeezer https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/30/business/corporate-tax-cuts-impact.html

    A section of the Senate bill. Congress gave final approval to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Dec. 20, 2017.
    Why the Impact of the Trump Taxes Remains Partly Hidden
    New taxes should be a big expense for many companies. But they have found a way around disclosing it in annual reports.

    nytimes.com
    237
    6:50 AM – Dec 30, 2019
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    143 people are talking about this

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    Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, tweeted in response to the Times story that “Trump is the most corrupt president in history, and here’s the latest example of how that corruption helps giant corporations at the expense of small businesses and working families.”

    “Too many corporations are cashing in on all the benefits of America while skipping out on the bill,” said Warren. “Companies that make massive profits shouldn’t be paying less in federal income taxes than working families.”

    As Hunter Blair of the Economic Policy Institute noted on the two-year anniversary of the passage of Trump’s tax cuts last week, “the $4,000 annual boost to average incomes that the White House Council of Economic Advisers promised to working families because of the [Tax Cuts and Jobs Act] did not—and will not—happen.”

    “While it’s been worse-than-advertised for working families,” Blair wrote, “the TCJA has been an even bigger boon to large corporations and rich households.”

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