Posts Tagged ‘extremism’

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Glenn Beck’s Propaganda Fest

September 5th, 2010

I have been trying to figure out what Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally in Washington was about (8/28/2010). “Faith, hope, and charity,” was the theme. It was a “wake up” call (literally) to call people to prayer and traditional values. It was basically a religious revival, with a strong emphasis on the greatness of Glenn Beck. He took a number of jabs at the media, hinting that they would underestimate the numbers of people in attendance. There were about 300,000 people in attendance. The whole event was an appeal to religious and patriotic emotions, tying together religious faith and American exceptionalism. This use of faith and patriotic sentiment is not new. Conservative politicians have used these emotions to stir up their base throughout our history. What was different is that Beck seems to be trying to connect conservatism with minority civil rights—never mind the fact that it was conservatives who fought against virtually every attempt to give additional rights to any group, from women and minorities to labor and immigrants.

The rally repeatedly invoked Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech, which was given on the same date 47 years ago. Beck essentially claimed Martin Luther King as part of his own political movement. He referred to “justice” repeatedly, even though months earlier he told people to leave their churches if they spoke of social justice. He equated the concept of social justice (a central message of Dr. King) with communism. Now, he is claiming justice as part of his own movement. To drive this connection home, he had King’s niece, Dr. Alveda King, speak.

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