But did principle trump personality?
I love watching Glenn Beck on TV.
Day winding down, he makes so many good points. As someone who has spent a lifetime studying history, been there in government and politics, I find it great to watch Beck’s particular insistence on educating Americans about real history that has gone missing. Having long ago learned first hand the progressive-race connection, for example, by having lived for a couple years in Woodrow Wilson’s hometown, I am stunned to see someone have the wit and the chops to detail this particularly disturbing history of America’s “progressive” president on popular television.
So I watched the rally on C-SPAN.
And you know what? (He says gently…)
I was elated — and concerned.
Elated because putting together something like this is no day at the beach. Beck clearly worked his heart out on it and so too the Tea Party folks and all manner of others. It was a triumph. A huge success and Beck deserves congratulations for it.
If I may raise one concern.
Believe it or not, I found this event to be a bit of an intellectual muddle.
After considerable amounts of time doing a superb job on his television show analyzing American history — from early American religion to the Founders to the Progressives — and managing to draw a television audience of amazing size with all this, it was almost as if there was a bit of indecision as to what to say at this rally. Was this politics? Or religion? Or something else?
In truth, I wasn’t sure. There’s a difference between spot-on political assessments of “social justice” and being Billy Graham. Of urging people to political action — and religious action. Oddly, this is one of the reasons (in reverse) why Beck opponents in the world of liberal religion have lost members: they have presented themselves as religious leaders yet behave as if they were secular politicians. Beck seems to be struggling with being a secular talk radio commentator — or the Reverend Glenn.
There’s nothing wrong with either. But the latter, per se, seems not what he was about all of this time up until now.
FOR REASONS THAT HAVE nothing to do with Glenn Beck — television, the celebrification of America, the eternally human tendency to be attracted to powerful personalities — it is critical to remember that events of this nature are not about the speakers but the participants. Martin Luther King’s famous speech will be remembered forever — but it will be remembered because the American people understood how to bring about racial equality for all Americans using the principles expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Principles King spent a career discussing.
In other words, while the headlines go to a King or a Beck — it is in fact the principles and the millions working to make those principles a reality that are always the real story.
But if the leader is well-intentioned yet unclear, well, muddle ensues.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online