Willis Allison Carto
) is a longtime figure on the far right wing
of American politics. He describes himself as Jeffersonian
, but others such as the Anti-Defamation League
have referred to him as an anti-Semite
for remarks of his such as, "If Satan himself ... had tried to create a ... force for the destruction of the nations, he could have done no better than to invent the Jews.
Influences on Carto
Willis Carto was known to be a devotee of the writings of Francis Parker Yockey
. Yockey's best known book, Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics
, was adopted by Carto as his own guiding ideology. Later, Carto would define his ideology as Jeffersonian
rather than National Socialist, particularly in Carto's 1982 book, Profiles in Populism
. That book presented sympathetic profiles of several United States political figures including Thomas Jefferson
and Andrew Jackson
, as well as the controversial Catholic priest
Father Charles Coughlin
and Henry Ford
Liberty Lobby and Newspapers
In 1955, Carto founded an organization called Liberty Lobby
, which remained in operation under the control of Willis Carto until 2001, when the organization was forced into bankruptcy
as a result of a lawsuit
. Liberty Lobby was perhaps best known for publishing the newspaper, The Spotlight
, between 1975 and 2001.
Carto and several Spotlight staff members and writers have since founded a new newspaper called the American Free Press. The paper includes articles from syndicated columnists who have no direct ties to Carto or his organizations. Like its predecessor, it takes a populist tone and focuses on conspiracy theory, nationalist economics, and Israel. One of its writers, Michael Collins Piper, hosts a weekday talk program on shortwave radio that is pointedly anti-Zionist.
Other activities in the 1950s and 1960s
In 1966, Carto acquired control of The American Mercury
via the Legion for the Survival of Freedom
organization. The magazine
was once a highly respected periodical associated with H.L. Mencken
, but was failing by the time Carto acquired it. It was published until 1980.
Carto ran a group called Youth for George Wallace to aid the third party presidential campaign of George Wallace in 1968. When the campaign failed, he converted what remained of the Youth for George Wallace organization into the National Youth Alliance. As National Chairman for this group, Carto was successful in recruiting William Luther Pierce, who later became famous for his authorship of The Turner Diaries. Eventually Carto lost control of the National Youth Alliance to Pierce, who transformed it into the National Alliance, which is today an American white civil rights organization.
Carto, Revisionism and Holocaust Denial
Carto was also the founder of a publishing company called Noontide Press, which published a number of books on white racialism, including Yockey's Imperium
and David Hoggan
's The Myth of the Six Million
, one of the first books to deny the Holocaust
. Noontide Press later became closely associated with the Institute for Historical Review
(IHR), and fell out of Carto's hands at the same time as the IHR did. The IHR was founded by Willis Carto in 1979, with the intent of promoting the proposition that the Nazi Holocaust
never happened - a view known as Holocaust denial
. After losing control of Noontide Press and the IHR in a hostile takeover by former associates, Carto started another publication, "The Barnes Review"
, which also focuses on Holocaust denial.
Populist Party (1984-1996)
In 1984, Willis Carto was involved in starting a new political party called the Populist Party. It quickly fell out of his hands in a hostile takeover by disgruntled former associates. Critics asserted that this Populist Party (not to be confused with the Populist Party of 1889) was little more than an electoral vehicle for current and former Ku Klux Klan
and Christian Identity
members. Olympic athlete Bob Richards
(1984), David Duke
(a founder of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and a future Louisiana state representative, 1988) and former Green Beret Bo Gritz
(1992) were the Populist Party's only three presidential candidates. It folded before it could nominate a candidate for the 1996 elections.
Carto's Liberty Lobby acquired the Sun Radio Network in December 1989, and attempted to use talk radio
as a vehicle for espousing his views. It was eventually a financial failure. Liberty Lobby and American Free Press
also sponsored the Radio Free America
In 2004, Carto joined in signing the New Orleans Protocol on behalf of American Free Press. The New Orleans Protocol seeks to "mainstream our cause" by reducing internecine warfare. It was written by David Duke.
- Carto, Willis A. (1982) Profiles in Populism. Washington: Flag Press.
- Coogan, Kevin. (1999) Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International. Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia.
- Michael, George. (2008) Willis Carto and the American Far Right. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida.
- Mintz, Frank P. (1985) The Liberty Lobby and the American Right: Race, Conspiracy, and Culture. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
- Piper, Michael C. (1994) Best Witness: The Mermelstein Affair Washington: Center for Historical Review. (Afterword by Carto.)