It’s hard to tell whether Glenn Beck has completely given up trying to make sense of anything he says, or if he is actually working harder than ever to spin new mythologies and horror stories. The result is that his ravings have become more fantastical and less rooted to reality than ever before. Brace yourself for the fright of your life as Beck weaves his sinister tale of terror and treachery.
This nightmare begins in the spine-chilling days of the 1960’s, when children were flowered and tangles of hair-covered hippies choked the landscape. It was in those harrowing times that a pack of wild youths known as “students,” sought to build a democratic society. [insert ominous music here] These SDS demons infiltrated the hearths of our sacred homesteads and replaced our sons and daughters with rebels and peaceniks.
From this cursed crucible came a fearsome force. Beck told you about them last week when he revealed the left’s playbook, the manifesto from the Weather Underground. Of course, the Weathermen were a tiny band of misfits that most of the left, including SDS, renounced. They had zero influence on anyone then, and even less now. That didn’t stop Beck from elevating them to becoming the driving force of liberalism and the authors of its future. Beck dearly loves to unearth ancient irrelevancies and pretend that they are omniscient. But the most frightening part of this tale is that these harbingers of doom, this ragtag crew of rebels, grew up to assume positions of power in government under the hypnotic control of the ultimate puppetmaster, Barack Obama.
At this point in the tale, Beck asserts that these ageless SDS monsters have regrouped and are now poisoning the minds of today’s youth in a “new” SDS. The proof of this association is that they all appear on the same blackboard in Beck’s television studio. Other than that, Beck provides no evidence whatsoever that the new SDS is in any way affiliated with the old ghost of SDS. But I suppose that just makes it even more frightening.
In Beck’s telling of this story he finds it curious that the new SDS was formed two years before Obama was elected president. In the richness of Beck’s delusions, that means that it was a conspiracy whose purpose was to install the radical revolutionary Obama in the White House and implement a communist dictatorship. What a brilliant plan. After all, what could be easier than getting a black man elected to the presidency for the first time ever? I’m surprised nobody ever thought of it before. Although I’m just a little confused about Beck’s aversion to radical revolutionaries considering he said this just a couple of weeks ago:
“They don’t have any idea who I am. So let me announce who I am beginning today. I am a revolutionary. Yes I am. I’m a man that believes radical change must come.”
It isn’t unusual to hear Beck castigate others for things he does himself. In this episode he complained that the media isn’t telling you the truth. He reached back to the sixties again to play a clip from the Perry Mason Show as a witness was being sworn in. Then he asked if there is anyone in the media who is telling “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Well, certainly not if you regard Beck and Fox News as being the media.
I must commend Beck for the angle he’s taking here. The assault on hippie generation; the use of iconic figures from the popular culture of a half century ago like Perry Mason; on a recent program he reached backed to Father Knows Best and Leave It To Beaver in order to frame Homer Simpson as a Weatherman operative (no, seriously). This is all part of his appeal to an aging audience that is still fighting the anti-war, free love, peaceniks that they were all so jealous of when they were uptight teenagers.
The truly frightening part of this is that Beck is fomenting a hatred of his fellow Americans so intense that it is spurring them to violence. He is assembling a Zombie army that takes their orders from him through the airwaves. Media Matters has documented some of the more overt incidents where Beck has delivered his haunted sermons. Beck’s rhetoric today continued that trend, even as he complained about this characterization of him:
“Most people in America don’t realize what they are up against. This is not just a movement with big government tendencies. It’s radical revolutionaries who believe so strongly that America is evil, that capitalism and the free market are evil, that they will stop at nothing to end the perceived oppression.”
It’s hard to see how Beck could be so blind to the possibility that this sort of fear-mongering could incite an unstable pseudo-patriot to star in his own slasher film. Yet Beck defends himself in the most peculiar terms.
“No one on TV has preached more that violence is not the answer than me. But when I do, the leftists say, ‘Hmm, why would you have to say that unless your crazy listeners weren’t one push away from a shooting spree?” I say it for the same reason Martin Luther King said it.”
See? He’s just like Martin Luther King. Except for the fact that Dr. King never whipped up a paranoid hysteria of white devils determined to reinstate slavery and destroy everything you hold dear. To the contrary, King spoke of loving your enemy and the importance of everyone coming together harmoniously. When Beck starts preaching that progressives are his brothers and his intention is to inspire camaraderie and affection, I’ll take his claims of anti-violence more seriously. But to date he has maintained that progressives are a cancer on America and he literally said that they are “taking you to a place to be slaughtered.” I don’t recall that speech from Dr. King.
There is, however, something that Beck has in common with Dr. King. They both profess to be men of God. Of course King proved it with a doctorate from Boston University where he studied theology and philosophy, after which he devoted his life (literally) to his faith and his work on behalf of civil rights. Beck, on the other hand, is a dropout who became an alcohol and drug abuser as he pursued a career as a radio shock jock and a wealthy political televangelist. Other than that they were exactly the same. It’s funny that, given these similarities, Beck went out of his way to quote Pope Benedict as saying…
“Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes not divine but demonic.”
That was actually from Truth and Tolerance by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, years before he was promoted to Pope. The funny part is that Beck cited that passage to criticize Rev. Jim Wallis, an advocate of social justice, for injecting religion into politics. Yet Beck constantly preaches that religion must play a bigger role in public life. He advocates posting the Ten Commandments in government buildings and imposing prayer in public schools.
All of that, along with the rest of the right-wing theo-con movement, is directly contrary to the Pope’s opinion. But as with all things conservatives concern themselves with, there is a different standard for them and for everyone else. Judgment Day to them is the day when they get to be the judges. And God help you if you haven’t made your peace with Glenn Beck.