Glenn Beck Goes Far Beyond The Birthers With His “Old Racist And Clerical Toxic-Waste Material”

I’ve pointed out several times that Glenn Beck has basically been recycling old Bircher conspiracy theories. I stand corrected. Christopher Hitchens writes that Beck does far worse in recycling the most extreme ideas from the far right that even Birchers rejected in the past:

Right up to the defeat of Barry Goldwater in 1964, and despite the efforts of such conservatives as William F. Buckley Jr. to dislodge them, the Birchers were a feature of conservative politics well beyond the crackpot fringe.

Now, here is the difference. Glenn Beck has not even been encouraging his audiences to reread Robert Welch. No, he has been inciting them to read the work of W. Cleon Skousen, a man more insane and nasty than Welch and a figure so extreme that ultimately even the Birch-supporting leadership of the Mormon Church had to distance itself from him. It’s from Skousen’s demented screed The Five Thousand Year Leap (to a new edition of which Beck wrote a foreword, and which he shoved to the position of No. 1 on Amazon) that he takes all his fantasies about a divinely written Constitution, a conspiratorial secret government, and a future apocalypse. To give you a further idea of the man: Skousen’s posthumously published book on the “end times” and the coming day of rapture was charmingly called The Cleansing of America. A book of his with a less repulsive title, The Making of America, turned out to justify slavery and to refer to slave children as “pickaninnies.” And, writing at a time when the Mormon Church was under attack for denying full membership to black people, Skousen defended it from what he described as this “Communist” assault.

So, Beck’s “9/12 Project” is canalizing old racist and clerical toxic-waste material that a healthy society had mostly flushed out of its system more than a generation ago, and injecting it right back in again. Things that had hidden under stones are being dug up and re-released. And why? So as to teach us anew about the dangers of “spending and deficits”? It’s enough to make a cat laugh. No, a whole new audience has been created, including many impressionable young people, for ideas that are viciously anti-democratic and ahistorical. The full effect of this will be felt farther down the road, where we will need it even less.

Ed Brayton has more on this, but the best comment on the Tea Party movement comes from one of his commenters:

Once you throw out all the birthers, and the people who think we’re going to balance the budget by lowering taxes, and the people who want the gubmint to keep its hands off their medicare, and the people who mutter about saving the constitution but don’t know what’s in it – who’s left?

As I’ve often said, they support of version of the Constitution which exists only in their heads and is certainly not what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

Be Sociable, Share!

3 Comments

  1. 1
    #topprog says:

    Glenn Beck Goes Far Beyond The Birthers With His "Old Racist And Clerical Toxic-Waste Material" – http://bit.ly/ih5lqY #topprog

  2. 2
    macumberledge says:

    RT @TOP_PROG: #GlennBeck Goes Far Beyond The Birthers With His "Old Racist And Clerical Toxic-Waste Material" http://bit.ly/ih5lqY #topprog

  3. 3
    49620 says:

    Glenn Beck Goes Far Beyond The Birthers With His “Old Racist And Clerical Toxic-Waste Mat http://bit.ly/dLkas7 via http://outside.in/49620

Leave a comment