Your America is not the one I want, Glenn Beck

Today, on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, Glenn Beck held a rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the site of that speech.   He called for restoring “traditional American values:”

“Something beyond imagination is happening,” he said. “America today begins to turn back to God.”

Beck exhorted the crowd to “recognize your place to the creator. Realize that he is our king. He is the one who guides and directs our life and protects us.” He asked his audience to pray more. “I ask, not only if you would pray on your knees, but pray on your knees but with your door open for your children to see,” he said.

I do know the America he wants.  The one that invades other countries on a made up pretext.  The one that threw aside it’s own long-standing moral stature and ignored treaties it had signed to torture people.  The one that turned a blind eye to banks ignoring long-standing protections for the economy, the one who gave free rein to companies to ignore health, safety, and environmental standards.  The one that wallows in xenophobia and tramples on the rights of others simply for being the wrong color of skin or not belonging to the right church.   The one whose international stature is low, and is hated or considered “untrustworthy.”  The country that borrows millions for a war, and at the same time hands out tax breaks to the very wealthiest, and encouraging businesses to send industries to other countries.  That’s the country he wants to “restore.”

It’s not the America I want.   I want to restore – and we’ve been working on it for the past two years – the country that lives by its founding document.  Not the misread, selectively quoted one Glenn touts, the actual document.  The America that protects the rights of all people, not just the white Christian ones.  The America that does not go to war on a made-up justification, that lied to its own people about that.  The America that doesn’t torture people.  The America that’s developing jobs here, that has rules and makes sure that businesses play by them.    The one whose people realize yes, we do need to take care of the sick, the old, the disabled, and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to succeed.That’s the America I want.  The one that is respected around  the world.  Glenn Beck doesn’t want that.  He and his followers want their comfortable life of privilege, to remain on top, and to foment fear of the future.

47 years ago today, a much more powerful, much better speech that was given at that spot:

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character

I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers

It’s still not the reality – and Glenn Beck and his followers seem intent on fanning the flames of hatred and discord. The America they want is not the America I want. I want the one that Dr. King dreamed of.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Your America is not the one I want, Glenn Beck

  1. Nice post. Unfortunately this country likely will realize none of these dreams, Becks, yours or Dr Kings.

    Why? Because there is too much dissension and extremism politically in this nation now to ever get everyone to a common ground where true societal advances could occur to reach an America that follows those founding documents and reaches Dr. Kings dream.

    .

  2. Oops, forgot to check the box for followup comments via email.

    • Not a problem. ) There have always been extremist movements, some of which have become quite popular for a while. Back in the 20’s, it was the KKK which was quite powerful for a short time, and even regionally it remained a power in politics for quite some time.

      A lot of this is the result of fear – they’re scared because they suddenly have seen the future. Instead of being proud that this country elected a black man President – even if you disagree with his policies – they’re lashing out. The country they want to “restore” either never existed (except in their minds) or had aspects which were much better left behind. As with all extremist sets, and followers of demagogues, there are always politicians who are willing to jump on their bandwagon, if they think it’ll keep them in office. This time around, it’s the Republicans, and in the long term, it’s a losing strategy for them. They may get some short term gains, but they’re alienating big segments of groups that might have been their base in the long term.

      • I’m sure there are enough who hold the fact that Obama is black against him. There will always be those who are racist (or sexist – when an woman is finally elected President) in their attitudes, and I’ll not defend or apologize for a single one of them. It’s a poor excuse. But, I don’t think it is any worse than at any other time, we just see these people grouping together in a more visible, “general” purpose political group (NOT saying that all of the tea party types are bad).

        I can’t blame people for being angry, scared, or resistant about the direction things are going politically to try and offset what is happening economically in the US. They are afraid and don’t know for sure that what is being done is the right thing to do – and are only listening to those who try and salve their fears – which unfortunately comes out of the mouths of those being extremists.

        Heck, I don’t have the confidence that what’s been done is the right way to go. But I don’t know that the Repubs have the right of it either. I’ve just figuring were in a hole that getting out of – if we do get out in one piece – is going to hurt like heck. I really don’t trust either side to do it with their specific policies.

        The biggest issue I feel like we’re confronting now more so than I’ve seen in my lifetime is the splintering and extreme polarization of politics now. It bodes ill for the future.

        Every civilization eventually falls, and one must wonder if it is our turn?

        • The country has been through similar splintering and polarization in the past, and survived. 🙂 That said, what bothers me the most about the tea party types is in my newest post: The blatant hypocrisy. They didn’t make a peep about anything before this. So yes, I do question their motives.

          While it is the subject of debate (on both sides) about whether what’s being done is the right way to go, at the same time, something is being done. That’s my gripe with the Republicans. It’s one thing to promote a coherent, well-defined alternative course of action, but they’re not. They’re just repeating talking points and saying the country should do more of what has been shown to fail. Even worse, when something they suggested in the first place is up for a vote, they vote against it. They’ve become very good at saying “no,” even when they should be saying “yes.”

  3. Yes, there has been splintering before, but – IMO – not like we’re seeing it in today’s politics. it’s become a lot angrier than the “norm” shall we say. There is a deeper, for lack of a better descriptor, undying hate built up between the primary factions. Maybe I’m wrong. Time will tell.

    That said let me talk about Republican ideas for fixing the economy. I know that they are restating old ideas in their opposition – but would it be any different if they were in power and the Dems were outside? Seriously, neither party is stepping outside their normative ideas on handling the economy, it’s just really the first time the Dems have really gotten to get their policies in to play in such force under such extreme economic conditions since FDR during the depression.

    Six of one, half dozen of the other. There’s really nothing radical new being tried or offered by either side.

    Bush screwed this country up and I just don’t agree that Obama is doing any better.

    I guess I should hope that I am wrong and will one day have to say here that I was wrong and Obama saved our behinds. That’ll be some tough crow to eat! 🙂

    • I doubt the Republicans would be doing anything but restating their ideas if they were in power, unfortunately. I am amused about your mentioning FDR, though. The same circumstances are playing out to an extent – the Republican ideas didn’t work, or actually caused the problem, so yes, the Democrats get to try to do something. With FDR, a lot of things were tried – and a number did fail – but it was something. I might also point out that he had quite a few Republican votes on his legislation.

      I think the “polarization” is not quite as bad as it seems. Yes, there is a percentage of the population – it seems to be around 20-25% that is more-or-less into the “Tea Party” aspect, and that figure varies regionally. What I’ve seen with the Republicans over the past two years is that they haven’t been following the usual pattern of “run to the right for the primary, run in the middle for the general.” As quite a few commentators elsewhere have pointed out, the real Reagan wouldn’t be popular with the Republican Party today.

  4. I mentioned FDR knowing that there are a lot of similarities. I have a lot of respect for FDR for his wartime leadership.

    While FDR did try different things, it was also a different economy back then as well.

    Ah well, we can only wait and watch.