"We Are at War": How Militias, Racists and Anti-Semites Found a Home in the Tea Party
Continued from previous page
The guy behind the table is Reuben Walker, who runs a small local bookstore. "Can you tell me exactly why you're selling Mein Kampf?" I ask. "Have you read it?"
"Yes," he answers, seeming startled.
"So you know that it's nothing but an extended screed about how the Jews are plotting to destroy the white race," I say, pulling out my video camera.
"Well -- "
"So, do you believe what he wrote in the -- ?" I begin to ask.
"No," he answers. "You'll notice we have other books out we don't believe in."
He points to the book next to it: Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky, a favorite target of Glenn Beck. It's clear he thinks the two books have something in common. "This is my 'broken books' section," he says. "It's there so you can know what we're up against."
A couple of weeks later I call Walker up at the bookstore, because I realize where this may be coming from: Jonah Goldberg's right-wing treatise, Liberal Fascism, which posits that fascism has always been a left-wing phenomenon. I ask whether he's read Goldberg's book.
"Yes, I have," he says.
"So is that kind of where you coming from on this? So people could be educated on fascism?"
"So where do you see fascism in our current scene?"
"You don't see fascism in our current government?" he asks. "I believe there is some."
"And so you want people to be able to see and identify fascism by going back to the original sources, right?" I ask.
"Definitely. Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it."
Walker assures me that, among the several hundred people at the gathering that night, I was the only one who objected to seeing Mein Kampf for sale. Somehow, that doesn't surprise me.
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David Neiwert is a freelance journalist based in Seattle and the author of five books, including most recently (with John Amato) Over the Cliff: How Obama's Election Drove the American Right Insane . He is also the managing editor of CrooksandLiars.com. and writes for the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch blog.