The Hunt for Red Menace: - 5

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Goldwater and the True Believers

The first highly-visible post-McCarthy attempt by American nativists to gain a mass following came as part of their support for the 1964 campaign of conservative Sen. Barry Goldwater to gain the Republican Party's presidential nomination. But preparations for that campaign had been long in the making. In the late 1950's and early 1960's a network of nativist anti-communists spread the gospel of the Red Menace through books, magazine articles and workshops. One of the most influential leaders of this movement was Dr. Fred Schwarz and his California-based Christian Anti- Communism Crusade. A tireless lecturer, Schwarz in 1960 authored You Can Trust the Communists (to be Communists) which sold over one million copies. It soon became the secular Bible of the nativists.

The views on intractable godless communism expressed by Schwarz were central themes in three other bestselling books which were used to mobilize support for the 1964 Goldwater campaign. The best known was Phyllis Schlafly's A Choice, Not an Echo which suggested a conspiracy theory in which the Republican Party was secretly controlled by elitist intellectuals dominated by members of the Bilderberger group, whose policies would pave the way for global communist conquest. Schlafly's husband Fred had been a lecturer at Schwartz's local Christian Anti-communism Crusade conferences.

Schlafly elaborate on the theme of the global communist conspiracy and its witting and unwitting domestic allies in a book on military preparedness tailored to and published in support of the Goldwater campaign, The Gravediggers, co-authored with retired Rear Admiral Chester Ward. Ward, a member of the National Strategy Committee of the American Security Council was also a lecturer at the Foreign Policy Research Institute which published much of Kintner's anti-communist strategies. The Gravediggers, showed how current U.S. military strategy and tactics would pave the way for global communist conquest.

Often overlooked because of the publicity surrounding A Choice, Not an Echo (the title became Goldwater's campaign slogan), was the widely-circulated book by John Stormer, None Dare Call it Treason, which outlined how the equivocation of Washington insiders would pave the way for global communist conquest. None Dare Call it Treason sold over seven million copies, making it the largest-selling paperback book of the day.

All of the above-mentioned books were primarily self-published and circulated through word of mouth. Their effect on the U.S. political scene, coupled with an aggressive grassroots organizing campaign, was virtually invisible until the 1964 Republican convention where delegates such as Schlafly and Stormer rallied the Goldwater supporters they had helped organize precinct by precinct. The Goldwater nomination was the high point for the resurgent nativists in the 1960's, and membership in the John Birch Society soared. But if mainstream Republicans were not ready for the full nativist political agenda, neither was the rest of the U.S. electorate, and the collapse of the Goldwater campaign heralded a slow but steady deterioration of public support for domestic anti-communist nativism. Public attention shifted to the problems posed by the growing civil rights movement and the minor irritation of sending a handful of military advisers to an anti-communist skirmish in the small Asian nation called Vietnam.

Throughout the period, private counter-subversion groups continued to operate.

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