Wrapped in the Flag: A Personal History of America’s Radical Right (2013) covering the John Birch Society with their rugged individualist slogan of “less government, more responsibility, and — with God’s help — a better world” not withstanding that many people do not agree that their vision is the vision of what a better world would be for the majority of the people. That’s the problem with zealots, they are so sure they are right that they feel an obligation to impose their “right” beliefs on everyone else, facts be damned, or civil rights, or the law. Only what they want is what everyone gets.
Unfortunately for the author, her parents were true Bircher believers. She actually was in Dallas when Kennedy was assassinated. When she talked to her father about it, she reports his response as “Kennedy was a traitor. The Commies killed one of their own.” It is not really very clear to me why someone would buy into all the commie crap in the first place, but I guess McCarthy had really really convinced normal people they were everywhere. She says: “With the help of his arch-right-wing friends, in and out of the John Birch Society, Dad could recite a list of ‘dirty Reds,’ as he called them, who had gotten themselves elected president of the United States. From Franklin Roosevelt to Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy to Jimmy Carter, the Oval Office had seen its share of Commie dupes, Commie sympathizers, and out-and-out Commies.”