The Fear Factor

I know I have done articles on Glenn Beck before, but he seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. Once we understand what he is about, then he throws a curve ball and starts the head scratching all over again. He’s like a Pringle. You just cannot have one. I also know I should pray for him and not write about him. But it is so much fun I cannot help myself. Not since I quit LSD and was constantly looking over my shoulder for “them” have I heard such paranoia as I have from Glenn Beck. I know he too is a recovering addict, but I feel more damage may have been done to his brain and the damage just may be irreversible. In the past week the veins in his neck have extended with his inner communist-plot-latent racism-nazism alarms going off at the least provocation. Do the people who listen to him actually believe his crap? I hope they are just listening to him with benign smirks on their faces enjoying his diatribes as entertainment rather than actually believing the messages. I’m sure his listeners are not that dumb. After all nearly ten million votes separated McCain from Obama in the final tally so there are at least 69 million sane Americans out there. Even though extreme right wing talk show hosts own the radio dial (they have become the mainstream media they hate so much), there are enough of us less extreme people who are rational enough not to buy into their fear-factor approach without concrete solutions. Beck and his ilk remind me of the cynical angry people who hate everything except their own voices. They bemoan the fact that people cannot see what they see. They think of themselves as prophets speaking to a deaf world. Unlike the prophets of old who spoke truth to power, these folks lack that fundamental weapon of an honest prophet, truth. It’s just unfortunate that seemingly smart people who have benefited so much from the freedoms of this country (and it’s unbalanced in their favor tax system) would be so unpatriotic and negative about the country they espouse to love so much. Like corporations, they do not love this country, they love what they can get from it without giving back. What is someone like a Beck trying to accomplish? Setting the record straight? Providing a forum for meaningful dialogue? Or creating divisions by setting himself up as a type of dictator? The ghost of McCarthy rises again.

So what’s he been up to recently you ask? Well besides planning his “rally” to regain our honor on August 28 (Anniversary of MLK’s “I have a Dream” speech, you can pull out of it what you want) in front of the Lincoln Memorial, a whole bunch of things:

  • Democrats are “turning into King George” (June 30th TV show)
  • Beck foretells communists joining cartels in border war against U.S. funded by foreign aid to Mexico
  • Beck still running with falsehood that U.S. closed park “80 miles in” due to border violence (30th June) (actually it is a 3/4 of a mile to construct the border fence and a vehicle barrier and it was closed in 2006 – he was off by only 10,500%)
  • Beck blames Woodrow Wilson for single-handedly enacting 17th Amendment (30th June) (the direct election of senators – the Amendment was introduced in 1826, Finally approved by the states in 1912. Wilson was inaugurated as President on March 4, 1913)
  • Beck shows G-20 protesters with Mao sign, compares to White House Christmas tree ornament (June29th)
  • Beck’s claim: Under financial bill, Fox News, Clear Channel could be taken over (June 28th) (Actually the bill applies specifically to banks and “nonbank financial” institutions)
  • Beck smears Obama, Soros with conspiracy theory full of falsehoods and absurdities (June 21st) (the conspiracy theory that the Gulf drilling moratorium is intended to enrich Soros)

Beck seems to be a congenial enough fellow and was probably a lot of fun to be around at one time. But now, the guy just lies and his lies grow into fantastic conspiracies that are so immense he needs a blackboard to sketch them out. It is not a scary thing, but a disheartening thing to note that he actually believes his own version of the truth. That is sad. He has even created his own vocabulary that is quite different in definition than what reality actually is. In the Beckian Dictionary he defines Social Justice = Nazism and Socialism and compassion = not American. So the tears he sheds are not for his love of America they are tears of frustration that not more people buy into his sad revisionist history and prophecies of doom. Perhaps he will fade like the Fr. Coughlins and Joe Mc Carthies and all the other unreasonable voices of fearful myths and cynicism. Until that time or when his wary sponsors quit all together or his dwindling ratings take their inevitable toll, pray for Glenn. It’s the very least we can do.

And so it goes….