Why Does Glenn Beck Hate Young People?

Glenn Beck has a long record of heaping scorn on the youth of America. He has accused them of having been indoctrinated by Marxists in the Obama administration. He has called them “useful idiots” because they are drawn to progress and changing the country for the better. He castigated Al Gore for having the temerity to assert that there are some things that young people know that their parents do not. To me that seems obvious (and necessary), but to Beck it is an ominous omen of doom.

The uprising in Egypt has presented another opportunity for Beck to belittle the passion and aspirations of youth. He spent several minutes of his program highlighting this soundbite from Obama’s speech to students in Michigan:

Obama: We are witnessing history unfold. The moment of transformation that’s taking place because the people of Egypt are calling for change. And they’ve turned out in extraordinary numbers…
Beck (interrupting): Listen to the way he says this.
Obama: …representing all ages and all walks of life. But it’s young people who have been at the forefront. A new generation. Your generation. Who want their voices to be heard.

This is deeply disturbing to Beck. He has a confirmed animosity toward youth that colors his perspective and produces a knee-jerk negativity aimed at young people who care about their society in America and now in Egypt as well. His analysis of the events in Egypt are summed up in this conclusion:

Beck: It will not have a singular ideology, but it will mean revolution, destruction, and change. And it will be led by young people. Because anyone over thirty knows that chaos doesn’t usually lead anyplace good.

Perhaps Beck, the historian and fan of Founding Fathers, would benefit from looking into doddering old revolutionaries like Thomas Jefferson (32 years old in 1775), John Jay (30), James Madison (24), Alexander Hamilton (20), Thomas Paine (38), and that ancient eminence George Washington (43). Are these the sort old fogies whom Beck would prefer over the children like Wael Ghonim, the thirty year old Google marketing chief who helped to organize the Egyptian protests?

Suffice to say, Glenn Beck is an idiot. This week he hollered at the critics on his lawn and told them to “Go to Hell!” because they said he was crazy. I’m not sure “crazy” goes far enough. His psychotic explanations of an imagined cabal that joins radical Muslims with American leftists was repudiated even by Beck’s right-wing pals. Yet Beck dug in his heels and warned his viewers to heed him because…

Beck: I know history. I know what history teaches us. And I know my gut. And I wanted you to see it. I wanted this to be branded on your head. I wanted you to see it and know there was no one else telling you this stuff.

That’s right. Brand it on your head Beckoids. And know that only Brother Glenn has the divine knowledge that he generously imparts onto you, his undeserving flock. What other modern prophet could come up with this analysis of the Egyptian uprising:

Beck: It will be historic because this is an incredibly well organized uprising that was able to overthrow a dictator of thirty years in 18 days. To give you some idea, “shock and awe” lasted about that time. That’s what it took us to grab Baghdad.

It’s important to note that Beck was speaking in disparaging terms about the uprising. His reference to it being “well organized” was his way of connecting it to “community organizing,” which he abhors. But the most absurdly imbecilic part of that commentary was Beck’s negative comparison of 18 days of mostly peaceful protests by Egyptian citizens against their own oppressive government, to 18 days of deadly warfare by an invading force of Americans into Iraq, a nation that had not provoked the attack that was justified by a litany of lies.

The fact that it took 18 days of carpet bombing, and the murder of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, for the United States to topple Iraq’s capital city (and commence a war that is still in progress eight years later), hardly compares to 18 days of chanting and banner waiving that removed an entrenched tyrant from power. It is impossible to comprehend what significance Beck is trying to convey with this comparison.

And therein lies the justification for everyone thinking he’s crazy. But in some respects he is crazy like a Fox. His assault on youth is a coordinated campaign to appeal to his base. His audience, like that of Fox News, skews older than any other audience in cable news. And as I wrote nearly a year ago

While Beck clings longingly to the past, he almost never addresses the future without some allusion to doom. He has predicted the end of America and democracy, the collapse of the world economy, the forsaking of decency and values, and a near-term fate that is nothing short of Armageddon. The present is just a cauldron of misery that must be grudgingly endured until the Rapture. But it is his attachment to bygone years that really defines his world view. And he may actually have a very good reason for this.


The devolutionary posture Beck has assumed is convenient from a ratings standpoint. Beck’s audience (along with the rest of Fox News and the Tea Party crowd) skews to an older demographic than the average of the nation at large. They must take comfort in the familiar icons of an analog world. Blackboards are less threatening than the computer-generated motion graphics that all the kids are into these days. And all the talk of history is just the sort of entertainment that would appeal to people rooted in the past. Add to that a touch of that old-time religion and you have a recipe for corralling the curmudgeon community who wants nothing more than for those damn kids to get off of their lawns.

That is Beck’s fan base. They enjoy reminiscing about how much better things were in their day. And the last thing they want to hear about is a future that they won’t be present to witness. It’s never good business to remind people of their mortality, particularly the people who are closest to it. Beck is adept at accommodating (manipulating?) these folks who have plenty of free time to sit at home and watch his program in the middle of the day. Sure it cuts into the early-bird special at Applebee’s, but what they hunger for is far more fundamental. It’s the solace they get from the passionate young man whose weepy patriotism validates their conviction that they were indeed the greatest generation and, dagnabbit, they’re not gonna let you whippersnappers forget it.

Now, I don’t want to go overboard with generalizations. Most senior citizens are thoughtful, rational people with a wealth of accumulated experience. Just not the ones watching Glenn Beck.

And so youth has become the enemy in Beck’s world. That’s a short-sighted strategy because the one thing we know there will always be more of is young people. And those whom Beck alienates today are not going to become more enamored of him as they grow older. I just hope we don’t have to wait for all the oldsters like Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch to shuffle off before we start to see more of the energetic and insightful wisdom of youth play a greater role in the society that will eventually be theirs anyway.

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18 thoughts on “Why Does Glenn Beck Hate Young People?

  1. Beck has proven himself to be deranged for a very long time now. But no matter what crazy thing he says or does, you will get people commenting (I get them too) who will pointedly say: “What has he said that isn’t true? You can’t find anything!” This can be right after you’ve pointed out five things he said that aren’t true. It’s jaw-dropping, sometimes.

    • I get that all the time. You have to expect that sort of stupidity from people who buy into Beck’s stupidity.

    • So damn true. Those slippery slimy trolls never give specific examples. I’ve called their bluff on more than one occasion and accuse them of not watching Glenn Beck. Their response is always the same, nothing substantial.

  2. “Beck: I know history. I know what history teaches us. And I know my gut. And I wanted you to see it. I wanted this to be branded on your head. I wanted you to see it and know there was no one else telling you this stuff.”

    History doesn’t “teach” a damned thing; people “interpret” history based upon the existing evidence — some do it better, some worse.

  3. Mark has a “confirmed animosity toward” the truth. Why does Mark do nothing but lie?

    • Why does Scott have a complete inability to make a coherent point or argue anything on substance. He can’t even cite a single thing that he disputes or make a case for his assertion.

      Pathetic. And so typical of vacant right-wing airheads.

      • I simply gave you a taste of your own medicine. And if you think that you make coherent points with the assertions that you spit out, than you must be getting your wacky weed from Cuidad Juarez.

        With regards to Egypt: The fact that Mubarak has been forced out is an amazing story, but the story hasn’t fully played out yet. What is going to fill the power vacuum in Egypt? All of us can only hope and pray that it doesn’t go from bad to worse like Iran did.

        • Lame. You said I do nothing but lie and still haven’t rebutted a single thing I said. You’ve got nothing and you’re embarrassing yourself.

        • Regardless of how “it plays out,” do you go along with Beck’s contention that the whole uprising is phony because it’s been deliberately fomented by the radical jihadists conspiring with the uber-left (most likely under the umbrella of Soros’s massive puppet-master-plan) to build the new Califate?

          I’m asking you straight out: Do you believe believe Beck’s conspiracy theories reflect reality? The truth?

  4. You’re the one who is embarassing yourself. You have taken a smattering of quotes regarding Beck’s worries about the revolution in Egypt – and face it, none of us know yet what direction this revolution will eventually take – and you have extrapolated into “Glenn Beck hates young people”. This is nonsense. You got nothing.

    • And you STILL haven’t rebutted a single thing I’ve said. This is getting tedious. Obviously you can’t form an argument that makes any sense.

      As for your assertion that “none of us know yet what direction this revolution will eventually take,” you are calling Beck a liar, because he said that he DOES know. According to him there will be a bloodbath and lead to a Muslim Caliphate throughout the Middle East, across Europe, and even to America.

      Even Kristol, Frum, Medved, Lowry, and others aren’t defending this idiocy. Why are you?

  5. With respect to the youth of the country I wouldn’t use the term “useful idiots”, but I don’t think GB is that far off here with how their votes are used. Barak Obama was really smart to pursue the youth vote – most haven’t had to earn anything yet, many have no idea as to what it is to really working for a living – at least not yet. I would characterize the youth as more naive and gullible – due to age and lack of real world experience – kind of like Barak Obama. Barak Obama knew the right buzz words and had a crappy situation ,a very unpopular president and a terrible opponent to run against. And here we are, with another crappy president “leading” the way. The youth aren’t the enemy in any way and I’m sure that’s not actually accepted by anyone, even Glenn Beck – but I bet many of them, once they get into the real world – will turn from progressivism for their own good. I guess it all depends on how you define “progress”. I would be willign to bet people – young and old – don’t want to be slaves to the government as you would see them – working so the government can take as much of their money as “needed” to re-distribute as it sees fit.

    • Despite your dubious disclaimer i find your comment to be VERY disrespectful.

      You assume that young people disagree with you because they don’t have the experience of an older person, in other words because they are wrong and you are right(as if age comes with some special knowledge).

      If 18 years old is old enough to kill people and die in the name of your country then it is old enough to express an opinion on how that country should be run without derision regarding their “youth”.

      Don’t forget that the future BELONGS TO THE YOUNG, they have the biggest stake in what happens as a result of the decisions that the older population likes to make for them.

      • Take it as you may – I’m certainly not apologizing – no one is suggesting 18 year olds shouldn’t be allowed to vote as you sugggest – but give me a break – I was an 18 year old college student too and trust me – I know a hell of a lot more now than I did then. I voted how I wanted and I wouldn’t change a thing. And don’t you forget – many of the older population have young ones of their own and it’s there future too so get over yourself.

        • Steve to want a government that provides decent health care, working infrastructure, and defends our rights is not naive but the wants of people with a soul and conscience and a love of our fellow person. I have become more progressive with age and I am not young. I started out conservative and found the error of my ways and how self serving and selfish my stances were.
          Progress is just that, moving things forward in a positive way. I only want my government to make the lives of my fellow citizens as free of unnecessary pain and suffering. There is no excuse for a country that is this rich to have people in the streets or to have our veterans homeless.
          I am glad the youth has hope and hasn’t become hardened and selfish like other people I know. You can be successful and still help others, I know I have owned a few businesses and sold them and had staffs as small has fifty employees and as many as 200. Every time I tried my damnedest to provide healthcare and pay the highest amount I could. I found when I respected my employees they would work their ass off for me because they were invested in it as well.
          We need our country to be the same way. We need to provide healthcare, provide education, and help with employment. But with this we must also expect people to be invested and active int their government and serve in it and make it the great country it has been before and can be again.
          I am sad that many on the “right” wing side have become hardened and have given up. I am not that way, not wired that way. I feel we have our greatest moments ahead of us, our heights have not been reached and are well within our reach. So I will be progressive and will be positive and see the possibilities not the limits!! I am sorry steve that something in your past put you off of being a positive person and seeing the best in others, and I can only hope that you will gain some of that passion back one day.

  6. I think the argument here is a bit narrow, too focused on one or two imbecilic statements from Mr. Beck.

    If one watches his show consistently for a while, one of the things discovered will be that he pretty consistently contradicts last week’s conspiracy with this week’s new conspiracy. Although I must say, Mr. Beck’s contention that ACORN, the “American uber-left,” the Egyptian Google exec, the “radical jihadists” in Pakistan, the Muslim Brotherhood and all of the “community organizers” on the planet are engaged in a global conspiracy to re-erect the Global Califate that will condemn us all to living under a Taliban-controlled system of Sharia Law, is the most fantastic conflation of a bunch of unrelated facts and groups that I have heard from him to date.

    Talk about getting your sh*t together! WOW!

    Of course it’s all idiocy, it’s about as sensible as Lyndon Larouche’s opus: “Dope Incorporated.”*

    You see, when you begin the process of reducing the complexities of life and the world to the machinations of a mysterious group of master-manipulators – always working from the shadows – it soon becomes necessary to incorporate any and all events, countries and people
    into the conspiracy so you can keep things straight.

    After all, how else can one make sense of the seemingly incongruous fact that people from one radical end of the political spectrum, “the uber-left commies, Marxists, and community organizers are working together with people from the opposite radical end of the political spectrum, jihadists, Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, to bring about the Magical Caliphate.

    Questions such as: why would the “uber-left” and Marxists want to live under a theocratic system of anti-women laws from the 13th century?” become irrelevant. Since none of the “shadow- people” are ever what they seem, Mr. Beck can mold them to fit any conspiracy of his choice. If the connections don’t seem to make any sense, just add another layer.

    That’s why it’s always good to have handy a “Puppet Master” like George Soros. George’s powers of manipulation are so supernaturally powerful, well . . . you get the picture.

    *Larouche’s “Dope Inc.” is like a whole year of Beck’s rambling, bumbling, moronic, laughable conspiracies all rolled into one huge book. Larouche posits that all of the illegal drugs that have existed in the world for the last 300 years – including alcohol during American prohibition – have been controlled and used in a 300 year-long war against the U.S.A. by the Queen of England.

    The South American drug lords? All working for the Queen.
    The SE Asian heroin trade? All run by the Queen.
    The biker gang’s meth operations in the US? All run by the Queen.
    Marijuana growing, production, distribution worldwide? All controlled by the Queen of England.

    Sound a bit familiar? I keep expecting Beck to discover this idiotic book one of these days and incorporate it into his grand, cosmic conspiracy – maybe the Queen’s actually working for George Soros?

    • “I keep expecting Beck to discover this idiotic book…”

      Don’t give him any ideas. He already thinks Soros collapsed the British economy. That could be when he took over the monarchy. ;-)

  7. Glenn Beck at several times himself mentioned that he believed himself to be mentally ill. As I recall he said he believed himself to be schizophrenic. Certainly many things about his behavior and ideas suggest this as a distinct possibility. Someone who cares about him needs to insist that he receive evaluation. If he is currently being treated then he needs his medication re-evaluated. He also reminds us that he is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. If he is not using already, I fear his actions and speech indicate a relapse waiting to happen. His behavior certainly does not reflect that of people I encounter in serious long-term rehabilitation or 12-step programs. This is a lifelong concern. Perhaps he needs a new sponsor and to attend some additional meetings in addition to mental health evaluation. There are many people with mental illness who are very bright and very persuasive. That does not mean that their thinking is sensical or healthy. Also, as Mr. Beck is such an extremely public figure and appears to have sway over such a large audience, it is not unreasonable that they should be provided some idea of his current mental soundness. This is particularly true to the extent that his recommendations threaten to incite people to violence. It is possible that appropriate treatment may also offer him some relief from obvious mood swings and agitation. His accusations against other people even of his own faith are partiuclarly troublesome as they do not reflect the love and compassion I know from my own.

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