The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee on December 29, 1963 · Page 69
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The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee · Page 69

Nashville, Tennessee
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 29, 1963
Page 69
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TENNESSEE'S DOUBTING THOMAS: FIRST OF TWO PARTS 0 0 j Right' f f Hill N 1 fcr; ill 4 Ny-lf ;f' THOMAS JEFFERSON ANDERSON: He has been called the "barefoot wit" cf the Birch Society By George Barker Photos by Ccorge Barker and AP rpHOMAS JEFFERSON ANDERSON has a lo lug J. wife (Miss Vanderbllt, 1935), a beautiful daughter, a handsome home, pood health and a prosperous business. But Tom Anderson is an Unhappy American. lie has anti-United Nations picket signs stacked In his garage and an arsenal of anti-liberal missiles at the tip of his tongue. "Some of my friends say, 'What are you so darn unhappy about? We never had it so pood.' " Anderson says. "I tell them we're all goinp to wake up one of these days to find the leftists snd and the one-world do-gooders have finished the fence they are building around us." Anderson sees Red quicker than most people. He sounds the alarm regularly in prickly columns he writes for his Nashville-hased network of Southern farm magazines and in never-ending jet propelled schedules of speeches. For years, Anderson's pun-and-parable-laden editorial voice was often regarded as just another hoot in the wilderness. But he and the John Birch Society discovered each other four years ago and the union has given Tom's hoots greater direction and purpose. He has become the most energetic spokesman for what has been called "America's Rampant Right." He Is one of the big reasons the group has become a force to be reckoned with one way or another in 1964 election year politics. "I came from a long line of yellow dog Democrats," Anderson crooned to his audience at Jack-ion, Miss., one night last summer. "I grew up wanting to fight the Civil War over. I saw 'The Birth of a Nation' four times and every time I expected the South to win. It still irritates me to hear Gls referred to as Yanks. But the issue today is not South versus North, or integration versus segregation, or Republicans versus Democrats. The issue today is freedom!" STATED SIMPLY, Anderson believes the United States must elect Sen. Barry Goldwater its president to stop what he considers to be a slide toward utter socialism. The Democratic Party is now so far gone on socialism there's no saving it, he says. And choosing any other of the contending Republicans would be "like leaving the soiled diaper on the baby and Just changing the pin!" We talked about it in Anderson's new office, located In a remodeled old residence at 809 Eighteenth Ave., S. His Farm & Ranch magazine, a nationally-circulated publication, had just undergone re-organlzatlon into a series of state magazines and the switch had taken much time, trouble and travel. Anderson's auburn hair was rumpled with deadline fighting and his blue eyes bespoke a need for more sleep. But at age 53, he still usually looks boyish, bright and muscular. I told him I wanted to use a tape recorder to make sure I quoted him accurately. He said it was good idea and that he would use one too, to make sure I made sure. Most of our interview was taped on separate but equal recorders. "It used to scare heck out of me to get up and speak in public," Anderson said. "Until recently, I had to take a Miltown before I walked out on stage. But I'm getting over that. I feel I have something that needs saying. "Look, what I'm after is to give the American people some choice beside Socialist Party A and Socialist Party B. I think we ought to let them choost between so-called liberalism and real conservatism. This Goldwater movement that's not Republicanism. It's conservatism! "The Democrats are beyond redemption. If the Republicans don't nominate Goldwater they are dead and they deserve to be . . ." Thomas Anderson talks like a man who be lieves he s running out of time. " THE NASHVI'LLE TENNESSEAN XCAZInI, DEC. 29. 1963.

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