Monday night Rachel Maddow embarked on another one of her captivating history lessons that she compellingly intertwines with current events. This lesson (video below) was about Gerald L.K. Smith, a radical right-wing Republican from the 1950’s who championed a political philosophy that he called “Christian Nationalism.” He advanced this doctrine via his “America First” Party.
Sound familiar? Smith’s brand of theocracy was rooted in the American conservativism that appealed to the Ku Klux Klan and other racist hate groups. It espoused fascism and exalted the same sort of totalitarian tyrants that Donald Trump admires so fervently.
Maddow played audio clips of Smith describing his beliefs as “the destiny of America” which he said “must be kept in the hands of our own people.” And if you’re curious about who he means by “our own people,” he cooperatively elaborated saying that “the inspiring dynamic out of which America grew is Christianity,” and that “there would be no real America…if there had been no Christianity.” Then Smith gets into the toxic core of his credo…
“Subversive forces, exploiting sentimental nitwits, are reading into the Constitution a code of conduct which threatens to mongrelize our race, destroy our racial self respect, and enslave the white man. Fight mongrelization and all attempts being made to force the intermixture of the black and white races…Preserve America as a Christian Nation, being conscious of the fact that there is a highly organized campaign to substitute Jewish tradition for Christian tradition.”
Tucker Carlson couldn’t have said it better himself.
Smith’s vile views were an early serving of White nationalism, dripping with Jesus sauce. Maddow noted that the Christian Nationalist rhetoric that Smith articulated in the clip she played was “kind of the mild stuff from him.” It left out…
“…the stuff about the Jews taking over the world, and how Americans need to be Christian Nationalists because only that can stop the worldwide Jewish conspiracy, not to mention all the race mixing. … [Smith] was a virulent, violent racist and anti-Semite, … Which you’d think that would make Christian Nationalism kind of a hard thing for today’s Republicans to try to raise as their new banner.”
You might think that. but then again, you might be QAnon representative, Marjorie Taylor Greene, who recently bragged that…
“Republicans really need to recognize the people they represent, okay? … We need to be the party of nationalism and I’m a Christian, and, I say it proudly: We should be Christian Nationalists.”
Maddow couldn’t help but notice that today’s Republican Party has adopted this deplorable dogma, and that Greene is among the most devoted of its modern adherents. On Tuesday Greene responded to having been featured in Maddow’s segment confessing her commitment to Christian Nationalism. She unleashed a multi-part tweet tantrum that said in part that…
“Rachel Maddow is smearing me with lies about my faith and love for America and trying to connect me to someone I’ve never heard of or know anything about. […] Hopefully, this helps some of you that are brainwashed by liars like Rachel Maddow who by the way has never met me in her entire life and gets paid to lie about me by her hard left employers at MSNBC. What a pitiful way to earn a paycheck.”
First of all, Maddow didn’t lie about Greene. She merely replayed Greene’s own words, a practice that commonly and understandably upsets Republicans. More to the point, since Greene is admitting her ignorance of the past, she should be thanking Maddow for educating her about the historical significance of the repulsive movement she is so proud to be embracing.
Unfortunately, Greene isn’t the only Republican reprising the abhorrent Christian Nationalism of the last century. In fact, it has infected the entirety of the GOP. And it is also rampant on right-wing media, particularly Fox News, where Tucker Carlson has emerged as the spokesman for the movement’s modern day incarnation. So we can expect to hear a lot more about it from these racist cretins, even as they pretend not to know what they themselves are talking about. Which has long been a feature of Republican messaging for decades.
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Given the history of "Christian nationalism" in the U.S. you'd think Republicans would be reluctant to be associated with it. But that is not the case for the Trumpiest Republicans, particularly the Republican nominee for governor of Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano. pic.twitter.com/YqbtJr2whr
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) July 26, 2022
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