an interesting post from over at EoTW on the whole birther thing, and the cyclical nature of American paranoia, in particular this part, on the John Birch Society (the “Birchers”), and directly applicable to the sort of gross hate-mongering and rabble-rousing happening on the far right these days:
The possibility of violence always lurked just beneath the surface of this allegedly “pathetic” group. If you accuse the president of treason, you are delegitimating the government and inviting the violent fringe to “save” the republic by removing the traitor. Contemporaries of the Birchers understood this. Immediately after President John Kennedy’s assassination, most insiders suspected a right-wing plot. Indeed, Texas businessmen had placed an ad that morning in the Dallas Morning Newsproclaiming JFK to be a communist agent, and a right-wing mob had attacked and spit upon U.N. ambassador Adlai Stevenson in Dallas just weeks earlier.