The walking Messiah Complex that we know as Glenn Beck has something in store for America. He is not content with having a daily television program, radio broadcast, books, web site, magazine, movies, and live performances. That’s not nearly enough for a megalomaniacal doomsday prophet of Beck’s caliber. He must have more. He must have the attention of every self-deluding dullard that he can herd into his parish. He must have unambiguous devotion. He must have it all. He must have the future.
And that’s why he is developing what he calls “The Plan,” a one hundred year blueprint for the restoration of an America that exists only in his mangled mentality. He longs to return to an era when our founding fathers consumed and polluted our young nation’s natural resources at will. When they slaughtered savage natives and confined them to reservations. When they enriched themselves with the blood and sweat of imported slaves. When voting was the privilege of male landowners. Ah, those were the days.
This is not to say that America’s founders were inherently evil. They had many admirable qualities and ambitions. They drafted a governing document that is still the model for free, democratic societies. But they were not perfect and ought not to be beatified. It is fair to say that a couple of centuries of progress has contributed to our store of wisdom and purpose. It would be foolish to fail to recognize the advances we’ve made and to build on them. Yet that is precisely the path that Beck would have us follow. He has a plan to move us a hundred years – backwards.
Beck’s obsession with plotting out a hundred years of his philosophy was laid out in a speech to his disciples yesterday. To be clear, it was a speech laying out his obsession, not any real philosophy. There doesn’t actually appear to be one. And as is his practice, he focused primarily on the tribulations of our grievous destiny.
Beck: “I’ve done a lot of reading on history the last few years. And I was amazed to find that what we’re experiencing now is really a ticking time bomb that they designed about a hundred years ago at the beginning of the progressive movement.”
A ticking time bomb? Beck’s reading of history has found some sort of Da Vinci coded scheme by a cabal of early twentieth century super-villains determined to destroy an America they would never live to see. These ragtime conspirators lit the fuse a hundred years ago, and today the threat they set in motion serves as Beck’s Apocalyptic siren. It is the trumpeting of the end of days, and in Beck’s ears it is as sure as Gabriel’s horn. Yet it is a fate that is invisible to everyone but Beck. Thank God we have access to his dementia. Otherwise we would never see the bubbling cauldron of calamities right before our eyes. We would be blind to the signs of doom all around us, like the pernicious paintings and sculptures littering Manhattan courtesy of the socialist clan of Rockefeller.
In his speech yesterday, Beck even found hidden clues to the secrets of the Statue of Liberty. She is not what she seems. Beck recited the words carved at her base:
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses
yearning to breathe free.
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
On the first reading he delivered it hushed tones, almost a whisper, saying that that was the way we had been taught to perceive it. Now I never knew there was a “correct” intonation, but no matter, Beck quickly declares it was wrong. He then commenced a second recitation, this time a cacophony of anger and judgment and spittle running down his chin. This represented the true meaning of the words to him, to which he added, still shouting, “The message is clear…”
“You send the worst of the worst to America.
The people you’ve rejected. The ideas you don’t like.
And freedom will free them. Free their minds.
Liberty will change everything.
My friends, we are in troubled, troubled times.”
That is Beck’s vision of America’s welcome at Ellis Island. It is not an embrace of the world’s downtrodden that they may find peace and fellowship. It is a condemnation of inferiors that they may seek repair. That these diseased and broken souls may be healed. He literally describes Liberty’s poem as “an insult” to foreign tyrants, rather than the appeal to hope that the rest of us heard. It is a vision that perfectly fits Beck’s fixation on creating idols and demons and saviors.
And after excoriating the progressives of yore for their conniving villainy, Beck triumphantly proclaims that “two can play that game.” This is his way of announcing that he too can shape evil plots. He too can form cabals intent on destroying the country. He is openly alerting us that he too can plant a ticking time bomb in America’s foundation.
Beck regards this as his sacred mission. He preaches it to his flock. And over the next year he plans to hold seminars to further indoctrinate his disciples with disinformation and fables that he will convince them are true. And as foreboding as this seems, in the end, Beck cannot prevail. His brand of gloom has never been strong enough to overcome the indomitable optimism of the American people. But sadly, while America will survive Glenn Beck, not all Americans will. And that is why we have an obligation to confront and to counter him. On behalf of those he misleads, and the victims they produce, we must not leave the field to his cult of ignorance.