Commentary on Glenn Beck

While still a tiny minority, there continue to be conservatives speaking out against the clowns who now appear to be leading the conservative movement. Peter Wehner has taken a look at Glenn Beck:

…what I’ve seen should worry the conservative movement.

I say that because he seems to be more of a populist and libertarian than a conservative, more of a Perotista than a Reaganite. His interest in conspiracy theories is disquieting, as is his admiration for Ron Paul and his charges of American “imperialism.” (He is now talking about pulling troops out of Afghanistan, South Korea, Germany, and elsewhere.) Some of Beck’s statements—for example, that President Obama has a “deep-seated hatred for white people”–are quite unfair and not good for the country. His argument that there is very little difference between the two parties is silly, and his contempt for parties in general is anti-Burkean (Burke himself was a great champion of political parties). And then there is his sometimes bizarre behavior, from tearing up to screaming at his callers. Beck seems to be a roiling mix of fear, resentment, and anger—the antithesis of Ronald Reagan.

I understand that a political movement is a mansion with many rooms; the people who occupy them are involved in intellectual and policy work, in politics, and in polemics. Different people take on different roles. And certainly some of the things Beck has done on his program are fine and appropriate. But the role Glenn Beck is playing is harmful in its totality. My hunch is that he is a comet blazing across the media sky right now—and will soon flame out. Whether he does or not, he isn’t the face or disposition that should represent modern-day conservatism. At a time when we should aim for intellectual depth, for tough-minded and reasoned arguments, for good cheer and calm purpose, rather than erratic behavior, he is not the kind of figure conservatives should embrace or cheer on.

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2 Comments

  1. 1
    Leslie Parsley says:

    A cousin I adore, despite her misguided politics, emailed me a notice of a rally against Obama because the didn’t hold a prayer breakfast and because he wouldn’t okay a flyover supporting God and country when he was in Colorado. I searched blogs and mainstream meadia and the only thing I found was a statement made by Glenn Beck – another one of his fantacies.

  2. 2
    Eclectic Radical says:

    “But the role Glenn Beck is playing is harmful in its totality. My hunch is that he is a comet blazing across the media sky right now—and will soon flame out. Whether he does or not, he isn’t the face or disposition that should represent modern-day conservatism.”
     
    This is ‘Sun Belt/West Coast’ conservativism at its most unrealistically optimistic. This is the sort of thing that people said about Rush Limbaugh: he was bad for the movement, he was a temporary anomaly, and no one would remember him in a few years time while the short term gains that conservatives picked up would outlast him. This has proven to be far from the truth. Instead, Limbaugh has become conservatism to many people and the RNC Chairman has to apologize for bucking his will. Beck is the next natural step from Limbaugh.
     
    I’m glad that conservatives are criticizing Beck, but I’m curious about to whom Wehner would turn for intellectual depth on the right?
     

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