A few days ago I posted a blog concerned about the direction of contemporary conservatism. I stand by everything I said in that blog (which will soon be updated as an Agitate article). Some were upset with my assessment of conservatism as leading us into bad times reminiscent of the McCarthy era and the Palmer Raids. That’s all right.
The most vitriol I received, however, (including by family members) was the comments that I made about Glenn Beck. Again, I stand by everything I said. I will offer the caveat that I am not a licensed clinician; therefore I’m not qualified to diagnose Beck (or anybody for that matter) as paranoid. However, I would offer that much of Beck’s discourse can be so categorized. His emphasis that progressives are clandestine communists/socialists intent on establishing a fascist state can be described as nothing other than paranoiacas well as delusional.
The bottom line is that Glenn Beck did, in fact, state that progressivism must be eradicated as a cancer on society. It was suggested that I’m making too much out of this statement. That it was nothing more than a rhetorical flourish. Perhaps, but his statement met approval. And to my knowledge, has not be condemned by any conservative group or individual (and, to be fair, many liberals as well). It seems that suggesting the eradication of a school of thought is perfectly acceptable. That such eradication must be done by, at the very least, denying rights to thinking and speaking individuals and at the very worst by eradicating the offending individuals themselves, has never been brought into the debate. Fear not. I intend to bring this matter into the public debate.
First, however, I want to make clear just who Glenn Beck is talking about. Because some reading this blog post may not be progressives
at least to their minds
but that’s not the motivating element. The bottom line is that it is very likely that Glenn Beck, and thus his devoted followers, believe that you are.
So who exactly is Glenn Beck talking about when he is suggesting the eradication of this school of thought? Well, of course if you are an Obama supporter you are obviously on the list of Marxist/Fascist progressives. That goes without saying. It’s no far stretch that if you are active in progressive causes, like environmentalism, unionism, anti-capitalism, feminism, then you are almost certainly a progressive.
If you support a public option in health care, or most of the provisions of the health care reform package, as most Americans do, then you are probably a progressive or at the very least duped by progressives (too dumb to see through the progressive fascist conspiracy).
None of the above comes as a surprise.
But it might be a surprise to some readers that if you supported John McCain, you are a progressive. Scott Brown? You’re a progressive! GEORGE W. BUSH!!!! Dah Dah Daaaaaaah! YOU’RE A PROGRESSIVE CANCEROUS BLIGHT ON AMERICA!!!! YOU COMMIE!!!
Of course, it might not be your fault that you are a progressive. It may very well be that you have been brainwashed by the teachers unions through a progressive curriculum that teaches that America and capitalism are bad. So if you are a teacher, progressive. Support a public school system? Progressive. Send your children to a public school? Pawn of progressive indoctrinators.
Now I’ll admit that progressives have a pretty expansive philosophy which incorporates many and varied perspectives. But Glenn Beck’s definition of progressive is pretty close to all encompassing.
The chances are that if you are not one of the 2 million plus viewers a day who waste their time watching Glenn Beck, or listening to his balderdash on the radio, and agreeing with just about everything he says, you are a progressive and you must be eradicated. In essence, if you don’t agree with Glenn Beck then you are a cancer that must be cut out.
Somehow “paranoid” doesn’t quite say it!