BY EDWIN E. VINEYARD
Glenn Beck, the rightwing egomaniac prophet from Fox News, has been up to something that might have been good if sponsored by somebody else. Of course our first questions should be, “When and where did we lose it?” Then we might move on to say, “A rally called ‘Restoring Honor’ could have been a fine thing if sponsored by somebody or some group that has some – if they answer sensibly the first questions posed above.”
Mr. Beck is definitely not the person to talk about honor. Some of the people appearing on his program are not the kind one would invite if he were really serious about such a theme.
Understanding why Mr. Beck is doing this defies even the most loquacious pundits to provide a logical answer to the query. Maybe a simple answer might be “because he can, and he just loves proving that.” He loves to be a showman. His programs are about showmanship. Also, he loves playing roles, and his latest is “Messiah.”
Mr. Beck may be a “flash in the pan” of politics, but he is a potentially dangerous one. He has moved from rightwing politician, with all kinds of fringe political notions and conspiracy theories, to becoming a “flaming evangel” for rightwing religious zealots with all kinds of bizarre depictions of a world of unreality.
Mr. Beck’s message, his personality and his following seems to be more of a cultist phenomenon than either a valid political or a truly religious movement. His ideas are sufficiently radical to be rejected by both mainstream politicians on the moderate right and mainstream moderate religions. In other words, his stuff is weird, and he appeals to a weird bunch.
Normally such people as Mr. Beck, come on the stage, entertain and entice for a while, and pass away as they become more transparent to the public and to their following. They may have their effects, but temporarily. So it was in the case of the rabid evangels of the last century such as Huey P. Long, Joe McCarthy, Amy McPherson, Ron Hubbard, George Wallace, Ross Perot, and others who had hopes of leading this nation toward some Shangri La.
But one cannot forget the lessons of history. It was just such a person who rose to power in Germany in the 1930’s proclaiming himself the founder of the Third Reich which would endure forever. He, too, preached the restoration of the honor of Germany, tarnished by WWI and the Versailles Treaty. There must be a continuous vigil for such who come in the name of patriotism, honor, and God.
Now, let’s address the question: If we lost our honor, just when was that?
Is that something Mr. Obama has done? Is it something about Mr. Obama’s persona? Is being black a problem? He is not a Muslim, and he was born here, but do some still think not? Is it something Mr. Obama has done? Has he lied about intelligence and taken us into unnecessary wars? Has he authorized torture of prisoners in violation of treaties? Has he muffed the memos warning of attacks on America? Does he butcher the English language, causing embarrassment? Has he had peccadilloes with women?
Now further on matters of honor, has he taken money from the poor and given it to the rich through preferential tax cuts? Has he driven up the deficits quietly by putting all the costs of wars off-budget? Has he tried to privatize Social Security and Medicare? Has he lied to Congress, or protected staff who did?
If one concludes that Mr. Obama has not been found doing any of these things one might think dishonorable, while the past administration is thought to have done most, is there not something logically incongruent about radical Republicans seeking to restore honor now?
Mr. Obama has done battle for those without medical coverage, and those unjustly denied insurance. He has led in saving thousands of jobs at American car companies, lest the nation’s whole supply be foreign. He has prevented the collapse of the banks and finance system. He has led in putting money into the revival of jobs, and prevented the loss of millions. He has sponsored middle class tax cuts. He has led moves to restrain banks and protect consumers’ rights.
The Republicans have battled against all these honorable efforts for the American people. Should these Tea Party Republicans be coming now talking to us about “restoring honor?” First, demonstrate honor, then talk!
– Dr. Edwin E. Vineyard, AKA The Militant Moderate, lives in Enid, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer