I’m going to take issue with my colleague’s short rendition of the Great Glenn Beck Affair of 2014.
But first, let me apologize for such a lengthy blog post. I was going to write about this when I first saw the protesters in Murrieta, California. In addition, there are a lot of issues here I’m trying to cover. And I’m doing this because it is very important to me and important for this country.
So let’s get into it.
The Breitbart website certainly made hay this week of Glenn Beck’s announcement, with two articles that wound up bringing in, as of the writing of this response, 6,696 posts. Today, Mr. Nolte provided a more direct response to Mr. Beck, which garnered another 1,026 (at 5:10 p.m. PST today).
First of all, let me fully disclose: I used to watch Beck on Fox as regularly as possible. I used to listen to his radio show as regularly as possible. When he left Fox, I was unable to keep up on his website and then the radio show got moved around and I lost track of that as well. Once I was able to kind of catch up, I still didn’t listen to or watch him very often.
As a person who was a Breitbarter from the get go when Big Hollywood was launched in 2007, I remember the Sherrod affair. Without delving into that, I will say that I thought Beck was wrong, but that wasn’t enough for me to start to dislike him or hate him or stop listening to or watching him. Or even reading his books.
I can’t say the same for many other Breitbarters. Frankly, for a while it became nothing but a middle school fight, everyone picking sides. It was ridiculous.
Apparently, Beck has said and done other things people disapprove of. I guess he wasn’t for Putin’s anti-homosexual laws. Apparently he decided not to really go to the mat on gay marriage and took a more libertarian stance on the issue (not supporting it, but still not fighting fully against it). I’m not sure what else he’s done, but the conspiracy theories abound – he’s really a liberal, he sold out to the Democrats. People complain about The Blaze and that they’ve been banned if they disagree. I can’t speak to most of this, because again, I haven’t kept up and I don’t post at The Blaze.
But let’s get the facts straight:
First, I am not saying that my colleague, skatblueeyes, is part of the Beck hate fest I witnessed first hand. I will only note that her opinion on the subject is the same as others who did post – and that opinion is a reasonable one, even if I disagree with them on this issue.
Second, Beck is not for open borders and never was. He is not for amnesty and never was. He is still calling for the border to be secured and for all the illegals, including children, to be sent back home.
His point was that churches in the area are asking for donations for the illegal alien children in McAllen, Texas because while they are being fed, etc, conditions in general don’t appear to be very good. So he is donating extra food, soccer balls and teddy bears.
Third, it is true that Beck used rhetoric that could be construed as sounding like a leftist regarding compassion and conservatives. However, I think if one takes some time to listen to what Beck is saying, without the chip on the shoulder, and without hate (if one has any for the man), one will see that he was simply making a point that, despite our anger and frustration at the situation, the children who are in these facilities are innocent and deserving of compassion. I don’t think he said conservatives had no compassion, only that they should show that compassion by joining in and donating. Don’t many charities use that line? Are they all leftists and betrayers of this country?
Later, in response to the vicious attacks he had gotten, he made the following statement: “conservatives only look like they just want judgment, and the liberals only look at it as mercy. You cannot you cannot have a rule of law if it is nothing but mercy you cannot have justice without mercy.”
And the odd thing is this: the thousands of posts I saw did exactly what Beck said. They were all judgment. Judgment against him, and against the illegal children, not just the parents, gang bangers, teen criminals and our government. There was not an ounce of mercy in most of the posts. Just the same arguments over and over again about “sending them home” without really understanding that Beck was for that, he was just also for showing a bit of compassion to the kids while they were in the custody of the federal government. Same conspiracy theories with no evidence to support such theories.
Beck is correct – there is no rule of law without mercy and there is no justice without mercy. It was a very Christian thing he said.
I don’t question the bona fides of those who disagreed with him, not even the ones that were so hateful (full disclosure: I may have wondered in my posts whether some posters were leftist plants). I just think they are misguided.
All of this also brought to mind the Pharisees in the New Testament. So adamant about hating the Romans, so adamant about preserving the Jewish religion and Jewish culture, they became self-righteous blowhards, ready to stone any sinner at the drop of a yamaka.
These people are the same on this issue of the illegal alien children. So adamant are they about the immigration issue – and I share that same passion – they refuse to see that a simple act of kindness is not going to push the issue one way or the other. Nothing Beck does is going to change what is going happen. Obama and the open borders crowd are not going to budge and neither will we. And more and more will come. The government is not going to stop feeding them and housing them in facilities. The Left is not going to think we are compassionate. They are still going to hate us. So if a private citizen wants to lend a hand, a hand that might just take some of the burden off the taxpayer while we fight this out, what is the big deal?
Because he asked for compassion? Because he called out those conservatives who were too wrapped up in their self-righteousness to understand his message?
Beck also mentioned the Cloward and Piven strategy – that all these illegals could overwhelm our system – our treasury, our governmental system. In doing this, and hopefully getting others to join in, he believes that we can prevent that from happening, on top of all the other bad things that will and could happen. Is that a pipe dream? Maybe. But is that so wrong? Is it really going to hurt anyone or the situation?
I understand the concern of those who were rational enough to actual provide it – they think that what he wants to do is playing into the hands of the Left; they think that it will encourage more people to come.
I simply disagree with that assessment. There is no evidence that this will bring more people. These people are looking for permisos and amnesty. Soccer balls, teddy bears and food will not give them that. And Beck, like any other private citizen, has no power to deport these people. He can only protest like the rest of us.
As for playing into the hands of the Left – so because the Left likes to say we are not compassionate, we should never ever show compassion, even when it is called for?
Does that make any sense to anyone?
How about we do what I believe Glenn is saying we should do – be ourselves. Be the compassionate people we know we are and just do good for the sake of doing good.
The problem in all of this is, in my humble opinion, the hatred for Beck, as I laid out above. So the message is completely lost. Beck could save a bus full of American children from Al Qaeda and they would still hate him.
I have tried to be a voice in the wilderness, a light in the darkness. Beck’s message has always spoken to me because he is on our side, and because he also believes that we should be very careful before we do something stupid or even become violent. To get insulted by him saying that is just childish. We all know we are being pushed and provoked. I knew that would happen the minute the Tea Party showed up.
We have to stand our ground, stand up for the Truth, but we also have to take a page from Gandhi (yes, he wasn’t a saint) and MLK (no, neither was he). Civil disobedience, peaceful demonstrations. That is why Beck was not a fan of Cliven Bundy. I know we get all excited when our side shows up like that. We like a show of force. We feel our revolutionary roots. In the end, I’m not sure if it was a good idea or not. No one got hurt, thank God. Bundy’s speech later was misconstrued, in my humble opinion. I didn’t hear a racist talking, I just heard an American speaking from experience and from the heart. Just not in the most articulate way.
So I can disagree with Beck on that, but just because he doesn’t agree with everything our side does or says, doesn’t make him a traitor or any other horrible name that people want to call him. As long as our principles remain the same. I believe they are the same.
Our Founders fought with each other after we became a nation. I don’t hold any of them in contempt. Remember the campaign ads for Jefferson and Adams? But somehow we stayed together as a nation and it was only many decades later that we fought.
Do we want to do that again? Some do. Some, I’m afraid, are itching for it. However, while I am happy to defend my life and my liberty and my country from the Statists, I’m not itching for it. I believe in defense, not offense. Our American Revolution was defensive. It really got started because we were protecting our right to keep and bear arms. No one knows who fired that first shot, even to this day. Bad revolutions were offensive – French, Russian are two of the biggest examples.
Also, if you want people on your side, it’s best not to act like a bunch of Bolshevik revolutionaries. Remember, even during our Revolution, the colonials were split between Loyalists, Patriots and those who didn’t take a side.
If we want those who are on the fence to side with us in the end, we have to present a better face. It doesn’t mean we change our principles. It means we present ourselves in a way that would make people want to side with us.
That is how I came to the Right. If my first encounter with the Right were the threads I linked to, I’m not sure where I’d be today. But they were not. My encounters involved articulate, erudite, honorable people who presented the facts in a rational and reasonable manner.
Perhaps others don’t see it that way because they don’t care about the fence sitters. I have seen that expressed many times on the internet.
I think that is a mistake. If we are going to keep the Democrats out of power, we need the fence sitters on our side. We can give up on the true believers, but the moderates, swing voters, etc., they can be our allies. Even our permanent allies. Then we can get rid of most of the swing votes and have a better chance of winning elections and getting this country on track.
I am as passionate about the border as the next guy. I am angry and frustrated, but also very, very concerned that something bad is going to come from all of this. Not just a terrorist attack, but something far worse – the complete destruction of our Republic because of this invasion of illegals.
If the border is not secure, if these people are not sent home, if they are allowed to stay and given amnesty, this Republic is finished.
So I’m less concerned with whether Beck really is a rodeo clown, or that he is a recovering addict or a Mormon. I am less concerned if he’s doing this for publicity or not. I think that is all a distraction. While we’re fighting with each other over soccer balls and teddy bears, we aren’t doing anything about the border. A simple: “I disagree with Beck but let’s focus our energy on our government” would have been the preferable response, not an apoplectic melt down on the internet. I’m sure Media Matters is licking its chops.
You can say that you don’t care, but it doesn’t matter. It’s not just your principles, it’s the face you present when expressing those principles. If you come across like a loony, you won’t get anyone to listen to the substance of what you are saying.
That’s why I don’t hold with Truthers and Birthers and people who think Beck is the anti-Christ.
I don’t have time for conspiracy theories.
So this is a plea from me to you, dear reader. Forget Glenn Beck. Donate or don’t to his cause. But keep your eyes on the prize – the preservation of this Republic for us and our posterity. And remember to be respectful and reasonable.
We will win the day if we follow that formula. If we don’t follow it, then we are doomed.