The United Hates of America

From the Southern Poverty Law Center:

The radical right caught fire last year, as broad-based populist anger at political, demographic and economic changes in America ignited an explosion of new extremist groups and activism across the nation.

Hate groups stayed at record levels — almost 1,000 — despite the total collapse of the second largest neo-Nazi group in America. Furious anti-immigrant vigilante groups soared by nearly 80%, adding some 136 new groups during 2009. And, most remarkably of all, so-called “Patriot” groups — militias and other organizations that see the federal government as part of a plot to impose “one-world government” on liberty-loving Americans — came roaring back after years out of the limelight.

Original DVD cover

The anger seething across the American political landscape — over racial changes in the population, soaring public debt and the terrible economy, the bailouts of bankers and other elites, and an array of initiatives by the relatively liberal Obama Administration that are seen as “socialist” or even “fascist” — goes beyond the radical right. The “tea parties” and similar groups that have sprung up in recent months cannot fairly be considered extremist groups, but they are shot through with rich veins of radical ideas, conspiracy theories and racism.


Sixty-one percent of Americans believe the country is in decline, according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Just a quarter think the government can be trusted. And the anti-tax tea party movement is viewed in much more positive terms than either the Democratic or Republican parties, the poll found.

The signs of growing radicalization are everywhere. Armed men have come to Obama speeches bearing signs suggesting that the “tree of liberty” needs to be “watered” with “the blood of tyrants.” The Conservative Political Action Conference held this February was co-sponsored by groups like the John Birch Society, which believes President Eisenhower was a Communist agent, and Oath Keepers, a Patriot outfit formed last year that suggests, in thinly veiled language, that the government has secret plans to declare martial law and intern patriotic Americans in concentration camps. Politicians pandering to the antigovernment right in 37 states have introduced “Tenth Amendment Resolutions,” based on the constitutional provision keeping all powers not explicitly given to the federal government with the states. And, at the “A Well Regulated Militia” website, a recent discussion of how to build “clandestine safe houses” to stay clear of the federal government included a conversation about how mass murderers like Timothy McVeigh and Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph were supposedly betrayed at such houses.


But the most dramatic story by far has been with the antigovernment Patriots.

The militias and the larger Patriot movement first came to Americans’ attention in the mid-1990s, when they appeared as an angry reaction to what was seen as a tyrannical government bent on crushing all dissent. Sparked most dramatically by the death of 76 Branch Davidians during a 1993 law enforcement siege in Waco, Texas, those who joined the militias also railed against the Democratic Clinton Administration and initiatives like gun control and environmental regulation.


But last year, as noted in the SPLC’s August report, “The Second Wave: Return of the Militias,” a dramatic resurgence in the Patriot movement and its paramilitary wing, the militias, began. Now, the latest SPLC count finds that an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) — a 244% jump.

That is cause for grave concern. Individuals associated with the Patriot movement during its 1990s heyday produced an enormous amount of violence, most dramatically the Oklahoma City bombing that left 168 people dead.


As the movement has exploded, so has the reach of its ideas, aided and abetted by commentators and politicians in the ostensible mainstream. While in the 1990s, the movement got good reviews from a few lawmakers and talk-radio hosts, some of its central ideas today are being plugged by people with far larger audiences like FOX News’ Glenn Beck and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn). Beck, for instance, re-popularized a key Patriot conspiracy theory — the charge that FEMA is secretly running concentration camps — before finally “debunking” it.

Last year also experienced levels of cross-pollination between different sectors of the radical right not seen in years. Nativist activists increasingly adopted the ideas of the Patriots; racist rants against Obama and others coursed through the Patriot movement; and conspiracy theories involving the government appeared in all kinds of right-wing venues. A good example is the upcoming Second Amendment March in Washington, D.C. The website promoting the march is topped by a picture of a colonial militiaman, and key supporters include Larry Pratt, a long-time militia enthusiast with connections to white supremacists, and Richard Mack, a conspiracy-mongering former sheriff associated with the Patriot group Oath Keepers.

What may be most noteworthy about the march, however, is its date — April 19. That is the date of the first shots fired at Lexington in the Revolutionary War. And it is also the anniversary of the fiery end of the government siege in Waco and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.


Filed under Barack Obama, Democrats, FEMA, Fox News, Glenn Beck, Guns, humor, Immigration, movies, parody, politics, Racism, radio, Republicans, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

46 responses to “The United Hates of America

  1. Friend of the court

    sometimes it feels like we are surrounded, up to our butts in nuts.

  2. They are bringing crazy back with a vengeance.

  3. A friend of mine, a Marine who’s been to Iraq and Afghanistan, has nothing good to say about the Oath Keepers.

    When he heard beck promoting them, he said something like (editing out certain choice words), “That [guy] never wore a uniform, never served, and has never been attacked by anything worse than a bad drug trip. Who is he to tell me and mine that we have to join some group to tell us our duty?”

    Oh, yeah … his parents are both from Iran and he’s a practicing Muslim. According to many, including other people that I actually know, he shouldn’t be allowed in the military.

    • i wish the media would ask those who are not as loud what they’re thinking, whether it be the military or just people on the street. instead, they focus on the extremists who represent a very small percentage but who are very loud. the media should be exposing these groups, but not glorifying them in any way.

      • The media is, at best, underfunded. I think it’s more like they’re lazy and ratings-driven.

        Once upon a time, reporters would look for facts and truth. Now, they look for noisy opinions.

        • if they’re underfunded, i suggest they spend less money on their advertising. if they worried more about their content, they wouldn’t have to convince people to watch them.

          • Very good point.

            I think that a part of the media’s problem is that the “liberal media” whine got so loud that news agencies try to prove that they’re “fair and balanced” by putting on both sides of every issue, even if the facts come down on one side or the other.

            That “death panels” got any traction, for example, demonstrates this stupidity. It should have been simply dismissed as factually inaccurate. Gov. Palin should not be getting the press time that she does. She isn’t a legitimate news story, except on the tabloid page beside who’s the father of some model’s baby and what sports figure is doing what with which porn star.

            • ‘zactly! the news has become a cross between entertainment tonight and the national enquirer. cnn used to be a fairly good news channel. their ratings have been going down, because they’re trying to be like faux and msnbc, and they aren’t very good at it. they should go back to being the reliable news channel they used to be and stop apologizing for it.

              • Faux stole the brand with “fair and balanced,” and did somewhat wreck the industry.

                I love NPR because they cover news. I don’t hear live coverage of Tiger Woods’ latest sex scandal, because that’s not news. It might come up on “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” but that’s different.

                CNN was afraid of losing too much market share to Fox, and so they tried to become like Fox.

                It’s like the old saying … Never argue (or, in this case, compete) with an idiot. They’ll drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

  4. Are they the west Virginia cousins of Promise Keepers whose titular head went down in some flaming Old Testament scandal ? Or are they the ones exhorting Africans to punish gays with death ? The Christians running loose in some parts would make Zarkawi nervous. Trying to picture Christ hanging with any of these guys and I simply can’t see it.

  5. “the anti-tax tea party movement is viewed in much more positive terms than either the Democratic or Republican parties, the poll found.”

    Here’s the rub– Obama KEPT the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. So we all have to pay taxes to have infrastructure, education, and basic services.

    I bet some of these anti tax people are all Mad Hatters @ the tea party because they are paying through the nose for medical insurance & expenses.

    Not smart enough to realize if we pool together we get better prices & health care as a human right.

    Oh I suppose it is easier to bitch about taxes & stir people up into a hate group frenzy.

  6. Joanaroo

    The Tea Party Anthem: I am a Republican! But think as a Rethuglican! My IQ is lower than my (penis/bust) size. My brain is between my thighs. I don’t care how many uninsured die. I am a Republican! I am a Patriot! Actually more like a hypocrite! I love my assault rifles and all my guns! I say lets get all the lefties on the run. Being with my militia buddies is so much fun! I am a Republican!

  7. Joanaroo

    Verse 2: I am a Republican! I trust no one! Well-only those white like me! The Obama government wants to take my guns! I believe the liberals created 9-One-One! Because George W. Bush wouldn’t allow terrorists to make him look silly. I am a Tea Partier! There are no people smartier! Actually I’m as smart as mud! I don’t want to pay-for anyone elses life to save. No health care, unemployment pay-no medicaid, that’s socialism. But I’m a Christian and I believe my religion.

  8. Joanaroo

    Last verse (I promise): I am a Republican! I am a moronian! I don’t want stem cell cures. My Christian buddy Kurt Warner says human clones will be the result for sure. That’s good enough for me. I am a Republican! I am a religious man! And if you disagree with me, my gun will answer, see. I don’t believe in helping anyone in need, not with my mon-ey. I believe in God, but only the Republican one. He’s it and if you don’t believe, then TOUGH SHIT!

    • joanaroo, you came back! 😯 (i’m always surprised!)

      bravo on the anthem. i can just picture beanball bunning, dick armey, and all the chinless rethuglican morans dressed up in their uniforms, walking in lockstep, and singing it.

  9. Joanaroo, this is why my wife and I became fans of the Coffee Party on Facebook. They are at least trying to be reasonable.

  10. I heard an anthropoligist on the tube estimate there are 11 million of them. That would be one million shy of US uniform servicemen in WWII. They are heavily armed and they hoard ammo. My neighbor had one as a roomate. He said “Owen has 44 guns and doesn’t like the government”. And now it’s trendy to carry signs saying We didn’t bring guns-this time. All this in a legal climate that endorses Yoo to the level just shy of executing hostages and Eric Prince still retains contracts for his private 22,000 strong division of SS men. The only missing elements are the introduction of the word untermench (they appear in human form-wiki) , a charismatic leader, and an incident.

    • they’re scary as hell. they’ll kill people, and their defense in court will be that they did it to protect everyone else from the _______ (fill in the blank with the -ist) du jour.

  11. Joanaroo

    It just wouldn’t surprise me if all hell breaks out soon somewhere. It seems since especially since the 80s the country has dumbed down to the point that it’s unrecognizable to anyone who believed that people in government were going to do what decent citizens wanted and would work for the common good. The USA is going to turn into a Third World country if it hasn’ already.

    • i don’t know if anything has really changed drastically, or if it’s a matter of the imbecilic media giving these crackpots national forums in which to spew their hate. that makes those who have always felt the same way brave enough to admit it publicly. are there really more of them, or are they just more organized and louder now?

  12. Joanaroo

    If you really think about it, with all the intellectual minds and technology advances in our country, whodathunk we’d still have people in it like the good ol’ boys in “Deliverance” and the Ernest movies! What I meant by the USA as a Third World country is, with many lacking health insurance, the diseases would spread easier, the people who go unimmunized would possibly allow diseases like smallpox and whooping cough to return, and our healthy birth percentage is dropping.

    • that’s the thing. it won’t be until rich people’s kids are catching diseases from poor kids that the rich will stop bitching about paying taxes so that everyone can have health care. anyone who is against health care for all (even undocumented workers 😯 ) is not thinking too far into the future. the quicker people are treated, the less communicable diseases spread.

      • I almost won over a Republican the other day …

        From a pro-life perspective, if we really think that the unborn deserve protection, then should the unborn not also deserve prenatal care?

        I could tell that the guy saw my point, and I think that he wanted to come over to my side, but he fell back on a talking point that it’s too expensive.

        Never mind that the emergency rooms are full of people who aren’t paying, and that that costs us more than health care reform would.

        Sigh …

        • the more people who get sick, the more expensive it will be. if diabetes is caught and treated early, it’s a lot cheaper than paying for it when it becomes dire. the same for kidney disease, liver disease, and even the less dramatic stuff like simple infections. treat them before they become huge problems needing several specialists, and it will be cheaper for everyone. it will also save employers a lot in sick time. there’s really no good argument against national health care, unless you happen to have stock in insurance companies.

  13. Joanaroo

    To continue, I read that the rate of stillborn births has increased in the USA. Then just last night in the news I read that Orrin’s police state wants to charge pregnant women with murder who inadvertently cause a miscarriage. Then homeschooling texts are now omitting any mention of Darwin and evolution. So you know what party and IQ level is taking that publishing over!

    • that’s the reason the red states are dying to get rid of the dept of education. they want people to remain ignorant so they’ll keep voting for imbeciles like inhofe and brownback and jim demented.

      • Friend of the court


        • they’re going to have to start putting pictures on their ballots, like restaurants do with food on the kids’ menus, because it won’t be long before they decide that reading is socialist or liberal or a commie plot.

          • Friend of the court

            the way the schools are being drowned, it seems like they already decided that.

            • now they’re talking about a 4-day school week. 🙄 i guess they think less is more. what do they expect working people to do with their kids on the day they don’t go to school?

              • That problem will be solved when we repeal the minimum wage laws and child-labor laws. Then you can put the kids to work on that extra day.

                If it was good enough for Oliver Twist, you know …

                (Not that they know who he is.)

                • there ya go! the rnc should be calling you any moment to see if you have any other solutions for them. i bet toyota is already accepting applications from the little guys.

  14. Joanaroo

    Nonnie, I love your blog! It’s nice to discuss stuff with like-minded and cool people without the misspelled “you tree-hugging liberuls” tirades from the other side. I’m 48 and never thought our country would see characters like Princess Palin, Mark “I got my Argentina frequent flier miles” Sanford, and also the traitor Dems who are trying to stop everything that makes sense by playing “GOP Lite”!

    • i am very glad you do, joanaroo, and since you’re an official raisinette, here’s a little tip. if you click on where it says Reply in blue under a comment, your answer will appear under the comment you’re replying to. we’re very glad to have you here! 😀

  15. Joanaroo

    Nonnie, I’m using my Mobile Web for now until I get a laptop and with it I’m using the mobile version of your site. On it the pictures aren’t always shown and in the comment section the blue reply doesn’t always show up like it does on some sites. If I use what it calls the full site, it uses the phone memory so quick and knocks me off the site.

    • that’s interesting. i didn’t know, because i don’t even have a laptop, and i only have a mobile phone for emergencies, so it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles.