Monday, June 20, 2011

Tea Partying in Oklahoma, 1949

The mentality that we currently know as the Republican Tea Party has been around in some form or another since the Anti-Masonic Party got rolling in the 1820s. In 1949, the Oklahoma legislator began focusing attention of the dire threat represented by the possible presence of Communists at Oklahoma State University. So they held a hearing about it. Carey McWilliams relates in Witch Hunt: The Revival of Heresy (1950), p. 230:

Eleven members of the staff and faculty, accordingly, appeared before the committee on February 24, 1949. The chairman of the committee, a farmer with a fourth-grade education, conducted the investigation. The first witness, Dr. Lawrence Snyder, dean of the graduate school, was asked: "Where were you borned at? What organizations do you belong to? (The answer: "Only the Rotary Club and that is not secret.") "Do you know anything about Karl Marx and did you ever study his book?"
Let's give that legislator credit; he was more coherent than Sarah Palin probably would have been.

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