A must-read article in this weekend’s Great Fall’s Tribune profiles a new rise of the white supremacy movement in Montana. The movement’s backers aren’t just organizing, they’re seeking their way into mainstream politics.
The TEA Party appears to be holding the door open for them.
TEA Partiers are helping to amplify the voices of extremists like Chuck Baldwin, inviting him to appear at their events and on their radio shows. The Tribune writes of Baldwin:
The Florida transplant to the Flathead has been a Constitution Party presidential candidate, an advocate of militia movements and involved with the Council of Conservative Citizens, which the Southern Poverty Law Center characterizes as a hate group.
“There are some individual activists pretty interested in politics and how you use politics as a way to mainstream your message and line up behind candidates to gain credibility,” McAdam said. “Most are much more interested in trying to create communities that look the way they want, all white all the time.”
To start the process, Baldwin encouraged his entire family and congregation to move to Montana. His son Timothy Baldwin brought his own family too, and immediately sought to launch his political career as part of a slate of TEA Party candidates running for the board of the Flathead Valley Community College.
Baldwin is assisting other hate groups as well, such as the Oath Keepers. The movement has already gotten TEA Party Republicans to put forward their legislative ideas, such as the gold standard, a key goal of the Oath Keepers group in Montana.
It isn’t just TEA Partiers at the legislative level that are carrying water for the fanatics. It’s happening at the Congressional level too. The same opposition to Pell Grants held by extremists groups pops up in the statements of people who used to try to pass themselves off as mainstream politicians, like TEA Party Congressman Denny Rehberg.
Since the TEA and Republican parties appear unwilling or unable to clean these elements out of their own houses, it is left to us to vote them out of office.