Ernest T Bass joins the John Birch Society

Mary Lee Johnson
4 min readSep 17, 2022


21st Century Problems in American Democracy

It’s hard to know how to describe a group of people who follow ‘Q.” I am aware there are people who believe in UFO’s. That is considered a fairly normal phenomenon where I come from. There are people who believe that we will never know exactly who killed JFK or who exactly was on “The Grassy Knoll.” That is probably a belief held by most Americans.

But the people who believe in “Q” genuinely believe “John-John” Kennedy is alive and waiting to run with Trump on a ticket for the Presidency. The “Q” believers are against pedophilia (Reminds me of a joke: What did the Preacher preach about on Sunday? “Sin…He was ‘agin it’!”)…What normal person is for pedophilia, by the way? And these are the staunch supporters of Trump. This is the worst kind of conspiracy theory kookiness that has just run wild.

Some of the people from January 6th did remind me a bit of Ernest T Bass, the iconic backwoodsman on the “Andy Griffith Show”. Ernest T. was so eccentric and out-of-touch that Barney Fife kept calling him a ‘nut.’ There were some nutty and kooky looking people behind January 6th. And they all loved Donald J Trump. That would be embarrassing to most politicians.

It has been reported that Trump was not in love with the looks of the mob that assembled on that fateful day. But Cary Grant-type suave sophisticates and nattily dressed men about town would not have been caught dead in that rube assembly. And for good reason. Most of the ones who did the asinine thing and plastered their faces all over the Internet were easily nabbed when they went home. So there’s that….

But the deeper and darker derangement comes in the chat rooms on the Dark Web. They talk of their belief that all Dems are pedophiles and the need for “Civil War.” What would that entail? I remember with perfect clarity the Bundy Nut who was seriously pontificating when Obama was President that he only answered to the “Local Magistrate-The Sheriff.” A modern-era Civil War would be President Lincoln’s worst nightmare. It would be an insurgency from within with groups of armed nuts trying to ambush and undermine the Federal Government.

We did have people from “the hills’ of Tennessee who would shoot revenuers on sight and were anti-government. But that was before the 20th Century. Now we live in the 21st Century. It should be an age of exciting discovery as we work to bring broadband to rural communities. We are fascinated by talk of returning to the Moon with a Moon Base as the stopping-off point that will eventually bring humans to Mars!

And we are mapping the DNA and genetic code in order to help eradicate diseases and help humans live past the current life span. We could extend our lives to well over one-hundred years! That is interesting and fascinating in terms of our scientific knowledge. However… who wants to live in a world where a bunch of nuts armed with big assault rifles run out of the bushes and try to disrupt the lives of normal human beings?

These are the John Birchers of the 21st Century who thought that the vaccine contained tracking devices. And Obama was going to set up Internment Camps in Texas. The “Biden Crime Family” was a favorite for one of our Supreme Court Justices wives to speculate about online….All of these rumors and the innuendo are just fodder for kooks who carry the water for the GOP & Their Fox-Friendly Talking Points.

That is why we can define Trumpism as more than just some rare outgrowth of the John Birch Society on steroids. Who would have thought that in the 21st Century, we would compare a major political party to the likes of Ernest T Bass? The problems in American Democracy are deep and extensive, but the first solution for any problem is to acknowledge that the problem exists. There is a problem with an entire branch of the democratic process and it begins with Trump and it extends past January 6th and reaches deep into the dark and murky world of the Dark Web. The first step in acknowledging we have this massive problem is to look at the voters who are uninformed and dangerous. It bears repeating that the definition of Trumpism may be best described as the John Birch Society meets Ernest T Bass…And their grassroot voters are a bunch of nuts.