Many on the Left claim that we should ignore Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin; they believe that speaking out against them is giving them free publicity and helping more than hurting them. I’m not one of those who agree with the silent treatment. If we surrender the argument, we also let people like Palin and Beck dictate the outcome. That isn’t acceptable.
“LUNATICS” is a not-so-specialized niche of Republican politics. There was a time when we could truly have specified a lunatic fringe, but the periphery has overcome the center and expunged any sense of sanity from the GOP.
The GOP tent has gotten very small. Don’t mistake me; it’s very crowded. It’s just that nobody is left who knows how to take it down or put it up, and I’m not sure the lot of them could collectively pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were on the heel.
When the head of the RNC states publically that President Obama started the war in Afghanistan (when by any reckoning President Bush sent the troops there seven years before Obama took office) it’s time for an accounting.
The epicenter of the insanity, the ring master, is Glenn Beck. Crazy as Sarah Palin gets, proud of her glaring lack of intellect as she can be, nobody gets further “out there” than Beck.
Care of Media Matters here is a short list of his most recent lunacy (covering just the past year and a half):
• Hijacking the civil rights movement and saying he is going to “reclaim” it.
• Attempting to rescue the legacy of Joe McCarthy and kicking off his own hunt for “communists” in government.
• Attacking President Obama as a “racist” who has “a real problem with white people.”
• Going after Obama’s family, including his daughter Malia.
• Fearmongering in ways that help shady advertisers sell their products.
• Knitting issues like climate change, net neutrality and immigration into vast socialist or criminal conspiracies.
We could add his attempt to channel radical liberal Thomas Paine and resurrect him as a conservative.
It would be nice to be able to ignore people like Palin and Beck. Quite a few people recommend doing just that. They believe that speaking out against them is giving them free publicity and helping more than hurting them.
I’m not one of those who agree with the silent treatment. Rather, I stand with MediaMatters’ Ari Rabin-Havt that “Beck’s heated, hateful rhetoric isn’t just his problem — it’s ours.”
And if we surrender the argument we also let people like Palin and Beck dictate the outcome.
That isn’t acceptable.
Sure, the base is going to believe what it believes. Sure, there are those who live by the Drudge Report or Limbaugh or Beck or from Palin-gaffe to Palin-gaffe, but there are a large number of undecided voters out there, and it’s for their heart and souls the rest of us must fight.
You don’t have to go far to find out what Glenn Beck thinks. He is not a deep thinker after all. Like Palin, he pretty much wears his lack of intellect on his forehead like a big blinking neon sign. His bigotry, narrow-mindedness and racism (leaving aside the paranoia for a moment) have driven away many of his advertisers but he soldiers on. FOX News hasn’t given up on him.
So every weekday at 5 pm and 2 am we get treated to a whole new slew of insane and ill-conceived rants about progressive and liberal conspiracies. In fact, you can’t tell the difference between what he spews on his show as “news” and what he put in his “Overton Window” (2010) as fiction.
That, you would think, would be a clue. The clueless are doomed to remain so. The rest have two or more brain cells to rub together and are still capable of reasoning rather than impairment as a consequence of run-away cognitive dissonance.
The Right-wing is a threat. I won’t say the Right-wing fringe because there is no such thing. Glenn Beck has made himself a spokesman for these people and if fewer and fewer are willing to tune in there is no lack of willingness on the part of fellow asylum wannabes like David Barton willing to appear on his show.
Barton, whom Beck calls “the most important man in America today” is the head of WallBuilders (www.wallbuilders.com) claims he is rediscovering the “lost Christian origins of America” – that America was made by and for them and founded on biblical principles.
I’ve pointed to the hard-to-ignore cracks in this particular crock here before and I won’t repeat it here because, quite honestly, anyone who can’t find those cracks for themselves isn’t looking. Instead, something people like Palin won’t do: pick up a book. And make sure the byline doesn’t say “Palin” or “Beck.” It’s a good habit to get into.
What actually seems to be happening is that Barton and Beck are jointly searching for their wits, which they apparently lost somewhere along the way. Apparently facts are too complicated for them and so they’ve decided to unilaterally do away with an evidence-based reality and fall back on fiction. After all, you don’t have to document your claims when you simply make things up.
That is what we are dealing with here, and it’s no surprise they want to dumb the rest of us down with their anti-intellectual stance; after all, if you’re making things up your claims go over a lot better if the audience is too witless or uneducated to catch the lies.
Let’s call this the “dumbing-down of America”, and let’s make a unilateral decision of our own in response: give the answer that matters when you hear a lie from GOP LUNATICS.
Because the truth, not silence, is the only antidote to a lie.