A ‘Groundswell’ Of Republican Distortion and Misinformation Puts Our Nation in Peril


In a representative democracy like America, the idea of an outright military-type coup d’état is as unlikely as one branch taking absolute control of the government, but it does not mean various groups are dissuaded from attempting various ploys to fundamentally transform America to fit their vision. For a group of extremists to achieve their goal of reshaping America without overthrowing the legally elected government, they would need influential players in the highest levels of government including the Judiciary, Congress, and Commerce with incredible sources of funding and a well-oiled propaganda machine to achieve their transformation. Many Americans are aware there has been a sustained assault on democracy with a view toward a theocratic plutocracy that is gaining power over the government, but it is likely they are unaware of a well-funded consortium plotting to influence voters and high-level Republicans to change America for the worse.


The group calling itself Groundswell has been meeting since early in 2013 and is formulating propaganda, organizing consistent messaging, and devising plans for what they are calling “a 30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation.” The ultra-conservatives include wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, conservative journalists, a former ALEC executive, John Bolton, Frank Gaffney, the Family Research Council, Allen West, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, a top aide to Ted Cruz, and a collection of far-right extremists convinced that congressional Republicans are not taking the neo-con’s battle for America to President Obama and progressives with enough rage. According to documents obtained by Mother Jones, other influential groups asking to be included are conservative belief-tanks Heritage, FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, and the NRA to assist in spreading one simple message; “Our country is in peril.”

Groundswell is deliberately targeting LIVs (low information voters) and collaborating with extremist Senators Jeff Sessions and Ted Cruz as well as a teabagger representative Jim Bridenstine to bolster the right’s message and plot strategy. Their goal is driving their extremist narrative on issues such as voter ID, immigration reform, the sequester, and to promote what they term “politically useful scandals such as the Benghazi attack, IRS targeting teabagger groups,” and of course the phony Affordable Care Act “horror stories.” Their success cannot be underestimated as Republicans in Congress have made great use of their propaganda to obstruct meaningful legislation to grow the economy, pass immigration reform, or correct indiscriminate cuts in the sequester.


Mainstream Republicans may not be a part of this extremist conservative wing in public, but they are taking advantage of their messaging to keep Washington ineffective in meeting the needs of the people. It is prescient that the group is dependent on low information voters because their message, and vision for a transformed America, is so out of touch with the majority of Americans it is little wonder they are mortified they are losing the message war with progressives. In fact, every single issue near and dear to Republicans and Groundswell members is contrary to what Americans overwhelmingly support regardless it is gun safety measures, women’s right to choose, separation of church and state, marriage equality, immigration reform, and more importantly investment in job creation; all items right-wing extremists consider are putting “our country in peril.”

Americans cannot take groups like Groundswell lightly because they are having a measure of success in implementing their extreme agenda in Congress and particularly states saturated with low information voters. In fact in one memo to Groundswell members and influential conservative journalists, the group said, “we must reclaim the language and put ‘a face’ on our messages; tell stories. Write articles on 4th grade level!” It is no coincidence that red and Southern states enact voter suppression, anti-women’s choice, and right to work for less laws that inflict harm on liberals and conservatives alike with little opposition, and it is only because of ignorance inherent in their constituents. The problem with low information voters with the comprehension level of a fourth-grader is they are easily swayed by fear mongers preaching that President Obama is coming for their guns, stripping their religious freedom, and transforming America into a communist nation.

The people involved in Groundswell are right about one thing; our nation is in peril. It is not bad enough extremists are successful convincing their ignorant supporters America is doomed to failure with a Democrat in the White House, they have unlimited funding at their disposal and powerful allies in high levels of government doing their bidding. For example, regardless Ted Cruz’s lunacy, he has a national forum to spread his extremist agenda and it is in no small part due to the media propagating his message without calling out his lies. One of Groundswell’s success stories was badgering Republicans to support Cruz’s opposition to immigration reform and gun safety measures, and combined with conservative journalists praising him as a hero for standing up to President Obama’s overreach, it is little wonder mainstream Republicans fell in line regardless the majority of Americans supported the President.


Groundswell represents the most extremist element in the conservative movement, and they have enlisted powerful and well-funded allies to help spread their dangerous message to other Republicans and their ignorant supporters. It is noteworthy that as Republicans head to their home districts on Friday to tout their war against Washington, they will be armed with talking points concocted by Groundswell to garner support for implementing harsh spending cuts and summoning teabagger types with horror messages about the Affordable Care Act. Americans are being besieged by Republicans and their moneyed sponsors such as ALEC, the Koch brothers, the NRA, and Chamber of Commerce, and they represent the greatest threat to this nation since the Civil War. Congressional Republicans have shown nothing but disdain for America and its people, and their threat to shut down the government and let the nation default on its debts are not to be taken lightly; especially with well-funded and highly placed advocates who have judicial, legislative, religious, and corporate backing to fundamentally transform America or see it fail.

Image: MotherJones

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