Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Glenn Beck Rally and Our Society

Anyone who has followed this blog or my “Notes” on Facebook is aware that I do not have much use for the likes of Glenn Beck, Fox Noise, the Tea Party, or most of those who follow the rants of this narcissistic nut ball. (Friends and relatives excepted! –LOL) His visions of personal grandeur and self-importance make me want to hurl my breakfast.

That having been said I determined this morning that I might have to write an essay acknowledging the fact that Glenn Beck did in fact get his crowd together for the rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  Never mind that this event, in my opinion, was a mockery of all that Dr. Martin Luther King stood for.  However, I certainly recognize that he has tapped into the enormous sense of dissatisfaction with the way things are in society and government today. That does not mean I agree with any single word that comes out of his mouth.

I am not feeling particularly charitable, especially after reviewing the Katrina 5th anniversary programs this week and the reminder of how totally incompetent our government has become in most areas of our lives.  And that is what really scares me.  When unrest is further encouraged by those who are least sane, or least competent to understand the power of one negative assault after another on the public psyche, there is considerable concern about the possibility of someone finally lighting the actual fuse of revolution.  When those seeking public office have as their mandate the course of exercising their “Second Amendment remedies” (read Sharron Angle of Nevada) if government does not do what they think government should do, we are in deep trouble.

There is no question many folks are very unhappy with what is happening in our country.  I am very upset about many of the same things.  But what I am most unhappy about is the failure of our politicians to demonstrate even a vestige of integrity or genuine concern, let alone any awareness, of the plight of an increasing portion of the populace.  I cannot, will not, go into all of the aspects at the root of this dissatisfaction, except to say that the devastating financial divide between the “haves” and the “have-nots” is at the breaking point.  There is very definitely a different philosophical base between the Democrats and the Republicans on this issue.  That philosophy could be debated reasonably, but it is not.

Frankly, and here comes my basic negativity about things, I think we may have passed the point of no return when it comes to our ability to engage constructively with one another.  I believe we have come to the point where many think it really is necessary to wear guns to rallies to showcase our opinions.  We are almost at the point of the only argument being, “My gun is bigger than your gun!”

Some may be saying, “It is easy to complain.  Why don’t you offer some alternatives?”  I guess what I feel about that is my expressions of other ways of thinking, feeling, and living don’t seem to resonate with those caught up with the Glenn Becks of this society.  I have stated my position in hundreds of articles over the years and in two books.  So now I will just cop out.  Of course that is not much better than the position of the radical right and left who complain and offer such radical alternatives that there is no room to compromise.

For anyone who feels strongly about what I have said, I invite your comments.  You have as much right to your opinions as Glenn Beck does and as I do.  Opinions are cheap, aren’t they?  They require very little other than a means to state them.


Inspector Clouseau said...


Being the eternal optimist, I generally believe that we can turn troubling situations around. Not sure here.

I will paste a comment which I provided on our blog, and on the blogs of others regarding this Glenn Beck situation:

(Note: I generated this AFTER posting the Christopher Hitchens article suggesting that the Caucasian majority may be recognizing that it's "control" may be diminishing. One of our regular readers suggested that it was not about race, and really about an effort to establish "common ground" amongst various dissatisfied factions. I responded that it is possible that it is not about race, but may be more about class and status.)

What's more interesting from our perspective about this Glenn Beck phenomenon is that "The Folks in Control," however one might characterize them in terms of race, status, class, wealth, geographic location or whatever, allowed our current situation to develop over arguably the last 50 - 100 years, and now there are complaints by a vocal group of concerned citizens.

Is it possible, as postulated by some, that the liberal, conservative, progressive, corporate and banking interests, and libertarian POWER FORCES in our society are laughing all the way to the bank, and that we minions with little money and power (the members of the Institute for Applied Common Sense included) are the ones complaining? And that because of new technological advances in communication and the power of the Internet, the voice of the minions is now being disseminated with greater force, essentially saying, "Stop! Enough is enough!"?

Furthermore, is this a case of the minions fighting for limited scraps at the bottom of the heap, while the real riches are controlled by a few? Have we at the bottom been pitted against one another?

Is this arguably a populist movement somewhat similar to the one led by "the Great Commoner," William Jennings Bryan at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th Centuries?

Is what we are experiencing simply the most vocal expression of the perhaps 80% of we citizens at the bottom of the heap?

Dan Perin said...

Inspector: I also generally try to be optimistic about ultimate solutions to political and social concerns. However, like you, I am not so sure this time around. That is why I have taken this issue on several times. Even though it splits my own family, the possibility of major social unrest compels me to speak out. I may not be much good at actions anymore, but as long as I have a voice I will use it. Thanks for your comment and your blog essays.