Brandon Darby – From Leftist, to Informant, to Tea Party Darling

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by Liz Harrison

If you’re paying attention at all to significant people in the conservative movement, and you’ve never heard of Brandon Darby, you obviously have been missing something. Today, Darby is a regular on the Tea Party speaking circuit, and has been attempting to organize activists to simply “do good” on the ground for their neighbors. It’s an important endeavor, because conservatives are often cast as unfeeling and greedy by Democrats. We must be, because we’re opposed to all the social programs they use to buy votes.

But how Darby got to this point involves a twisted and convoluted trail, from Texas, to New Orleans, to South America, and through Minneapolis. Much has been made about questioning the loyalty of people that consider themselves conservatives now, in spite of liberal roots. Andrew Breitbart seemed to have a tendency toward accepting at least a few of these people, including Darby. Perhaps it was his general openness that caused this, or maybe Breitbart was smart enough to realize that it’s better to take your allies where you can get them, without questioning their motives or past – maybe it was a combination of the two. Either way, Darby has become a strong conservative ally and activist, and one of many that wouldn’t pass the various “purity tests” that float around, implying that if someone doesn’t fit within some strict guidelines, that person simply can’t be a “real conservative.”

Darby’s history of political activism definitely started on the left side of the spectrum, leading him to keep company with anarchists like Scott Crow. Common Ground was co-founded by Darby and crow, among others, in the wake of hurricane Katrina, and those community-organizing roots are what Darby is drawing from today with the Tea Party. But the story of how Darby went from being a lefist organizer trying to help people rebuild in the infamous 9th Ward section of New Orleans, to being an FBI informant is what has become a documentary film.

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