Thursday, April 15, 2010

The imaginary world that Glenn Beck lives in

I flipped to the Glenn Beck radio program this morning and within seconds heard Beck talking to his audience about the "hostile Marxist takeover" that the country is experiencing. And so I asked myself again: how can anyone hear such nonsense and continue to believe that Beck is a person that should be taken seriously? I wish I could understand this pathology of mass delusion.

That America has suffered a "hostile Marxist takeover" is not a sane belief (I seemed to have forgotten the Marxist guerilla warriors storming the White House and seizing the government.) Democrats take money from corporations and then write legislation (or let their lobbyists write it) just like Republican do, yet when Democrats pass a health care reform bill - heavily influenced by the health care lobby - similar to the sort of reform advocated by the Heritage Foundation in the 90s we get hysterical cries that America is suffering from socialist radicalism.

What's more, it is implicitly subversive to the process of constitutional democratic governance, as Beck has redefined the transfer of power resulting from the peaceful election of Democrats by the voters and the passage of legislation by members of Congress as a "hostile takeover." In other words, either only the candidates Beck favors and the legislation he wants is legitimate ... everything else is "Marxist" tyranny.

And while Beck works his audience into a Quixotic fury about stuff that doesn't exist, the Obama administration might actually make the Supreme Court more conservative for the second time, is trying to prosecute a whistle blower who helped publicize the massive (and wasteful) NSA surveillance program of the NSA, and claims the power to assassinate US citizens at its discretion.

Beck is perfectly willing to warn his audience about his paranoid delusion that the Obama administration and/or members of ACORN are trying to assassinate him, but when actual evidence that the government is attempting to assassinate an American is doesn't seem to bother him.


Dan Doel said...

I watched the video of Olberman talking with the CIA guy about the assassination, and found it rather cringe-worthy. This isn't, of course, because I don't think the assassination is a bad thing. But, they (or, the CIA guy mostly) kept harping about how "this is an American!"

To that I say: so what? Either it's okay to assassinate (suspected) terrorist leaders, or it isn't, and whether they're US citizens doesn't enter into it. I don't really think it's acceptable for Obama to put hits out on Afghani terrorist ringleaders, either; we should attempt to uphold our standards for a proper justice system when dealing with them as well.

Now, perhaps it was intended as a wake-up call to Americans. Certainly, the thought that the president reserves the right to assassinate you, personally, while you're having dinner with your family is chilling. But if the only reason we were okay with such things previously is that we thought we were immune to them due to our citizenship, then that doesn't make us very good people.

Hume's Ghost said...

Right, either your values are universal or they aren't worth much in the first place.

Of course, if the president has the power to assasinate a foreigner at his fiat, that's certainly not a power we would expect or allow (unless you're Henry Kissinger) another country to exercise. So much for the Golden Rule.

Paul Sunstone said...

Unfortunately, even the prospect of being assasinated by their own president is not enough to move many in our nation to outrage.