I’ll See your Beck and Call

Larry Levin

Larry Levin

Here’s one you probably didn’t see on your analogy exam:

Glenn Beck is to _______________ as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is to history:

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a. Chutzpah

b. Deceit

c. Alchemy

d. All the above

In coopting the date of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech for an absurd Washington, D.C. rally, Beck is not only maligning King’s efforts and memory, but putting his disingenuousness fully on stage for the world to see.

First, Beck claimed he didn’t know the date was the anniversary of the King speech, but then fully managed to utilize the address as the launching pad for his “nonpolitical” platform.

Second, if the rally was truly nonpolitical, why didn’t Beck reach out to include voices from all corners of the political spectrum? Instead, he recruited Sarah Palin, whose views are so comparable to Beck’s they would have to separated by an industrial grade solvent. (Truth be told, the likelihood of Beck getting anyone other than his minions to join him is probably a number that approximates zero).

Third, the point of the rally itself misses the point of King’s speech and life. King was about unification, NOT fragmentation. Yet Beck’s words had the effect (and almost certainly the intent) of ripping people apart, accusing others of being deceitful in their efforts toward peace and harmony.

Why do people think Glenn Beck is a rhetorical danger? Because he has a veneer that resembles nothing so much as sociopathy…in other words, he spews faux facts without regard to whether they are true or not.  He does this so commonly that one wonders if his brain is able to distinguish fantasy from reality.

The Washington rally points directly to this…does Beck really believe that his life parallels that of King? That is not only the epitome of hubris, but demonstrates an utter and callous disregard for what makes for an exceptional historic figure.

This is not about Beck’s politics, but instead his manipulation of events and history to bend it to his will.  We’ve seen examples of this in world events, and in almost all instances, they are not pretty in the least.