Although this has more to do with the rally and peoples perception of the Tea Party than it does Beck, I thought it would be appropriate to share my thoughts under the Beck subsection.
Much has been said, blogged, debated and satirized concerning Glenn Becks recent 8/28 Restoring Honor Rally. Some argue that the rally was just a blatant attempt by Beck and Tea Party organizations to drum up enthusiasm and support for the upcoming elections. Some have said it is a disrespectful hijacking of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement that he championed. Others have just accused the rally of being a meeting of a bunch of angry religious bigots. Many anonymous contributors to internet discussion boards have been stretching the outer limits of their vocabulary of insults. They have come up with some real gems like “troglodytes” and “mouth-breathers” and my personal favorite “Beckerheads” to refer to the full array of tea partying racists that have descended on the national mall.
What is to be made of the rally now that it is over? One of the most interesting claims that has been made about the rally is that Beck and his cronies knowingly hijacked the date of August 28th and in doing so also attempted to hijack MLK’s legacy. A piece titled “Glenn Beck and Tea Party attempt to steal Martin Luther King's dream” written by Glenn Wright, appears on examiner.com and is a generic example among the many examples that hold this viewpoint. First of all, invoking MLK’s legacy would be a foolish thing for Glenn Beck to do because according to the same people that make this claim, the people at the event are racists and bigots. It would be unwise to invoke the name, memory and legacy of the most successful civil rights leader in the US to a massive group of mouth-breathing racists. Certainly if Beck tried to hold up MLK as a man to be admired, the tea partiers would have none of it and would protest with spitting, cursing, and yelling racial slurs. Even though Beck is a racist troglodyte himself, he certainly would not be so stupid as to speak positively about a civil rights leader to a group of bigots.
Now that the rally has ended, there should be multitudes of stories about the racist names, and the bigotry that flowed from the crowd. None of this happened. Conversely, the mere mention of MLK by Sarah Palin was accompanied by a massive cheer that spread across the entire crowd. This was not racist. This was not ignorant. The same response happened when MLK’s niece addressed the crowd. No anger, no bigotry. This is because the tea party is not a bunch of angry racists. It is true that you can point to examples where there have been allegations of racist remarks by people that have been in a crowd of tea partiers. This in no way indicts a whole group. Reasonable people understand that the actions of a few in a group cannot speak for the whole. No matter what you or I think about the Tea Party, branding them as racists is untrue and unfair.
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The fact is that liberals and elites have projected their hopes of what they would like the tea party to be on the crowd that gathered on the national mall. They NEED the tea partiers to be racists and bigots. They NEED the tea partiers to be small-minded and ignorant. This allows the establishment to marginalize the movement. If members of the Tea Party are not any of these things then they might possibly be intelligent, involved and aware of what is going on in America. This is damaging and potentially ruinous for the agenda of progressives and elites. They ignore the tea party movement at their own peril. Barring some major change in the political landscape in the next couple months, many established politicians, republicans and democrats alike, will not be keeping their jobs come November.