Back in the 1960s, everybody used to point and laugh at the John Birch Society for being hopelessly deluded right-wing fringe extremist nutcases. No conservative in public life could take them seriously and retain any modicum of respect.
Nowadays, the Bush administration is going in directions that make the John Birchers look mild and reasonable. The Birchers were determined to undo all the social progress made in the '60s and return America to an era of intolerance, authoritarianism, and fear. Bob Jones of Bob Jones University was around during the Bircher times, and was lauded by them, and wouldn’t you know, he’s still around, lending support to George W. Bush. I don’t know if the original John Birch Society still exists even in name, but it sure looks as though the Bircher mentality has taken over the government.
The difference is that in the 1960s they were powerless so everybody could mock them. Now they have excess power and sycophants are tempted to suck up to them.
Speaking of sycophants, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is one of the most subversive texts ever written, and I hope kids today are still reading it. Those in power who hold onto it by deceit should read it to remind themselves what a shaky foundation their power is built on.