I found this sign stapled to a telephone pole on Main Street in my home town, Ellicott City. I guess if they have the right to stick it up there (and I’m not sure they do) then I have the right to tear it down.
But the sign is good advice for us all…more people need to be watching Glenn Beck. Aside from his acolytes, I mean. I’m afraid that there are too many of you moderates and progressives (a bad word, according to Beck) out there who aren’t taking him (or his Tea Partier, Gray Panther, and New Minutemen fans) very seriously. And you should be.
He’s slick, he’s polished. He’s the consummate actor and showman. He is a genius when it comes to playing upon the fears and emotions of his audience. Surprisingly (to me) about 75% of what he says makes sense. But, remember, 75% of the ingredients in rat poison won’t kill the rat. It’s the other 25% of what Beck says – the cliches, the distortions, the exaggerations, the revisionist history and the demagoguery, his claim of insight into the divine – that is dangerous.
If you don’t know your history, if you only read the books that Beck recommends, if you only listen to the ‘experts’ on Fox News, then you are likely to be duped. And scared. Maybe even scared enough to shell out your hard earned and cherished bucks for some of the survival gear and paranoid investment “opportunities” that Beck shills for his shady sponsors. (Beck made over $32 million last year.)
You might even be scared enough to start tacking up advertisements for Beck’s show in your neighborhood. But I’ll bet you’re smart enough, and educated enough, to see through his bull-shit. Just don’t be contemptuous of him. Don’t look down your nose on him.
Maybe, as the polls suggest, only 26% of the Republican party is under his spell, but they are exerting considerable influence on the rest. Moderate Republicans (and otherwise not-so-wacky conservatives) are running scared – to the Right and right into the embrace of his followers. Beck has an agenda, it appears to be working and it is not likely to be good for America, or anyone else.
So, as distasteful as it may seem, watch Glenn Beck. Listen to Limbaugh and Hannity. Check out Horowitz and Geller.
Know your enemy.