Many people I know say that the best way to diffuse Glenn Beck is to simply ignore him and not give credit to any of the things he says, but like a car accident or any other public spectacle, I find it hard to look away. I find myself watching him with a drop jawed awe, the same way I would look at a clown or public drunk.
It wasn’t until tonight however that I realized what a great actor he really is. I sat in my kitchen and actually watched the entire forty-four minute interview he gave did Katie Couric. Throughout the interview I was waiting to throw up my hands and scream profanities at my screen, but what I saw was not the buffoon who normally stirs the pot on Fox, but a somewhat level headed man simply expressing his opinions, many opinions with which I strongly disagreed, but some that I actually agreed with him on. His stance on gay marriage was refreshing for a Mormon, and I have been ranting about the corporatization of American politics for as long as I have been political.
What has left me thinking long after the interview is not how unsettling it was that I found Glenn Beck sane, but what has really got me thinking is why is this not the man on his show? If he is truly concerned about being a voice for “tired little guys” than why does he choose to play the part of the crying bumbling idiot? Why is he making fun of Rachael Carson and trying to bring back DDT?
I feel the answer is more complicated that I want to delve into right now, but it has a lot to do with the manipulation of the “tired little guy” by the very forces Beck derides. This chameleon and his Oscar-worthy performance is simply a tool to sway the opinions of people who have no history or experience expressing their own. This is dangerous. If Beck was an independent spokesperson visiting small towns and talking to people about their lives and their ideas he would be far more effective, but instead he chooses to polarize and radicalize an anger he himself promulgates. In the interview he compares himself to John Stewart and admits he is no journalist, but what he fails to admit is that John Stewart is making fun of the very media machine Beck uses to spout his rhetoric.
I encourage you to watch this interview in its entirety, because Glen Beck is not a jester who can be ignored. He is a much more subversive, dangerous arm of the corporate propaganda machine. A machine that can steer hearts and minds regardless of which party it has placed in power.
Beck is slowly stealing the revolutionary zeal of the true left wing and wrapping it in his own version of reality. The anger he is tapping into is the same anger that could be used to instigate real change in America. The difference is that by denouncing big government and championing the idea of “the little guy” he is reinforcing power of the very corporate entities he says have taken over government. Beck is the tool corporate America is using to radicalize the “little guy” to dismantle the last vestige of the very concept of government.
The difference however between his revolutionary rhetoric and the real thing, is that true progressives are fighting to give the power of government back to the hands of the people. What progressives repeatedly fail to understand is that we should be speaking with the very people that Glenn Beck is speaking to. They are not a mob of ignorant savants. They are a very important American demographic. They are the very people who have been used by corporate America to create the very corporate state they find themselves so dissatisfied with. While Glen Beck tells them that they should dismantle government and place their bets on whatever comes next, we should be telling them to dismantle corporate government and rebuild it on the assumption that they can be the government. We the people can and should govern ourselves. There should be no such thing as big bad Washington, but rather Americans governing themselves based on their own best interests.
Glenn Beck is stealing our independent third party revolution and handing it over to the people who run Fox news, and as convoluted as it seems these are the same people who are in Washington. It takes a certain type of chameleon actor to pull something like this off, and Glenn Beck is just that man.
Glenn Beck demands much more of our attention not less of it. See for your self:
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I take back everything I said. Here is our friend playing the part. I love myself some Story of Stuff and here he goes:
Very, very dangerous.