Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cenk Uygur: Glenn Beck Clown Antics Turn Dangerous.

Cenk Uygur touches on the fact that what Glenn Beck is up to is not funny, it's actually dangerous.

There is no denying that there are people out there who take what Beck says seriously. And, much as he denies it, he is actually inciting violence.

What else does he mean when he argues that citizens need to "rise up and take their country back"? How do people "rise up" against a democratically elected president? What exactly is it that Beck expects the people to do?

As Maher rightly states, it's hard to work out if the Republicans are more dangerous in power or out of power. Obama is not yet in office even a hundred days and the right wing have gone completely insane. We have a possible eight years of this madness ahead. Unless, that is, the people "rise up and take their country back".

Republicans only seem to respect democracy when it elects them to power. It's the craziness of the Republicans during the Clinton years all over again. But much as it's possible to laugh at Beck's histrionics, I think there is a much uglier underbelly to what he is calling for.


Steel Phoenix said...

Let me start by saying this guy creeps me out and I want nothing to do with his kind of revolution.

America was, however designed around the concept of revolution. Contrary to popular belief, the Second Amendment to our Constitution has nothing to do with hunting or self defense. It was designed so that when the government stopped representing the people, we could overthrow it. At some point as a democracy expands, it becomes only the appearance of democracy. It is a gradual process, and I believe we are most of the way there. The Congress especially has reached far beyond their intended powers.

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience [has] shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce [the people] under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security." --Thomas Jefferson: Declaration of Independence, 1776. ME 1:29, Papers 1:429

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.
The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,
it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ...
And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not
warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
It is its natural manure."

Kel said...

Contrary to popular belief, the Second Amendment to our Constitution has nothing to do with hunting or self defense. It was designed so that when the government stopped representing the people, we could overthrow it.

I agree. But Obama is only 70 days in office. The people spoke through an election (and Becks team lost) and he is asking that the people demand that Obama - elected on a message of change - should follow the policies of the party which lost.

The people spoke in early November, so it's not that this government is not representing the people anymore; indeed, every opinion poll says that the public like what Obama is doing. No, the government are not doing what Glenn wants which is why he is calling for nutbags to rise up.

I'd accept your point if Obama was behaving in a way which the majority of citizens vehemently disagreed with, but Beck is asking for the minority to rise up because he hates the party that the majority have chosen. That's a blatant rejection of democratic values.

And it's a bit rich coming from the side who had Dick Cheney as their VP. A man who, when told the public did not support the Iraq war, replied, "So?"

The party Glenn supports had open contempt for what the majority of the population thought.

Where was Glenn's outrage then? He's a fraud and a fake. And what he's calling for is dangerous, especially when he's calling for people to rise up and "take your country back" from the US's first ever black president.

At some point as a democracy expands, it becomes only the appearance of democracy. It is a gradual process, and I believe we are most of the way there.

Again, agreed; in as much as both major parties fall way short of offering people like myself - and I suspect yourself - the kind of political alternatives that we seek.

But surely that's down to people organising and forming alternatives to the big two?

I'm with Churchill on the subject of democracy: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

If there aren't better parties than the ones on offer then we have no-one to blame but ourselves. It was that same feeling of anger and helplessness that caused Keir Hardie and others to form the British Labour party. The system will reward people who have ideas which catch the public's imagination.

If Glenn Beck wants to form a party and take his chances in front of the electorate I would respect him.

Calling for people to "rise up and take your country back" from a democratically elected president is simply despicable.

Steel Phoenix said...

I don't know. I'd like to believe that we can vote our way out of this, but there is such a brainwash that you have to vote against the opposition party that we never have more than two serious choices. Ron Paul was as good a candidate as I've seen. Maybe if he didn't have such smooth competition in Obama he could have done a bit better, but I just don't think the people can get past partisanship. Without doing so, there is no hope. A president can't do it either, we need a lot more like Ron Paul in Congress before we can move beyond partisanship and corruption. I've come to the sad conclusion that we won't see positive enough change until we collapse, and that is likely decades away. Obama being as good as he is may actually be a negative. He is creating the framework for the next Bush to do much greater damage, or maybe just for congress and the insurance Companies to bleed us a bit more. It isn't so much the president as the infrastructure. What we really need is to scrap the government and build over it with just the basics. We could even do it one department at a time, but it needs to be sweeping. There would be such an outcry over the sheer scale of the job loss, but they aren't beneficial jobs. They are just another form of welfare. We need those people working towards something tangible instead of paying them to provide us another level of bureaucracy. You are right about your assessment of revolution in a Democracy; it has to come from more than an angry fringe group, but the movement needs to start somewhere. (It won't be Beck)

Kel said...

Your system is very different from ours in that yours has special interest groups and their needs almost hard wired through political donations into the heart of the system. I genuinely understand the frustration you must feel.

And, as you also state, the solution will either come through the collapse of the system or through someone someone offering a genuine alternative through the democratic process.

But the answer isn't this pathetic and dangerous grandstanding which Beck is calling for.

The great thing about democracy is that anyone can stand. And Ron Paul actually did fantastically well fighting for someone fighting within the Republican system.

I'd be very interested to see how he would fare if he had the courage to step away from the Republicans and offer a third choice.

Steel Phoenix said...

He ran in '88 and didn't even win the Libertarian nomination.

Unfortunately, our mindset that we can fix anything by throwing money at it has left us with a decrepit education system and a populace without the necessary reasoning skills to think for themselves. My most recent post was dedicated to this issue. For a nation that talks endlessly about how free we are, we sure act like sheep.

Kel said...

SP, What stuns me is that so many working class people will take to the streets for these so called tea parties to demand that the rich pay less tax. That's awesome stupidity.

I can never understand how the Republicans manage to get the American working class to campaign against their own economic interests with such astonishing regularity.