Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Texas Tea Fascist

Really though, who is surprised?

As recently as 2003, the president of the Greater Fort Bend County Tea Party had a very different title: director of propaganda for the American Fascist Party.

James Ives, a prominent Tea Party activist who has hosted statewide rallies and political debates and has been a regular contributor on conservative radio, was the AFP's fourth in command, commenting about the party’s principles on a fascist message board. An image of Ives in what appears to be a black uniform with yellow shoulder patches can be seen in a 2006 promotional video for the party.

The man insists it was all a gag, a ruse to infiltrate the organization and write a book.

Ives tells a more nuanced story; the Richmond, Texas, resident says he stumbled across the fascist party — which supports extreme right-wing authoritarian regimes — online in the early 2000s as an “amateur political science student and frustrated novelist” and was merely curious.

He said he believed he’d uncovered an underground cabal — and decided to stick around to do research for a “political novel of intrigue.”

“I thought, ‘I can blow the lid off of this. … I can go inside and find out what’s going on,’” Ives said.

Ives never wrote a novel. He did write a range of posts on the party’s Yahoo message board, communicating with his fellow “blackshirts” and the party’s chief organizer, a man who identified himself as the “Glorious Leader.”

In one post, he channeled Benito Mussolini, the World War II-era Italian dictator and founder of that country’s National Fascist Party, saying building up the fascist movement in America was “our spirit, our calling.”

“It will be our greatest challenge, and our sweetest victory, to finally surpass this dark menace, this numbing threat from the shadows, and replace it with the pure sunbeam that is our Fascist Faith, our Fascist Truth,” he wrote.

When even Dan Patrick and Debra Medina have to disavow you because you're too extreme...

(Patrick), whose radio station has regularly hosted Ives’ political commentaries in recent years, said that if his past connections to the American Fascist Party were legitimate, the station would no longer put him on air. Patrick said Ives had “never been on our payroll, never been an employee.” He called the promotional video and online postings “very disturbing, no matter how far in the past it is.”
... Medina, a well-known Tea Party activist who ran against Gov. Rick Perry in the 2010 Republican primary, said she isn’t familiar with Ives and isn’t in a position to judge his dealings with the fascist group. But she said part of the challenge of working with the grassroots is that it’s “so hard to know who you’re working with sometimes.
“Even with the best intentions — and I can speak from my own experience — you can be judged by those who work around you and are supportive of you,” she said. “It tends to tarnish the work that others are doing, and cause people to go, ‘Here we go again.’”

In a comment to the FB page for the Trib, someone named Christopher Malone posts both the press release containing Ive's response to the Trib's report and the link to it at the GFBCTP:

“Before jumping to conclusions about my involvement in the now defunct left-wing fascist group, I ask that you go back and read all of my speeches, posts, radio podcasts and writings over the past five years. All are public record and available any time. You will clearly see that the theme of my works, which are public, is my fervent love of my country, God, my family, liberty and The Constitution."

Our first clue that Mr. Ives was among the first of his generation to be home-schooled is his contention that the AFP is "left-wing". Fascists are not now and never have been left wing; this is a contrivance of the profoundly ignorant conservative hive mind. It's just part of the string of epithets that ties together nicely with "socialist", and "Kenyan-Muslim".

But as stated at the top... does this surprise anybody? Anyone at all? It shouldn't. This is who they are and what they are. They are out and proud. Nobody who shares their beliefs is shocked, nor are any of us who do not.

When people like Patrick or Medina feel compelled to put distance between themselves and Ives and his ilk, they are simply responding to the social nuances of living in the public eye. It's the same thing essentially as when Todd Akin  talks about 'legitimate' rape (or Ron Paul and "honest rape"); as when Mitt Romney talks about the 47% as moochers and freeloaders in quiet rooms. You say -- and do -- things like Ives said in public fora because you don't think anyone who does not agree with you will actually hear it or read it.

The Republicans just had a national conference where they discussed how important it was for them not to change what they believe... just keep it hidden a little better.

THIS. Is. What. They. Are. Top to bottom. They can only be differentiated by degrees of strength. In chemistry it's called alpha, or ionization yield.

It's still the same acid.

1 comment:

Seth Tyrssen said...

A couple of clarifications, if I may.

James was an excellent officer; highly intelligent and creative, and his assessments are generally spot-on.

The term "glorious fearless leader" was a gag, and everyone knew it.

Yes, there is such a thing as "left wing Fascism." I was always drawing flack for not being a ham-fisted, close-minded dictator that didn't fit into anyone's "box." Modelled after the British movement of the 1930's, our first and foremost goal was (and remains) to put an end to the scourge of war.

One of the first statements issued ("The Social Doctrine") clearly was in support of the Constitution. I got some flack for that, too.

Modern American Fascism believes in America first. That means, no more allowing companies to run off to China to utilize cheap labor; no more NAFTA and GATT; no more enslavement to international banking.

The Party was started on the night that George Bush ("King George I") announced his illegal and un-Constitutional war in the Middle East; I emailed him, promising our complete and vocal opposition.

Rather than swallow the media's rather biased definitions, I suggest interested folks read "The New Fascism: An Idea Whose Time Has Come," from

Seth Tyrssen
First Party Leader