Glenn Beck wants to save us from the extreme right and left (I thought he was on the extreme right)

I ought to get on a different subject, but following on my last post, I have to feel FOX network’s bloviator Glenn Beck is something like those who change their tune when they find out their heroes and their enemies do the same thing.

I heard him on TV decrying the Patriot Act, which he admits he originally supported. But it seems now that President Obama can use it he is against it. The Patriot Act, pushed through by the previous Bush administration, you may recall, among other things, makes it easier for the government to spy on you, regardless if you are in the act of trying to overthrow our government or attack America or whether you are a perfectly law abiding citizen going about your daily life, but may in the process try to access information or talk to your friends and relatives on the phone or internet in a free society or even freely express your displeasure with the current government (supposedly your right).

Beck also has apparently made the startling discovery that decades ago, say the 1930s and 1940s, there were otherwise seemingly patriotic Americans (or not) who supported the Nazi and Communist causes. He’s afraid that maybe he’s the only one who has ever heard of that and wants everyone to know and to read up on that. I agree, people should be aware of this.

I didn’t understand exactly what he was trying to get act, except that he seemed to be noting that both the extreme left , which comes close to communism, and the extreme right, which is like fascism or Nazism, resemble each other. He says they both call for government control of everything (well, he’s right). Hitler was just as much of a dictator as Stalin. Both the Nazis and the Communists use totalitarian government with secret police (Bush gave the FBI secret powers under the Patriot Act).

Then Beck goes on to claim that the real enemies are “progressives”, which he indicates both fascists on the right and communists on the left are.

I have always thought “progressive” was in some respects a euphemism for liberal and also a label once used by Republicans who pushed governmental reforms, such as civil service rules for government employees to do away with the political spoils system in which most government workers served at the will of the current administration. At one time the Democrats were big on patronage — remember Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall.

What I guess Beck is supposedly against is any form of big government. I am not exactly sure what he thinks the role of government should be or whether the world’s super power, the United States of America, could have small government.

Perhaps he is like some Libertarians who basically feel government is just something to keep records of who owns what and maybe provide for the common defense (maybe).

Beck does have a point. A lot of people today may not be aware that back in the day (the Great Depression) many who might join the Tea Party movement today spouted off communist and even Nazi sympathies. Those were desperate times.

These are desperate times, and the tunes of extremism could catch on.

Strangely, I note in the bookstores a book by Glenn Beck shows him wearing a Nazi outfit (a marketing gimmick, I suppose).


Beck also informed us that there once were communists in our government (the whole McCarthy thing). He’s been reading up on his history. And most younger than me will probably ask: “what’s a communist”?


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