Now that communism appears to be gasping its last, it's getting tougher for the John Birch Society to stir up any serious tremors with its message of a worldwide Marxist conspiracy to subvert the American Way of Life.
Witness the patronizing tone shown by the following recent news item: "Once the terror of California's GOP politics (showdowns with Nixon, face-offs with Reagan), this political group is making nice. An adopt-a-highway sign on California 395 a few miles this side of the Nevada border tells drivers that the next two miles of roadside cleanup are brought to them by the John Birch Society."
Given the political limbo into which the John Birch Society has fallen, it may come as a surprise that anyone still belongs to it. But a banquet last Saturday night at the Warner Center Marriott, the annual dinner of the society's West Coast Council, dispelled any thoughts that the Birchers might be dead, or even ailing.