The worst PR for the rabid right   (Photo: David Shankbone/Wikimedia)

The worst PR for the rabid right (Photo: David Shankbone/Wikimedia)

Glenn Beck—An American Original

The wonderful thing about the Glenn Beck show is Beck’s complete lack of self-restraint and good judgment. It’s like watching an Id on amphetamines strangling a defenseless 90-pound weakling Superego every day at 5 o’clock. With no  internal editor counseling Beck against buffoonery and the endless spouting of easily disprovable “facts,” he stands intellectually and morally challenged before the world as the worst PR imaginable for the New Republican Party.

A Few Recent Gems from the Beck Collection:

Regarding the history of race relations, Beck believes things were “moving in the right direction” “…until the lead up to the Civil War.”

According to Beck: Joe McCarthy—the infamously unbalanced red-baiter of the 50s—was right.

Beck has suggested that predator drones would be used by Obama to monitor Tea Parties.

Beck: “We have more in line today with the communist goals of 1963″ than with the Constitution.

Inspiration

Just take a moment to think about Beck’s take on race relations in America during the early to mid 19th century: “…moving in the right direction.” What could he possibly mean by that? Was there less whipping by slave owners? Listening closely to that show’s clip, he seems to be implying that blacks and whites of the late 18th and 19th centuries got along handsomely until politicians started making such a big deal out of slavery. If they just had shut up about that little divisive matter of one human being owning another, things would have been fine.

If you don’t count the Beck faithful, Beck may be the only non-straight-jacketed individual on the planet to find the works of discredited Mormon historian W. Cleon Skousen to be of any value at all, let alone central to his very being. Skousen, the man Beck claims “changed my life,” believed President Eisenhower was a communist agent, and was considered too far right by famed anti-communist FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, who kept a 2,000-page dossier on the guy. An avid supporter of the John Birch Society (famous for warning us about the commie plot known as fluoridated water), and a big believer in one-world conspiracies and end-times dogma, Skousen was marginalized as too radical and loopy by Goldwater Republicans during the sixties, and was treated by his own Mormon Church as an embarrassment. Beck, however, has scraped the mildew off Skousen’s books and papers, and repackaged them as prophesy.

The Right vs. Wrong

These are just tiny glimpses into the astonishing nuttiness of Mr. Beck. His bold incoherence, his open-your-mouth-and-see-what-comes-out approach to philosophical discourse, and his knack for self-promotion are driving more sensible conservatives, like Matthew Continetti of The Weekly Standard, to distraction. Continetti’s piece  in the Standard is as merciless to Beck as anything penned by the left—with a lot more sting.

Continetti has good reason to be concerned. Beck stands as a constant reminder of the hijacking of the Republican Party by those who increasingly waddle over the line between extremist ideology and certifiable.

Keep Beck on the Air

Those boycotting Beck’s sponsors and calling for his dismissal believe Beck’s rhetoric often oozes into hate speech, and has directly or indirectly caused violent behavior by some of his more unstable devotees. When I recall the TV images of some of the folks who attended Beck’s “9.12” gathering in Washington, the accusation isn’t difficult to believe. However, suppressing anyone’s speech, no matter how inflammatory or moronic, is a dangerous thing to do.

The best reason to keep Beck on the tube, though, is his headline-grabbing absurdity. Reasonable conservatives and independents may not watch his show, but the mainstream media—always on the lookout for outrageousness—make sure that such gems as Beck’s  “exposé of FEMA concentration camps” and conviction that George Soros is planning to kill him are always fresh in people’s minds.

As the most visible face of the New Republican (read:Tea) Party, it is imperative that Beck’s latest outrages continue to be fresh in the minds of independents and embarrassed Republicans, especially at voting time.

The isolated cases of alleged Beck-inspired violence wouldn’t hold a candle to what the world would be in for if Beck’s breed of Republicans were ever voted into power.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Rosemary says:

    Have you seen Jon Stewart’s take on Glenn Beck and his chalkboard? it is excellent… just go to http://www.dailyshow.com and do a search for Glenn Beck… Have a few laughs… and then reflect on how sad it is that he has so many followers…

    Some days, without Jon Stewart, I would dissolve into a puddle…
    R

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s