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Before The Tea Party And The Alt-Right, There Was The John Birch Society. Now They're Back In Texas.

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GAGE SKIDMORE/FLICKR (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

At the height of the Cold War during the late 1950s, a conservative fringe group, created by some of America's richest businessmen gathered with a lofty mission in mind: to eliminate the so-called "Communist conspiracy" they believed gripped the country, and to preserve the foundation of the Constitution and the nation's Christian roots.

At its peak, the John Birch Society had some 100,000 dues-paying members who were focused on quashing communism and promoting small government. But as the Cold War faded, so did the organization.

Today, however, a Birch Society revival is underway, and Texas is at the epicenter.

Freelance reporter John Savage’s recent Politico article, “The John Birch Society Is Back,” explains how the group developed its stronghold in Texas. Savage says today’s organization has some valid concerns but also leans toward conspiracy theories — not much different than it was nearly 60 years ago.

“They really tapped into … anti-illegal immigration, they say, anti-globalism, anti-big-government passion. Those main core principles are still their main core principles,” he says.

Carlos Morales is Marfa Public Radio's News Director.