Click here for his Wikipedia entry, which describes him as a "faith-based political theorist" (!?)and a "notable anti-communist and supporter of the John Birch Society."
In 1981, the first year of Ronald Reagan's presidency, Skousen was asked to be a charter member of the conservative think tank the Council for National Policy, founded by Tim LaHaye, author of the Left Behind series of books. Other early participants included Paul Weyrich; Phyllis Schlafly; Robert Grant; Howard Phillips, a former Republican affiliated with the Constitution Party; Richard Viguerie, the direct-mail specialist; and Morton Blackwell, a Louisiana and Virginia activist who is considered a specialist on the rules of the Republican Party.I'm aware of the wingnuttery of LaHaye, Weyrich, Schlafly, Viguerie, and Blackwell; Robert Grant and Howard Phillips are new to me, and I have no desire to learn anything about them.
Skousen disregarded all federal regulatory agencies and argued against the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. He also wanted to repeal the minimum wage, eliminate unions, nullify anti-discrimination laws, sell off public lands and national parks, end the direct election of senators, eliminate the income tax and the estate tax, remove the walls separating church and state, and end the Federal Reserve System.Here's an excerpt from an article by Hunter in Daily Kos entitled "Oh, Lord. Ben Carson's been getting his policy ideas from one of the kookiest kooks in conservatism."
For you youngsters out there who have never been exposed to the name Willard Cleon Skousen, think of him as a Cold War-era conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, but with about three Joe McCarthys and Glenn Beck's chalkboard stuffed inside his noggin via his ear-holes. He saw secret communists everywhere. He was convinced that Marxist forces had infiltrated Hollywood, and schools, and banking, and the arts, and architecture, and everything else you can name. He considered the American founding fathers to be descendants of "the Lost Tribes of Israel." He argued that American slaves had it pretty good, all things considered. He was certain that homosexuality was part of an elaborate plot to weaken America for the Ruskies."President Carson"? God almighty.
In short, there's not many ridiculous conspiracy theories he wasn't an active proponent of. For all these reasons, he continues to hold disproportionate sway among the stupid and the paranoid—oh, and it doesn't hurt that Glenn Beck has been peddling him for a long while now, making sure a raving lunatic's half-century old fever dreams still get a fair shake. In general, if you're a fan of Cleon Skousen you should damn well keep it to yourself.