Mainstreaming Montana

White Nationalists mingle with the mainstream in Montana


Don’t Tread on Me.

If there is one state in the Union where that political statement is a way of life, it is Montana. The Big Sky Country enjoys a storied reputation for being ground zero for anti-government sentiment in the United States.

When Americans who live in other parts of the country think of Montana, they conjure up a mental image of black helicopters and super patriots drilling in camo to resist the New World Order. The state is well known for its libertarian streak.

Having looked at Wyoming, Idaho, and Colorado, I will be moving forward with my analysis of White Zionism and Montana early next week.

In the meantime, David Neiwart of Crooks and Liars (a notorious anti-racist website) has put together something interesting for a change. He has largely relieved me (for all the wrong reasons) of the arduous task of explaining exactly why Montana is such an attractive destination for White Zionists of the “mainstreamer” species.

In a new eight page article at Alternet, David Neiwart outlines in detail how White Nationalism has blurred with the Tea Party in Montana. He paints a narrative that rings true in light of my own experiences:

Maybe it’s the gun-making kits that are being raffled off as door prizes. Or maybe it’s the fact that nearly everyone inside this hall at the Ravalli County Fairground is packing heat. But most of all, it’s the copy of Mein Kampf sitting there on the book table, with its black-and-white swastika, sandwiched between a survivalist how-to book on food storage and a copy of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.

It is obvious: This is not your ordinary Tea Party gathering.

Mind you, they don’t explicitly call themselves Tea Partiers. Their official name is Celebrating Conservatism. But their mission statement is classic Tea Party — “to restore our country, counties, and cities back to the Republic and the Constitution of the United States” — and Celebrating Conservatism is listed as a member of the national Tea Party Patriots organization. Everyone in Hamilton, Montana — the whole of Montana’s Bitterroot Valley, for that matter — knows them as the Tea Party’s main presence in town. Once a month or so, the group holds a potluck dinner at the county fairgrounds that typically attracts a couple hundred people, which in a place like the Bitterroot is a sizeable presence. . . .

I’ve been to events like the one described above. I was surprised to discover that the barrier between the “fringe” and the “mainstream” was far more permeable than I had previously thought. It was one of the major reasons why I reevaluated my previous attitude toward conservatism.

The first steps in a movement are the hardest and most important steps to take. Fantasists are interested exclusively in the endgame. The game is over, the final score is on the board, and it is time to break out the champagne.

No one want to think about an opening drive. That would mean having to confront ugly aspects of reality. More attention will be paid here to correcting this imbalance.

About Hunter Wallace 12380 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. Neiwart gets really upset about someone selling Mein Kampf-as if that’s evidence of neo-Nazism. Surely he knows that just about any large mainstream bookstore sells it. That’s because-for obvious reasons-it’s an important historical document. I guess he could find no one selling The Turner Diaries so he had to manufacture a phony literary crisis about something.

    Also, the two alleged radical right publications that Neiwart refers to
    (Sierra Times and The Jubilee) have disappeared from the net and are
    presumably defunct.

  2. I’ve always heard the contrast between Wyoming and Montana discussed as Montana having much lower prevailing wages. It doesn’t have the energy sector and is also far more beutiful so it attracts the scenery migrants that pass up a desert state like Wyoming and compete for $4 an hour juke-joint jobs. I heard a lot of middle class migrant teachers started out in Montana for the scenery but took jobs in Wyoming a few years later due to practically double the pay.

    Remeber though, Ted Turner, Hanoi Jane, and a whole lot of Hollywood types are in the Bozeman Area. That Area seemed to have nice looking structures and modern infrastructure when I drove through there in the mid 90’s. The rest of the state looked rather poor, especially Butte that looked almost like some run down dump in Romainia or Siberia. Don’t know what it looks like after the housing craze of the early 2000s, maybe the favelas I saw were replaced.

  3. I was surprised to discover that the barrier between the “fringe” and the “mainstream” was far more permeable than I had previously thought.

    It can be. But the membrane will remain intact with the purist bunker mentality of the last four decades. That needs to change and it is.

  4. Odd that Neiwart was so surprised to see a copy of Mein Kampf around. I want to say that I have seen it for sale at every single gun show I have ever been to, right next to the anarchist cookbook and various other fringe literature.

    Actually, they had it at my High School Library, and a quick check confirms at my county library as well. Oh NO!

  5. You’d be surprised at how well-armed and well-organized the hardright is throughout this country…not only in Montana. I have personal experience of this in Mexifornia, and, as the economic-political situation continues to deteriorate (from the $PLC point of view) our networks will continue to strengthen and expand. In short, I don’t need to move to Montana or anywhere else to do what’ll need to be done when it needs to be done.

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