With the recent shooting in Arizona, there’s been a lot of talk lately about the level of aggression and violence inherent in today’s political rhetoric. From Sarah Palin’s “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!,” to Sarah Palin’s infamous crosshairs map (surveyor’s marks my ass), to Sarah Palin’s insistence that if any of her critics get their way it would “destroy the Republic,” there has indeed been a lot of charged, inflammatory speech in the political arena that serves only to create divisiveness and foster the type of anger that all too often leads to violence. And while Jared Laughner does not seem to be motivated by politics or ideology, he’s not the only one who has recently attempted such an act (Byron Williams comes to mind). So where does all this vitriol come from? My nomination for most obvious promotion of politically-motivated violence is one Glenn Beck, seen here:
Now, of course, this video is heavily edited and it stands to reason that something like this should be viewed and understood in its own context. So, here is the transcript of the whole rant. And for those of you who would like to hear Beck’s explanation of those comments, here it is. Let it never be said that I take things out of context.
Now, more importantly, let it NEVER be said that Glenn Beck is in fact not inciting violence with this statement. Let’s analyze this transcript together, shall we?
The first premise asserted by Beck is that Progressives are dangerous. It’s laid out pretty clear when he says “they are dangerous. Why? Why? Well, because a lot of them have called for violent revolution,” followed later with “They are dangerous because they believe. Karl Marx is their George Washington. You will never change their mind… They want to overthrow our entire system of government.”
So now we have established, for the Glenn Beck viewing audience, that Progressives are dangerous revolutionaries that want to overthrow the government, and essentially destroy the republic.
Next, we are treated to an explanation of the true dedication Beck has to his own belief system, which is based on his “understanding” of the founding principles of the United States. Never mind that these beliefs are based on utter falsehoods propped up by radical revisionist historians like David Barton, they are still Beck’s most deeply held and most sacred precepts. Beck even gives us a hint as to how closely he holds these ideals when he asserts that one would have to “Shoot me in the head before I stop talking about the Founders. Shoot me in the head if you try to change our government.” Pretty powerful stuff. Even in his later explanation of the diatribe, Beck explains that he was talking about how he would rather die than recant his beliefs or even stop trying to see them brought to fruition. You would have to shoot him in the head to stop him. He said so himself.
With me so far? Good. Here comes a twist.
After explaining how he will never be stopped while alive, Beck then establishes the premise that dangerous Progressives, his political opponents, are just as devoted to their own world view as he is to his. In fact, “They believe in communism. They believe and have called for a revolution. You’re going to have to shoot them in the head [emphasis added].” That’s the only way anyone will stop the dangerous Progressives from doing everything they can to see their own world view realized. They believe that hard, just like Beck. Beck’s later explanation of this rant doesn’t even attempt to refute that statement. He only says that he was talking to the Democratic party leadership, explaining that they have been infested with this dangerous Progressive cancer which can only be cured by the destruction of the dangerous Progressives who have infiltrated the party. Kind of like how someone once said labor unions had been infiltrated and corrupted by Jews in a plot to destroy… What country was that again? Anyway…
Here’s where it hits you.
Now that we have established that dangerous Progressives have taken over the Democratic party in an attempt to spread their Republic-killing propaganda and socialist agenda, Beck is extraordinarily insistent that these dangerous Progressives must be stopped. He has said it over and over again. It’s pretty much the basis of almost every episode of his show. We must stop the dangerous Progressives, because the fate of the nation hangs in the balance and “at some point they’re going to come for you.” But wait, the average viewer might ask, how can we stop them? Fortunately for you, “Professor” Beck has already told the Democratic leadership about the only way to stop these dangerous Progressives, and he did it so you, too could hear the solution. “You are going to have to shoot them in the head.”
In case you’re having trouble getting the point of all this, Just read the words in bold to understand Beck’s real narrative. Or, let me state it more simply. It’s just a more convoluted way to say “Those guys are bad! Let’s kill them!“