This morning, I scraped up a few new factoids:
There are several references to James B. Utt in the excellent Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right, by Lisa McGirr.
On p. 120, McGirr quotes from a letter by Utt to Richard Nixon, complaining that Nixon’s denunciation of the John Birch Society (owing to leader Welch's remarks) was “ridiculous.” Later, Ronald Reagan, whom Utt championed, refused to disown Birch support, again distinguishing between leader and followers (p. 311).
|Utt liked Birchers but|
didn't like leader Welch
Utt seemed to have a fondness for nutty "scientific" theories. Historian and journalist Rick Perlstein quotes from a speech by Utt in the Congressional Record:
“The Beatles and their mimicking rock-and-rollers use the Pavlovian techniques produce artificial neuroses in our young people. Extensive experiments in hypnotism and rhythm have shown how rock-and-rock music leads to a destrtuion [sic] of the normal inhibitory mechanism of the cerebral cortet [sic] and permits easy acceptance of immorality and disregard for all moral norms.”The speech is also quoted in part in Perlstein’s Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America.
According to journalist Howard Blum in Wanted!: the search for Nazis in America,
Sometime before his ominous pronouncements about Operation Water Moccasin and just after his discovery of "a plot to centralize the Girl Scouts," Representative James B. Utt became involved in the case of Andrija Artukovic.
|James B. Utt|
James B. Utt on Space Travel (1963). Pretty goofy. Evidently, Utt supposed that, someday, a Star Trek-like transporter would be invented, though it appears that he wouldn't want to use it. Smart.
Utt on muckraker Jessica Mitford. Utt was really down on Mitford’s famous exposé of the funeral industry (The American Way of Death, 1963). Called her a Commie, owing to her long-ago membership. I think she appreciated the publicity. Utt was a big supporter of HUAC.
Utt on Medicare. Yeah, he was down on that sort of thing. Civil rights, too.
Although I haven't been able to verify it, Utt reportedly once warned that Chinese soldiers were massing on the Mexican border. He wrote that in his notorious newsletter. The rumor was widespread among the far right in those days.
Gosh, if anybody had kept those newsletters, they'd be gold now!