By Michael Bryan
I called it. When Bill Johnson was running for the Democratic nomination to Congress in CD8 in 2006, I said:
"We need to call bullshit on this candidate. Bill Johnson isn't a Democratic candidate at all. He's a ploy by extremist racists to inject their hateful invective into the Democratic Primary process to make their xenophobic ranting seem bi-partisan, and thus mainstream. They seek to force the media to frame racial hatred as a force in both party's politics, and not just the shameful underbelly of the GOP. They seek to silence critics in the Democratic Party by rebutting us with the rantings of 'one of our own'.
Bill Johnson isn't one of our own. He's not a 'Traditional Democrat'. He's not a Democrat at all. Apparently, you can get 1430 registered Democrats to sign your petitions if you lie to them and use racist militia members and GOP hate-mongers to circulate your petitions in secret. But they can't be allowed to get a single Democrat to vote for their Trojan candidate due to ignorance or due to our silence."
I didn't actually come out and say that Johnson is a white supremacist racist bag of shit, but I wanted to. Now it turns out that clearly he is exactly that. Apparently, unable to find a home in either major party, Johnson and his ilk have created their own.
Mr. Johnson has crawled back from under his rock to take up the mantel of chairman and spokesperson for the American Third Position Party. I'm not sure if the name, as Johnson claims, refers to the idea of there only being two political positions in American politics, and therefore every other party is referred to as a "third party," or if refers subtly to the Third Reich. Or maybe, they just didn't think it through.
But I don't think it could be a mistake that Nazi sympathizer and racist Charles Lindberg is one of their mascots. I don't recognize the other two featured on their 'Register' and 'Donate' buttons. If you do, please leave a comment.
UPDATE: Sharp-eyed commenter Todd says: "The man with the hat is Madison Grant, who authored one of the most well-known books of scientific racism that Hitler greatly admired."
Here's Johnson's introduction to his party:
The American Third Position want to get ballot qualified in Arizona to run candidates who understand the code word "identity", and Johnson is leading the effort.
"So what?" you might ask. Why shouldn't they be able to run candidates like any other party in Arizona? Why shouldn't I sign their petitions, even if I disagree with them?
That's one view of liberalism: tolerate everything, even the intolerable which is fundamentally hostile to liberal democracy. That's not my view. I believe that existential threats to the fundamental understandings that make liberal democracy possible should be shunned or destroyed. I would no more support the racist program of the Third Position than I would support an American Taliban movement that wanted a fundamentalist Christian government.
Do you support what the Third Position admits wanting in its public platform – let alone what they won't yet admit?
- Forced deportation of all undocumented aliens
- An end to the public school system
- Absolute right of self-defense (i.e. no requirement of proportionality or imminent threat, just blow away anyone on your property)
- Bringing back corporal punishment to prisons
- Make it crime for a political, cultural or religious groups to influence police enforcement (whatever that means, I suspect it is code for not letting people who aren't white question what the police are doing…)
- Reinstitute the protective tariff system of the 19th century and scrap any pretense of free trade
- Abolish unemployment benefits and low income supports such as WIC and MedicAid
- Outlaw the banking system ("make illegal the practice of fractional-reserve banking" is how they put it; the result is making what your local Savings and Loan or Credit Union does, as well as what BofA and Goldmann Sachs does, illegal)
- Finally, and most frighteningly in some ways, they want a foreign policy of "humility and restraint". Remember we got last time we were promised such a thing by a right-wing nut?
In brief, their platform is racism, conspiracy theory, xenophobia, a healthy dose of 19th century Know Nothingism, and a dash of economic primitivism. It would be wrong to call them Nazis, they aren't even sophisticated enough to align themselves with corporate power. They are merely the racist populists who want to create a utopia wherein the white folk put everyone else in their place — at the bottom of the social order.