Glenn Beck’s Rally

AKIE BERMISS: I scoff at nearly everything Glenn Beck does.  I don’t like the man, the personality, or the message.  I basically detest all that is Glenn Beck.  I do think while, yes, being what most Americans would call a liberal.  I believe that Beck’s overt message of Christianity and belief in God being requisite to being a true American is a perversion of both Christianity AND America.  He is a fool’s fool.  And that’s why, while I scoff at him, I worry about the undue influence he has.  His ability to motivated hundreds of thousands of people to come out to Washington DC on the strength of HIS being there?  That is my greatest worry.

Everyone is making hay over the fact that the entire rally was pulled off with out any overt political message.  What a ridiculous thing to celebrate (I begin to wonder if journalists and pundits aren’t actually afraid of running afoul of Beck & Co.).  The man is on his radio and television programs every week day trumpeting an overt political message.  Political, racist, anti-government, uber-religious, hyper-conservative (without actually being at all functionally conservative) message.  In short, a message of ignorance.  And we KNOW he represents the right wing of American politics and culture.  And we know that he supports the Tea Party.  That he thinks Obama is at once socialist and facist.  That he works actively on frightening white people into thinking that they are under attack from every non-white entity he can lay his eyes upon.  We know he does this by self-endowed religious precedent.

The fact that an educated populace can not or will not confront the man on his race-baiting, fear-mongering tactics is the most convincing case for why humanity will never ascend to a higher level of consciousness.

So Beck got a bunch of like-minded people together to besmirch the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s I Have A Dream speech — a bit of ironic tragedy, perhaps. That Alveda King aided and abetted that besmirching was an even more poignant tragedy (I could write a whole article about the disgusting American Idol-like pandering to her “Uncle Martin” Alveda King perpetrated).

I’m certainly not saying that Dr. King would have tried to stop Beck from organizing his rally — but I certainly don’t believe that he would have participated in such an event.  A hypothetical assertion, perhaps — but not far off from atctuality, I believe.  And it draws in stark contrast the America of yesteryear to that of today.  We’ve come along way forward, but we’ve also turned so much more backwards. For all the talk of the Constitution and our “Forefathers” — many of today’s leaders can’t hold a candle to the founders of this nation.  When someone is actually deserving of comparison, they are shouted down by voices of ignorance.  The loudest of which is Glenn Beck.

Well, it may be that we’ve just seen a turning point in American history.  It may be that this was the day that Beck & Co. drew a line in the and restored America’s “dignity” by fomenting the beginnings of religious crusade upon our own country.  It may also be that Beck, like other idiot voices of generations past, will fail and fade as his histrionics go no further than convincing people to show up on a sunday saturday in the nations capital to hear a moron talk about himself for a few hours (like the “PromiseKeepers” of the mid-90s).

One thing is for sure though.  I found it desperately embarrassing that Beck is representative of the America that I live in.  While there are great people to look up to, I feel that Beck is the fly in the ointment — spoiling everything.

Otherwise, he’s laughable.  And I scoff at him.


ALLISON REILLY: Forty years after Martin Luther King Jr’s speech, we continue to quote and to teach his message in schools, in academic papers and in politics. Forty years from the Restoring Honor Rally, we still won’t know how many people attended, what Alveda King said or what Albert Pujols was doing there in the first place.

Considering that news sources have ranged from 87,000 (CBS) to 500,000 (Sky News) makes me wonder who was paying attention, and to what. I understand that the National Park Service stopped keeping attendance counts since 1997 for events like these, but for news organizations to overestimate or to underestimate 400,000 generally non-moving people during the rally is quite an error.

There’s also a lot out there of what Glenn Beck said or what Sarah Palin said during the rally, but I’m most curious about what King’s niece, Alveda King had to say. Yet, it’s her words that I’ve heard the least about in the aftermath of this rally. Granted, she wasn’t the star of the show, but I can’t be the only person wondering what MLK’s niece is doing supporting perspectives that agree with what Dr. King championed in the 60s.

St. Louis Cardinals first basemen Albert Pujols received the Hope Award at the rally, representing the “honesty, integrity and trust in life, both personally and professionally,” according to his manager Tony La Russa. I don’t deny that Pujols is a great man and a great baseball player, who has done a lot to give back to the community and to be a role model for children. But, hope? With exception to maybe those in the Dominican Republic, I don’t see how Albert Pujols embodies hope in anyone’s eyes. I’m not saying that Pujols shouldn’t be acknowledged for what he’s done, but it only got out this week that Pujols and La Russa were attending, and there was nothing of any Hope recognition on the rally website. Just seems like something thrown together to put Pujols in the spotlight and add a non political element to the whole thing.

But only time will tell what it all means. After all, history demonstrates that Dr. King was what mattered forty years ago. What will really matter forty years from now with the Restoring Honor rally?

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