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Meet John Bennett: The Oklahoma Republican Party’s Very Special Chairman

The Sooner GOP looked at Allen West and said, "Hold my beer . . ."
by Jim Swift
August 3, 2021
Meet John Bennett: The Oklahoma Republican Party’s Very Special Chairman
(Altered screenshot from Chairman Bennett's Facebook announcement video)

The 2022 Republican freak show has been dominated so far by Allen West, the Arizona Cyber Ninjas, and Josh Mandel, but don’t sleep on Oklahoma GOP Chairman John Bennett.

Bennett is in the news for a bizarre Facebook post in which he asks Oklahomans to call the lieutenant governor and demand a special session of the state legislature be convened to “address private employer vaccine mandates.” Using the image of a yellow Holocaust Star of David, Bennett urged readers to “WAKE UP” asking “Is this sounding familiar?

The Washington Post reports:

The Nazis “gave [Jews] a star to put on, and they couldn’t go to the grocery store, they couldn’t go out in public, they couldn’t do anything without having that star on their shirt,” Bennett said. “Take away the star and add a vaccine passport.”

Bennett’s request was rebuffed and condemned by Oklahoma Republicans. But he was undeterred: He released a video in which he doubled down, and then some.

Who is John Bennett? Just another great Republican Patriot.

He graduated from high school in Oklahoma, joined the Marines and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then, he came back, got a communications degree from the University of Phoenix (nota bene: not the ASU campus in Phoenix) and got himself elected to the Oklahoma state house. As a legislator, his signature accomplishment was mandating “that public schools recite the Pledge of Allegiance at least once a week.”

Also, he hates Muslims, like a lot. After four terms, Bennett left the Oklahoma House, citing a self-imposed term limit. He became a Pentecostal pastor and was then elected chair of the Oklahoma GOP earlier this year.

But let’s get back to that six minute video Bennett posted, because it might be the purest distillation of modern conservatism yet produced.

The film opens with a focus on Bennett’s handgun, which sits on his desk in a holster.

OK GOP Chair John Bennett's Appeal

Bennett then rambles on about communism, Cuba, mask mandates, and mandated vaccinations. He is concerned about the idea of 3-year-olds getting vaccinated—here he name-checks Anthony Fauci, because, whatever—and seems blissfully unaware that 3-year-old kids get lots of (non-politicized) vaccines. Have a look!

Bennett continues, saying that the government is closing businesses and churches, but that Republicans should be protecting businesses from liability if people contract COVID while patronizing them.

Then, Bennett goes back to the Holocaust. He says that if people don’t do something about what’s going on, the pandemic will yield the “same result.”


But Bennett isn’t finished. He transitions to the “500 patriots” who were arrested as a result of their mighty deeds on January 6. And he laments that even while these great Americans were pinched by the Deep State, “not one” of the Antifa protestors was ever prosecuted.


Last but not least, Bennett’s video points to an article from Trevor Loudon about communists in the U.S. Congress.

Loudon, if you’ve never heard of him, is a fellow from New Zealand who is “a self-described student of the Zenith Applied Philosophy which has a world view which is a combination of Scientology, Eastern mysticism, and the ideas of the American John Birch Society.”

Good to know what’s on the reading list of the head of the Oklahoma Republican party.

When Republican institutions go crazy in blue states, it’s blamed on the left. Look what they have to put up with. The Libz made them do it.

And when Republican institutions go crazy in more evenly-divided states, like we’ve seen with Allen West in Texas, the explanation is that with the stakes being so high, Republicans need someone who will “fight.”

But Oklahoma is a solidly red state. Its legislature has 121 Republicans between the House and Senate and 28 Democrats. There are no stakes. The Republican party in Oklahoma has the luxury to be whatever it wants to be.

And it chooses to be John Bennett.

Jim Swift

Jim Swift is a senior editor at The Bulwark.