I Started a PAC to Defend Our Democracy Against Extremists Like Clay Higgins

Lafayette-based entrepreneur Ken Miller launches Blackthorn PAC to challenge the seditious and dystopian vision of America championed by a congressman who pals around with anti-government militia groups.

What we witnessed on Jan. 6th was no fluke. Far from it. While there were plenty of people in the crowd that day who attended just to be at Trump’s last hoorah, there were many others who have been eyeing this moment for years. Chief among them were two groups known as the Three Percenters and the Oath Keepers. Before Jan. 6, they were little known but for their extremist adherents like Congressman Clay Higgins (R- LA-03), who has openly associated with both groups.

In 2017, only a month after claiming his name was mistakenly listed alongside white supremacist Richard Spencer and the anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi online personality known as “Baked Alaska” (Tim Gionet) as a speaker at the “Rally for Free Speech,” Higgins delivered a 15-minute long speech at a different rally held by the Oath Keepers.

A year later, at an LNG (liquified natural gas) industry event back home in Louisiana, Higgins boasted about his affiliation with the Three Percenters, explaining the group’s ideology to a room full of industry representatives. “Some of us refer to ourselves as ‘Three Percenters,’” he said. “You, ladies and gentlemen, are the Three Percenters of the modern era… Together, as the Three Percenters, we represent everything that’s right about this world, and we stand against everything that’s wrong. Welcome to the war for the future of our planet. My role as your representative is to be not just your ally, but your warrior.” He failed to mention the movement’s ties to white supremacists.

Perhaps it should be no surprise that on Jan. 6, Clay did not see insurrectionists. On that fateful day, he saw “fellow patriots.”

In 2017, Higgins was listed as a speaker at a “free speech” rally, alongside two of the country’s most notorious white supremacists. His office claimed he had never agreed to participate in the event and that his name was listed in error, but only a month later, he appeared as a keynote speaker at a similar event held by the anti-government militia group the Oath Keepers.

I find it hard to believe that I need to make this point, but there is nothing patriotic about killing a law enforcement officer in the name of overthrowing the U.S. government. Clay, who often says he would rather be identified as a cop than a congressman, should be the first to acknowledge that.

And yet, to this day he has never made any public statements honoring Brian Sicknick or the others who put their bodies and souls between his “patriots” and our democracy. 

You may wonder what Clay and his motley band of so-called “patriots” mean by Three-Percenters. What that refers to is the belief that all it takes is three percent of a country’s population to overthrow that country’s government, based on “the dubious historical claim that only three percent of American colonists took up arms in the Revolutionary War.” This is what the three-percenters are about, and by extension, this is what Clay Higgins is all about. A chilling thought to most normal Americans is a rallying cry for Clay and “his people.” Something to put on his gun. Something to put on his t-shirts. 

In 2018, Higgins’ campaign sold t-shirts featuring the logo of the Three Percenters, an anti-government movement with strong ties to white supremacists.

As President of Blackthorn PAC, I have committed myself to the defense of our democracy from those like Clay and others like Sen. John Neely Kennedy, who, while not being as blatant in his support for the insurrection, utterly failed to put his country over his personal political opportunism.

We must show the nation and the world that there is no political gain to be hard in turning your back on our constitution and our democracy. Those who did and do in the future must be kicked out of office. No Ifs, Ands, or Buts. This is the centerpiece of Blackthorn’s mission.

Beyond this, Blackthorn is mobilizing for a frontline stand against the disinformation and propaganda machine that is fervently engaged, on a minute-by-minute basis, in a War on Truth. The disinformation and propaganda spewing from the internet and AM radio, including by such charlatans as Louisiana’s own Moon Griffon, is a virus not unlike Covid-19. And Blackthorn will be engaging the fight against it in much the same way by working with specialists in communications, sociology, and other relevant fields to devise a strategy for beating back those who spread the Big Lie and thousands of Little Lies daily in the name of unraveling the fabric of our democracy.

Truth is the lifeblood of a functioning government by the people and for the people. Those who have declared war on truth know this well and have created a powerful network for its dissemination. The good news is that history (and the present) teaches us that with focus, perseverance, enterprise, and creativity, networks can be disrupted and viruses can be defeated.

People often ask me, why the name Blackthorn and not something with a more political bent to it. There are a few reasons. The most simple is that it is a play on my company’s name, the BlackRose Group. But aside from that, I believe our mission goes beyond the purely political and is more akin to a defense against those who are determined to harm our democracy much as thorns exist to protect the flower.It must protect itself this way, and so must we. 

I am asking you to look deep, dig deep, and join this cause. Each and everyone of you who believes in it has something to give, so I encourage you to go to our website at Blackthornpac.com and sign-up. I haven’t talked to a single person who hasn’t said our mission will be easy, but neither have I spoken to a single person who doesn’t believe it is necessary. That is why I started Blackthorn, and it’s why I hope you will join us.