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On July 8, Sam Bushman, CEO of the far-right Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), appears headed to a venue known for its ardent embrace of the southern Confederacy. On the same day, a white nationalist neo-Confederate group is holding a gathering at the facility.

News of Bushman’s involvement in the South Carolina event surfaced in an April 11 edition of the CSPOA Intel Webinar. Bushman announced,

“I don’t know if, you know, but in South Carolina, there’s a place called Travelers Rest, and in Travelers Rest, there is a celebrating the South store, all things Southern. It celebrates, there’s a store there, and that store has some events. I think it’s the first Saturday after the Fourth of July, they have this big old town event where they promote, and have a big old parade and a fair and, and all this stuff, and I’m gonna be attending that and broadcasting there live, as well…

That’s not really a CSPOA event, but it is an event that I will be, I will be part of for that. So that’s happening…All right, Dixie Republic is the store that I was mentioning that celebrates Southern heritage. And then there’s a huge event in that town, Travelers Rest in South Carolina.”

Dixie Republic and Dixie Fest


CSPOA CEO Sam Bushman’s scheduled trip to South Carolina takes him to a venue best known for its embrace of the southern slave-owning Confederacy. Run by Scott Goldsmith, the Dixie Republic website declares that “Dixie Republic is stocked floor to ceiling with items that celebrate and promote The South and The Confederacy.”[1] Dixie Republic is listed as a neo-Confederate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In addition to peddling a host of t-shirts and trinkets featuring Confederate flags, at one point, Goldsmith’s store sold neo-Nazi David Duke’s antisemitic screed, My Awakening, according to the Charleston Post and Courier. Dixie Republic currently includes among its “Weekly Featured Products” Jean Raspail’s Camp of the Saints, a crassly racist book depicting a brown-skinned invasion of Europe.[2]

The Dixie Republic also has a history of hosting events for white nationalists. Previously, the venue featured Identity Dixie leader Padraig Martin, a speaker at the upcoming League of the South summer conference, and James Edwards of the American Freedom Party – the same Edwards frequently appearing on Sam Bushman’s Liberty Roundtable show.[3] An offer of a “surprise gift from our friends at Dixie Republic!” features in a 2021 fundraising appeal for Edwards’ Political Cesspool radio program.[4]

Dixie Republic sells shirts promoting both Identity Dixie and James Edwards’ The Political Cesspool, as well as shirts commemorating Confederate General Robert E. Lee and Reconstruction-era Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forest.[5]

Shirts sold by Dixie Republic

The Official League of the South Telegram channel wrote, “If you haven’t been to our very own Dixie Republic … you are missing out! This place is a breath of fresh air for our people.”[6]

League of the South

On the same day, in the exact location as Dixie Fest, the white nationalist Southern secessionist group League of the South is holding a conference.

The Southern Nationalist Telegram channel, a vehicle for the political and social “thinking” of League of the South President Michael Hill, announced recently that the League of the South’s “2023 Summer Conference” is set for July 8 at The Dixie Republic, Travelers Rest, South Carolina – that is, on the first Saturday after the 4th of July, as Bushman described.[7]

James Edwards (left) and League of the South leader Michael Hill (far right)

Bushman’s announcement of his pilgrimage to a racist relic like the Dixie Republic for Dixie Fest comes on the heels of CSPOA officially adding former Maryland League of the South leader Michael Peroutka to its advisory board. Peroutka and fellow League of the South member David Whitney are often trainers at CSPOA events.

The League of the South is a white nationalist organization that advocates secession and the creation of a confederation of white ethnostates across the American South. In pursuit of this goal, the organization spews crass antisemitism and has allied its cause with national socialists. Of late, the League of the South has advocated targeting local and state elections to advance the racist cause.[8]

The announced speakers at the League of the South’s July 8 South Carolina conference include Hill, Alabama League of the South leader Mark Thomey, Padraig Martin of Identity Dixie, and Sam Dickson.[9]

Summing up a white nationalist position on government in a September 2022 interview published on Identity Dixie’s website, Padraig Martin said, “As it pertains to whether or not an independent South would be exclusively white or white-run, the short answer is ‘Yes.’’’ Martin added that, “Prior to the elimination of Jim Crow, blacks largely managed themselves within the overarching structure of a white Christian government. I suspect many would self-deport, as they did in the late nineteenth century, when federal subsidies end, and the few that remain would be rural blacks who have a history of largely staying to themselves.”[10]

Martin, who attended the 2017 “United the Right” rally in Charlottesville and claims to have been subsequently arrested on weapons charges, also recently shared his take-home on Oath Keepers’ leader Stewart Rhodes’s conviction on seditious conspiracy charges – concluding, specifically, that those involved in the January 6 insurrection and Charlottesville rally didn’t murder enough people:

“The lesson of the egregious Stewart Rhodes prison sentence – as well as every other J6 Protester languishing in a prison – is the following: if you are going to start a revolution of any kind, even if your purpose had legal or Constitutional merit, you better not stop at the gates. You better go all in. Do not leave a single police officer, Congressman, judge, or any other functionary of government alive… The fate of the January 6th protesters, as well as the fate of so many before them at Unite the Right in Charlottesville – whereby the persecutions continue till this day – is a warning to all of you: the next time you take part in a rightwing protest be prepared to kill them all. Half measures are no longer an option.”[11]

In a March 25 episode of Sam Bushman’s Liberty Roundtable, James Edwards appeared as a guest on the show to promote the release of a book edited by Padraig Martin, The Honorable Cause: A Free South. The book includes writings by Edwards, Martin, and Michael Hill of the League of the South. Bushman introduced Edwards by stating “You’ve got an incredible announcement for us.” Edwards described, “This is actually, right here, right now, with Sam Bushman and Chris Carslon on Liberty Roundtable, the very first mention publicly of this.”

Bushman explained, “Liberty Roundtable live, and Liberty News Radio want to be at the front of this thing, letting everybody know about it ahead of everybody else, James.”[12] Sam Bushman elaborated,

“The book is called, ladies and gentlemen, The Honorable Cause. It’s a compilation of essays, 12 essays written to really advocate for the southern point of view. It’s a pro-secession activist book, and their goal is to say, ‘hey, the south’s gonna rise again,’ if you will. But it’s to help you understand kind of the back story about the south, what the intention is, the Christian values, it’s really a focus on helping tell the story from a pro-southern point of view, not from the victors of yester-year that seem to want to re-write the narrative.”[13]

Bushman told listeners they can buy the book on Amazon, urging “Get your copy today.”[14] Asserting that the “southern story is the liberty story,” Bushman noted that James Edwards ends promotions for the book by stating “Deo vindice” – of which the Liberty Roundtable website wrote, “Latin for ‘With God as Our Defender/Protector’! – National Motto Of The Confederate States of America.”[15]

A kick-off for the book was held on April 1 at Dixie Republic and broadcast on Edward’s show.[16]


From CSPOA to an “American fascist political party organization.”

CSPOA leader Sam Bushman’s jaunt to Dixie Republic is neither his nor CSPOA’s first flirtation with white nationalists and hardcore antisemites.

In 1995 CSPOA founder  CSPOA founder Richard Mack spoke at a conference in Arizona hosted by the Idaho-based America’s Promise Ministries. At the event, Mack read a passage from his book, From My Cold Dead Fingers, stating, “The Reverend Jesse Jackson types and the NAACP have done more to enslave Afro-Americans than all the southern plantation owners put together.”[17] America’s Promise is a Christian Identity “church,” a virulently racist pseudo-religion holding that whites are the Israelites of the Bible, Jews satanic, and people of color a pre-Adamic, inferior race.

Mack’s racist notions of history are part and parcel of this movement, a form of racism denial that animates the national identities of a broad swath of the American far right. Mack again endorsed a similar idea minimizing the horrors of American chattel slavery in a May 30, 2023, installment of Sam Bushman’s Liberty Roundtable. Claiming to quote longtime Christian Right figure Alan Keyes as saying, “The only difference between today’s slavery and the slavery of the old south is that at least the plantation owners paid for the chains.” Mack concluded, “Uh, that has a lot of truth to it and stands on its own.”[18]

In a June 20 installment of Liberty Roundtable, Sam Bushman fronted for white nationalists by arguing that the term is little more than a means of attacking all whites, and Christians in particular. The term “white nationalism,” Bushman inaccurately asserted, “is just a great way to divide and make all white people eventually untouchable – they’re the evil ones in the mix, and then eventually it will be white Christians, everyone else will eventually get a pass.”[19]

CSPOA’s repeated brushes with white nationalism occur for a reason.

CSPOA “trainer” KrisAnne Hall appeared at an August 2019 meeting of the Florida chapter of the League of the South. Hall’s spurious claims that the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S Constitution are “unlawful” can also be understood as a potential bridge between CSPOA-type far-rightists and open white nationalists due to the depth of its attack on the Constitutional foundation of federally-enforceable civil rights.

CSPOA advisory board member Michael Peroutka and CSPOA trainer David Whitney, now both leaders of the Institute on the Constitution, are both former Maryland leaders of the League of the South.

In 2021 Mack undertook a national “Arise USA” bus tour with Robert David Steele, an ardent antisemite who, before dying in August of that year from COVID-19, promoted Holocaust denial and called for jailing Jews not sufficiently “loyal to the Republic.”

CSPOA CEO Sam Bushman also has a long-standing relationship with James Edwards, host of The Political Cesspool and a director of the white nationalist American Freedom Party (AFP).[20] Edwards has been a recurring guest on Bushman’s Liberty Roundtable show, appearing more than 100 times between January 2015 and the present – including at least five appearances as a co-host. Edwards’s segment in recent years has been Race, Politics & Hypocrisy. Edwards’ most recent appearance on Bushman’s show was May 31, 2023.[21] Bushman has also filled in for Edwards on The Political Cesspool.[22]

The American Freedom Party is led by Chairman William Daniel Johnson, a California-based attorney notorious for having written a proposed Constitutional amendment stating, “No person shall be a citizen of the United States unless he is a non-Hispanic white of the European race, in whom there is no ascertainable trace of Negro blood.”[23]

Updating how such politics are framed, current AFP Executive Director John Fassbinder recently demonstrated, once again, that white nationalists constitute the most persistently fascist wing of the American far right. A former Identity Evropa and American Identity Movement activist, Fassbinder made this clear in a May interview with Achtung Amerikaner, the podcast of Amerikaner, a South Dakota-based national socialist group whose show intro declares, “the ethnostate starts with you.”[24]

The show’s host uses the pseudonym Gordon Kahl, the same name as the Christian Identity and Posse Comitatus leader who shot and killed two U.S. Marshall’s agents in a 1983 confrontation in North Dakota.[25]


“Gordon Kahl” of Achtung Amerikaner

In the interview, Fassbinder described the American Freedom Party as a “a pro-American, pro-heritage America party…We represent ultimately the founding stock of America – that being those of European descent, those who founded the country. We are a third positionist party.” Fassbinder referred to such “stock” as “real Americans.”[26]

Fassbinder criticized the broader “America First movement” for “accepting help from” and “integrating itself within individuals who are not of European descent.” He continued, “Our organization exists for the advocacy of people in America of European descent by people of European descent.”

“Our leadership is maintained by individuals of European descent, ‘heritage Americans’ is the term we like to use,” Fassbinder explained.[27]

Fassbinder also compared the AFP to the white nationalist Patriot Front. Noting that the Patriot Front focuses on such activities as postering and banner drops, Fassbinder explained that while the American Freedom Party engages in such activism, it also branches into running candidates for local and state offices. Akin to Patriot Front’s history of campus organizing, Fassbinder described that the AFP is forming a campus group called the National Students League.

And, Fassbinder explained, both organizations are fascist:

“Patriot Front frames themselves as the same thing that they are, and it’s what we are, which is ultimately, a sort of American fascist political party organization, you know, we do use the fasces and the torch for a reason.”[28]

Third positionism is the other term Fassbinder uses to characterize the American Freedom Party. In fact, the party was initially founded as American 3P and later American Third Position before adopting its current name. This ideology casts itself as a “third” alternative to capitalism and communism. In the end, it amounts to little more than racial nationalism, fascism, and targeted appeals to white workers as members of an imagined racial nation.

Fassbinder also stressed, “Our party leadership consists of many influential dissident right figures that have been around for a while,” including, he mentions, James Edwards – CSPOA leader Sam Bushman’s go-to person on matters racial.

CSPOA’s leaders can be expected to continue misleading the public over the group’s involvement with white nationalism. A mountain of evidence shows that there is no earthly reason to believe them.


[1] Dixie Republic. About Us. Accessed June 8, 2022.

[2] Dixie Republic. Accessed June 8, 2023; Byrd, Caitlin and Stephen Hobbs. The Post and Courier. May 12, 2019, Updated December 28, 2022.

[3] Southern Nationalism. Telegram. April 2, 2023.; Southern Nationalism. Telegram. April 3, 2023.

[4] The Political Cesspool. Operation Choke Point. February 28, 2021.

[5] Dixie Republic. Shop. T-Shirts. Accessed June 21, 2023.

[6] The Official League of the South. Telegram. May 2, 2023.

[7] Southern Nationalist. Telegram. June 2, 2023.

[8] Southern Nationalist. Telegram. February 7, 2023.; Southern Nationalist. Telegram. April 6, 2023.

[9] Southern Nationalist. Telegram. June 2, 2023.


[11] Padraig Martin. Gab. December 3, 2022.


[12] Liberty Roundtable. Radio Show Hour 1 – 03/25/2023. March 26, 2023.

[13] Liberty Roundtable. Radio Show Hour 1 – 03/25/2023. March 26, 2023.

[14] Liberty Roundtable. Radio Show Hour 1 – 03/25/2023. March 26, 2023.

[15] Liberty Roundtable. Radio Show Hour 1 – 03/25/2023. March 26, 2023.

[16] Southern Nationalism. Telegram. April 2, 2023.; Southern Nationalism. Telegram. April 3, 2023.

[17] Zeskind, Leonard. Johnson County sheriff supports extremists with documented ties to white supremacists. The Kansas City Star. July 21, 2022.

[18] Liberty Roundtable. Radio Show Hour 1 – 5/30/2023. May 30, 2023.

[19] Liberty Roundtable. Radio Show Hour 1 – 6/20/2023. June 20, 2023.

[20] American Freedom Party. Leadership. Accessed June 6, 2023.

[21] Liberty Roundtable. Radio Show Hour 1 – 5/31/2023.  May 31, 2023.

[22] James Edwards. The Political Cesspool. Listen to The Political Cesspool Radio Program LIVE Tonight / Saturday, February 25, 6-9 PM CT. February 25, 2023.

[23] American Freedom Party. Leadership. Accessed June 6, 2023.

[24] Achtung Amerikaner The American Freedom Party 05-10-2023. Posted on May 10, 2023 by Gordon Kahl.; Amerikaner. Telegram. July 4, 2022.; Amerikaner. Telegram. December 1, 2022.

[25] For detailed accounts of the Posse Comitatus and Gordon Kahl, see  Levitas, Daniel. The Terrorist Next Door: The Militia Movement and the Radical Right. 2002. New York: Thomas Dunne Books; and Corcoran, James. Bitter Harvest. Gordon Kahl and the Posse Comitatus: Murder in the Heartland. 1990. New York: Penguin Books.

[26] Achtung Amerikaner The American Freedom Party 05-10-2023. Posted on May 10, 2023, by Gordon Kahl.

[27] Achtung Amerikaner The American Freedom Party 05-10-2023. Posted on May 10, 2023, by Gordon Kahl.

[28] Achtung Amerikaner The American Freedom Party 05-10-2023. Posted on May 10, 2023, by Gordon Kahl.

Chuck Tanner

Author Chuck Tanner

Chuck Tanner is an Advisory Board member and researcher for the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. He lives in Washington State where he researches and works to counter white nationalism and the anti-Indian and other far right social movements.

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