Glenn Beck is an idiot.
Self-declared “conservative” radio & TV personality Glenn Beck is witty, charming, and friendly, in a “sick, twisted freak” sort of way. Like most enlightened souls’ on talk radio, he espouses the virtues of the American family and throws in all the talking points for the Republican Party while he’s at it.
Glenn stands apart because he really is funny, and can relate to his viewers and listeners on a level that few professional entertainers can achieve. However, one must always keep in mind that despite his disparaging comments about some members of the GOP, he is still a partisan hack.
This isn’t to say that that’s a bad thing. Lots of people enjoy hearing only half the news of the day. More people still enjoy the amusing anecdotes about the evils of the Clintons, and how they are responsible for everything that’s wrong with the world. (IE it wasn’t Osama who blew up the Twin Towers it was Hillary!)
Our entire system of free speech depends on people being able to freely make whatever argument they like, no matter how logically flawed, unsound, or downright false. It’s vital that it gets out there, so people can make an “informed decision” based on those fallacies.
But, sometimes, a person can be just a little too partisan, or push the agenda a little too hard. When that happens, people start to realize that they’re being fed a load of bull, and then the unthinkable happens: they start to think for themselves!
On a recent broadcast of Glenn’s radio show, he had on a guest talking about her new book. To be clear, the book isn’t a work of “revisionist” history; it’s “correctionist” history. This is sort of like how Iraq’s problem with enemy soldiers was solved; we started calling them “insurgents” instead. Or how we have more federally protected wetlands than ever before because we added golf courses to the list of wetlands. Or how there aren’t any “illegal immigrants”, they’re “undocumented workers”.
The book in question, “The Forgotten Man” talks about how our society became the cradle of evil thanks to the social programs of the early 20th Century. One specific topic it addresses is the “correct” reason for the Great Depression.
As it turns out, President Hoover had the right idea do nothing about the Depression. You see, it wasn’t the corruption of big business and the stock market crash that launched the US into the Depression, but it was FDR’s New Deal that did the trick.
Forget that the Depression was world-wide, started during Hoover’s term, and, in fact, began before the New Deal was even announced (which was a plan designed to deal with the Depression specifically) the “correct” fact is that the New Deal and FDR’s evil liberal socialist programs caused it.
God knows, businesses can do no wrong. After all, in future generations, will it not be written that the collapse of Enron was Hillary Clinton’s fault as well? So, it is “correct” to say that businesses were afraid to hire people because of the government oversight imposed by the New Deal and FDR’s malicious micro-management.
Of course, now we have to re-define the word “correct” to mean “not necessarily in agreement with facts, history, or even logic, but espousing a convenient right-wing viewpoint for the purpose of winning an election.”
We should call this new school of thought “Freedom Facts”, in honor of the tragic demise of one of our favorite snacks, the “French Fry”, now transmuted into the trans-fat-free “Freedom Fry”.
So, if you want to listen to idiots like Beck for laughs, feel free. But, before you take anything he says seriously, no matter how subtly couched in rhetoric, remember: when dealing with “Liberal” vs. “Conservative” ideas, and the future of our country, there is a lot more to it that a fundamental Either-Or choice, as the talking heads would have you believe. Beck and his cronies might think you are intellectually challenged, but that doesn’t mean you have to oblige them.