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Glenn Beck Can’t Win

Why is it the best articles about American politics come from the foreign press? Is it because you need a little distance in order to get a good perspective, or is it that the US press just really sucks?

Anyway, there is a very good article written by a British journalist about Glenn Beck. The whole article is worth a read, but there was one part in particular that caught my attention:

In the end, I wonder if Beck even wants to win. Like most cult leaders, he is happiest playing the role of the Great Misunderstood Prophet, whose people are forever consigned to roam the wilderness. Occasionally, they may glimpse the Promised Land, but they can never make it their home—for if they did, they might realize that they need a new leader. In a curious way, then, Beck’s status depends on Obama’s success. Nothing else can advance his agenda as effectively as the president achieving his goals. Whether Beck’s audience appreciates this apparent paradox is a different matter.

We’ve seen this paradox in the right wing in other areas. For example, the fact that the fundamentalist Christians work so hard to elect right-wing politicians, who never seem to be able to pass any of the fundamentalist agenda (outlawing abortion, gay marriage, etc.). They need these people to be riled up in order to donate money and work for their election, but — like Glenn Beck — they don’t actually want to win.

UPDATE: Or as Rush Limbaugh just put it “Lord, thank you for my enemies”.



  1. I don’t think the Beck followers really realize that the opposing voice to the current administration’s party always becomes more popular. It’s not because Obama is the Antichrist as Beck would have you believe, but rather it’s a natural ebb and flow. Beck owes his current status to Obama. Statistically speaking, he wouldn’t have the ratings he’s seeing had McCain been elected. That’s likely one reason Beck said we’re better off with Obama – to help pay for his mansion. None of it excuses the lies and hate he spreads though.

    Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    I also find it funny that since the rise of Beck, even Rush Limbaugh is starting to sound more reasonable. And even Bill O’Reilly seems to be playing the role of Alan Colmes.

    BTW, nice web site you have there (theglennbeckprogram).

    Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Permalink
  3. Thank you very much! What you say is true and is evident in the flow of so-called moderates toward the right due to appeasement. The extreme religious right and neo cons have forced the left to abandon what is now considered the extreme left to become more moderate. That got them in the game, but they’ve lost yardage in the process. It’s the same with FNC hyping Beck – it makes the rest of their channel seem less biased. They can point and say, “Look, Beck’s over there, he’s a conservative commentator, but he’s not a ‘news’ anchor. Our ‘news’ is ‘fair and balanced.'” The sad thing is that a couple million people a night believe that. On the bright side, they only account for 0.8% (0.5% during the day) of the US population.

    Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Permalink