How extreme are Steve Hotze and his Conservative Republicans of Texas hate group? Just take few minutes to scan through the group’s website. It’s a cesspool of extremism and open hate. As you read this summary of articles just from this week, remember that Hotze is one of the Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s key political allies. Then ask yourself: Why is one of the most powerful statewide elected officials in Texas associated with an extremist like Hotze?
On Thursday Hotze’s website reposted an article warning that “Europe is lost; 100 million African refugees are heading for Europe.” The article — which decries “globalist politicians” on a “satanic path of destruction” — is from Defend Europa, which describes itself as a “Euro-centric news and opinion website.” The writer, “William,” is a prolific poster on the site, often promoting far-right scare stories attacking non-European immigrants — such as the claim that migrants are sexually assaulting schoolgirls on an “industrial scale” in Sweden. (The claim — also promoted by the alt-right website Breitbart — is false.)
“William” has also declared that “it is now beyond doubt that there is a strong correlation between race and IQ,” defended and praised notorious Holocaust denier David Irving, and railed against what he calls “Judeo-Bolshevism.” Interestingly, Hotze — or whoever runs his website — seems to think Defend Europa offers useful content for Conservative Republicans of Texas supporters.
Other articles on Hotze’s website this week include his own appeal on Monday for support for his organization’s political agenda:
“Christians need to rise up and join the cultural battle for the soul of Texas and America that is being waged fiercely against us by the godless, Marxist, Communist Alt-Left that wants to destroy any vestige of Biblical principles, Christian Conservative values, and Constitutional First Amendment religious liberty and free speech rights from our society. They have taken over the Democrat party and are infiltrating the Republican Party. …
You can be part of the army that defeats the godless, Communist Alt-Left that promotes the Islamization of America, the acceptance, affirmation and celebration of the perverted homosexual and so-called ‘transgender’ lifestyle, the killing of the unborn, the destruction of the free enterprise system, and changing America into a socialist country like France or England.”
On Tuesday the website republished an essay from far-right writer Erick Erickson suggesting that it’s time for Texas to secede and for the United States to break apart. Erickson’s essay includes the horrendous lie that women’s reproductive rights pioneer Margaret Sanger was a Nazi sympathizer. And it ends this way:
“In our present atmosphere there is no escape from the American ISIS that is the political left. Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant and then it seeks to silence good. Evil is now dominant — but the partisan line is blurred.
The only escape is dissolution….
I am no longer an optimist about the future of this country. This past week has shown there is no incentive for the better angels of ourselves to rise. Both sides are out for blood. The only way to calm the situation is for us to part ways. Frankly, and historically, the only thing at this point that is going to save us from ourselves is either breaking apart our union or a major war not of our choosing that forces us to unite. I suspect the latter is coming, but we should start talking about the former if we are not going to live and let live within the rubric of federalism.”
On the same day Hotze’s website cross-posted an essay from another far-right site defending a ban on Muslims entering the United States, referring to them as “unwanted immigrants”:
“Not only does the president have the absolute right to keep Muslims and Islamists out of the country, he has the moral duty to do so.”
The essay cites a statute that bars terrorists from entering the country, but that is far from the same thing as banning people simply because of the religion they practice — unless, of course, you’re a hater.
On Thursday Hotze’s site included an essay that seems to suggest violence against Christians who stray from the far-right fundamentalist political agenda is appropriate. Decrying “self-absorbed libertines,” the writer cites a Bible passage in which “Jesus says those who lead the young to stumble would be better off with millstones around their necks, cast into the sea.” Then just two sentences later he attacks popular Christian author Rachel Held Evans:
“Christians can be tender and amicable toward a man who has engaged in lustful contact with men due to his insuppressible urges, but not to Rachel Held Evans when she tells her myriad Twitter followers that it’s okay to ‘be LGBT-affirming.'”
Hotze and sidekick Jared Woodfill also posted separate (but almost identical) essays this week attacking Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. This is nothing new — Hotze and other far-right activists in Texas have relentlessly attacked Straus for years. A failed far-right effort to remove Straus as House Speaker in 2011 even devolved into a thinly veiled anti-Semitic campaign. (Straus is Jewish.)
In their essays this week, Hotze and Woodfill write that Republicans should replace Straus as speaker because — they argue — the regular legislative session this spring wasn’t conservative enough. Yes, that’s right — a session that saw the passage of more draconian anti-abortion laws, a “show your papers”-style law targeting immigrants and people of color, and protections for child adoption and foster care agencies that discriminate against LGBT people or people of minority religions wasn’t extreme enough for Hotze and Woodfill.
“Wouldn’t it be great if we had a Speaker of the House who was as conservative as Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick,” they ask, right before pitching their newsletter for supporters who want “to keep yourself informed of the latest state, national and international news from a Christian conservative perspective.”
We expect there are plenty of Christian conservatives who would prefer not to be associated with the extremist “state, national and international news” that Hotze’s extremist website promotes every day. So it seems appropriate to ask: Why does Lt. Gov. Patrick continue to associate with extremists like Hotze?