Robert Welch (1900-1985) was a political activist who founded the John Birch Society in 1958 to fight Communism, and dominated it until his death. He believed that Communists had almost taken control of the United States. He embarrassed conservatives, most of whom rejected his conspiracy theories. Welch accused president Dwight Eisenhower of being a communist agent for his censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy as well as his refusal to support the Anti-Communist Hungarian revolt of 1956. At that council dinner, Welch quoted himself from the John Birch Society's founding meeting in 1958 — 55 years ago now — laying out ten steps to destroy America. "A part of that plan, of course, is to induce the gradual surrender of American sovereignty, piece-by-piece and step-by-step, to various international organizations — of which the United Nations is the outstanding but far from the only example," he said.
Here are the ten steps Welch outlined:
- Greatly expanded government spending for every conceivable means of getting rid of ever larger sums of American money as wastefully as possible.
- Higher and then much higher taxes.
- An increasingly unbalanced budget despite the higher taxes.
- Wild inflation of our currency.
- Government controls of prices, wages and materials supposedly to combat inflation.
- Greatly increased socialistic controls over every operation of our economy and every activity of our daily lives. This is to be accompanied naturally and automatically by a correspondingly huge increase in the size of our bureaucracy and in both the cost and reach of our domestic government.
- Far more centralization of power in Washington, and the practical elimination of our state lines. There is a many-faceted drive at work to have our state lines eventually mean no more within the nation than our county lines do now within the states.
- The steady advance of federal aid to and control over our educational system leading to complete federalization of our public education.
- A constant hammering into the American consciousness of the horror of modern warfare. The beauties and the absolute necessities of peace, peace always on communist terms of course.
- The constant willingness of the American people to allow the steps of appeasement by our government that amount to a piece meal surrender of the rest of the free world and the United States itself.