Following Saturday’s rally organized by Glenn Beck at the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Monday I decided to tune into the talk show host’s TV show. Having watched him perform on a few occasions, I was expecting to see a lot of gloating and general grandstanding for managing to get an estimated 500,000 people to converge on the District of Columbia to stand for hours under a scorching sun. Instead, he was more subdued than I had ever seen him and did not make a single statement I could find fault with or have fun ridiculing.
At the beginning of the show Beck read excerpts by columnists he labeled as the liberal media. He pointed out the consensus was that the event was surprisingly free of vitriolic comments or politically motivated speeches. Then he went on to complain that while all of his critics wrote about what did not happen at the rally, no one filled the vacuum to describe exactly what did take place. To fill that void let me share my opinion. The rally was a clever, well-orchestrated ploy by Beck to build the momentum needed to eventually declare his candidacy for the 2012 presidential race. That fact seems as clear to me as the prominent nose and lips on my face.
There was a time when the thought of an entertainer winning election to the highest public office in the country would have seemed ludicrous. But that was prior to Ronald Reagan making the unlikely transition from B-film Hollywood actor to governor of California before making the leap to the White House; Jesse Ventura leaving the wrestling circuit to occupy the governor’s mansion in Minnesota; and Al Franken becoming the only senator in history able to claim being a professional comedian on his list of accomplishments. Of course John McCain choosing Saran Palin as a running mate in the last election is also cause to believe that reality can be far stranger than the best fiction any writer could ever imagine.
Yet no one can deny that living in present day America leaves a lot to be desired. A thirteen trillion dollar national deficit brought on by two questionable wars; the housing bubble bursting; bailing out banks, financial institutions and car manufacturers; chronic unemployment; millions of illegal aliens living among us; securing our border with Mexico; fears of terrorists attacks like 9/11; and a total lack of faith in government agencies meant to assist us in the wake of natural disasters; prevent oil spills; protect us from contaminated food; tainted products from China and unsafe prescription drugs. These are but a few examples that illustrate there’s a lot wrong in Washington that needs fixing.
All of this is enough to make any sane person leery about the future for themselves and their children. Which is exactly why Beck,Tea Party members and conservatives believe they can gain political capital by bashing President Obama and his Administration. Nevertheless, I ask myself if there is any chance we’d be better off today with McCain and Palin running the country.
Wisely, Beck and all the invited speakers at Saturday’s rally steered clear of these issues, leaving no room for debate. Nor did they offer any meaningful solutions to our problems. The event was as vanilla as an old-fashion parade marching straight down the middle of Main Street. After all, who can argue against the theme each speaker harped on: love of God, faith, hope, charity, and the inherent power each and every individual has-the ability to make the world a better place. A loftier platform would be almost impossible to find, which I am sure was Beck’s plan. No doubt he’s also aware now that there is no limit to the amount of money corporations can spend on political campaign advertisements, big business will definitely want to lower the boom on Obama in hopes of going back to the days of fewer regulations and to maintain the massive tax breaks they received thanks to George W. Bush.
Only time will tell whether Beck’s master plan will see him sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America in January of 2013. If that does become reality will that translate to busts of Glenn Beck standing beside the likes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and FDR, and also spell gloom and doom for the near future?
Optimistically, I say no because another grass roots movement opposed to his policies will surely rise up from the ashes to replace today’s dissenters the same way day turns to night. And the Democrats will become the new party of no. Besides, corny as this may sound, I’m inclined to believe God does love America. I also have faith in you, the individuals capable of changing the world for the better-even if it means saying no to changes for the mere sake of making changes.