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FOXNews's Glenn Beck Is Breeding Potential Violence

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  • owhy3
    He s going after progressives, whom he claims are a cancer in our society...It won t take long for people to forget that Wall Street gambled our
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2010
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       He's going after <liberals> progressives, whom he claims are a
      "cancer" in our society...It won't take long for people to
      forget that Wall Street gambled our economy into the ground. Bankers
      have already forgotten..

      Sure, conservatives have been attacking liberals for over a generation,
      and liberals have been getting more and more embarrassed about the
      label. Beck's argument is simple, direct and full of raw meat for
      his ultra-conservative audiences: the only difference between communists
      and progressives is the difference between revolution and evolutionBeck
      dresses up his Manichean worldview with a twisted history lesson
      alleging that the progressive movement of the early 20th century, which
      he claims was led by Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, was all about
      communism. Here's what Beck says about the great communist Rough
      Rider:

      We have a guy in the Republican Party who says his favorite president is
      Theodore Roosevelt. Well, I thought so too, until I read Theodore
      Roosevelt. By the way, Theodore Roosevelt, the guy who started the Bull
      Moose Party, which was the progressive party.

      Theodore Roosevelt, quote [Beck reads]: "We judge no man a fortune in
      civil life if it's honorably obtained and well spent."
      Oh? Well thank you.

      [Reading again]: "It's not even enough that it should have been
      gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it only
      to be gained so long as the gaining represents benefit to the
      community."

      Is this what the Republican Party stands for? Well, you should ask
      members of the Republican Party, because this is not our founders'
      idea of America. And this is the cancer that's eating at
      America."

      Like Joe McCarthy, Beck doesn't let slippery facts stand in the way.
      He rails against the income tax amendment because the government's
      right to collect such a tax was not in the original constitution. Well,
      that's not exactly a tight argument given that freedom for slaves
      also was not in the "original" constitution. He seems to forget
      that the amendment process is part of the constitution as well. He
      further implies that passing the income tax amendment was President
      Wilson's doing, even though it started under President Taft, and 36
      states ratified it before Wilson came to office. (Come on Beck, I dare
      you to accuse Taft of being a progressive communist.)

      In effect, Beck believes that just about anyone writing on Huffington
      Post or AlterNet or Firedoglake is an evolutionary communist in
      progressive clothing. He says that all of us progressives want to see a
      totalitarian, socialist, state-controlled society that will rob
      Americans of their freedoms.

      I wish this were just a bad joke, but in fact, Beck is providing an
      uncontested analysis to economically distressed Americans. He's
      saying that progressives and their big government ideas are the
      fundamental causes of the crisis. They bailed out the banks, created a
      pork-filled stimulus program, and stole your jobs away. That deeply
      flawed analysis is gaining ground rapidly. It won't take long for
      people to forget that Wall Street gambled our economy into the ground.
      Bankers have already forgotten.

      Beck is way too smart to believe his new form of red-baiting will stick
      right now. Instead he's getting ready for the next crash, which he
      claims will come soon enough and will be catastrophic. He's working
      out his argument for the next wave of angry unemployed Americans.
      He's warming up by painting a bull's-eye on the back of every
      progressive.

      Of course, there is no way in hell he could possibly build a new kind of
      McCarthyism that turned progressives into communists. There are just too
      many of us and we're not even close to being communists. Arianna
      Huffington, a communist?

      But what are we? What is our definition of progressivism? What is our
      agenda for the economic crisis, and for the millions who are unemployed?

      We don't have one. As a result, we're letting Beck and company
      define progressivism. Worse still, by not building a new movement,
      we're letting Obama and the Democrats define it by their actions,
      which repeatedly kowtow to Wall Street interests. How do we explain how
      bankers were able to walk off with a record $150 billion in bonuses
      while getting more than $12 trillion in government support? How do we
      explain that to the nearly 30 million who are without jobs or forced
      into part-time work?

      We could start by reclaiming the very mantle of progressivism that Beck
      is distorting. The Progressive Party's platform of 1912 is not a
      cancer: It's the road to economic health. Among many other things,
      it calls for giving women the right to vote, protecting working people
      from employer abuse and tackling concentrated corporate power, which was
      turning America into a plutocracy. Progressives formed a new party and
      platform in order to focus directly on a condition that is still with
      us:

      Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute
      the will of the people.

      From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside.
      Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare, they have become
      the tools of corrupt interests which use them impartially to serve their
      selfish purposes.

      Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government
      owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.

      To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance
      between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the
      statesmanship of the day.

      The deliberate betrayal of its trust by the Republican party, the fatal
      incapacity of the Democratic party to deal with the new issues of the
      new time, have compelled the people to forge a new instrument of
      government through which to give effect to their will in laws and
      institutions.

      It would be a great joy to debate Beck about the following planks of
      that 1912 platform that called for the government to protect workers
      against death and destruction on the job:

      -Effective legislation looking to the prevention of industrial
      accidents, occupational diseases, overwork, involuntary unemployment,
      and other injurious effects incident to modern industry;

      -The fixing of minimum safety and health standards for the various
      occupations, and the exercise of the public authority of State and
      Nation, including the Federal Control over interstate commerce, and the
      taxing power, to maintain such standards;

      -The prohibition of child labor;

      -Minimum wage standards for working women, to provide a "living
      wage" in all industrial occupations;

      -The general prohibition of night work for women and the establishment
      of an eight hour day for women and young persons;

      -One day's rest in seven for all wage workers;

      -The eight hour day in continuous twenty-four hour industries;

      -The abolition of the convict contract labor system;

      -Standards of compensation for death by industrial accident and injury
      and trade disease which will transfer the burden of lost earnings from
      the families of working people to the industry, and thus to the
      community;

      -The protection of home life against the hazards of sickness, irregular
      employment and old age through the adoption of a system of social
      insurance adapted to American use;

      -The development of the creative labor power of America by lifting the
      last load of illiteracy from American youth and establishing
      continuation schools for industrial education under public control and
      encouraging agricultural education and demonstration in rural schools;

      -We favor the organization of the workers, men and women, as a means of
      protecting their interests and of promoting their progress.

      This is from 1912! Why haven't modern progressives been able to
      produce something like this that calls for mass job creation and for
      tight controls on Wall Street?

      The truth is that Beck and the Tea Party, along with the entire
      conservative echo chamber, really have no answers for the unemployed
      — none at all. They have no answer for the continued Wall Street
      ripoff of our people. In fact, Beck is a de facto shill for the rich and
      powerful who stand to lose the most from tough government regulations,
      progressive taxation and jobs programs for the unemployed.

      But we've allowed Beck to have the field by himself. Progressives
      are still stunned by the failure of the Obama administration and the
      Democrats to do the job. But they will never succeed until a new
      progressive movement forms with the guts take on Wall Street.

      Unfortunately, Glenn Beck is right about one thing: There will be
      another crash. Then the battle will be drawn clearly between his kind of
      McCarthyism versus a new progressivism that once again engages in
      ongoing dialogue with everyday people about how to create jobs and
      protect our well-being.



      Les Leopold is the executive director of the Labor Institute and Public
      Health Institute in New York, and author of The Looting of America: How
      Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and
      Prosperity—and What We Can Do About It
      <http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/the_looting_of_america:paper\
      back
      > (Chelsea Green, 2009).
      © 2010 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
      View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/145816/Radical
      Hit Man for the Tea Partiers, Is Breeding Potential Violence
      > By Les Leopold, AlterNet
      > Posted on March 1, 2010, Printed on March 1, 2010
      > http://www.alternet.org/story/145816/
      >
      > Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy rode to power in the late 1940s by
      claiming the government was riddled with Communists bent on destroying
      our way of life. Many Americans, worried about the Cold War and our
      nuclear-armed adversaries, found his fear-mongering credible.
      Institutions large and small purged themselves of anyone suspected of
      having been a member or even a sympathizer of the Communist Party. It
      didn't matter if the suspicions were based on anything real, and even if
      they were, if the dalliance had happened 20 years earlier.
      >
      > The FBI fanned the flames by collecting dossiers on tens of thousands
      of Americans and then privately leaking damaging information to
      employers. Blacklists were common. Due process and free speech were
      violated repeatedly and careers were destroyed. It was one of the
      darkest periods of our history. McCarthy went one step too far when he
      claimed the Army was coddling scores of communists. The televised
      Army-McCarthy hearings finally brought him down. He was censured by the
      Senate and died in a drunken stupor. But McCarthyism — virulent
      red-baiting — lived on for many more years.
      >
      > Can we expect a replay?
      >
      > Glenn Beck, a recovering alcoholic, is much more affable. His personal
      story of picking up the pieces of his shattered life is hard to ignore
      and seems utterly genuine. All of which could make him even more
      dangerous than McCarthy.
      >
      > Beck knows it's very hard to effectively red-bait Americans,
      especially since the fall of the Soviet Union and since "Red" China
      became the world's most dynamic capitalist economy. Railing about Cuba
      and Venezuela won't cut it. So he's building a better mousetrap.
      >
      > He's going after progressives, whom he claims are a "cancer" in our
      society. Sure, conservatives have been attacking liberals for over a
      generation, and liberals have been getting more and more embarrassed
      about the label. But I don't recall anyone else of Beck's prominence
      claiming that progressivism is a cancerous growth on the body politic.
      Even Joe McCarthy didn't stoop that low.
      >
      > Beck's argument is simple, direct and full of raw meat for his
      ultra-conservative audiences: the only difference between communists and
      progressives is the difference between revolution and evolution.
      Otherwise, they are the same. At the recent CPAC conference he used as
      "proof" a 1938 Rhode Island Communist Party pamphlet which argued that
      during the United Front period, Communists should make alliances with
      progressives. That's proof? During that period the CP was willing to
      make alliances with anyone, including the Boy Scouts.
      >
      > Beck dresses up his Manichean worldview with a twisted history lesson
      alleging that the progressive movement of the early 20th century, which
      he claims was led by Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, was all about
      communism. Here's what Beck says about the great communist Rough Rider:
      >
      > We have a guy in the Republican Party who says his favorite president
      is Theodore Roosevelt. Well, I thought so too, until I read Theodore
      Roosevelt. By the way, Theodore Roosevelt, the guy who started the Bull
      Moose Party, which was the progressive party.
      >
      > Theodore Roosevelt, quote [Beck reads]: "We judge no man a fortune in
      civil life if it's honorably obtained and well spent."
      > Oh? Well thank you.
      >
      > [Reading again]: "It's not even enough that it should have been gained
      without doing damage to the community. We should permit it only to be
      gained so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community."
      >
      > Is this what the Republican Party stands for? Well, you should ask
      members of the Republican Party, because this is not our founders' idea
      of America. And this is the cancer that's eating at America."
      >
      > Like Joe McCarthy, Beck doesn't let slippery facts stand in the way.
      He rails against the income tax amendment because the government's right
      to collect such a tax was not in the original constitution. Well, that's
      not exactly a tight argument given that freedom for slaves also was not
      in the "original" constitution. He seems to forget that the amendment
      process is part of the constitution as well. He further implies that
      passing the income tax amendment was President Wilson's doing, even
      though it started under President Taft, and 36 states ratified it before
      Wilson came to office. (Come on Beck, I dare you to accuse Taft of being
      a progressive communist.)
      >
      > In effect, Beck believes that just about anyone writing on Huffington
      Post or AlterNet or Firedoglake is an evolutionary communist in
      progressive clothing. He says that all of us progressives want to see a
      totalitarian, socialist, state-controlled society that will rob
      Americans of their freedoms.
      >
      > I wish this were just a bad joke, but in fact, Beck is providing an
      uncontested analysis to economically distressed Americans. He's saying
      that progressives and their big government ideas are the fundamental
      causes of the crisis. They bailed out the banks, created a pork-filled
      stimulus program, and stole your jobs away. That deeply flawed analysis
      is gaining ground rapidly. It won't take long for people to forget that
      Wall Street gambled our economy into the ground. Bankers have already
      forgotten.
      >
      > Beck is way too smart to believe his new form of red-baiting will
      stick right now. Instead he's getting ready for the next crash, which he
      claims will come soon enough and will be catastrophic. He's working out
      his argument for the next wave of angry unemployed Americans. He's
      warming up by painting a bull's-eye on the back of every progressive.
      >
      > Of course, there is no way in hell he could possibly build a new kind
      of McCarthyism that turned progressives into communists. There are just
      too many of us and we're not even close to being communists. Arianna
      Huffington, a communist?
      >
      > But what are we? What is our definition of progressivism? What is our
      agenda for the economic crisis, and for the millions who are unemployed?
      >
      > We don't have one. As a result, we're letting Beck and company define
      progressivism. Worse still, by not building a new movement, we're
      letting Obama and the Democrats define it by their actions, which
      repeatedly kowtow to Wall Street interests. How do we explain how
      bankers were able to walk off with a record $150 billion in bonuses
      while getting more than $12 trillion in government support? How do we
      explain that to the nearly 30 million who are without jobs or forced
      into part-time work?
      >
      > We could start by reclaiming the very mantle of progressivism that
      Beck is distorting. The Progressive Party's platform of 1912 is not a
      cancer: It's the road to economic health. Among many other things, it
      calls for giving women the right to vote, protecting working people from
      employer abuse and tackling concentrated corporate power, which was
      turning America into a plutocracy. Progressives formed a new party and
      platform in order to focus directly on a condition that is still with
      us:
      >
      > Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to
      execute the will of the people.
      >
      > From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside.
      Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare, they have become
      the tools of corrupt interests which use them impartially to serve their
      selfish purposes.
      >
      > Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible
      government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to
      the people.
      >
      > To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance
      between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the
      statesmanship of the day.
      >
      > The deliberate betrayal of its trust by the Republican party, the
      fatal incapacity of the Democratic party to deal with the new issues of
      the new time, have compelled the people to forge a new instrument of
      government through which to give effect to their will in laws and
      institutions.
      >
      > It would be a great joy to debate Beck about the following planks of
      that 1912 platform that called for the government to protect workers
      against death and destruction on the job:
      >
      > -Effective legislation looking to the prevention of industrial
      accidents, occupational diseases, overwork, involuntary unemployment,
      and other injurious effects incident to modern industry;
      >
      > -The fixing of minimum safety and health standards for the various
      occupations, and the exercise of the public authority of State and
      Nation, including the Federal Control over interstate commerce, and the
      taxing power, to maintain such standards;
      >
      > -The prohibition of child labor;
      >
      > -Minimum wage standards for working women, to provide a "living wage"
      in all industrial occupations;
      >
      > -The general prohibition of night work for women and the establishment
      of an eight hour day for women and young persons;
      >
      > -One day's rest in seven for all wage workers;
      >
      > -The eight hour day in continuous twenty-four hour industries;
      >
      > -The abolition of the convict contract labor system;
      >
      > -Standards of compensation for death by industrial accident and injury
      and trade disease which will transfer the burden of lost earnings from
      the families of working people to the industry, and thus to the
      community;
      >
      > -The protection of home life against the hazards of sickness,
      irregular employment and old age through the adoption of a system of
      social insurance adapted to American use;
      >
      > -The development of the creative labor power of America by lifting the
      last load of illiteracy from American youth and establishing
      continuation schools for industrial education under public control and
      encouraging agricultural education and demonstration in rural schools;
      >
      > -We favor the organization of the workers, men and women, as a means
      of protecting their interests and of promoting their progress.
      >
      > This is from 1912! Why haven't modern progressives been able to
      produce something like this that calls for mass job creation and for
      tight controls on Wall Street?
      >
      > The truth is that Beck and the Tea Party, along with the entire
      conservative echo chamber, really have no answers for the unemployed
      — none at all. They have no answer for the continued Wall Street
      ripoff of our people. In fact, Beck is a de facto shill for the rich and
      powerful who stand to lose the most from tough government regulations,
      progressive taxation and jobs programs for the unemployed.
      >
      > But we've allowed Beck to have the field by himself. Progressives are
      still stunned by the failure of the Obama administration and the
      Democrats to do the job. But they will never succeed until a new
      progressive movement forms with the guts take on Wall Street.
      >
      > Unfortunately, Glenn Beck is right about one thing: There will be
      another crash. Then the battle will be drawn clearly between his kind of
      McCarthyism versus a new progressivism that once again engages in
      ongoing dialogue with everyday people about how to create jobs and
      protect our well-being.
      >
      >
      > Les Leopold is the executive director of the Labor Institute and
      Public Health Institute in New York, and author of The Looting of
      America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed Our Jobs,
      Pensions, and Prosperity—and What We Can Do About It (Chelsea Green,
      2009).
      >
      > © 2010 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
      > View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/145816/
      >



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