Glenn Beck has previously showed some interest in the John Birch Society, but he is now increasingly sounding like he is one of them. David Frumm, who is seriously interested in restoring the credibility of conservatism, asks What is Going On At Fox News? He is shocked by this comment from Beck in which he sounds like a Bircher by imagining a conspiracy with Obama planning a totalitarian takeover:
We are a country that is headed towards socialism, totalitarianism, beyond your wildest dreams. I have to tell you: I’m doing a story tonight that I wanted to debunk – these FEMA camps – I’m tired of hearing about them – you know about them? – I wanted to debunk them. We’ve now for several days done research on them. I can’t debunk them! If you trust our government, it’s fine. If you have any kind of fear that we might be heading towards a totalitarian state: look out. Buckle up. There’s something going on in our country … that ain’t good.
Frumm also reports that Beck is distributing Bircher literature:
The audience for Beck’s Friday night special were each given copies of two books. One of them was Cleon Skousen’s Five Thousand Year Leap. Skousen, who died in 2006, is one of the legendary cranks of the conservative world, a John Bircher, a grand fantasist of theories about secret conspiracies between capitalists and communists to impose a one-world government under the control of David Rockefeller.
There’s always been a market for this junk of course. Once that market was reached via mimeographed newsletters. Now it’s being tapped by Fox News.
It is always good to see when some conservatives are repulsed by the extremism dominating the conservative movement. Unfortunately there are certain to be many other conservatives defending Beck.