Progressive.org Mag: JBS are generally Above Average in Education and Social Status
Disclaimer: "The Progressive" is a Leftwing Publication
Taking Tea Partiers Seriously
Chip Berlet | The Progressive Magazine
February 2010 issue
McAdam and his researchers have found that the Ron Paul libertarians, the Christian Right, and well-established ultraconservative groups such as the John Birch Society are all competing to inherit the tea party recruits in Montana and form them into a conservative political movement. Indications are that this is happening nationwide. At the same time in Montana and some other states, it is clear that the tea bag and town hall protesters are also being recruited by white supremacist and organized racist groups
But there is no social science evidence that people who join rightwing movements are any more or less crazy or ignorant than their neighbors. While some have psychological predilections for authoritarianism and tend to see the world in overly simplified “us” vs. “them” terms, the same predilections can be found on the political left. This is also true with belief in conspiracy theories. Two serious demographic studies of the membership of the John Birch Society demonstrate that Birchers are generally above average in income, education, and social status.