Right Wing Watch
A Project of People For the American Way
The Week’s Weirdest Moments on the Extreme Right Bitcoin and Clubhouse, Civil War Declared, Religious-right Think Tank Tanks
In the weeks that followed the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building, most of the key figures in the so-called Stop the Steal campaign that preceded it have been kicked off the major social-media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. (Stop the Steal was the rallying cry of those who falsely claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from a certain former president.) Some have found a home on Clubhouse , an invitation-only platform that is audio-based, kind of like a real-time podcast, but with a lot more voices. Some of these same personalities have also lost access to payment-processing services and platforms such as PayPal and Venmo, as well as donation platforms like Patreon. Ali Alexander, who organized many of the rallies convened under the Stop the Steal rubric, appeared to be trying to address both problems via a discussion he led on Clubhouse about the potential use of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, which is perhaps one way to stay afloat when the people who move actual currency between buyer and seller or donor and recipient no longer want to play with you. At a Jan. 5 Stop the Steal rally, Alexander led a chant of “ Victory or death! ” It seems he may now be seeking a third way — at least for himself.
Falkirking From Grace
In his bid to be the cool uncle of a pack of wayward millennials, Jerry Falwell Jr., son of the late Moral Majority and Liberty University founder for whom he is named, opened a think tank with Charlie Kirk, president of Turning Point USA, the right-wing group that recruits college students. With great humility, they named the think tank after themselves, creating the mashed-up name, the Falkirk Center. Then Jerry Falwell Jr. kicked up quite a lot of dust when he was found to be at the center of a sex scandal involving his wife and a pool attendant, one of many claims of bad behavior against him that ultimately led to the scion’s resignation or firing or some combination thereof, and the problem of what to do about a think tank half-named for he whose half-name shall not be spoken. Well, why not ditch the whole thing—including the other guy for whom the center was fractionally named? And so poor Charlie Kirk lost a pretty good gig when Liberty University renamed the program as the Standing For Freedom Center, or Freedom Center for short.
Prepping For the Worst
If you’re old enough to remember how the story of PTL leaders Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker took over the airwaves in the late 1980s, you might be surprised to know that Jim Bakker is still around, grifting supporters into purchasing doomsday prepper buckets of freeze-dried meals and the like, not to mention a silver solution elixir he claimed would kill the coronavirus. (Spoiler alert: It won’t.) In fact, that last little gambit got Bakker into a bit of trouble with the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, and several stateattorneysgeneral . But, undaunted, Bakker continues to crank out his web-based show, where his recent guest, Rick Joyner, showed off some marketing prowess of his own. On March 15, Joiner appeared on “The Jim Bakker Show” to reiterate his long-held conviction that America is headed for civil war and to reiteratehis calls for conservative Christians to begin forming militias in preparation. Joyner, who has been warningfor years that the United States is headed forcivil war and martial law , said there was no point in Christians’ praying to prevent a civil war because the conflict is inevitable, and they should instead focus on acquiring weapons in preparation for the coming violence.
“I tell you we have to be ready to defend our families, our communities, our neighbors, our churches, everything because it is coming home,” Joyner said . “I don’t believe there’s going to be a neighborhood exempt from what’s coming.” As it turns out, Joyner is also hawking a book, available from Amazon in a Kindle-only edition, that floats this theory of America’s future: “ The Second American Revolution/Civil War.”