Glenn Beck mocks the ‘birthers’
[T]here’s always games being played behind the scenes at a talk radio show and on television and everything else. It is really, it’s very, I don’t know, it’s disappointing. Rush has called them on the games in radio behind the scenes, Rush has always called them seminar callers. But instead of being coy with the seminar callers or with you, I’m just going to expose the game that is going on. Today there is a concerted effort on all radio stations to get Birthers on the air. I have to tell you, are you working for the Barack Obama administration? I mean, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. ~ Glenn Beck
Here we begin to see the cracks in the Tea Party movement which Beck largely has pushed into the mainstream, a movement largely populated with Birthers who Beck is now, wisely, calling out. This is emblematic of the problems facing any sort of oppositional movement driven mostly by manufactured fears and outrage. Outrage is far too dependent on a ready source of fuel, and while the president’s policy agenda provides a ready source, the real roiling anger is found in the most outrageous conspiracy theories. These movements draw the conspiracy-theory crowd like moths to a flame. Birthers are more than a fringe element to the Tea Parties.
Recall that the Ron Paul movement, however admirable Dr. Paul was himself, was rife with Truthers and other conspiracy nuts. This was a major turn off for many of his more mainstream followers. Paleoconservatism and paleolibertarianism are ideologies that I have a great admiration for, but they are also bastions for white supremacists, conspiracy theorists, and other less desirable elements of the American right. The same thing is happening in the Tea Parties. However self-sustaining a conspiracy theory may be, such theories are unsustainable in mainstream culture and politics. Glenn Beck recognizes this and recognizes the danger such a theory poses to the Tea Party movement he helped foster.
He’s too late, of course. Any purge now will be a bloody one – and he has only himself to blame.