Sunday, August 29, 2010
Our First Ever Open Thread Sunday: Do Glenn Beck and the Restoring Honor Crowd Want a Fascist Coup in America?
I have much to say about Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally. But in re-watching some of the footage, I kept thinking about the rhetorical notes struck there. Am I alone in noticing that Saturday was Beck's dreamy, messianic Reichstag speech moment? Moreover, in watching the rally I kept thinking about how some have argued that fascism will not come to America from the top down. No, it will come from the bottom up in the guise of a failed populist politics. Today, I am again in agreement that those voices may have been more prescient and wise than known at the time.
Some questions for you all.
1. How do you feel about the God, plus country, plus patriotism and America is perfect meme (despite his quick and smart rhetorical evasions on the point) being pushed by Beck and company? Is this not frighteningly ahistorical and scary stuff?
2. Why the return--often very round about and through no small amount of triangulating, obfuscating reason--to the U.S. military as the basis of all that is good in this country throughout the rally? Even Palin tried to shoehorn the military into her obligatory mention of Dr. King and The Movement (she should ask some former African-American GI's about how they were treated upon return to the U.S. following World Wars One and Two for some context for her childish understanding of American history and politics).
3. What were the attendees thinking? Who and what are they defending? Why are they so aggrieved?
4. Dr. King fought for the powerless, the disenfranchised, and the oppressed. Who is Beck fighting for?
5. Formula: God-country-myth of national origin-Sarah Palin as fascist symbol/idol/idealized womanhood (a good Christian, mama grizzly bear who is subservient to the men in her life, yet still knows her proper role in the nuclear family)-Beck as messianic leader-the attendees as the chosen people soon to be dead enders = nascent fascist movement? Yes or no?
6. Inside history buff joke: What would General Smedley Butler say about Glenn Beck's adventures?
7. Final question: did anyone else notice Glenn Beck's bulletproof vest? How soon will Beck integrate this choice of attire into his martyrdom shtick?