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‘Dallas 1963’ Author Bashes Tea Party, Claims Similar Hatred Led to JFK Assassination

The co-author of the new book “Dallas 1963” says Tea Party members of today are just like the radical political protestors who hated President John F. Kennedy decades ago, that there’s parallels between modern Tea Party rhetoric and the heated political climate that contributed to JFK’s assassination.

“It’s defining your political opponent as an enemy of the state, and this is the same instinct that flared up in Nazi Germany when the Nazis took over,” co-author Steven L. Davis said in an interview with The College Fix.

Davis, a curator at Texas State University, details in his book the extremism of John F. Kennedy’s opponents in Dallas in the years preceding his assassination, and takes aim at some of President Barack Obama’s conservative detractors today, comparing them to the Third Reich.

“Their opponents got elected to power through a democracy, but they began describing their opponents as enemies of the state, which sure enough they became, (and then were) executed,” Davis said.

Rhetorical anger in politics “opens the door, I think, for people who are unstable to feel like maybe they’re being called to take action,” he said. It “helps inspire them to take action and that’s one of the reasons I think that kind of rhetoric is incredibly dangerous for our country,” he said.

Davis cited an incident in Dallas shortly before the 1960 presidential election where then senator and vice presidential nominee Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird, were physically assaulted by a mob of protestors in what came to be known as the Mink Coat Riot because of the wealthy status of the attackers.

He was reluctant to say whether he knew if the Tea Party had ever acted in a similarly violent fashion as the anti-Kennedy protestors did, but not demure in comparing the physically violent anti-Kennedy protestors with the Tea Party movement.

“What we’re talking about is mob violence and mob violence isn’t always physical violence directed at a target at a specific point of time,” he said. “It’s whipping up mob anger against a target and it could be rhetorical anger.”

Both Kennedy and Obama, Davis argued, came to the presidency during very difficult times in American history. This, Davis proposed, is the reason for why “civic hysteria” caused an “irrational hatred” for Kennedy and is now causing it for Obama.

Davis explained Kennedy became president during the Cold War and the specter of nuclear annihilation, civil rights and integration; and Obama during “the most difficult time since the Great Depression.”

“(Kennedy) was seen as very threatening to people and basically the status quo, as is Obama,” Davis said. “And so people who oppose that are the ones leading those attacks.”

Davis recalled a visit to Dallas that Obama made at the start of the Tea Party movement where he was met with protestors just as Kennedy had during his presidency. According to Davis, Obama was greeted by these protestors with signs that read “traitor to America,” “Obama wanted for treason,” “Obama un-American” and “impeach Obama.”

These signs, Davis said, were the same kind Kennedy faced in his visit to Dallas.

“And every single person in that audience was white, which should tell you a little something,” Davis said about the protest against Obama.

Davis said protesters during President George W. Bush’s tenure that depicted him as Hitler were a much smaller part of his opposition than those similarly criticizing Obama now.

“What you have right now with Obama, same thing you had with JFK, is you have people who consider themselves super-patriots,” Davis said. “That’s really the distinction.”

Fix contributor Jose R. Gonzalez is a student at Texas State University.

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  • bobfairlane

    John F. Kennedy put his pen to paper to end the Fraudulent Reserve Bank and issue American money. But you blame the “tea party” who wants to “End the Fed”, for his demise. Damn, you’re stupid. If all the protestors against Obama are white, “that tells you something”, that all his supporters are black! lol.

  • johnschuh

    Mr. Davis does not know what he was talking about.

  • physicsnut

    Look at the disgusting piece of trash in the Washington Post yesterday

    “Essay: Tea Party has roots in the Dallas of 1963” by Bill Minutaglio

    To find the very roots of the tea party of 2013, just go back to downtown Dallas in 1963, back to the months and weeks leading to the Kennedy assassination. It was where and when a deeply angry political polarization, driven by a band of zealots, burst wide open in America.

    It was fueled then, as now, by billionaires opposed to federal oversight, rabid media, Bible-thumping preachers and extremist lawmakers who had moved far from their political peers. In 1963, that strident minority hijacked the civic dialogue and brewed the boiling, toxic environment waiting for Kennedy the day he died.
    somebody ought to sue this creep back to the stone age.

  • DailyPlunge

    Um, JFK was killed by a communist. Did left wing extremists lead to the assassination attempt on Reagan? Um, no.

    Is the author trying to say the Tea Party is going to create another communist assassin? I don’t get it.

  • rusty_armor

    To repeat: Oswald was a communist. A socialist. A left wing kook. A resident of the Soviet Union. A hater the US. Just like this author, Jose R. Gonzales. The only difference is that Oswald wasn’t a student.

    The tea-party, the GOP, Conservatives had nothing to do with JFK’s death, nor are they responsible for Obama’s monumental failures. Obama did it to himself.

    • Jose R. Gonzalez

      Good afternoon, rusty_armor. Thank you for commenting and adding to the discussion.

      I’d like to clarify that the opinions expressed in the above article are not my own. They are the thoughts as expressed by the interview subject, Mr. Stephen L. Davis. I am merely the author of the article acting in the role of reporter.

      Again, thank you.

      • Steve

        I understand you wrote regarding someone else’s opinion. My question is why would you legitimize his opinions by uncritically writing about them? The guy’s premise is no less ridiculous than saying the cow jumped over the moon. A real journalist would have pointed that out.

        • Jose R. Gonzalez

          Good morning, Steve. Thank you for posting on here.

          I believe my task as a reporter is to seek out the truth and in the process ask questions and follow them up with more questions if need be. In this article I reported on the thoughts and feelings of Mr. Davis and would like for you as the reader to determine their legitimacy. I have enough respect for you as the reader to abstain from spelling anything out for you.

          I encourage you to elaborate on here on how you think and feel about my interview subject’s opinion as stated in the article. That is an exclusive prerogative you as the reader have and one that is not shared with me, the reporter.

      • Steve

        It is pleasing that you noted in your article that while Davis compares Tea Partiers to violent protesters (which I do not recall other than in racist South) during the Kennedy years, said Davis can not cite any examples of Tea Party ‘violence.’

      • Jeff

        You no doubt assumed that, being an author, Mr. Davis was literate and had actually researched his book, and was not just spouting his unfounded liberal viewpoint and venting his disdain for conservatives in general.
        You know what assuming does…

        In fairness to the other commenters here, the article mentions that these things were said by Davis “in an interview”; it does not make clear whether you, Mr. Gonzalez, were the interviewer. If in fact you were, some pointed questions regarding his inaccuracies and biases would have been in order. Whoever did the interview failed to question Davis in a manner that would have forced him to defend his positions, much in the way that any interview granted to a known “friend of the Administration” by our current President is performed – and these are the only interviews he gives.
        It’s known as lobbing softballs right over the middle of the plate.

      • Ron

        You obviously agree with him.

  • bpbatista

    Oswald was a communist. In 1963 Dallas even so called “right wingers” who hated Kennedy were mostly Democrats. In 1964 LBJ won 63% of the vote in Texas against arch “right winger” Barry Goldwater.

  • Richard Vandiamondsworth

    Almost every American assassin to a man has been a left-wing extremist, including the nutballs committing random mass shootings.

    LBJ likely had Kennedy murdered, leaving the track record unchanged.

    • Steve

      I feel that the people who had the most to gain from disposing of JFK was the mob. Bobby, as Attorney General was an incredible threat to them, as well as to their friend Jimmy Hoffa. It has been reported by Santo Trafficante’s mob attorney that when Kennedy was shot, that Trafficante connected with Hoffa, and celebrated cutting of the head of the beast that was attacking them. Without JFK, Bobby’s power to prosecute would evaporate. Killing for personal gain is part and parcel of the mob’s methodology. The New Orleans mob, was one of Bobby’s favorite targets, and Ruby had mob ties. The unanswered connection remains, was Oswald encouraged (for money and political satisfaction) to carry out this hit?

      • Richard Vandiamondsworth

        LBJ was a sociopath, a conjoined effort between his ambition and mob machinery seems more likely. If it was purely the mob, the backlash would’ve wiped them all out (for a time, anyway).

  • Fool_Killer

    Kennedy was shot (so the story goes) by a sworn socialist.
    The article kinda ignores that one little point…

  • Rick

    The rabid left has never gotten over the fact that the rock star of the democratic party was killed by one of their own. Much of the conspiracy theories as well as the incoherent drivel written by this author stem from this very issue.

  • All true…except that Lee Harvey was a radical left wing nut job…lol

  • Sherlok

    Here were your liberals then and now:

    “I’ll have them n*****rs voting Democrat for the next 200 years.” – Lyndon Johnson’s response to being complimented on his Great Society programs as described in Ronald Kessler’s book, Inside the White House.

    Conservatives are not the ones who exploit, assassinate or mass murder people.

  • Catler

    Lee Harvey Oswald was a member of the Tea Party? In what bizarro universe? Oswald was a communist who was is Cuba and the USSR prior to shooting Kennedy. These idiot liberals are deranged!

  • ttiwkram

    Davis’ fear of freedom in the hands of others speaks ill of his respect for his fellow man. His failed attempt to construct a parallel between Kennedy’s assassin and the Tea Party speaks ill of his intellect. Thus, Davis himself would appear to be the dangerous one.

  • jnsesq

    Another moronic liberal viewpoint. (Oops, I redound.) That said, JFK would NEVER have been an acceptable candidate to Demmunists today and most tragically even beyond his murder is that we got the Socialist LBJ who ushered in the Great Society with all its wreckage of the black family, welfare payments to scores of millions rewarding and encouraging idleness, and the sapping of productivity-mindedness in Americans today.

    “We are going to try to take all of the money that we think is unnecessarily being spent and take it from the ‘haves’ and give it to the ‘have nots’ that need it so much.” (President Lyndon Johnson, White House Address, January 15, 1964.)

    Hey, I’m here. Where’s mine?

  • PatrickJT

    The only hatred that exists is in the minds of morons like Davis.

  • Just Mean & Nasty

    Jose Gonzales–You are just as guilty as the liar quoted in the article of promulgating an absolute falsehood and re-writing factual history with absolute crap.

    “Mr Gonzales, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic
    things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent
    response were you even close to anything that could be considered a
    rational thought. Everyone in this room (on this blog) is now dumber for having
    listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your
    soul”. *Billy Madison

  • Bob

    Idiot, Oswald was a commie. That is on the left, moron.

  • Bob

    Gonzalez, being on the left, tries to give a voice to another left wingnut.

  • FDS

    The left have turned into hate filled antagonists who have no morals and are not afraid to lie.

  • SalientTruth


    I appreciate your desire to “report the truth” – but repeating easily documented lies without challenge is hardly doing so. It will, however, secure you an excellent gig with NBC, CNN, CBS, NYT or a number of other liberal propagandists.

    The author of the book compares Tea Party Americans to violent protesters and the Third Reich yet “is reluctant to say whether he knew if the Tea Party had ever acted in a similarly violent fashion.” A cursory Google inquiry would reveal not a single arrest resulted from the millions of Americans at four years of Tea Party events- yet this buffoon compares them to those responsible for the deaths of tens of millions?

    Sorry Jose, no truth there…

    He claims Tea Party protesters with signs calling President Obama a “traitor” or “un-American” are dangerously inflammatory but suggests similar attacks on President Bush were “a smaller part of the opposition.” Yea right, fringe libs like Harry Reid, Al Gore and John Kerry that labeled Bush a traitor, liar and worse. Nothing inflammatory about ads shoving grandma off a cliff or suggesting Bush was implicit in dragging a black man to his death? And it is the Obama-endorsed Occupy puppets, not the Tea Party, that are the violent protesters.

    Sorry Jose, no truth there…

    Consider the compliant Washington media and the resultant truths:

    – thousands of weapons are “walked” to drug cartels, hundreds are dead, and Obama blames a Bush program. Once it became evident that was a lie, issue ignored and people are left with the “truth” that Obama ended a bad Bush program;

    – hundreds of opposition Tea Party groups are targeted/harassed by the Obama IRS and a rogue Cincy agent is blamed. Once it became evident that was a lie, issue ignored and people are left with the “truth” that Obama cleaned up the Cincy office;

    – State dept and the Obama administration monitor IN REAL TIME an 8-hour terrorist assault on consulate- 2 weeks later at the UN Obama is still blaming an obscure video/fog of war. That was a lie, issue ignored and soon the “truth’ is confusion reigns in the fog of war…

    This is not journalism, or truth…