Glenn Beck, who has been reduced to tears more often than Tammy Faye Bakker, says that it’s because he loves this country – and fears for it. Apparently he feels that the country he loves is dangerously weak and will collapse, but for his weepy entreaties.
However, his expression of that love always seems to have a disclaimer attached to it. He only loves America if it conforms to his delusive vision. And it isn’t just a few principles or values. In fact, he adds new criteria every day. Here is how he opens every episode of his Fox News program, along with some of his qualifications for loving his country:
If you believe this country is great, but…
- …progressive fascists are trying to destroy it, this is your wake-up call!
- …you believe these weasels are really only as trustworthy as far as you can throw ’em — then your voice needs to be heard.
- …you feel like the government is trying to steer us to mob rule lately, then it’s time to get back on the road.
- …our government is trying to demolish everything that our founders stood for, it’s time to take our country back.
- …fear the tyranny that’s starting to take hold, don’t stay silent.
- …the government is clamping down on your freedom, now’s the time to throw the shackles off.
- …the government’s solutions are the problem, what do you say we get the government out of the way.
- …the government is putting our lives, liberty and fortunes in jeopardy, it’s time to say enough is enough.
That’s just a sampling of the many flaming hoops America must jump through to earn Beck’s affection. And it is no coincidence that most of them express an overt antagonism and require some sort of adversarial activism on the part of Beck’s disciples.
So what does Beck love about America? Well, on his program yesterday he hosted Burton Folsom Jr., a revisionist historian who believes that robber barons were beneficial to the country, and that FDR exacerbated the Depression. In the course of the dialogue, Folsom and Beck praised Henry Ford for opposing labor unions and refusing to participate in FDR’s National Recovery Administration. Of course, it was the labor movement that rescued America’s work force, and FDR’s recovery program that restored economic stability.
What Beck didn’t mention is that, at the very same time, Ford was helping to finance Hitler’s rise to power. While American workers were desperate for jobs, Ford opened a new plant in Germany. His anti-Semitic tract “The International Jew” was a Hitler favorite. And the Nazi regime awarded him the highest honor that a civilian can receive.
What, then, is the message that Beck intends to convey? Is it that we should turn to corporatist (i.e. Fascist) policies to allow the robber barons to return and save the nation? You would think so by his defense of AIG executives’ salaries and bonuses. Beck’s personal interest in this was obvious. Despite the fact that he makes tens of millions of dollars a year, he likes to pretend he’s a man of the people, and he had the gall to articulate this stuporously insensitive complaint:
“As a small businessman, I don’t know what they’re going to do next. I don’t if they are going try to come after me, if they are going to raise my taxes, if all of a sudden I’ve got to pay a new carbon tax, or I’m an unpopular… So you don’t know.”
That’s right, Glenn. You’re a small businessman, they’re all out to get you, and you’re an unpopular…(?). Thanks for enlightening us.
After all that, all I can say is … if you believe this country is great, but wealthy blowhards who produce nothing but hostility and division are distorting American values with their self-centered griping … Come on, follow me.