A tea party leader in Texas is defending his promotion of the American Fascist Party as something he thought was "pro-Constitution, pro-America."
James Ives, who was listed as the president of the Greater Fort Bend County Tea Party in 2011, confirmed to The Texas Tribune on Monday that he had made a promotional video for the American Fascist Party and advocated tea party principles on a Fascist Party message board.
In the video, a man who looks like Ives sits in front of a Fascist Party logo wearing a uniform with yellow shoulder patches. Another photo shows a uniformed man sitting in front of a fascist cross. The blog that inspired Norwegian mass shooter Anders Behring Breivik describes fascist solar crosses as "symbolic representations buried deep in the regions of the brain where the primal responses to stimuli are rage, awe, and fear."
But Ives says that he was simply curious when he came to the Fascist Party as an "amateur political science student and frustrated novelist" in the early 2000s.
"From my point of view, it was all pro-Constitution, pro-America," Ives explained to the Tribune. "I never did anything... There really weren’t enough people involved to be a gathering, let alone a rally. It was basically a scattering of people across the continent just complaining.”
The tea party leader claimed that he his participation in the Fascist Party was part of an effort to write a novel about what he thought was a cabal. But instead of writing that novel, Ives wrote on the message board about how building the Fascist Party in America was "our spirit, our calling."
"It will be our greatest challenge, and our sweetest victory, to finally surpass this dark menace, this numbing threat from the shadows, and replace it with the pure sunbeam that is our Fascist Faith, our Fascist Truth," Ives wrote.
Republican state Sen. Dan Patrick pledged not to host Ives on his radio show in the future if the links to the Fascist Party proved to be true.
Patrick called the tea party leader's involvement with the fascist movement "very disturbing, no matter how far in the past it is." The state senator insisted that Ives had "never been on our payroll, never been an employee."