“Please talk me out of the crazy tree, America.”
~ Glenn Beck, July 2009
It must be hard to be Glenn Beck. And not just because you would be perpetually burdened with nightmarish delusions of demons and communists conspiring against you. He must have abandonment issues on a grand scale. Perhaps it all goes back to having lost his mother to suicide when he was a teenager. His holiday story, “The Christmas Sweater” is largely centered on that relationship.
Exacerbating this problem, Beck is losing support from many of the folks he would ordinarily rely upon. For instance, Charles Johnson, the proprietor of the right-wing web site Little Green Footballs, just enumerated the reasons that he is parting ways with the right. Two of his top ten reasons explicitly cite Beck due to his support for anti-government lunacy, conspiracy theories, and hate speech. When you’ve lost LGF, you might really want to commence some serious self-examination.
Beck also lost Eric Burns, former host of Fox News Watch. Burns was a relative moderate on Fox News, which may explain why they fired him (watch your back, Shep). Burns has kept a low profile since leaving Fox, but now he opens up about his former haunt. And the first thing he wants to convey is his gratitude that…
“I do not have to face the ethical problem of sharing an employer with Glenn Beck.”
Ouch! Burns says that Beck is “an embarrassment” and likens him unfavorably to some rather unsavory characters from the past: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and John Birch. Remember, these criticisms are coming from a former Fox News anchor. This is how far Beck has wandered from even conservative convention.
None of this, however, will phase Beck. He is confident in his confusion. He has knowledge that transcends the capability of mere mortals. He said so:
6:1) I’ve been talking for several years now – two in particular.
6:2) Because I know what our country is headed towards. I know the struggles that are ahead in my life and I know the struggles that are ahead in your life.
6:3) It’s not going to be pretty, but it’s going to be good.
6:4) We are going to again transform the world. We are going to have a miraculous rebirth. Things are all going to change.
~ More Beckisms in The Gospel According To Beck
Glenn Beck sees our future. His omnipotent vision will shield us from harm. Or at least it will be good harm. But when he speaks of miracles, I wonder if he is aware that Hitler also campaigned on a message of rebirth. It is also interesting to hear Beck say that “we are going to transform the world.” When President Obama said before the election that “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America,” Beck replayed the comment over and over again, insisting that there was something sinister in it. The same is true for his declaration that “Things are all going to change.” When Obama says the same thing, it is cause to hoard guns and ammo and gold and our precious bodily fluids.
Beck must feel awfully alone. Along with those mentioned above, he has lost upwards of eighty advertisers. And more recently, the Harlem Gospel Choir backed out of performing with his theatrical release of The Christmas Sweater. He is rapidly becoming segregated from the world of rational thinkers. He is devolving into a cartoon of himself. He already admitted that he is just an entertainer, a rodeo clown, and a worthless loser. And he beseeches America to talk him out of the crazy tree. In this self-appraisal he has a comrade:
“I have been laughed to scorn as a prophet; for many a year my warnings and my prophecies were regarded as the illusions of a mind diseased […] I appear in the eyes of many bourgeois democrats as only a wild man.”
~ Adolph Hitler, September 1936
We would be wise to remember history. Beck’s friends may be falling from the crazy tree like autumn leaves, but Beck is climbing to ever-higher branches that can’t possibly sustain his weight. He is going to come down from the tree, but not because he was talked down. Perhaps that is what he means when he says that “It’s not going to be pretty.”