Beck’s faux populism
One curious consequence of the Democrats’ electoral triumph last year has been the rise of Glenn Beck, a right-wing populist whose daily ravings on Fox News have helped inspire the anti-government “tea party” rallies across the country. In a lot of ways, Beck’s popularity reflects the current emotional state of American conservatives.
When they ran the entire government just a few short years ago, it was fashionable for conservatives to tune into braying, overconfident bullies such as Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. Now that they’re totally shut out, however, they’ve found solace in the conspiratorial and weepy Beck, who stokes their fears that shadowy elements within the government are plotting to end freedom as we know it.
The irony is that Beck is only really opposed to big government when Republicans aren’t controlling it. For instance, he has no issues with allowing the government to torture prisoners and is supportive of police brutality. And those big government bailouts of the financial industry that Beck rails against on a regular basis? Back when George W. Bush was president, Beck actually chided Congress for not giving more money to rescue the banks.</em>
Bread and circuses for those who find reality too…real.