Yesterday Glenn Beck introduced a petition that he described as a challenge to America. In truth it was nothing more than a self-serving stunt that enumerated a bunch of repetitive calls to denounce violence. This sets Beck apart from the millions of people in America whom he seems to think are clamoring for more of it.
Today Beck spent almost the whole hour whining that only 14 members of congress signed his silly petition. That’s a pretty dismal showing of support. Considering that congress now has 289 Republicans (House and Senate), Beck only managed to snare about 5% of his ideological allies. He was obviously devastated at having been snubbed so brutally. He heaped scorn on those who rebuffed him, blaming them for playing politics. He went on ad nauseum about not being able to understand how anyone could refuse to sign the farce that he regarded as so well-intentioned.
Other than Beck, no one should be surprised that his petition was so universally dismissed. It would be like McDonalds circulating a petition denouncing junk food. Beck is perhaps America’s foremost purveyor of violence-soaked hate speech and has no intention of changing. His history of incendiary language is rich with examples that are indefensibly bloodthirsty. And despite his denial, this sort of rhetoric can motivate the weak, the gullible, and the paranoid. So without further ado I present Glenn Beck’s justifications for political assassination.
Glenn Beck’s Top Ten Reasons To Kill Your Congressman
- January 19, 2010: The progressive movement is sucking the blood out of each of the parties. This is their opportunity to finally win and progressives will, admittedly, do anything to win. They’ll lie, cheat, steal. Do you really think you can pull them off your neck with a ballot box? You must drive a steak through the heart of this movement. … [Obama]‘s not a Democrat. He is a progressive.
- June 10, 2010: Shoot me in the head if you try to change our government. I will stand against you and so will millions of others. We believe in something. You in the media and most in Washington don’t. [...] They believe in communism. They believe and have called for a revolution. You’re going to have to shoot them in the head. But warning, they may shoot you.
- November 13, 2009: Barack Obama and Congress are selling you a bill of goods. It is only when you take down the mask of sunshine and lollipops that you will see the real thing – the real image. Destruction. These bills are creating the path to America’s destruction.
- July 23, 2010: They’ve already taken over health care. Is there any greater control than that of deciding the fate of someone’s life?
- July 23, 2010: The financial regulation that the president signed into law yesterday is an unprecedented assault on our economy, our ability to do business and, quite honestly, the republic as we know it.
- October 30, 2009: When you pull back the curtain, you will see that free speech is being eradicated for controlled speech: Control over the media; control over the Internet; control over you.
- March 8, 2010: There is an effort to indoctrinate [our kids]. … Even President Obama, in his own Web site, targeting our children. … Get the kids out of this indoctrination or our republic will be lost.
- April 24, 2007: I have been telling you for months now that illegal immigration is creating a new civil war in this country.
- September 2, 2009: I’m going to show you the beginning of something that should scare the living daylights out of you. It is propaganda in America. The National Endowment for the Arts is now holding conference calls.
- December 14, 2009: The climate cult wants more than just your recycling bin. … what they want is total submission.
Glenn Beck has assembled a pretty comprehensive list of things that will doom the republic. They include health care, religion, financial regulation, education reform, Network Neutrality, immigration, art, global warming, cap and trade, the census, cash for clunkers, and even food safety. Did I leave anything out? Yes I did. How about…
People that don’t attend his rallies?: There are people now who are saying: I don’t know if I am going on 8/28. I don’t know if I’ll go to another Tea Party. Well, if you’re done, then the republic truly is done. If you’re done, they will take your liberty as well.
And how about…
Sarah Palin? Sarah, as you know, peace is always the answer. I know you are feeling the same heat, if not much more on this. I want you to know you have my support. But please look into protection for your family. An attempt on you could bring the republic down.
As it turns out, our republic must be pretty weak. Almost anything can bring it down according to Beck. I wouldn’t sneeze too hard if I were you. But one risk that Beck stubbornly refuses to acknowledge is that inflaming people’s fears about the end of the world that they know and cherish could drive certain individuals to take extreme measures in what they regard as the protection of their family and country. If you believed that our government were actually behaving in the manner described by Beck, that it was deliberately steering toward slavery, tyranny, and ruin, you might consider it your duty to take out a congressman or two in the name of patriotism. Beck fails to acknowledge this even though it has already happened on a number of occasions; even though he has been warned; even though he caters to advertisers whose products are dependent on such fears; even though his boss Roger Ailes told him to “shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually.” And that may be where Beck gets tripped up.
There has been a lot of debate lately about rhetoric and imagery. I think some of it has concentrated too much on trivialities. I don’t think Beck or Palin are responsible for the shooting last Saturday. I don’t think that maps with crosshairs are going to motivate anyone to commit murder, although they may seem horribly inappropriate after a tragic event like the one in Tucson. However, repeatedly using irresponsible language that dehumanizes rivals and casts them as mortal enemies and foes of goodness and Godliness is tempting fate. It is fomenting a hatred and/or fear of government and fellow citizens. That can turn an ideological opponent into an imminent threat. That is what Beck does every day and it has to stop.
If our republic is to survive (now I’m doing it) we need to be able to have partisan divisions that don’t devolve into civil malignancies. All people in public life need to reflect on this in pursuit of their political goals. And if Beck won’t stop out of a sense of moral decency, then it is up to those who have such morality to counter his repugnancy and work to evict him from the public platform that he does not deserve.