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January 9, 2024 76 mins
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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Also media. Ah, that sound you just heard, listeners was
me opening up a can of whoop ass on your
sense of emotional well being because it's behind the bastard's
back for the first time in twenty twenty four, which

(00:22):
is statistically gonna be one of the worst years of
all of our lives. So I hope everybody's excited having
a good time feeling happy. Did you like rehearse that
in the mirror? No, No, that all came. I had
a totally different bit to do, Sophie. But then I
realized I hadn't opened my can of Aura Bora herbal
sparkling water. This is cactus rose flavor. Mmmm. Sounds like soap,

(00:45):
but go on, ah, it's tasty. That's a great way
to enjoleep oout me sipping the hillacious year that will
be with your cactus rose water. Yeah, Robert, it'll be
it'll be fine. Everything's fine, It'll be fine. Yeah, be
content for you if you how many bastards will be born?
Bastards we don't even know about who are going to
come around this year? Yeah? Hey, Robert, Sophie, Yes, do

(01:10):
you want to introduce our guest? No? Yes, I'm maybe
perhaps perhaps I will introduce our guest, who is Francesca Fiorentini,
returning beloved guest, host of Habituation Room and partner in
life of Matt Lieb. Everyone's partner that you just said that,

(01:33):
But does that hurt you at all? Oh? No, no, no,
I enjoy Look he's I always live in his shadow,
and it's fine. I'm glad I get some time from myself. No,
of course he First of all, he is a thirsty
mf or who is needy. And every time I get
recognized for anything on the street, he will go to

(01:54):
that person and go, what about me? You recognize me? Love?
I know so good matt leab Dirt. Here so good,
there's so much good matt leab Dirt. But yes, I
love my baby matt Leeb fat Dueb, and we have
a baby together. I also love her. And it's so
good to be here on the first of the year.

(02:15):
I mean not the first, but one of the first
days of the year. It's our first twenty four bastard.
It's several days into the actual year, but this is
the first day that we're recording behind the Bastards, which
legally makes it the only day that's mattered so far
this year, you know, those of you who had important days,
I don't care, and I really don't think this year

(02:36):
could be that bad because you have a live show
coming up. Is that right, Francesca. That's such a great
segue to tell you the hell yeah, before we get started, Everybody,
if you don't know me, you know Matt leeb and
so by association you love me in the podcast The
Situation Room, as Robert just mentioned, I'm going to be
live in San Francisco at SF Sketch Fest on Sunday,
January twenty eighth at seven pm at the Gateway Theater,

(02:58):
and I'm bringing the Daily Zeitgeist co host Miles Gray. So,
oh my gosh, he's gonna be there. People. It'll be
so good, Emma Bigland of the Majority Report. Also for
the like political heads. Damn yeah, it's gonna be It's
gonna be a good show. And Robert of course helps
sell it out. Last year was so fun. Sadly, Robert's

(03:19):
not gonna be there again, but what damn it. I
don't know. Maybe uh, maybe in the future, but yeah,
anyone who's in the Bay come through. Yeah, you're very
familiar with our our dear friend Miles Gray and if
you would like poor info on this, I'm linking in
our episode descriptions speaking of live performances. No, no, speaking

(03:40):
of the worst year that any of us has ever had. Maybe, uh, Francesca,
how do you feel about the Republican Party? Oh? Like,
not really my thing? You know what I mean? Like
I like, I no, just not into it, like Lime's
not doing you know, like I don't. I don't want
anything to do with it. You know, I've never really

(04:01):
tried it, but I don't want to. Yeah, yeah, I'm
a pretty tolerant guy, but I've just I've just gotten
too many death threats from like Republican legislators to people.
I know. Yeah, it's it's it's not my thing either.
But you know what is even worse than the Republican
Party in twenty twenty four. Orange County, California in the

(04:23):
nineteen sixties. What do you know about the OC? Oh? God, Okay,
the OC stands for Orange County. There you go, That's
all I know. No, I feel a lot of like obviously,
there was a show. It's pretty like rich White People drama,

(04:43):
a little bit of red State Maga of California growing
Asian American voter population. I know that lot of a
lot of Asian Americans who vote them. Recently, they fliped
the districts in the OC. YEP. But maybe I'm feeling
like i'me since like this sixties. Yeah yeah, I'm feeling
some retired police officers. I'm feeling some cacake vibes. I'm

(05:05):
feeling it's clansy over there. Yeah, yeah, a little. It's it,
you know, to be fair as you just as you mentioned,
the Orange County has has really turned around recently politically
and is not nearly the kind of Republican stronghold it
used to be, which is great. It is becoming, like,
at least demographically, more of a normal suburb than what

(05:28):
it was during the period of time we're about to
talk about. Which is the uterus from which the Trump
Republican partyest. It's not a US base. Well, it's it's warm,
it's got palm trees. No, it is a past biology
in high school. It's a moldy gym towel in a

(05:49):
men's spa where there's lots of boys talk. As Milania
would say, it's like it's like a mushroom growing on
like that a gym towel. Yeah, Ronald Reagan masturbated it
into a gym sawe and left it in a hot
shower floor in a boys locker room. Yeah, thirty years

(06:10):
or so has nothing to do with this. Okay, Well,
you know, people can describe it however they feel in
their hearts. Although I am I am now more on
board team dirty Gym, but yeah, Orange County, whatever you
however you want to describe it to yourself. The Republican
Party that is we're all dealing with right now, and

(06:30):
the Republican Party that gave us Reagan and everything terrible
that came with Reagan, you know, the birth of the
anti abortion movement, right, the birth of the religious right
as a as a powerful political entity, and the fact
that it has gotten increasingly acceptable for Republican candidates to
talk about having their enemies purged. All of that. The
story of all of that starts in Orange County, and

(06:55):
it heavily involves an Orange County local, a guy named
John Schmidts, who was the kind of the first Trump.
He was a dude who ran for president you haven't
heard of, but who was really the guy playing around
with a lot of very early Trumpist politics, kind of
taking the torch from Goldwater and handing it off. You know,

(07:16):
he didn't actually like Reagan, but a lot of the
crazier shit that came out of Reagan was at least
partially people in the GOP who liked Schmitz or who
at least saw a value in courting his electorate. So
this is a really interesting story. And in order to
really properly talk about the bastardury of John Schmitz, we
have to start with the birth of Orange County, California itself,

(07:38):
because there's a reason why so much of the modern
right was born in Orange County. I'm so fascinating because
it is a mystery to me that you can live
in proximity to a beautiful beach and Disneyland and still
be a miserable piece of shit. Yeah, it really has
something to do with we'll talk about what it's got

(08:00):
something to do with, but you're right, it is like
a lovely place to be a piece of shit at.
Orange County includes about forty miles of sunny beachland, starting
at Seal Beach in the north and extending to San
Clemente down south. If you're you might think of Orange
County as like, if you are from the DFW area
like me, it's a little bit like the Plano to Dallas, right,

(08:22):
and both in terms of like kind of the how
long it takes to get there from the city, you know,
although yeah, both those cities have doug shit traffic, and
in terms of how much more like conservative it is
out there, and also kind of how much less dense
it is, you know, both places and there's a lot
of places like this in the United States are kind
of masses of suburbs. Now there's not as I think

(08:44):
it's a little bit better now certainly than it was
in the sixties, but like not a lot of shared
community spaces like you have in any kind of city,
just by default, because that's the way like dense cities work.
It's where people go to escape cities because they're like,
there's crme, am, I need to live in a mansion,
and then they don't talk to anyone for four straight months,

(09:05):
but rush Limbaugh and they lose their minds. Yeah. Yeah.
So around the turn of the century, this was all
still farmland, right. It was just owned by a few
people who had huge tracts of it, and it had
primarily been used for like grazing cattle before. Right, they
wind up finding a lot of natural gas and stuff
in Orange County, So obviously the oil industry gets the

(09:27):
fuck in there, and there's some guys who make a
bunch of money buying up land for that. And by
the nineteen twenties kind of it was very clear to
people who had money and knew how it worked that like, well, whatever,
we're going to be able to keep getting for this place,
because like ranchland is going to be a lot less
money than we'll get if we parcel it up into
little lots and sell it off to developers to build suburbs. Right,

(09:48):
and this is kind of ahead of the curve, Right,
This isn't the first place where suburbs start developing, but
it's like one of the early places where you start
to get the developments that are going to and kind
of the post war period become like the fame miss
American suburban culture. Right. The strip mall, Yeah, yeah, the
straight the Giants, the endless series of strip malls. That's beautiful, truly, Yeah. Yeah,

(10:10):
it is like a breathtaking natural beast, just like running
by us on the Serengetti of our souls making reminding
us all what the fucking concrete looks like and how
many yeah, oh yeah, yeah, just how dude, Earth's Earth?
Like this is such a corny thing. Do you think,

(10:32):
like like the top soil like tells the other layers
of Earth? How fucking ugly humans made it up there?
You know what I'm saying, Like they're like, you should
see it up here. They got strip malls it is.
I was thinking of moving out mantles kind of boring. No, man,
you want to you don't want to get up here
right now? There's definitely a dirty little group. Yeah, there

(10:55):
is thirty more years they'll get rid of all the buildings.
Yeah yeah, they're all die off. Well we're coming through
the cracks of that concrete. But okay, so right, urban
sprawl yeah yeah, well, I mean it actually starts kind
of separately from the urban sprawl, right, because Los Angeles
isn't nearly as big in the twenties. But yeah, you
get these rich people who start with like beach homes

(11:15):
on the coast, and then a little later in the
thirties or so. Oh no, yeah, probably like the fifties,
like the Irvine Company comes in, they see you know,
there's already there's demand for this land. A bunch of
rich people have houses on it already. There's a lot
of space out here, and it's kind of adjacent to
Los Angeles. Let's start cutting this up into tracts and
selling it to people. Right, This opened up a lot

(11:38):
of a huge amount of high end homes. Right. These
are not the like super affordable, like low wage, middle
wage working class guys they're going for here. They're going
for this big population of white war veterans who were
educated and who were in industries that paid well, and
largely that's going to be the defense industry, right, which

(12:01):
is hugely we'll talk about this a bit more later,
but hugely focused in southern California. So most of these guys, again,
World War two is just in it. A lot of
these guys were veterans, and they would have been veterans
who had, like in a lot of cases, maybe more
technical jobs. But Southern California has and has had military
basis for a while. A lot of training gets done
out near San Diego and had I think in this

(12:23):
point too, And so a bunch of these dudes who
had passed through, they'd gone they'd come from like Bumfuck,
Iowa or something and wound up in southern California and
we're like, well, this is so much better than nine
feet of snow in the winter. This is where I
want to go if I survived the Germans. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
that's that's kind of the start of it, right, It

(12:44):
is crazy. I'm from northern California, and southern California does
have just like like such like random war planes overhead
that you're like, it's the Rose Bowl, Why is there
a war plane like doing very suspicious, weird donuty alien
shit things overhead and so loud. Yeah, that was weird
moving out here. Yeah. Right, I'm just like, what if

(13:06):
I were in the actual war, you know, and I'm
just like, that's normal. That's what I grew up. Yeah.
I didn't even hear that shit grown up in Texas.
Like the number of warplanes that I see I saw
overhead in California, or like showing up at Seattle randomly
and it's just all sailors on the street because it
turns out there's a week for that. I didn't know
these things were factors of life for other people, because

(13:28):
people don't come to the suburbs of Dallas. Did you
kiss one? I mean Fleet Week I would have, but
I never got around to it. An opportunity didn't present it,
so I was too nervous. Yeah. Well, you know there's
still time. All those men in their terrible, terrible uniforms. God,
the Navy uniforms look like shit. Okay, sorry, So you

(13:50):
get these guys, these houses start getting built and whatnot,
and kind of from the start of the OC's development
into a community, power and land there is held almost
entirely by this tiny consortium of tin lands, most of
whom had more than two hundred thousand acres each. So right,
the whole community that exists there today starts off with
like ten guys who just bought up everything back when
it was really cheap. I was like, mister Huntington Beach, Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,

(14:15):
Johnny Huntington Iron Beach. Yeah. They combined their palates Santa
and Anna, Yes, Santa and Anna, right, yeah, their marriage
was a big deal. And of course Johnny and Sino,
the star of the biopic and Sino, yeah, we all
remember that great film. These dudes are all they're all businessmen.

(14:37):
Some of them are in oil too. A lot of
them are in oil to or ranchers. That's a conservative demographic, right,
and they make the decision like, yeah, we'll make more
money off these ranches by like kind of transferring them
into real estate. Empires to really take advantage of the
housing boom. And you know, this kind of explosion in
suburban living after the war, and this boom and home

(15:00):
buying is largely subsidized by the Department of Defense. Right,
there's a BET's a big part of it. If you're
a veteran, and damn near everybody is at this point,
you get mortgage aid and yeah, I want to quote
here from the book Suburban Warriors by Lisa McGirr. Quote.
By nineteen sixty two, defense had become the nation's largest business,
and from nineteen forty six to nineteen sixty five, sixty
two percent of the federal budget went to defense. These

(15:22):
huge expenditures catalyzed the affluent society and directly and indirectedly
affected the lives of every American. Well. Defense money drove
national economic growth. The regions that profited most directly were
the Sun Belt, South and West, and the biggest beneficiary
was southern California. And yeah, I don't know. Again, California
has this like kind of driven by a lot of

(15:43):
conservative media reputations being hippie land, but like it's where
we make our killing instruments to a significant extent, right,
it's where we train our soldiers. My question is, what
about black veterans? Right? Was this cause? Like why aren't
there I mean, there's a Latino in a black bas
population in oc but this sounds like very white. Well

(16:04):
that's a great question. And there's no black veterans because
they're not allowed to buy homes there. Oh easy, simple, Yeah,
because it's simply not allowed. There's gonna be a bunch
of cases where even like you know, Korean American fans
of Vietnamese American families, there's this because this region is
so conservative. After the Vietnam War, ins a bunch of

(16:25):
Vietnamese citizens who had been pro us, Right, we ship
a bunch of those people back over here and give
them citizenship. It's like one of the things that kind
of happens at the end of the war. And when
that happens, there's this big initial celebration and so and
then they're like, well, you know, we've fought against the communists,
we'll move into the super anti communist, right wing neighborhood,

(16:45):
and all those guys are like, oh, but we don't
want you here, No, absolutely not. And they you know,
they still like like build a community for themselves there
to a significant extent. It's just there's a there's a
great deal of opposition. Oh yeah, not the nice bluffs.
No no, no, it's like a whole it's a whole deal.
So yeah, Southern California broadly speaking, is going to get

(17:08):
most of like the largest single chunk of the money
in defense contracts that comes during like the entirety of
the Cold War, Like that is a huge amount of
what this country spins on defense in that period just
all gets hoovered up by Southern California. And most of
the people working in the companies that are doing the hoovering,
a lot of them live in Southern California. So before

(17:31):
the war had started, defense basically had not been an
industry in Orange County, whereas by nineteen fifty there's about
thirty one thousand workers like in the defense industry who
live just in Orange County, you know, And this is not, like,
to be fair, that's not the only place in southern
California where there's a lot of defense money. There's a
lot of these companies will have their headquarters in Los Angeles.

(17:53):
LA gets like like like a lot of building in
LA basically happens in order to serve the defense industry
in the post war period. And yeah, a lot of
the most affluent of these guys, and many of them
may work in LA because that's where the companies are headquartered,
but they live in Orange County. Are are these defense
industry contractors, and especially like the very well educated ones,

(18:15):
the guys making rockets and guidance systems and optics and stuff,
the guys making like space weapons. Right that a lot
of those dudes wind up living in and around Orange
County because the houses are bigger and nicer and they
can afford them. From nineteen forty to nineteen sixty, the
county population grew by roughly three hundred and eighty five percent.
So that's how quickly this place explodes just because of

(18:38):
the end of World War II, in the birth of
the Cold War. And it's always been conservative here as
long as there has been any kind of community or
in Orange County, it's always been conservative. In the nineteen
twenties when the second KKK kind of starts showing up
in the United States, two of the largest Yeah, oh yeah, no,
you were very very prescient on that. The two biggest

(18:59):
counties in californ for clan membership are Anaheim and Fullerton,
which yeah, yeah, I don't have trouble seeing that. I'm
afraid it's also a stronghold for the temperance movement. This
is like the part of California that wants to ban
drinking the most, which I get it, you wouldn't that
shit don't fly in northern California. No, it's also you know,

(19:22):
do you know there's the John Wayne Airport here Robert,
which is, yeah, so perfect because we did that series
on John Wayne, and I was like, ah, yeah, I
know a thing or two about that psycho, a whole deserter.
I do prefer his airport to lax. But yes, I
don't know, dude. I was there and it was a zoo.

(19:42):
I was like, yet me, let me go out of
a like a smaller airport. It'll be chiller. No, no no, no,
it was fucking crazy. It's just less space. But anyway,
I digress. Well, it's been a while since i've flown there. See,
I like lax, but I'm the only one. Yeah, yeah
you are, Yeah, yes, indeed, I'm like it's just yeah.
So again, one of the things you have to remember

(20:03):
here is that in this post war period, Southern California
is not a cool place for hippies and like space
cadets and left wing type people, right, Like, that's not
what it's thought of at all. It's one of the
most conservative regions in the country at the turn of
the century. Huntington Beach in the twenties was advertised as
a town where quote there are no saloons or drinking,

(20:24):
and Lisa mcger writes that there were also incredibly strong
social norms in the region and laws against any kind
of sexual behavior. Quote in nearby Long Beach in the twenties,
ordinances forbade caresses hugging, fondling, embracing, kissing, or wrestling with
any person or persons of the opposite sex in or
upon or near any public park, avenue, Court Street, or
any other public place, which I feel like that means

(20:48):
you could embrace or fondle someone of the same sex. Yeah,
I feel like a lot of Huntington Beach magachuds really
took that to heart and definitely wrestle and fondle one
another on the beach and caress each other. But it's like,
you know, no homo or whatever. Yeah, but yeah, that's
what I know about Huntington Beach. It was just like

(21:08):
when Trump won, was like, oh wow, again, you can
live in a beautiful place, have access to a beach
and still somehow think that immigrants at destroying the country. Yeah. Yeah,
just a bunch of bunch of angry men with faces
as red as a California sunset. Awful. But if you're

(21:29):
if you're heavily invested in creatine like me, it's also like,
at least you know you're going to be able to
retire right off all that sweet sweet creatine money are
putting it into the economy. So it's a part of
the country with a lot of moral busy bodies from
a pretty earlier period. And in fact, this kind of
southern California in the area that's going to become known

(21:51):
as Orange County, like I mean that it is the county,
but that it's going to become known in pop culture
is Orange County actually has one of the highest ratios
of churches or capita of any place in the country,
like this is the most Jesusist chunk of the country
in that period of time. Pretty much. There's not many
places that beat it. And it's actually, I don't think
a lot of people know this. It's the literal birthplace

(22:13):
of fundamentalist Christianity, because modern Fundamentalist Christianity comes out of
a series of essays titled The Fundamentals A Testimony to
the Truth that had been published from nineteen ten to
nineteen fifteen at the behest of a California oil company
founder named Lyman Stewart who lives in Orange County. Nice, right,

(22:34):
I see what I'm saying. Like California, Yeah, true, truly,
NorCal number one. And secondly, it's not a blue state.
It's not like there aren't a bunch of liberals here.
We have these parts and I used to think it
was just east of the Five, you know, but it's
west of the Five too. Again in these beautiful, beautiful areas.

(22:55):
God damn it. Really Okay, okay, you often get this
whole belief, yeah, that that California has always kind of
been this progressive part of the country, and it has.
It's just there's the most people here, so it does
the most of everything, and it is also one of
the most conservative states in the country and always has.
You guys know this used to things. That's cool. No, no, yeah, yeah,

(23:17):
there's like forty something million people. You can do two things.
It's true, it's true. Yeah. So these guys, these fundamentalists,
you know, who are kind of basing a lot of
their their beliefs and kind of political organizing, are the
ideas in this These series of essays are kind of
characterized with it. There's this hatred of the Catholic Church,

(23:39):
which used to be a real big thing in US politics.
There's this hatred of socialism, which is a much newer
concept at the time, but they're very angry about it. Mormonism.
There are very anti Mormon and they also were really
pissed that people were teaching Darwinism. Right, So you can
see where again abortion is not that much of an
issue for them yet, but you can see this hatred

(24:02):
of evolution, of science, of socialism that's all coming together
and coming out of this period in like an organized way.
Where did the hatred of Mormonism go? Like, where did
that happen? Yeah? I feel like everything else got its
own little war, but like what about the white on
white war, Like you know, like when are we going
to see that? Or Mormons are just too nice you
don't want to fight them. Yeah, I mean they they
are generally very polite. I think it does. It is there,

(24:26):
It is somewhere what present if you find when you
find like really hardcore Southern Baptists and stuff, like a
lot of them have very nasty things to say about Mormons.
I think it's just less of a thing because people
who are like extreme Christians and conservative feel more under
siege today and they know that the Mormons are basically

(24:48):
in agreement with them on there, So then may think
those people are going to hell, and in fact do,
but they'll caucus with them. You know. It's kind of
thea's always been better. They're not under siege. They just
have a greater imagination now because somehow demographic demographic shifts
blah blah, Yes exactly the woke Disney movies, which is

(25:09):
in Orange County. All right, so take it up with Yeah,
they're going to be these are the descendants of these
people are going to be protesting the new the fact
that like, uh, what is it the song of the
South Ride was terminated at Disneyland. It's been replaced by
The Princess and the Frog, which stars a black princess.
Like these are the people who are going to be

(25:31):
protesting the opening of that because it's gone woke. Yeah,
I just I'm thinking of how funny it would be
if like you get all these you get these these
protests that that tend to be seen as more left wing,
where people are doing stuff like having like like a
fake you know, everyone lies down and pretends to be
dead right to protest so horrible war crime happening in

(25:51):
Gaza or something. I'm imagining those same tactics being used
by guys who are angry that the Song of the
South Ride has got You've got a bunch of dudes
in to die in in front of them. They're all
in black faces and the Frog ride all of them
in black. Absolutely yeah, no, they this is in honor
of my favorite racist cartoon. They've got all their little

(26:12):
like Disney mugs waiting for a refill. They're protesting the
fact that like, yeah, wasn't one of on the the
Jungle Cruise or whatever it was, like the the that ride,
Like I guess one of the trader Sam or one
of the like you know, voodoo traders got also taken out.
They're gonna be dressed as them. It'll be it'll be good.
It's like your grandfather foun a fucking war. This is

(26:34):
this is your shit, is what you're doing now. But yes,
I guess we'll see what they're doing in a couple
of years. But during the Great Depression World War two,
OC voters, you know, they go for FDR like everybody else.
There is this period of time where like things are
really bad and a Democrat gets elected, but they vote

(26:55):
for a Republican again in nineteen forty, and they keep
doing so for three quarter of a century afterwards, right,
And you know a big part of this is that
after nineteen forty, which is when the region grows in
that next twenty years again three hundred and eighty five percent,
all of the new people coming in pretty much are wealthy, right,
or at least comparatively wealthy right to their predecessors moving

(27:17):
into the area. They're these people who have gotten cushy
jobs in the new tech industry basically, which is very
defense focused at this point, and they're all flooding these
these increasingly rapidly built homes. We start to get some
real luminaries and the conservative movement out of southern out
of Orange County in an early era. One of your
favorite guys, you were just talking about how much you

(27:39):
miss him as president, your Belinda presidential future presidential candidate,
Richard Nixon, who gets voted into office in nineteen forty
six into Congress by the good people of Orange County
is from the OC. Yeah, he's from the OC. He's
from your Belinda. Yeah, oh god, yeah, yeah, yeah, that's

(28:00):
Dick Nixon. Baby, he's like a southern California boy. He
grows up when it's much more rule rural. But yeah,
god damn it. It's a little bit like the way
that like Stephen Miller, although Steven Miller's from like La,
Like Steven Miller makes me sense. He grew up like
Santa Monica or some shit. Yeah, yeah, Steve Miller does
not make sense. But uh but yeah, Nixon very much
makes sense. Also, just born with like that old Nixon face,

(28:23):
Like he came out looking exactly like he does. What
a hero, What a fucking hero? Yeah yeah. So culturally
it's just also no experience with the outside world, especially
because the outside world in every direction is very isolating,
is just as conservative and white but again beautiful. But
so it's it's like it's like two nice, you gotta

(28:45):
have an enemy. It is. It is like isolated. It
this is like the suburbs. There's not nearly the same
kind of connectivity people have through technology. And a lot
of these guys are people who do they do their
term of service. They're like, Wow, the world's fucking scary.
Let me go hide and at one pretty place and
make missiles for the rest of my life. That's what's
gonna That's what I'm gonna do. You know, Like that

(29:06):
really is for a lot of these guys more or
less the path that they take. So, yeah, Dick Nixon
comes out of Orange County. He runs for Congress as
an anti communist right in nineteen fifty. Nixon, you know,
pairs up with Joe McCarthy and you know, it's good
good for him as a as a candidate, right and

(29:28):
endears him to the voters. It starts to provide him
with like a base of popularity and whatnot. You know,
Nixon's going to build his career on attacking communists and
his alignment with Joe McCarthy to a very significant extent,
and it's too early for it to work in nineteen
sixty in part because he is Dick Nixon and he
is running against John F. Kennedy and that's just not

(29:49):
going to work for him, even though he's a Catholic.
Though he's a Catholic. Yeah, we vote one of those
that really pisses off the Orange County people, right, BAF.
So we put a papist in, This is not part
of our fundamental Yeah, speaking of papists, Francesca, how do
you feel about papistry? Do you think we can trust
the papists? Do you think that Catholics are an inherent

(30:13):
third column in our society waiting to sell us out
to the Vatican? I mean yes, I mean the Biden
crime family is very much in bed with the inner
workings of the Vatican. I don't know when you say
papistry though I never say that word, but I have
gotten past my mind is like the papistry is like

(30:35):
what happens when you get a pap smear, Like I'm
just taking in this beautiful papistry of your you know,
cervix is how I feel, or like if you're a
really good gynecologist. You practice papistry. Yeah, I'm imagining some
very like confused young Nazi both like listening to this

(30:56):
podcast and reading a book about pap smears and then
carrying out attack that makes no sense to anybody afterwards.
Don't wish that? Like, Hey, listeners, are you a young
confused Nazi? Listen to Behind the Bastards? Well, that's I
can't imagine a better thing to lead into ADS with. Great,

(31:24):
We're back. Sophie's gonna have fun editing that last throw
to ads. I'm not doing it. I'm leaving it as is.
I enjoyed it. Oh oh wow, okay, well perfect, no notes, listeners,
check out my LinkedIn the joy that it brought Francesca
to look on her face. I'm not cutting that shit. Okay.

(31:46):
So Orange Countiers they vote for Nixon in forty six.
They like McCarthy when he's doing his thing, but they're
not really fans of Nixon by the time he runs
for president against Kennedy, right, in part because you know,
Nixon is he's come down as like our political boogeyman, right,
and he was a terrible, terrible monster, but he, like Nixon,

(32:09):
is the guy later in his career who will like
hang out and be friends with Mao. Right, because he
recognizes the geopolitical benefit of the US being aligned with
China against the USSR right, That's why he does it.
I'm not saying he's doing this as a good person,
but it's like a rational political move that he makes,
whereas these Orange County guys are saying, like, no, we
need to all communists are working together to destroy capitalism,

(32:33):
and we should just keep building more missiles to kill
them all rather than trying to build like economic and
political agreements that include these states. Right. It just makes
me think of like when Trump met with Kim Jong
un with like no pretext, no promises, nothing, just because
he's like I'm a strong man, Like you know, you idiot,
Like anyone could have done that. You got played, and

(32:53):
yet we're just not supposed to. Like if it were
anyone else would have done that, the right would have
freaked the fuck out. This is what Orange County worked for,
and you're throwing that all away. It is interesting that
like you're able to get away with that if you're Trump,
because they just can't like hate the guy, and Trump's
willing to do it just because he does not come
out of Conservatism as a movement, right, Like, he didn't

(33:17):
really im bite any of this propaganda. He was just
looking for a place where he could fit and grow
like a mold. Speaking of the Yeah, the Jim rag
or whatever it is. Speaking of Ronald Reagan's cum sock. Yes, yes, Sophie,
can we talk to the merch people about that? I
feel like that's a that's a branded that's a branded item. No, okay, Well, Sophie,

(33:40):
I bought a fifty gallon drum of Ronald Reagan's preserved seamen.
But I guess I'll have to find a different use
for that, you know what. I think it'll be fine. Yeah,
let me know what you decided to use that for. Yeah,
I'm just going to drive through Florida and out those
little cups you get it, like a Sam's ferm me tire.

(34:04):
We could retire off this sperm. Yeah. I like. I
like the idea that someone's doing because you know, the
IDF is doing that to soldiers who are killed. Now
the what is it? The semen something something should seeman astraction,
something awful, But that that's oh god, oh they're gonna
do that to Trump. Oh, I'm sorry, Robert, but they're

(34:26):
gonna do it to Trump. They're gonna you know, yes,
what if they do it to Trump? Honestly, it would
be kind of funny. So let's I think it's I
think it's fine. I think it's fine. Go ahead, do it.
Have his babies in the future? Will Trump at Dad?
You're the only thing he hasn't sold of his But

(34:46):
how much is it come? That's the future for him? Yeah.
So these guys in Orange County, you know Nixon, they
love him for a while and then they like feel
betrayed by him because he just kind of does things
that are rational and not purely based on reactionary hatred,
and that really pisses them off. A bunch of these
pissed off, insane business leaders in Orange County formed the

(35:09):
Better American Foundation, And this had actually been formed a
bit earlier, but it kind of after, you know, the
Cold War really get started in earnest they turned it
into this like civilian spy agency where they're building these
dossiers on every identified Communist in the area. And when
I say the era, I mean in Los Angeles, like

(35:30):
and it's down from like Hollywood actors and stuff who
actually were members of the Communist Party or like writers
to just like like plumbers and shit that somebody thinks
is a communist and sends these guys a letter being like,
here's why I think this man, my neighbor's a communist.
I saw him wearing a red shirt one time. So
put him on your murder. You know one of the comics,

(35:54):
he had a sickle and a hammer. Yeah, he's the handyman,
you dumb ass. No, but there was a that's the
communist sign. That is it is literally that dumb and
like lazy. Right. It's not a good database, but it's
taken seriously by the major law enforcement agency in the area.
The LAPD partners with these guys to use their records,

(36:17):
and it's because one of the things these people are
keeping track of legitimately is labor organizers. One of the
reasons why is Orange County. There are a lot of
farms in the area. Those farms are worked primarily by
Mexican migrants and a lot of folks. Folks would periodically
come in and try to organize those workers right to
get them into a union so that they were not
exploited to the same extent, and that would get these

(36:40):
guys on a list, and that one way or the
other is going to get sheriff's deputy or something on
your ass, and then it's probably not going to end
super well for you. Right, Like, there's the police kind
of partner with these folks in this mutually beneficial you know,
they get busts and stuff and people to go fuck with.
And you know, these business leaders in Orange County get
rid of some of their problem, right, and then they

(37:01):
went to go pick their own grapes obviously, just you know,
because they wanted to be ideologically you know, in sane
we're going to do that. Farming doesn't mean actually harvesting food.
It just means sitting on your porch making a lot
of money. Skulls of those who try to earn a living. Yeah,
being incredibly angry at all times about the idea of

(37:21):
Martin Luther King junior. Just pissing yourself with rage. Now
we're talking about a lot of social conservatism here so far.
But obviously, you know, a huge amount of this, especially
the anti communism, comes out of economic conservatism, which is
why you get this really interesting early marriage in southern
California in the fifties of hardline libertarian economic theory, right,

(37:46):
the stuff that's going to really get a lot more
prominent and actually get a lot of time in the
sun under Reagan. And kind of ever since, one way
or the other, you have that kind of merging with
social conservatism for the first time, right, because while you
do have a huge number of churches here, you also
have a lot of these like super tech oriented engineers
who may be like socially may or may not be

(38:08):
socially conservative, but are extremely their libertarians, right, And so
they don't, you know, they'll partner with these religious wackos
that they may not like, may think are ignorant because
they don't want to pay any money in taxes. They
hate the idea that somebody might use a road that
their tax dollars went towards. Sure, so that merger, which
is absolutely a critical part of their Republican Party today

(38:30):
and ever since, that merger starts in Orange County. And
I'm going to quote from Suburban Warriors again by mcghear
Leonard Reed, who in nineteen forty five would organize the
Foundation for Economic Education and Institution devoted to promulgating the
message of free market, private property, and the moral principles
which underlie these concepts. Converted to libertarianism during his tenure
as the manager of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce

(38:52):
in the nineteen thirties and forties. Reed had been influenced
by William C. Bulendor who was then vice president of
the Southern California Edison Company and a board member of
Spiritual Mobilization, a conservative group of Los Angeles businessmen and clergymen,
and also in nineteen fifty nine. In nineteen sixty was
one of twenty five to thirty prominent businessmen invited by
Robert Welch to organize the John Birch Society on the

(39:14):
Pacific Coast. Great, so that's a lot of heavy hitters
like that. This is all coming out of Southern California,
a huge amount of this. Yeah, yeah, I'm mad. I
even went to Disneyland. Yeah fuck it. Yeah. The next
time I see a steamboat Willie costume, I'm just gonna
kick him right in the ass. Absolutely, that's what he deserves.
That's my promise. Those tros are really good though. Yeah. Yeah,

(39:37):
but you'r s is public domain, motherfucker. No, honestly, hmm,
what I run on to go off about Disneyland. But
this is wild. So here's the question. Is it it's
sort of a convergence of interest. Is it It's like, Ooh,
we can use fake you know, religiosity and morals to
cover for our blind greed and like desire to like

(40:01):
not pay anything in taxes like that? Or is it
I'm religious and I also am wealthy and don't want
to pay anything in taxes. Therefore I'm going to add
to my religion libertarianism as part of my religion, like
or is it just kind of chicking into the egg
conversation where they both converted at the same time. It's
interesting again, this is another thing you've kind of predicted

(40:23):
because it is. It is very much a factor of
let me graft this weirdly like this weirdly libertarian capitalist
economic theory onto my religion. Because another thing that is
later going to come out of Southern California that's a
product of Orange County in a lot of ways is
prosperity gospel, Christianity. I thought it was a Florida will come.

(40:43):
Florida plays their role, but a huge amount of that
shit comes out of southern California. That's a that is
a major center of like where kind of the prosperity
gospel comes together as like a concept is the OC.
So we're rich because God wanted us to be, Yeah, exactly.
And you can just pray for money, but also it
helps if you send several thousand of it right here,

(41:06):
don't pay taxes. That's less money than you could send
to my scam church that buys me a plane. Jesus
actually didn't really help the poor. His first instinct was ill, gross,
do you even go here? Yeah, but then he had to.
Jesus sold the poor makeup that had a seven hundred
percent markup that he bought on an installment plan. So now, again,

(41:28):
while we're talking about all this and all this stuff
that is very common, I'm on the right right now
that starts in Orange County. That is not the mainstream
conservative movement at this period of time. And the best
evidence for that is that a guy who has become
hated in Orange County, Richard Nixon, wins the presidency. You
know that, like that is a thing that is eventually

(41:49):
going to happen, right, and not that far much longer
in here, right in like the late sixties and so
while this stuff is starting to take off and take
holden is eventually going to spread County very much. Is
kind of weird. Right on a national level. It's not
the only place that's this conservative, but it's character of
conservatism is kind of unique. And that's also going to

(42:10):
contribute to this sense of isolation that we're talking about
right where this is. This is really it's like a
petri dish that you've added ingredients to and you're keeping
it away from the ret and just seeing what grows
there before you dump it into the tank. Which again,
that's that moment is is Ronald Reagan, Right, So yeah,
one of the things that's going to become an early
hobgoblin of the Republican Party. And you know, the right

(42:33):
wing movement in Orange County is the ACLU, and this
causes a problem. On June twenty fourth of nineteen sixty,
there's this Anaheim resident John Devorman, who is kind of
one of the rare progressives in the area, and he
is a member of the ACLU and also an elected
member of the school board. Right, so these guys do

(42:56):
not like the ACLU. They think it is a communist organization.
They think anyone in it is a communist civil liberties Yeah, yes,
Like so these guys love McCarthyism. And one of the
things that happens as a result of McCarthy and the
House Committee on American Activities is, you know huac is.
You get a number of state committees on un American activities,

(43:19):
and California has one. It is beloved by these Orange
County businessmen. They use it a lot in order to
harass again, like union organizers and stuff that they view
as enemies. Devorman, as a progressive, wants to abolish it.
So he hosts a meeting at his house of the ACLU,
and a bunch of you know, there's a gathering. People
give speeches about why they need to remove this thing,

(43:40):
about how to organize to do it, and it kind
of becomes a local story that like this dude invited
an acl you meeting at his fucking house. These communists,
you're holding meetings and are sanctuary of Orange County. And
I'm going to quote from suburban warriors here. The response
was swift and forceful. Angry neighbors denounced Worman for importing

(44:01):
communist ideas into their suburban enclave. Heeding their neighbor's call.
Citizens whose lives had previously revolved around work, church, and
family became involved in a contentious legal battle. I mean,
and this is all like a reaction, as you mentioned
the MLK thing, Like, this is just reactions to the
civil rights movement. This is just like, yeah, the civil
rights movement is really kicking off. Yes, exactly, this is

(44:22):
let's flee people who want full like yes, to be
treated equally, full citizenship, to not be barred from Yeah,
they're voting the ballot box all that shit. That's just
all this is. It's like because you're like, where does
this communism stuff come from? Oh, it's just your reaction.
It's just the white reaction to the black civil rights movement. Yeah, yeah,

(44:44):
that's all that this is here. And Devorman is unfortunately,
he's the kind of dude who's like made in a
lab to piss off right wingers. Right. He was born
in New York, he went to Yale. He was a
lifelong progressive and as a bonus, was also Jewish. So
these guys like, once they get a load of this guy,
they are like, oh, fuck, this dude lives here. This
dude's on the school board. Of course, it turns out

(45:07):
he's been called up by the California Committee on un
American Activities before, and he had on principle refused to
say if he'd ever been a communist or not. So
within days there's like newsletters going around claiming this guy
is a trained Communist agent who has infiltrated Orange Counties
and he's on the school board. He's gonna groom our kids,

(45:27):
you know, like it's it's it's this is not an
unfamiliar thing today. Tail is old as fucking time. And
it's the same sort of like this or as old
as this, and it's the same sort of like yeah,
anti semitic, like true anti semitic trope of like yeah,
it's the Jews who are bringing in the migrants and
giving black people rights. Same same stuff, same stuff. Yeah.

(45:50):
And the story of how people find out that this
guy has held an ACLU meeting at his house is
really interesting. It all comes down to this dude named
James Wallace, who very very conservative and is also a
production engineer at Auto Netics. You probably haven't heard of
Auto Neetics, but they are the people who built all
of the navigation systems for our ICBMs, like if you

(46:12):
want a nuke to go kill a specific city, you
hired James Wallace to help make it happen, right, Like
he's one of these guys. He's a production engineer at
this company that like that's what they do. So and
he has decides he's got some free time from planning
for the apocalypse, and he blazes a trail that right
wing activists like James O'Keefe would follow for decades. He

(46:34):
blows up and infiltrates the ACLU meeting, right Like he
does this, so I'm this conservative sitting in there. I'm
taking notes, right, And then he writes a letter to
the local newspaper where he talks about what he saw
and describes the ACLU rep as a trader and writes,
I wonder what we would have done in nineteen forty
two if mister Devorman had a German American booned meeting

(46:56):
at his house. And it's like, man, I know in
nineteen forty two, I think I know where you would
have been. Yeah, honestly, but that's the other thing that
booned meeting exactly. No, I don't know. It's wild to
meet that these descendants of I guess world War two
vets and heroes are just echoing, not like they're creating them.

(47:17):
Basically American Nazi movement, right, or a version of a
white nationalist movement, which you know, staple of it being
anti communist or saying you're anti communists. It is extra
messed up to accuse a Jewish man of wanting to
start a German American booned meeting in the nineteen forties
all the time. Yeah, that is ooh, that's dark. Yeah.

(47:43):
So in short order, there's mobs showing up at school
board meetings where Devorman is going to be present, right,
and they're just kind of shouting down anyone trying to
accomplish anything, like whenever they're trying to like actually do
the school board shit, they're yelling at Dorman being like,
were you ever a member of the Communist Party? Where
you ever remember the Communist Party? Eventually his colleagues are like,

(48:04):
you're not allowed to be both an ACO you member
and a school board member. And he was censured and
forced into a recall. Gee. Now the head of the
recall effort is another aerospace industry employee, an engineer named
Dixon Miles. He worked at Northonyx now I don't think
you've you probably haven't heard of Northronics. Uh no, what else?

(48:25):
What other horrible machine of death that they create? I
love all this. The name is changed a little over
the years, you know them better today is Northrop Grummen.
There we go, there we are. Yeah, so this is
like a Northrop Grumman guy. Right. He called the efforts
to end a government committee that existed primarily to destroy lives,
this Unamerican Activities Committee. He calls the attempt to take

(48:47):
it down a threat to our heritage, our beautiful heritage
of holding committees to destroy people who vote differently. No,
And then also like that's the other thing that's so
fucking like the dissonance is so deafening in this story
and this origin story of like the modern right because
of the way they I mean, we should have said

(49:08):
this earlier. But like, these are supposedly religious people who
are creating weapons of like death every single day, and
there's no again, there is no contradiction in their minds.
And yeah, and then again the same shit where it's
like this guy's like, hey, we have this committee who
is kind of terrorizing our community in different ways and

(49:29):
interrogating us. We should probably have some sort of sovereignty,
we shouldn't be subject to this kind of surveillance. And
they're like, nah, you like, yeah, it's just it's just
the same fucking like projection, the acl use the one. Yeah,
they're trying to take away our freedom to take away
other people's freedom, which is what it all comes down to.

(49:50):
It comes down and this successful effort to force Vormen
off the school board is a catalyzing moment for Orange
County conservatives who had always been dicks. Right, These people
had been shitty people for a spell, but they also
had never felt like they were organized together into any
like cohesive political whole. Right, there's this attitude that like, well,

(50:10):
you know, we're all pretty conservative here. None of us
like communism, we don't accept in our community. But now
they realize how many of them there are who are
that angry about the state of the world. And again,
the civil rights movement is a big part of this,
and it gives them this sense of power. You know, again,
this is not a thing that's going to be alien
to anyone who's been paying attention in the last few years.
So it turns out that as we've kind of been

(50:31):
making The case for the set of unique coincidences that
formed Orange County in its early stages was basically tailor
made to create explosion of paranoid people with no community
connections beyond those geared towards expressing fear or anger at
imagined political enemies. Right, it's just a land of Karens,
a rolling, rolling hills of Karens. It's mostly houses. Everything

(50:54):
is like very far apart from any spaces where people
are going to like gather, you know, outside of households regularly.
Basically all of the public space in the county has
been shopped up and sold to developers at this point,
which has made very clear there's a good passage in
suburban warriors about this. A segment of its middle class
found a sense of community in the politics and social
interaction preferred by local businessmen, right wing ideologues, and conservative

(51:17):
church leaders. Thus, one woman said of conservative activism, it
became a social thing. Much of the county followed the
planned sprawl model of development. This led to chaotic spatial arrangements,
with one track developed after another. Streets were bisected by
new housing tracts, increasing a perception of discontinuity and chaos.
This form of growth created what one may term free

(51:37):
enterprise cities, with a strong emphasis on private development and
growth and little regard for public or community spaces. By
neglecting public space in favor of growth, such arrangements weakened
the sense of community. In fact, even the existing central
spaces of the old downtowns were undermined in favor of convenience, privacy,
and shopping malls. The most extreme result of this pro
growth attitude was the eventual demolition of the old downtown

(51:59):
city centre and Ana him to make loom for development.
So they just they just blast everything that isn't a
single family dwelling. Basically they knew get and pave it.
And this is by the way, this is where kind
of a trail is blazes, like the first place where
Americans are building developments and walling them off from each
other in like an organized way, like it happens in

(52:21):
New York too, kind of in a contemporaneous period. You
get pieces of that, but like you get this, it
starts in Orange County with these old folks homes right
where you basically have this is a retirement community. They're
not like old folks homes like homes for retired people
that are all part of a community that they like
wall and gate off in order to like because these
people are scared of everything. Yeah, yeah, it's like who

(52:43):
it's definitely I've the times I've been to the OC
is like, who are you trying to keep out here?
Because there's just other gated communities? Like are you are there?
Is this some kind of like you know warriors like
fight you know, gang gated community, gang situation because that'd
be tight, But like, I literally don't know who you're

(53:04):
keeping out anyone who like you can't even walk here,
like there are no sidewalks. Yeah, yeah, which is I mean,
all of that is part of why it is the
way it is there, Right, These are the geography and
the development makes these very isolating places. Also, nobody comes
from here. Your whole family, like generations of it, doesn't

(53:26):
live in Orange County, right, you moved here from somewhere else.
And by the same note, like, so as a result
of that kind of the only public spaces are churches,
and the only organizations that people are likely to be
members of other than their church is their political party.
So when you have that and you add into it,

(53:47):
there's suddenly this fight over perceived communism in the neighborhood
and everybody rallies together and they're all doing a thing
together in the real world, and that's like addictive, and
you're going to get that's the origin of a lot
of what's going to wind up infecting the rest of
the Republican Party. It starts with this, right, It starts
with this community starved group of people who find a

(54:08):
sense of like identity and just excitement and going to
war with this dude who just wanted to host an
say ACLU meeting. That's a huge moment in the history
of American conservatism. Yeah. So the real gift that Vorman
had gave these people was a threat to rally behind,
and once they had felt that high, they didn't want
to give it up. Local business leaders, who, as we've
stayed it have always been the engine of conservative politics

(54:30):
in the area, saw opportunity. A group of them, headed
by Walter Nott, owner of k Notsberry Farm, organized, which
is like the first theme park in the US, I think. Yeah,
so the nots Ery Farm guy organizes a committee and
sponsors what he calls the Orange County School of Anti Communism.
Oh god, Oh yeah, that just sounds like a great

(54:50):
time over a Notsbury farm. You know why. At least
Disney doesn't have like a shady past, yeah, you know,
or any kind of right wing over app or any
kind of Nazi no, you know, none that I've heard of.
Not they're woke as hell. Hey, they're super woke. Desanta
said it himself. Okay, Sonosbury, Yeah, okay, another theme park's

(55:12):
been ruined. Yeah, organizes the Orange County School of Anti Communism. Now,
initially this is like a series of local community college classes, right,
but they're so over attended, Like most the community college
is drowning in suburbanites who want to attend this anti
communism school. So mister Not is like, all right, well,

(55:32):
we got to do it bigger and a month before
the Bay of Pigs invasion in the spring of nineteen
sixty one, more than seven thousand students and parents, many
of whom had skipped Workers School, gathered in La Palma
Park Stadium in Anaheim to attend a five day Christian
anti communist school organized by Not. And I'm going to
quote from the La Times to talk about give you

(55:52):
a little insight into how this thing goes This is
a speech by Herbert Philbrick, who's a former FBI agent,
when he gives a crowd of people of like seven
thousand on March eighth. Right, now, we have a fifty
to fifty chance of defeating the communist threat, but each
day our chances grow less. And that's like that, that's
the tenor of this whole thing, right, Like the communists,

(56:15):
it's gonna be an uphill battle. I don't know if
we can beat them, but if we, you know, we've
got to turn things around. Now. Obviously the event includes
Birchers who one of the things that happens at this
meeting is they declare President Dwight D. Eisenhower to have
been a communist tool. Now it's not just not he's
not the only famous name here. John Wayne is in attendance,
and so that's good. Yeah, Yeah, everybody's favorite fucking goblin

(56:38):
of a man. Yeah, it's a it's it's a big deal. Right.
This is a huge moment in American conservatism as well.
You know, I always you always wonder, like is their
imagined threat still the same? Right, they call it communism,
they call it socialism, they call it woke. They're getting
closer to just saying people of color with the word

(57:01):
woke or anti woke. But you're like, at the time,
was it just sort of I guess I'm wondering, like
when they said communism, they knew they just meant like
Jewish people, black people, women having any kind of like
equal rights. And it's always this threat. They're just afraid
that they would have to give up their what beautiful,

(57:23):
beautiful strip mall. Yeah, I mean that is that's a
huge part of it. I will say, it's not just
people of color and women. They also have a particular
hatred of college students. Right. This is also starting to
be the early stages of protests in the early sixties
against not just in favor of civil rights, but against

(57:44):
the Vietnam War, and that's a huge these that's also
a big bugbear for these people is college students. Right. So,
more than sixteen thousand Americans or Orange County ends, I guess,
wind up attending the event, and Ronald Reagan is going
to be the most popular speaker there. He's also an attendance.
You've got Reagan, You've got John Wayne, and you've got

(58:06):
the knots Berry farm guy. And the event is such
a hit, and that Ronald Reagan's speech is particularly such
a big deal that the knots Berry Farm guy helps
to organize. Following this a three hour Hollywood Bowl event
called Hollywood's Answer to Communism, which is described by TV
critic John Crosby as a monster three hour concentration of

(58:26):
pure venom on television, in which patriots suggested again and
again that the United States was largely peopled by traders.
So that sounds cool, obviously, John Wayne. Yeah, that everyone
who isn't one of these weird right wingers is a
trader to the country. High up in the list of
conservatives who hate it are the celebrities who attend this

(58:48):
Hollywood Answers Communism, which include John Wayne obviously, Roy Rogers
not a surprising as well. This one's going to hurt
people though. Jimmy Stewart's a speaker. Oh yeah, that's a bummer.
That's a bummer. Not shocking. If you know the guy,
you can't do it. Jimmy Stewart, Why, I sure do
hate it when people love civil rights. I don't know.

(59:10):
That's not a good Jimmy Stewart, Well, no, they want
to be equal. Now they've gotten off something like that.
So both events are organized by a famous piece of
shit and Australian gift to conservatism, Frederick Schwartz, and he
founds the Christian Anti Communist Crusade, and he moves his
headquarters to Orange County in nineteen sixty. Schwartz's claim to

(59:32):
fame is a book called You Can Trust the Communists
to Be Communists, which had a stunningly subtle sequel You
Can Still Trust the Communists to mean Communist, Socialist and
Progressives too, so great titles like really creative, good work man,
speaking of weird fascists here's nope, shit ads ah, we're back.

(01:00:03):
So both these events, you know, you've got notts kind
of providing the funding. But the guy who is organizing
them is Frederick Schwarz. He's this dude who founds the
Christian Anti Communist Crusade, which which moves to Orange County.
He writes these two books with almost the same title
about how communism is scary and communism is a communists,

(01:00:24):
no communists, popularly the communism You can't spell communists without Khan, Yeah,
without like most of the words in Cohn right, Yeah,
So his his brand of propaganda it's going to be
different in some critical ways from mainstream far right propaganda
because he bases a lot of his pitch on the
interests of specifically people in southern California right. His first

(01:00:48):
book includes a lengthy passage where he complains that communists
are graduating more engineers than the United States, which has
given them an edge in making new weapons. And there's
there's some wild life in here. The question is which
system of education will win this universal war. I was
visiting an American college. Before I had been there ten minutes,
the president told me with great pride of a young

(01:01:09):
man who had brought glory and honor to their school.
Wherever I went on campus, I heard his praise as sung.
At last I met him, and a fine young man
he was. His Boddy was lithe and slender, and he
stood some six feet two inches tall. He was their
leading basketball player. His skill at the game was so
great that he had been chosen to go to Melbourne,
Australia to represent the United States and the Olympic Games
in nineteen fifty six. What an honor for the school.

(01:01:30):
Frequently I asked, who's your leading science student? He looked
up at me with wonder and amazement. He could not
answer the question. So he says, we're teaching our kids basketball,
but not how to make missiles. God, it's such a
funny thing to like half the year primary concern like
that an anyone could have ever thought, like the answer

(01:01:51):
to the Cold War, like that we would not have
enough missiles. So that was ever a thing in the
US if you know anything about this country. No, as
soon as missiles were a thing, we were going to
have the most of them. That was always in the
cards for this country. Like that is that is truly
a trick that I don't know. The you know, military
industrial complex definitely pulled on everybody, but I guess including people.

(01:02:12):
And like I said, vets the idea that you're victors.
You won. Yeah, no one even pails in comparison to
the kind of military you have. But yeah, yeah, I
don't know. I think you can play some basketball, you
know what I'm saying, Just like take a load off,
like chill out. Like you are geographically defended because of
like the way North America is set up. You have

(01:02:34):
so much more money and so many more guns than
anybody else on the planet, and yet you're terrified because
you saw a kid who was good at basketball, but
the school didn't have any future missile designers. Like what
the fuck? Man, that's a nuts so so ridiculous. But
you can see why this goes well, goes over well

(01:02:55):
in Orange County because not only are a lot of
employees of defense contract but a lot of people who
are like running these these defense companies. And like this
guy is saying America is not graduating enough missile IT designers,
and they're like, yeah, we need more missiles. I make
money off of every one of those. We fucking sign right,
Like Northrop Grumming is paying the fucking mortgage on a
lot of these ranch style houses, you know. And so

(01:03:17):
the people who are you know, financially invested in this,
they like it that Schwartz is saying there's no way
to have peace. There's no way to ever decrease our
defense spending. We only need to spend more and more
and more. This is just it's such a nightmare VENN
diagram of the like the OC is just this like
nightmare fucking what's the longitude and latitude like nightmare coordinates

(01:03:40):
of every single Yeah, like libertarianism, the Christian right, and
the weapons industry, which of course they don't admit to
it all now when they're like, well, we need to
not send any more money to Ukraine or whatnot, and
they're just like, no, all y'all love the weapons industry.
You want to send more money and make more worn
of it. You would have send them so many more
places than that. Yeah, you just don't want to do

(01:04:02):
it for a good Yeah exactly, that's would it be
an asshole about it? Yeah? No, But it is like
you know, we're talking about like the attitude towards people
who are like running these companies, but regular people don't
want to feel like they're warmongers. And so part of
what makes Schwartz interesting is he very interestingly creates this
sort of image of like Americans want peace, right, we
actually value peace, and when we say peace, we mean

(01:04:24):
an into violence. Right. Communists talk about peace a lot,
but communists don't view peace as the same thing. In communism,
peace doesn't mean ending violence. Peace means ending conservatives, right.
That's basically what ending capitalists, right, Like, that's that's how
they say it, right. And so like when we say

(01:04:45):
we want peace, we mean we don't want violence. But
if that means if we actually advocate for peace, we're
dooming ourselves because the only piece they'll accept is one
in which we don't exist. Now, if you're rational at all,
you can say that, like, well, all you're saying is
the only real piece is one in which the communists
don't exist, right, Yeah, there's no difference between what you're saying.
They're saying and what you are saying. Those are the

(01:05:05):
same two things. But yeah, it works, right, This is
popular with these Conservatism is all premised on future tripping
about a reality that has not come to bear and
will not likely come to bear. They just well, you know,
it's projection. They're going to do it to us. They're
trying to eliminate conservatism, so we need to eliminate them first. Yeah,

(01:05:29):
they've said that they have to put an end to capitalism,
so we have to put an end, you know, to communism,
a thing we don't have, do not live under it.
But that doesn't make us bloodthirsty. We're still good Christians,
right sure, Yeah, I mean these are just everyone finds
ways of doing this. It's not an uncommon like this
is not that this was not invented by this guy.

(01:05:49):
But I find the way in which he's speaking to
these Orange County voters to be kind of telling about
how people in general like to look at themselves. Yeah
so yeah. As a side note, of the things that's
really interesting when you read a lot of Schwarz's writing
is how frequently he praises the quality of communist literature,
Like I don't know any communists who use the word

(01:06:10):
beautiful to describe like communist propaganda as much as this
guy does, Like he fucking loves it. He writes about
how like a wonderful book like Problems of Leninism by
Joseph Stalin can be acquired for just a few cents
in any bookstore in America, Like why can't we do
that with our propaganda. There's so much better at it

(01:06:31):
than us, all these wood cuttings and it's great, and
they've got good mustard. We need some good must He
writes about this this Chinese communist magazine called Chinese Pictorial,
and he's like, the color photography is beautiful, the moral
tone is excellent. There's no violence, no crime, no nakedness,
no sex, no alcohol. Yeah yeah, yeah, it's like we

(01:06:53):
need to do that, but for money, you know, like
for us and our side. Yeah, yeah, it is fun
because he is saying a lot like wow, the way
these the way that these maoists portray they're like fantasy
future society looks great. There's none of the things I hate. Right,
It's like, okay, well then why are these people your
biggest enemy? Well, I don't know. Whatever it's it's it

(01:07:15):
is funny to me, like he writes, he clearly so enjoys.
It reminds me of Jordan Peterson, right, keeping like communist
propaganda all over his walls. He's like, that's kind of
odd if you're if you're not into it at all,
to just surround yourself with it all the time. That's
very interesting to me. You got to keep the enemy cleos. Now,
I think they would probably describe it as like, well,

(01:07:36):
I want to understand the enemy so I can know
how to fight them, which exactly you know, Okay, like
it's there, but yeah, it is. It is a weird obsession,
but it's also just again, I was at the California
Republican Party like convention, California Republican Convention in twenty fifteen.
I guess it would be and uh, the best moment

(01:07:57):
of that whole convention for all these Republicans was when
they could see the protests happening outside of the building
because Trump was speaking. It's when Trump had to like,
you know, walk in like the alley of the or
like the shoulder of a highway and whatnot because of
you know, protesters had closed the stop, the entryway, whatever.

(01:08:19):
And the faces of these Republicans were so excited. They
loved watching themselves be hated, and they loved seeing what
the other side was doing. And so I do think
there is sort of a weird fascination they see. I
think there's this a significant degree of like admiration for well,
these guys were a tiny, unpopular chunk of the country

(01:08:41):
and using a variety of methods were able to like
build parties and organizations that allowed them to reach and
radicalize a huge number of people and take power. And
that's exactly what we want to do, but specifically so
that we have to pay less taxes. Exactly. They have
a lot of power, but they're not the only power, right,
because shit happens like the civil rights movement, right, and

(01:09:03):
then you know, you get a law that they hate,
that forces changes in society that they hate. You have
you know, prior to the government, like you know, the
government doing like enforcibly integrating school. So they they would
say it is like we're fighting for our lives here,
and what we need to do is what those communists
did just like take total power, right, Like, that's very
much why they're kind of looking to this propaganda. And

(01:09:25):
Schwartz has again he's very like positive towards communist propaganda,
and he in this very weird passage compares it to
like a pedophile with a candy van, which is a
really I didn't realize that sort of like image went
back this far to like the early sixties, but evidently
it does. Yeah, so anti communism is going to remain

(01:09:46):
a central interest for Orange County conservatives who all start
to see the Cold War, as you know, the acceleration
of the Cold War is not simply like just for
ideological reasons, but also as important for their bottom line. Right,
this is going to make us all rich. The Orange
County Research Institute, which also did surveys in other parts
of the US, noted in the early sixties that Orange
County dwellers were likely or to either be interested in

(01:10:08):
or have bomb shelters than people anywhere else. So I
think that's funny, Like Midwesterners aren't buying bomb shelters exactly.
This is like after nine to eleven people, Yeah, like
in fucking I don't know, think of a random ass
like in just like yeah in the OC being like
they're coming for us, Like, no, they're not, They're not gonna.

(01:10:30):
I'm sorry, yorba. Everybody had to feel we all want
to feel like we're part of the news though, right,
we all have to make it about ourselves. Yeah, exactly,
they're gonna come right for us. Now they're not. You
wish they're coming. It's not. No one cares enough about
Irvine for just cannot spell your Belinda, I'm exactly like
you're okay. So in nineteen forty eight, again Dick Nixon's

(01:10:55):
anti communism had embodied the values of Orange County pretty well,
but over the next decade and change, like it had
radicalized to the point where he starts to be hated
in the area. Right, And this becomes particularly the case
once he becomes the president, right in late sixties, you know,
early seventies, when Nixon is in power, he becomes like

(01:11:15):
a huge enemy of them. For the fact that he's
willing to talk with communists, He's willing to make deals
with the Chinese government. Right, he's kind of the first rhino. Right.
You know, that's a term that has a lot more
cachet now politically. They weren't using it then, But the
Bircher right wing are the first people to really go
after Nixon in that way. I think he first wound

(01:11:35):
up on their shit list in sixty two when he
had run for governor of California and the society had
attacked him. The John Birch Society had gone against Nixon
in sixty two by they backed the candidacy of this guy,
Joe Schell, who was a local assemblyman. He was a
high school football idol turned independent oil producer. So he's
just like the perfect man for them to all rally behind. Yeah,

(01:12:00):
libs of right wing identities. Yeah yeah. And there's this
real quote farmer. There's this really good quote. Yeah, he's
a football oil farmer. The La Times gives a really
good quote of the tenor of the election. He has,
like his competition with and its impact on Nixon. Piloting
his own Beechcraft bonanza from one campaign stop to the next.

(01:12:20):
Shell aimed his pitch squarely at fellow conservatives. I've gotten
sick and tired of calling people liberals when they're basically socialists,
he said. First elected to the Assembly in nineteen fifty three,
Shell was the minority leader when he decided to run
for governor. One hallmark of his campaign he repeatedly accused
former Vice President Nixon of tried to use the California
governorship as a stepping stone to the presidency. Although Nixon

(01:12:41):
won the primary handily, Shell captured thirty five percent of
the vote. Nixon had been substantially weakened because the ultra
conservative Shell's challenge caused a split in the party. Former
Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger said in his two thousand and
one memoir, So again, it's its Orange County and particularly
the John Birts there that really stops Nixon from winning

(01:13:02):
the governorship because they they kind of hobble his campaign.
They create all this animosity, you know, because they back
this fucking football football oilman Joe Shell. Yeah, God, that's funny.
So Nixon irritates the John britseidy again. In nineteen sixty four,
when Barry Goldwater, who was then kind of in the

(01:13:24):
early sixties. He's the craziest fascist in America. He's going
to whine end his life in like the nineties as
like pro marijuana, in pro gay marriage. But he is, like,
he is the scariest fascist in public life in the
sixty It's a weird. Yeah, he winds up I guess
being okay at the end of his life, I don't
know what was going on. A lib. He just dies
a LIB. Like, Yeah, he kind of dies a LIB. Right. Yeah,

(01:13:47):
Weed's cool. Love is love, Yeah, Yeah, it's interesting. He's
got a fascinating arc. But he's the dude. His big
famous quote is he just he declares that the Republican
can mention that year extremism in defensive liberty is no vice.
And yeah, so that's you know, that's the guy who's

(01:14:08):
kind of like the fucking big Republican in sixty four
or the big far right Republican in sixty four. Obviously,
Nixon's gonna wind up being the guy who actually gets
to become president in sixty eight, right, Like, eventually it's
not Goldwater but Nixon. And that's another thing that pisses
off these people, right that Nixon becomes the standard bearer

(01:14:30):
of the Party Bury Goldwater, the guy they fucking love
does not. And that has all set the stage more
or less for the man who's going to make the
first big crack in the dam between Orange County Conservatism
and the broader National Republican Party. The guy who's going
to shatter that wall and lead let all of that
filth really spill into the rest of the country in

(01:14:52):
a big way is a dude named John Schmidtz. And
we're going to talk about Ja Schmitz in part two. Yeah, so, Francesca,
that's the end of the episode. Do you have anything
to plug before we roll out? Uh? You know the
Situation Room podcast. We're going to be live in San
Francisco on January twenty eighth, which is a Sunday, seven

(01:15:13):
pm at the Gayway Theater. Miles Gray of The Daily
Zeitgeist will be there. But yeah, listen to the situation
pod Room, listen to the Bituation Room podcast wherever your podcasts,
you know, Queue it up, baby, excellent, Yeah, queue it up,
queue it out, and also get a Cooler Zone Media
subscription to listen to this shit without the ads. Just
give us Sophie, what is it? Seventy thousand dollars a week. Yep,

(01:15:37):
a bargain at any price. That's deal. Uh huh, No,
it's less than seventy thousand dollars. That's the guarantee that
we make. Behind the Bastards is a production of cool
Zone Media. Or more from cool Zone Media, visit our
website cool zonemedia dot com, or check us out on

(01:15:58):
the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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