Glenn Beck and the cult of paranoia

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by freeny, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. freeny macrumors 68020

    freeny

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Location:
    Location: Location:
    #1
    (CNN) -- November 8, 1994: It was a slaughter. In one night, Republicans seized 54 seats in the House and eight seats in the Senate, capturing Congress for the first time since 1954.

    The newcomers, many from the South, were predominantly white, male and angry. "You're going to have a difference in style," predicted an Atlanta-based Republican pollster. "With the Southern Republicans, you get a more aggressive, assertive conservatism. This is a conservatism that has been built on confronting Democrats and liberals, not accommodating them."

    Conservative leaders credited Rush Limbaugh, king of angry white men, with propelling the Republican revolution. "He was the standard by which we ran," said former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

    The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, invited Limbaugh to deliver the keynote at its orientation for new lawmakers. Limbaugh encouraged the newcomers to stay mean: "This is not the time to get moderate. This is not the time to start trying to be liked."

    The newcomers listened. Led by House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the angry white men of Capitol Hill shut down the government and spent the next six years trying to drive Bill Clinton from office.

    Those were the days, my friend. We thought they'd never end.

    November 2, 2010: Four years after recapturing Congress, Democrats are again cowering in expectation of a brutal Election Day beating. Rush Limbaugh is still angry, but some of this year's Republican candidates take their cues from someone new: Glenn Beck.

    Where Limbaugh was angry, Beck is paranoid. In his land of make-believe, devious enemies have infiltrated the government and are plotting to destroy America. Every significant phenomenon, from the recession to the BP oil spill, is part of their master plan. Their final objective is a fascist-communist-Big Brother-world-government-über-tyranny, and they will annihilate anyone who interferes, which is why Beck frequently asks listeners to pray for his safety.

    Just as Republicans channeled Limbaugh's anger in 1994, many of today's Republican nominees exhibit Beck's paranoia. For instance, Rand Paul, the Republican Senate nominee from Kentucky, has described a secret plot to merge the United States into a North American Union under a single currency, sealed by a colossal 10-lane highway from Mexico to Canada.

    "It's gonna go up through Texas, I guess, all the way to Montana," he explained.

    "If you talk about it like it's a conspiracy," he said, "they'll paint you as a nut. ... But I guarantee you it's one of their long-term goals to have one sort of borderless mass continent."

    Bill Randall, a Republican congressional nominee from North Carolina, speculated that the government has colluded with BP to create the oil spill: "Now, I'm not necessarily a conspiracy person, but I don't think enough investigation has been done on this. ... I don't know how or why, but in that situation, if you have someone from a company proposing to violate the safety process and the government signing off on it, excuse me: Maybe they wanted it to leak."

    Sharron Angle, Republican Senate nominee from Nevada, has spoken of armed resistance to tyranny.

    "You know, our founding fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason, and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government," she warned. "I hope that's not where we're going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying, my goodness, what can we do to turn this country around?"

    Christine O'Donnell, Republican Senate nominee from Delaware, checks for political opponents hiding in her bushes.

    "They're following me," she insisted. "They follow me home at night. I make sure that I come back to the townhouse, and then we have our team come out and check all the bushes and check all the cars to make sure that -- they follow me."

    Some Democrats have cheered these wild-eyed candidates, believing that extremists won't win elections. But history contradicts faith in Americans' moderation.

    When militant conservatives seized control of the Republican Party in December 1992, one Democratic analyst gloated, "They are silencing the more moderate elements in their party and seeking an ideological purity from the right. A marginalized, right-wing Republican Party will be less competitive with Bill Clinton in 1996 than a more inclusive and centrist Republican Party."

    But while the relatively moderate Bob Dole lost to Clinton, conservative shock troops swarmed into Congress and hobbled his presidency.

    The way things are going, the incoming Republicans of 2010 will make the class of 1994 look like pragmatic centrists. If so, we can look forward to years of partisan gridlock and poisonous incriminations.

    In the words of Glenn Beck, "Buckle up, because trouble is coming."
    ----------------------

    The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Michael Wolraich.

    Editor's note: Michael Wolraich is a founder of the political blog dagblog.com and the author of "Blowing Smoke: Why the Right Keeps Serving Up Whack-Job Fantasies about the Plot to Euthanize Grandma, Outlaw Christmas, and Turn Junior into a Raging Homosexual."

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/10/25/wolraich.beck.paranoia/index.html?hpt=C2
     
  2. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #2
    Sharron Angle is completely insane. If she gets elected, I won't be spending money in Nevada anytime soon. She is extremely frightening.
     
  3. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #3
    The funniest part to me is that after spending a good chunk of 2008 deriding Obama as a celebrity, conservatives have now started worshipping the cult of Beck and Palin.
     
  4. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #4
    Semi-related.... Why is it socially acceptable to call the republican party "Angry white old men / angry white men / whatever?"

    I found the phrase dropped 3 times in this short article.

    I wonder what would happen if Fox News featured an opinion piece referring to the democratic party as "Poor black teenage mothers" or something.

    Interesting.
     
  5. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #5
    You mean they don't already?
     
  6. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    The Mergui Archipelago
    #6
    Haha snap :D
     
  7. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #7
    I still don't see why it would be such a horrible idea to have a North American Union, having a single currency for North America would be convenient.

    But hey maybe once the Republicans can revive the House Un-American Activities Committee.
     
  8. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #8
    Um, no they don't. And that makes it not-funny.
     
  9. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #9
    I'm serious. I thought they already did. I know Ann Coulter likes to say all sorts of lovely things like that.
     
  10. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #10
    Why is it that I always see members of the GOP saying things like immigration reform or social programs are just stunts to gain minority support?
     
  11. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #11
    Oh my god

    Did no one read my post? I am not talking about the GOP. I am not talking about democrats. I am talking about the media.
     
  12. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #12
    But you specifically mentioned Fox News, which is the GOP.*


    *only partially in jest
     
  13. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    The Mergui Archipelago
    #13
    It is an opinion piece. A poor one at that. It is not representative of the media.

    Don't let it get in the way of the persecution complex though.
     
  14. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #14
    That's for sure.
     
  15. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #15
    And, isn't Anne Coulter part of the media? Rush Limbaugh, Beck, etc...
     
  16. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #16
    Lets not forget all those running currently that are actually on the Fox payroll.
     
  17. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #17
    Ok, so it is Michael Wolrich's opinion. I never contested that. You guys are telling me a bunch of stuff I am full aware of.

    So would it be safe to say that Wolraich is a "bigot?"

    "A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one exhibiting intolerance, irrationality, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs."
     
  18. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #18
    LOL, by that definition, the entire political world is made up of bigots.
     
  19. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    The Mergui Archipelago
    #19
    How else do you propose on writes an opinion piece without putting forward an opinion and proving examples thereof :confused:?
     
  20. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
  21. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #21
    Indeed it is. Hopelessly lost.
     
  22. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #22
    Lost in a sea of blue :p
     
  23. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #23
    I'm sure there are some who would love to bring that back.
     
  24. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    #24
    I suppose if some of their spokespeople are making comments like this we should take them seriously. Just for the sake of argument let's say the Tea Party types do try to overthrow the government (not by voting). I'm trying to visualize the scenario. Would it be armed politicians leading the way? Who would be calling the shots?
     
  25. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #25

    Sarah Palin, via Twitter, from an undisclosed location.
     

Share This Page