6/1 MAGA: John Birch Society 2.0?; Greece’s Endless Austerity w/ Matthew Dallek, Moira Lavelle

June 1, 2023

It’s another EmMajority Report Thursday! She talks to Matthew Dallek, historian and professor of political management at George Washington University, to discuss his recent book Birchers: How the John Birch Society Radicalized the American Right. Then, she speaks to independent reporter Moira Lavelle to discuss her recent reporting in Jacobin on the Greek elections. First, Emma runs through updates on the House passing the debt ceiling deal, reported statements by Trump on his classified document debacle, DeSantis’ continued kowtowing to Trump, fascism in Tennessee and Turkey, Florida’s business strike, and Project Veritas turning against James O’Keefe, also parsing through Georgia’s fascist crackdown on anti-Cop City activists, and the active lies coming out of Brian Kemp’s office. Matthew Dallek then dives right into the history of the John Birch Society’s shaping of the American Right, diving into their birth as a domestic Cold War anti-communist organization intent on following the blueprint of Senator McCarthy and exposing and expelling all communists from US politics. Next, Professor Dallek walks through their tactics that are deeply reflected in the GOP of today, including spreading conspiracy theories, establishing martyrs, and dabbling in anti-democratic and anti-Semitic messaging, before exploring the quintessential “Birchers” in US politics throughout the last half-century, from Pat Buchanan to Rand Paul, and looking at the importance of the Birch Society’s emphasis on local organizing. Moira Lavelle then parses through the recent non-conclusive Greek elections, with no party establishing a majority via election or coalition, first taking on the myriad factors in Greece’s current political disillusionment and desire for stability, before stepping back to analyze the floundering trust for Syriza, the left-wing party most recently elected in 2015, and why their right-wing opponents, New Democracy, are successfully capitalizing on this moment. Wrapping up, Lavelle discusses the likelihood of a New Democracy victory in the coming round of elections, and what that means for a future of continuing austerity and instability in the country.

And in the Fun Half: Emma is joined by Matt Binder as they discuss the ongoing Daily Wire-Elon Musk beef over Twitter’s decision to cancel their premier of Matt Walsh’s transphobic documentary on the app, and the recent despicable backlash to a recent CUNY Law graduate from the NY political and legal establishment. Luke from Florida calls in to discuss why MR doesn’t want to take his guns, Shane from Vancouver dives into the secret second shooter behind Kid Rock’s Bud Light video, and Omar from Austin dives into Kirsten Gillibrand’s recent work on exposing UFOs. The MR Crew also covers the Supreme Court’s recent shocking decision to side with a company suing a union for striking, and the complete rhetorical domination of Ron DeSantis by Donald Trump, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Matthew’s book here: https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/matthew-dallek/birchers/9781668622339/?lens=basic-books

Check out Moira’s piece here: https://jacobin.com/2023/05/greece-general-election-austerity-new-democracy-syriza-mera25-voters/

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