Would you be willing to join an organization that had these principles as its founding prescripts:
- First: To protect the weak, the innocent, and the defenseless from the indignities, wrongs and outrages of the lawless, the violent and the brutal; to relieve the injured and oppressed; to succor the suffering and unfortunate, and especially the widows and orphans of ... soldiers.
- Second: To protect and defend the Constitution of the United States...
- Third: To aid and assist in the execution of all constitutional laws, and to protect the people from unlawful seizure, and from trial except by their peers in conformity with the laws of the land.
Sounds okay, right? Who could argue with that? Well, not so fast with that application, buddy. You would be joining, of things, the Ku Klux Klan!
Believe it or not, those were the prescripts for the founding of what is known as The Second Klan, which was born in 1915, following the release of the movie The Birth of a Nation, out of the rubble of the long-disbanded and discredited first incarnation of the Klan.
What this shows is that the racist wingnut faction -- amply represented in today's Repugnican Party -- was capable even nearly 100 years ago of deception, dissembling, and outright lying about its purpose, mission and direction.
The more things change... etc.
If you get a chance, read that Wikipedia article about the Klan -- it's fascinating and scary stuff, especially when you realize that at its high point the Klan controlled, through sympathetic politicians, the governments of not only most of the deep-south (aka "red") states (where you would expect it) but also such states as Tennessee, Oklahoma, Indiana (where an avowed Klansman was actually elected governor), and ... Oregon!