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Glenn Beck's Political Appeal

Getting Glenn Beck. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank and more on what makes Beck tick and what makes him popular.

Glenn Beck at his "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington, D.C., Aug. 28, 2010. (AP)

To detractors, it’s amazing that Glenn Beck is on the air. To his audience, his followers, it’s a sign — of end times or revolution or counter-revolution, of restoration or despair.

Critics want to write him off. Followers want to follow. But where? To what? Maybe the Tea Party.

He’s a guiding light. He’s outrageous. He’s a rodeo clown. He talks Nazis and concentration camps and end of the world. He is certainly a sign of the times. Signifying what?

We look at Glenn Beck.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Dana Milbank, columnist for the Washington Post and former White House correspondent for the paper. He’s author of the new book “Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America” (read an excerpt) and “Homo Politicus: The Strange and Scary Tribes that Run Our Government.”

Matt Continetti, opinion editor and columnist for The Weekly Standard. He’s author of the book, “The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star.”

Mark Leibovich, Washington correspondent for the New York Times. His article “Being Glenn Beck” ran in last week’s New York Times Magazine.

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  • JP

    On Point,

    Are you Kidding?

  • JP

    Beck’s appeal is simple:

    A certain segment of the population (FOX viewers and dittoheads) is susceptible to and motivated by fear, hatred, and selfishness.

    The worst of the worst, like Beck and Limbaugh, fell into positions where they could manipulate such simpletons for their own enrichment and glorification.

    It’s hardly a new story or one that’s difficult to fathom… look no further than than the worst dictators of the 20th century for apt comparisons.

    Also, On Point,

    please discontinue inviting Continetti on your show… you might as well invite Beck himself as a commentator for your shows, as he’s no less inane and partisan. If it’s balance you’re looking for, surely there’s someone conservative who’s credible… or maybe not, these days.

  • jeffe

    Wow from Glenn Beck to Allan Ginsburg in two hours.

    Read Paul Krugman’s article on Fox and politics.
    The Beck story is more about Murdoch’s control of the political agenda of countries he has heavily invested in.

    What’s going on in Great Britain right now is a scandal and nothing is being done about it. Read the piece.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/04/opinion/04krugman.html?ref=opinion

    I’m not sure what to make of this show anymore.
    After the one on China yesterday and the fear mongering that I heard by the host, I’m not sure giving a demagogue like Beck more air time is a wise thing.

  • jeffe

    Is it me or is On Point becoming a mouth piece for the “conservative agenda” it seems more shows are dedicated them. You people are playing right into Fox’s hands.

  • cory

    1. Hey Lou, how is your comment even remotely related to the stated topic? Surely delete-worthy.

    2. JP, I don’t agree with you on the worthiness of this topic. Whether we like it or not, Glenn Beck is a phenomenon in America now. I have usually level headed family members who are cuckoo about him. He is big and their may be something useful about understanding it, especially considering the possible 2012 Palin ascension.

    3. What is Glenn Beck? The following are parts of the whole: Quaker, shaker, muck-raker, know nothing, televangelist, progressive regressive, Art Bell wannabee, survivalist, multi millionaire capitalist oppurtunist, pied piper, white everyman.

    He may literally be gone tomorrow, or he may be a transformational figure that helps us with the transition to a far right fundamentalist country. Sarah palin can win the presidency in 2012 if the winds blow correctly, and Beck could be one of the harbingers.

  • Zeno

    It’s an important question…and curious minds at the Heritage Foundation want to know if the message is louder than the agenda. The answer depends on life experience and mental acuity.

    We can say that Beck has “political” appeal, but that is not the root of his appeal, because the selling of simple answers as solutions to fears based on ignorance is as old a mankind.

    Many Americans have a poor education due to government meddling, social environment, drugs, poverty, religion, and mostly the abject pride of ignorance they inherit from their family. One must differentiate between the prideful ignorance that is taught by Christianity, from the Shameful ignorance abhorred in the Jewish religion.

    But the fruit of ignorance is fear (the fear they possess and the fear they exert on society), and that fear can be used by many for fun, power, and profit. Hence we have Beck, Limbaugh, Rwandan Patriotic Front, Slobodan Milošević, etc. It is always wrapped in an appealing gift of patriotism, morality, and prejudice.

    Control of media, and even a portion of it is enough to spark a revolution, and if such a revolution starts in America, then new leaders will emerge from below, and Beck and Limbaugh will flee to their mansions in their socialist countries of choice and claim no responsibility for their inflammatory actions.

    Suffer these fools lightly at your own peril…Just ask anyone over 70 years of age.

  • Rob

    In my opinion, all of these cable “news” shows with a pure editorial focus that appear primarily on either Fox News and MSNBC(e.g. Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, Keith Olberman, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz,etc…) are really the same thing. These hosts are effectively entertainers that are providing editiorial comments to a sympathetic audience. Tom, I would ask your guests if they view Glen Beck as part of larger cultural phenemenon in America, which is the decline of critical thinking among both conservativesand liberals. We are now at a point where many conservatives and liberals are not even willing to listen respectfully to the other side and watch news shows that simply confirm predetrmined views.

  • Rob

    Zeno posted “Hence we have Beck, Limbaugh, Rwandan Patriotic Front, Slobodan Milošević, etc”

    Would you really equate Beck and Limbaugh with Milosevic and the Rwandan Patriotic Front? Beck and Limbaugh are talk show hosts (e.g. entertainers), whereas Milosevic was responsible for large scale genocide. This comparison is absurd.

  • Grady Lee Howard

    HONOR- Now is that a rallying purpose or a malevolent gesture. There’s a reason they call tribal murder “honor killings.” honor- 1-when the produce vendor leaves out a jar or box and expects the public to calculate and pay the fair and accurate price 2-when the student cares enough about their own education that they do not cheat on tests I think we continue to practice honor and only need to teach a little ethics. Practicing HONOR is counterproductive and supports unnecessary war, sexual discrimination and criminal assault. The days of HONOR should be done.

    And Tom/Producers:
    Who is bossing you? Who is making you provide a platform to popularize fascism? Why are you so dopey lately? Have you ever considered programming about the solutions for which we are desperate, and not just book shilling and business promotion.

    I’ll take my Allen Ginsberg off the air and ignore your foolishness today.

    PS- I remember what we used to giggle about in scouts once we knew many adults were cowardly cheats, “On my honor, I will do my best, to take what they give me, and steal the rest.”

  • Nick

    Hey, Lou!

    Maybe it is NOT Obama who has become the great divider. Maybe it is the bigotted Conservatives ruled like cattle by American corporations.

    Any one (Zeno) who thinks that Beck and other nut-boys on the raido are patriotic probably could fall in love with Hitler too if he were standing there pounding the podium.

  • michael

    Matt Continetti is hardly a creatable guest ? Much like Byron york

  • John

    Beck may call himself an “entertainer,” but many of his viewers conflate his showmanship with reporting because he appears on a supposed “news network.”

    When Beck calls those concerned about the environment or health care reform “NAZIS” or compares them to “HITLER” he is trivializing Nazism and the Holocaust and exploiting that imagery for cheap political (and his own financial) gain. It is outrageous and vile. Onpoint should call him to account for it.

    And where are the ADL, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and other like-minded groups? Shouldn’t they be part of this debate vigorously condemning Beck (and Fox News)? Did onpoint attempt to contact them to get their take on Beck and his ad Hitleruim attacks?

  • michael

    “These hosts are effectively entertainers that are providing editorial comments to a sympathetic audience”

    I would agree except so many people seem to believe fox and Beck as if there Journalist/Reporters and are actually reporting the news. Plus there are no journalist standards, no fact checking, no corrections, just anything goes political comments not editorial ones.

    Logically and Historically so far Obama has been more an Centrist/center left. This included his appointees, the health-care bill, Financial reform. Yet folks listen to beck (along with fox news) and come out that he’s a flaming liberal (far from reality)

    The current ombudsman from NPR made a comment how she hoped NPR would be a place where Beck could come on and feel comfortable. I guess that time is comming sooner rather than later.

  • Zeno

    “Would you really equate Beck and Limbaugh with Milosevic and the Rwandan Patriotic Front? Beck and Limbaugh are talk show hosts (e.g. entertainers)”

    Yes. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1288230.stm

    “… The early organizers included military officials, politicians and businessmen, but soon many others joined in the mayhem.

    Encouraged by the presidential guard and radio propaganda, an unofficial militia group called the Interahamwe (meaning those who attack together) was mobilized. At its peak, this group was 30,000-strong. …”

  • Zeno

    …and from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwandan_Genocide

    “…According to recent commentators, the news media played a crucial role in the genocide; local print and radio media fueled the killings while the international media either ignored or seriously misconstrued events on the ground.[13] The print media in Rwanda is believed to have started hate speech against Tutsis, which was later continued by radio stations. According to commentators, anti-Tutsi hate speech “…became so systemic as to seem the norm.”…”

  • http://open.salon.com/blog/msreason Nanette in Wisconsin

    Inviting Dana Milbank on the show to peddle his new book is fine, but I wish you had also invited Alexander Zaitchik, author of “COMMON NONSENSE: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance.” He is not as mainstream and not as well-known as Milbank, but his book offers some great insights into Beck’s background and motives. Plus he is much younger, and I think a thoughtful young person’s perspective is quite important when discussing topics like this one.

    I did see Milbank’s Beck-invoking-Hitler video on the Washington Post website, however. Not sure what it says about us when powerful newspapers like the WP and NYT feel the need to accompany their editorials and columns with dumbed-down, entertaining videos, but I do find this trend a little depressing. But that’s a topic for another show.

  • Mark

    Zeno,

    When people were calling President Obama a fascist, Hitler, a communist, wasn’t that quite a bit over the top? Of course it was. Well, you are doing the same. It discredits one’s arguement when they engage in such hyperbole. Let’s keep it reasonable.

  • Zeno

    Mark, I am simply stating that history, and yes even recent history is rife with examples of propaganda induced violence and upheaval. It always surprises me that so many think that the USA has some divine protection from dissolution and violence. It does not.

    Now that you mention Hitler, lets get a few quotes from him about the subject.

    “All great movements are popular movements. They are the volcanic eruptions of human passions and emotions, stirred into activity by the ruthless Goddess of Distress or by the torch of the spoken word cast into the midst of the people.” -Adolf Hitler

    “All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.” -Adolf Hitler

  • Sally Strange

    Dana Milbank is almost as much of a joke as Glenn Beck.

  • http://www,midamerica02fest.com/fest Craig Reisser

    Glen Beck has a curious fascination with Adolf Hitler. Each has the same talent – think of Hitler as the “beer hall orator” in Munich during the 1920′s with his twisted nationalistic, xenophobic interpretations of history. These hard right wing talk radio icons are the contemporary version of “beer hall agitators and orators”, but Beck, Limbaugh – and Alex Jones from the conspiracy theory camp – are the most gifted in stirring up the masses. Glen Beck, the next time you mouth off about Adolf Hitler, please look in the mirror!

  • Gloria

    Perhaps Murdoch is a contributor to NPR. I am not sure if there is a way to tell or how to go about it. I too, am discouraged by the coverage that Beck and his cronies get, perhaps to “balance” the equation he should invite Olberman or Maddow, or someone from PBS?
    Look friends, first, if you are a person true to your beliefs you should not be annoyed by anything anyone says. I have 2 lady friends that live off of everything Fox news says, they store food and money, they feel as though any minute now the government is going to march into their house and pry them away. They love the fear they hold. But it has nothing to do with anything but their own weaknesses. They know how I live and they know my views, they wish they could feel as free as I do, yet as oft as I to tell them to widen their search for the truth, they prefer Fox News to anything or anyone else. Their pool of friends has little water left due to their combative stance and close minded ways, this alone causes them to be even more fearful. Beck and company will continue their stranglehold on people like my friends because they have no clue about who he truly is. No newspapers, no other TV channels, no radio, just Fox. Kind of like eating the same thing everyday, year after year, after a while the taste buds die! Oddly enough they live under a self imposed dictatorship and Beck, Murdoch, Olberman and the rest are crying all the way to the bank with their Foreign investments!

  • jeffe

    Glenn Beck is not Hitler and when I hear or read people making these comparisons it makes me wonder how little people know about that period in Germany. Noam Chomsky touched on this last week. Glenn Beck is not as smart or honest as Hitler was. He’s also not showing any signs of having political ambitions as Shara Palin does.

    I find him a despicable person, nothing more than a snake oil salesman hiding behind God and the flag. “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” Samuel Johnson.

  • Mark

    It’s so amazing! When you wanna go after corrupt capitalism, they scream socialism, communism, nazism, the end of the world as we know it! Amazing!!

  • dan

    Glenn Beck fits right in. His paranoia, disorganization, mania and showmanship give us a man laughing all the way to the bank. I doubt if he himself knows what he truly believes. The frightening thing is to many believe.

  • Yar

    The logic is simple, we are hypocrites, we want a society that is free, fair and has a balanced budget. We take the rhetoric of commentators as gospel on how to achieve our false dream. Democracy doesn’t work with ignorant or uninvolved public discourse. Tell me what I want to hear not what I need to hear, until I can’t hear. We have allowed vitriol and paid speech divide us into a civil war of thought. We are for our team regardless of the wisdom, it is go team go and damn the other side. The question I would like to hear discussed is: can our country survive two more years of gridlock, no on any real economic reform, no on climate change, no on health reform?
    I fear the war on thought may escalate into one of action.
    That is why we should look at the motivation of the cheerleaders.
    Ask hard questions.
    Get to the root of why we do what we do.

  • jeffreyd.

    I remember well the TV pastors of yesteryear. I would set with my grandmother in the 60′s watching Sunday morning sermons from Rex Humbard. Being a Catholic I never could understand this TV preacher stuff, yet Grandma was there every Sunday with her donation in the mail on Monday. I am of a mind that many who were captivated by these TV preachers are also captivated by the ‘Glenn Beck’s’ of our time.

  • Fern

    Sometimes it sounds like Glen Beck has relapsed back into drug abuse

  • John

    Turning back the New Deal isn’t enough for this crackpot; he wants to repeal the reforms of the progressive era too.

  • Bill Davis

    Can you talk about Beck’s background and education? According to Wikipedia he doesn’t have any education beyond high school yet he presumes to be a teacher?

  • joshua

    Zeno posted “Hence we have Beck, Limbaugh, Rwandan Patriotic Front, Slobodan Milošević, etc”

    Rob posted: “Would you really equate Beck and Limbaugh with Milosevic and the Rwandan Patriotic Front? Beck and Limbaugh are talk show hosts (e.g. entertainers), whereas Milosevic was responsible for large scale genocide. This comparison is absurd.”

    It is not absurd. These tyrants used propaganda media machines with grotesque notions based in no truth whatsoever–just like mainstream media in America. Hence we have inflammatory ignorance, hatred, racism, idiocy, violence, and a fascist paradigm cloaked in democracy and the American dream. And now we have brownshirt parties like the teabaggers ascending. We are ripe for a nazi-like evolution(devolution).

    Its all deliberate and planned. Americans and especially the media is in a disgusting kind of denial.

  • Andrea

    I’m turning the radio off right now. STOP TALKING ABOUT GLENN BECK!!!! This is EXACTLY why he does what he does, says what he says, and why he is successful at it.

  • Adam W

    Mr. Beck’s ‘research’ is comprised of internet searches. He is not the issue, simply a symptom of a larger issue. Many American’s are losing their disciplined minds and forgetting that research should be comprised of primary source material. The conspiracy theories that Mr. Beck discusses can be found on paranoid blogs all over the web; blogs written by the uneducated, undisciplined and fearful. You just played a clip of him saying to read ‘Mein Kampf’. I have no doubt in my mind that he has never read what he tells others to read. These are lies of omission and give the impression that the speaker himself has read what he quotes. Almost every show of Beck’s can be found on Youtube in clips made by late 90’s conspiracy theorists. The man actually plagiarizes the fantasy world of fools. I do not fear him; he is unworthy of any reaction. What disturbs me is the willingness of Americans to not fact check. They simply search the web to confirm what he says, find what his inspiration was, and determine it to be true.
    Glenn Beck is one of those Lone Wolf people sitting at his computer reading spun lies. The only reason he isn’t shooting up a museum is because he is given a platform and money.

  • http://www.wearesmrt/com/bb Whateverman

    I don’t understand criticism of On Point for airing this segment. I can’t stand Glenn Beck, but am interested in hearing what people think about him, even when those opinions vary greatly from my own.

  • troll doll

    Are you kidding? I cant even believe you’re taking the time for this…Is Glenn Beck taking an hour of his day to talk about Tom Ashbrook??? You’re getting completely trapped by him, screw in the lightbulb and move on…

  • Mark

    Of course the USA is not divinely protected from dissolution & violence. But it is protected from dissolution & violence by the system of government and protections that we as a country enjoy. Mainly because of our freedom of the press, along with our balance of powers among the three branches of government, and along with enumerated powers of the states. The examples that you state, did not have these institutions inthere country in the same way that we do. We will always enjoy the free exchange of ideas in this country as long as we have faith in the systems that we have in place. Just relax.

  • Rob

    John commented “When Beck calls those concerned about the environment or health care reform “NAZIS” or compares them to “HITLER” he is trivializing Nazism and the Holocaust and exploiting that imagery for cheap political (and his own financial) gain.”

    I agree. BOTH sides really need to top making these absurd references to Nazism, Hitler,etc… as this really cheapens the pure evil represented by these ideologies and commence a civil conversation regarding issues (e.g. it is ok to get annimated sometimes)

    Michael, I would refer to President Obama as a mainstream liberal Democrat with more centrist leanings on most foreign policy issues. While I am very concerned that our nation has embarked on an unsustinable path where we have increased baseline federal spending to about +-25% of GDP from the +-18%-21% of GDP that has generally prevailed since WWII, I would not use words such as socialist,anti-white, radical etc.. to describe our President.

    One question that I have for both liberals and conservatives is what is the point to watching only shows that simply espouse your world view. Ben Franklin commented that “diplomacy was seduction by another guise”. I would argue the same about politics. You will never win over the other side, by villifying people.

  • http://www.midamerica02fest.com/fest Craig Reisser

    Beck is certainly not an American prototype of Hitler, but there are parallels between the two. Beck, like Hitler, is a superb orator who appeals to the base instincts of the masses. Each was a brilliant oportunist and xenophobic nationalist with a twisted view of his own country’s history. When Beck speaks of “FEMA Camps,” he is promoting a conspiracy theory from scions of the John Birch Society such as Alex Jones.

  • http://www.bronwynfryer.com Bronwyn Fryer

    The portrait of Beck that emerges (based on the Sunday NY Times article) is of a man who deeply hates himself. It is fascinating that this kind of self-hatred expands into rabid paranoia….not unlike that which Hitler himself expressed.

  • amir

    to just say he is a fear-monger misses the point of his MO. to use fear by itself is not wrong; to think about that, saying that “he is a fear-monger” is using fear too. What is wrong is using fear to provoke “tunnel vision” and dismissing comprehensive evaluation of all the aspects of a situation before making a decision.

  • TomK

    Haters like beck make me wonder what it was like in germany in the 30s. Did people think the crazies were fringe elements who could never come to power, only to be amazed as the darkness descended?

  • EAH

    “Glenn Beck and the teabagging of America”
    Tom, did you just say that?

  • Zeno

    “I don’t understand criticism of On Point for airing this segment. I can’t stand Glenn Beck, but am interested in hearing what people think about him, even when those opinions vary greatly from my own.” Posted by Whateverman

    I agree. His rhetoric needs to be pulled out from the dark shadows of his compliant media foundation and exposed to the light of reason as often as possible.

  • John

    Can we have a show on Dr. Jack van Impe and Rexella too?

  • Glen Clark

    Mr. Milbank called Beck a modern Fr. Coughlin. Do many listeners know the history of this Catholic radio demagogue in the 1930′s, or of the subsequent enactment of laws abolishing political rants over the air? And of these laws’ repeal in the 1980′s, enabling Rush Limbaugh to broadcast Republican propaganda from an office in the basement of the House of Representatives building?

  • Elaine

    Glen Beck made 32million dollars last year. . .that’s who Glen Beck is. He’s mining the ignorance, prejudice, and hate for his own enrichment. He is reprehensible and morally bankrupt and seriously disturbed.

  • Jeff

    Glen Beck rejects anything that doesn’t conform to his extremist Christian ideologies as utterly un-American and he is responsible for the greatest political divide this country has ever seen.

  • Geri

    Glenn Beck is the only major media figure who is speaking the truth!! God Bless Glenn Beck

  • Natalie

    Say what you want about his bizarre logic but free speech is free speech so we must respect to his right to say it. That being said his rhetoric is almost identical to the early American Apocalyptic Christian pastors. One can only hope that the American public is educated enough not to follow him to the woods for some mass suicide in hopes of the second coming.

    Its easy to debate when there is just a camera and no one rebut.

  • jeanine

    glenn beck is living proof of the failure of our educational system. clearly members of his audience have never developed reasoning abilities nor absorbed the important facts of history.

  • BHA

    If Beck were a lawyer, he would be the type who asks the person on the stand:
    “Answer only Yes or No:
    Have you stopped beating your wife?”

    Even if you withdraw the question, the suggestion that the person beats his wife is set in the jury’s heads.

    Beck is no different. Says he hasn’t fact checked so he is absolved of making false statements as fact but the gullible in the audience have already soaked up the ‘fact’ as a fact.

  • William Maher

    This show is one of NPR/Pravda’s most intellectually dishonest.
    Pretending that Glen Beck and the miniscule audience that Fox plays to is even remotely representative of conservatives says more about who the NPR lefties are.
    Would you, the NPR lefty socialists, like it if all NPR lefties were depicted as the followers of Keith Olberman or Karl Marx, or Reverend Wright? If you want an honest conversation, bring on George Will, who is the premier conservative symbol-wise who speaks for tens of millions more people than Glen Beck. (Minor note: George Will is heard by the entire country every Sunday at 10a.m.; he’s not on a cable station seen by a relatively handful of people)But of course, as usual, the blue-blood lefties, in their gated communities, can’t afford an open and honest discussion. Why don’t some of you NPR lefties get out of your Lexus’s and Mercedes now and then and do some actual interviews with conservatives to find out where their actual views come from(hint: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, Thomas Paine–you know, that handful of Protestant Englishmen who turned the world upside on its head)

  • John

    Maybe the conservatives are correct to cut funding for social services such as drug rehab. When some of these people overcome their drug problems, they rise to positions of power and influence to the detriment of society instead of merely inflicting harm on themselves.

  • http://onpoint Monique Greilich

    I just got back from Dachau in Germany. The appeal of Hitler to the masses demonstrates uncanny parallels to that of Mr. Beck. They have common themes of nationalism ,hatred of immigrants or “the other”,and resentment regarding difficult economic conditions as well as the support of the ruling class that they enjoy. We ignore his oratory and rabble rousing at our peril. I am very frightened of his appeal to the ignorant masses who don’t understand history, sociology or international relations. I consider him to be a crass manipulator who is laughing all the way to the bank along with Sarah Palin. I am totally disgusted by his antics. He is a dangerous demagogue. We should not under estimate the evil that is being generated by his rhetoric.

  • jeffe

    Glen Beck made 32million dollars last year. . .that’s who Glen Beck is. He’s mining the ignorance, prejudice, and hate for his own enrichment. He is reprehensible and morally bankrupt and seriously disturbed.
    Posted by Elaine

    Just what I said, he’s a snake oil salesman.

    “The bubble boy of Fox News” that’s a classic.

  • Zeno

    “We will always enjoy the free exchange of ideas in this country as long as we have faith in the systems that we have in place. Just relax. ” -Posted by Mark

    McCarthyism although was eventually defeated by a brave newscaster, it flourished in its time and caused great disruption to many.

  • Sally Strange

    “Would you, the NPR lefty socialists, like it if all NPR lefties were depicted as the followers of Keith Olberman or Karl Marx, or Reverend Wright?”

    You say this as if right wing media types, Beck included, don’t do this on a regular basis anyway.

  • BHA

    Geri:
    Have you spent any time looking into the factual content of statements Beck makes? I’m guessing not.

  • nole butler

    Glenn Beck and his fourth reich…it is truly scary that people can be rallied by true hatred and fear like this. I sincerely hope that mongering like this will be seen as the same tactics Hitler used to rally a broken Germany because all you have to do is mention god and beat the podium to scare all of those sheep in any direction you want. He really is the rabid wolf in a shawl.

  • Sally Strange

    Also, I’m still waiting on my mandatory free Lexus that comes with being a lefty… what’s the holdup, socialist overlords? I’m tired of driving my rickety 4-cylinder pickup around!

  • Mark

    I first started following politics in the early eighties. This was before national radio shows having political talk & opinion as it’s content were available. It was also long before cable news shows. Back then, there was not nearly as much political discourse and exchanging of ideas. Yes, there was much less partisanship, but there was also much more ingnorance. Let’s not be afraid of the free exchange of ideas in the public arena no matter what form it takes. Whatever happened to the adherance in this country to the belief “I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death your right to say it”?

  • jeffreyd.

    Lies are often much more plausible, more appealing to reason, than reality, since the liar has the great advantage of knowing beforehand what the audience wishes or expects to hear.

  • http://shulmandesign.net Alan Shulman

    Times of national stress bring out many historical strains of insanity in the American politic psyche that good times submerge. Notions of white supremacy, christian fantasies of the end of time, belief in snake oil salesmanship, belief that there are powers operating that we are only privy to because of the “guru” who sees what’s really going on.

    Listen sometime to Hitler’s speech to the German people about the Reichstag fire if one doubts the comparison with Beck.

  • Sue

    Who advises/mentors Glenn Beck? Or is his world view made up of only the thoughts in his own head?

  • Pat Churchman

    My impression is that he resembles Hitler in some kind of paranoid, hate filled, provocative way, but, my knowledge of him is based solely on what I hear of him on other shows like Jon Stewart or MSNBC.

  • Nick B.

    “Glenn Beck and the teabagging of America”
    Tom, did you just say that?

  • Norman

    Although I may agree with what is inferred by Tom Ashbrooks’ reference to “t-bagging of America” I would avoid the statement due to the sex act it is associated with. Its in bad taste.

  • John

    His alleged comedy is not funny. I’m not offended by it. It is just juvenile, stupid, and utterly lacking in wit.

  • Geri

    Do yourselves a favor and listen to the real thing — see the following link. You might learn the truth!

    http://player.radio.com/player/RadioPlayer.php?version=1.1.9951&station=81

  • John

    I find the hijacking of US history by the teabaggers more obscene than the term for an obscure sex act that I can’t imagine anyone really performs.

  • Tom Goodwin

    The important thing about Glenn Beck is how his importance has been magnified by the media. This to me points out the rightward lean of media in this country. Think of the huge publicity his rally got in D.C. compared to the relatively passing notice of the Rally for Unity on Oct 2nd. Yet he has a viewership of what, .75% of our population?!

  • JimR

    Why is it that all of these “experts”, guests of the show, and the followers above, have no comment about Beck’s focus on “Faith, Hope, and Charity”? I guess that it doesn’t fit with the narrative. Not enough like Hitler or Milosevic.

  • Cheryl

    Beck is a master manipulator, actor and extremely dangerous person! Americans need media literacy education desperately– to question the message, the messenger, who and what is behind the message, who profits from the message and who is the intended audience. So many of the adults in this country fall prey to Beck’s style of propaganda much like the German’s in the 30′s and 40′s bought into Hitlers rhetoric.

  • Dan

    Unbalanced hate monger who lies and needs to take the meds or get off of them.

    Oh yeah. Laughing all the way to the bank.

  • Lou

    Just as I thought, this was a scurrilous attempt by On Point to attack Glenn Beck. Too bad for the hard-left your President, Obama, is failing so miserably.

  • CHRIS M

    In the dictionary, next to “truthiness” is a picture of Glenn Beck

    truthiness is a “truth” that a person claims to know intuitively “from the gut” without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts

  • jim thompson, fort mill,sc

    Tom:

    At Beck’s rally I saw sitting right behind Mr. Beck in the front row on stage the Rev. Hagee. Rev. Hagee who John McCain disowned, the rev. who called the Bishops of the Catholic Church “whores” and the Pope a “whore master’. Those are the nicest things he has said about the first Christian church.

    If Beck has a fellow like Hagee on stage with him, well…that tells me alot about his narrow minded and hateful views.

  • Sally Strange

    Lou honey, there are many things to disagree with Obama about… being “hard left” isn’t one of them. You need to recalibrate your politics gauge.

  • Andy Foreman

    Wouldnt it be a much nicer and more manageable world if we all just thought for ourselves instead of listening to idiots like Beck, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN and ALL the money-makers who peddle their wares (in the end) for nothing more than the millions of dollars they reap in?

    I am almost 60 years old and recall a world when Americans could think for themselves. Now? With attention spans that last about 2 seconds, this massive collection of idiots we call “the media” tell us what to think and we dont have to burn any brain cells thinking.

    The country is going quickly down the tubes for one reason and one reason only – Americans are the most ignorant people on Earth, because they CHOOSE to be! So much for freedom – these days, its freedom to be a lazy, non-thinking moron.

  • Don Franklin

    What is Beck’s educational background?

  • Cindi Keithley

    Beck is scary; too many usually sane people believe literally everything from him. I’ve had longtime investors, with good returns even now, wanting to redeem and bury their cash because they’ve heard him (and other Fox/Limbaugh ranters) creating so much fear and anxiety that they lose their ability to think logically.

  • Jessica Wilson

    I’m not the type of person who worries about the end of days. I do however, find the narrative interesting. I like to think of current events as pieces of stories and when I imagine stories about the end of days the person that I most want to cast in the role of the anti-Christ is Glenn Beck. I’m certainly not saying that he is the anti-Christ, just that he would do a good job playing that role if this were a movie.

  • Greg

    We just had Noam Chomsky on last week, saying that so far we’ve been “lucky” not to have an honest demagogue emerge to head up the tea party and finally lead us down the road to fascism.

    I have spent a lot of time listening to Beck, Jones and others. They all raise questions that the rest of the media won’t touch, especially in the realm of conspiracy. They offer answers to questions that many of us are thinking about, shaking our heads at the way things are going and not understanding why it is so. But I definitely don’t see Beck as the leader Chomsky talked about. He’s too much of a clown.

  • Erin

    Saying Glen Beck is a comedian is like saying Britney Spears is a musician. This country feeds of the insanity of pop culture. It is dangerous to regard what Beck does as entertainment.

  • Tom

    What happens when Donald Duck listens to Glenn Beck! This would explain a lot about the Tea Party.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfuwNU0jsk0&feature=player_embedded#at=385

  • Mark

    Zeno,

    Well, I guess it is a good thing that you are now using the McCarthyism comparison as opposed to Milosevic, Hitler, Rwanda, etc. You are certainly becoming more reasonable in a short amount of time. I congratulate you!

    Is this country perfect? Of course not. That was indeed a dark time in our history. But like any great country, we have learned alot from that period. Once again, we have more outlets for news and opinion then we did back then. That will help insure against that happening again.

  • http://ncpr stillin

    I am not tuning into this today, are you kidding?

  • Alistair Wilson

    Agreed, Becks life parallels Hitler in many ways. Uneducated, angry, racist author. Unfortunately, this appears to be a message that people want to hear.

  • ThresherK

    A Beltway Inbred like Dana Milbank, a right winger from the Weekly Standard, and a real newspaper reporter?

    Time for another installment of the NPR Panel Favorite, “Find the liberal”. Can’t you find someone to have been on this show who will not equate “Devote more time to God and Country” as a balance which makes up for “Obama is a racist and hates white people”?

    And which one of them said “Beck apologized for the Malia insult, so it’s all right”? Screw that; it’s just another example of how angry white right-wing men in this country get ten or twenty second chances.

    PS Female caller from Manchester: I’m from CT too. They called themselves Teabaggers, so don’t apologize for using their label.

  • http://www.stogtac.com jost

    Whenever in the US and needing my dose of intellectual masochism I turn into Mr. Beck’s, Limbaugh’s, and the like’s programs (only as long as I can stand it). Compared to these guys Joseph Goebbels was a mild fairy tale teller. As a German having grown up in the aftermath of Hitler’s and the Nazis’ crimes and atrocities a find his comparisons an unbelievable insult to the millions of victims.

    But worse: How is it that a (self-proclaimed) news network gives him a podium? Do ratings and ad revenues justify anything these days?

    And more worrying: He seems important enough to draw a huge crowd in DC (anyone remember the rallies in the Berlin Sportpalast?) and be talked about for an hour in onpiont.

    Entertainer?

    I don’t think so. But that may be due to my lack of humor in this case.

    jost

  • Erin

    Glen Beck must have done his research…….

    ‘All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.”

    Adolf Hitler

  • John

    We should stop with the Nazi comparisons. There is no way this clown could make the trains run on time.

  • David Simpson

    The main concern is that Glenn Beck may point out an true conspiracy. Make fun, deny, and use various media to claim that your version of the truth is the real one – do it for decades, and eventually people will believe. That’s the way to fight the truth.

  • Zeno

    “Well, I guess it is a good thing that you are now using the McCarthyism comparison as opposed to Milosevic, Hitler, Rwanda, etc. You are certainly becoming more reasonable in a short amount of time. I congratulate you!

    Is this country perfect? Of course not. That was indeed a dark time in our history. But like any great country, we have learned alot from that period. Once again, we have more outlets for news and opinion then we did back then. That will help insure against that happening again.” -Mark

    My concern remains unchanged, and I will accept that a lack of clarity of my first comment is what has you claiming the comparisons of Beck to the figures I mentioned. I have made no such comparisons, but indicated that the path to extremism is paved by extremist media rhetoric. Also your assumption that I am seeking your approval of your misinterpretation of my comments is also false.

    However, your faith in political inertia will be proven wrong in the history books of the future.

    As to what is coming to the USA in the next 30 years…I hope reason and truth will win the day.

  • Boudreaux

    NPR has enlightened once again. No pretense of objective analysis here; we’re treated to two guests with one point of view as to who Beck is. One there actually hawking a book. What a waste of an hour.

    NPR is not quite as bad MSNBC, CNN, or CNBC…but close.

    Is there anywhere to go for real objectivity?

  • jeffe

    Agreed, Becks life parallels Hitler in many ways. Uneducated, angry, racist author. Unfortunately, this appears to be a message that people want to hear.
    Posted by Alistair Wilson

    Really? You left out war. Hitler was a private in the German army in WW1 and that had deep and lasting effect on him both politically and emotionally. He was gassed and almost lost his life, to bad he didn’t.

    Hitler experienced extreme poverty and constant rejection for his art.

    Beck grew up in a middle class family although his mother was an alcoholic, his life was pretty normal by all accounts. He went to work right out high school at a radio station and media has been his bread and butter ever since.

    I don’t see any connection at all. He’s a demagogue as Hitler was, but there have been many in the American history. Beck is a light weight compared to Hitler or Goebbels for that matter. The flippant use of Hitler as a comparison is pretty disturbing. Beck is no Hitler, or Goebbels or even Franco for that matter.

  • Carlo Danese

    The caller who described ‘socialism’ in very general and incorrect terms represents the real problem. Your guests are educated and able to distance themselves from a lot of what Glen Beck says. Words like socialism and marxism and communism get mixed up because so many people really don’t understand these concepts. There is an unspoken subtext to this conversation that equates democracy with capitalism. Often that is the case, but often countries which embrace a certain type of primitive capitalism are far from democratic. The reverse is also true; there are quite a number of social democracies which are functioning quite well. America has done well when we employ both capitalism and socialism; whatever works. People don’t remember the gilded age of the late 1800′s or the steps taken to offset the ills created during that time. Republicans speak of ‘job killing regulation’ but let’s connect the West Virginia mine disaster with the BP oil spill; both catastrophes could be avoided by improved regulation, saving huge amounts of resources. Republicans voting against extending unemployment benefits painted a mean spirited cartoon of people who didn’t want to work; those who fit that image represented a tiny majority, and helping people in this situation helps the economy because most of the money they receive goes to food, rent, utilities, and other essentials. Thee are but a few examples of the way the right creates confusion and misunderstanding.
    Progressives, with or without Obama, need to embark on an extended ‘teaching moment’. Talk about history and show the parallels between the gilded age of the 1800′s and the way the country looks now. Your program could help.

  • Long time listener

    On point…Are you joking? Disappointing waste of a show.

  • Another long time listener

    Agreed. Its 2010. I’d hope that someone, at least NPR would be rational enough to not even get involved in a conversation that involves someone who invokes race, Nazi’s and the end of the world. THe low point was when that older guy called in an said, “what if he’s right.” (referring to Nazis and world coming to an end). Really!?! When will people learn? Its 2010 and we’re still allowing someone to scare people and make a ton of money doing so, while following the age old formula of invoking race, fear, religion, and end of days talk. A sad day to be a humanan and an even sadder day to be an npr listener. I yearn for a day that when someone invokes the formula mentioned above they are met with only deaf ears. The only way to deal with people like Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, etc is to ignore them and hope that enough other rational people will too. Then they’ll simply fade away. Thanks NPR for putting yourself and your listeners into this ridiculous conversation.

  • Peter Lake

    An astonishing body of comments from people who obviously don’t listen to Beck but feel confident that what they hear about him is the truth.

    And talk about class warfare and hate speech — the Left seems overflowing with it. Well, a few minutes with Keith Olberman will confirm that.

  • ThresherK

    Yes, because it’s only hate speech when it’s from some sort of left-winger, and it’s only class warfare when waged by the lower 98% of the US.

  • Rob

    I did not have a chance to listen to this show today, but my opinion remains unchanged. Whether it is Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rachel Maddow, or Keith Olberman, most of these cable talk shows disguised as news are designed to get ratings. Nothing more. Accordingly, the hosts are effectively entertainers who choose to appeal to the lowest common denominator of their respective audience, which means villifying the other side. The increasing popularity of these shows reflects the decline of critical thinking in our nation on both sides.

    While I generally have a center/right political philosophy, I want to hear views from people with whom I disagree. I will not watch editorial based shows where the host is such an intellectual lightweight to the point where he/she does not invite guests with a differing viewpoint (or shouts down guests without giving people an opportunity to speak). Can anyone imagine David Brinkley or William Buckley (e.g. relaize both men hosted very different types of shows) acting like Glen Beck or Ed Shultz?

  • http://none Ilze Choi

    On the Glenn Beck phenomenon:

    He and the other demagogues – Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly, etc.- frighten me very much. They are half-educated, highly emotional and mostly angry people who have won the confidence to too many Americans as truth tellers and great patriots. I fear someday for there to be persecution of people on the left, of peoples’ patriotism being measured by how closely they hew to the Republican dogma of laissez faire capitalism = America. I cannot believe that any civilized, educated persons can so easily follow these self-serving mediocre people who are making millions out of hate and propoganda.
    Now we have the Supreme Court itself enabling this takeover by the so-called Tea Party with their obscene ruling that corporations are people and that they do not have to reveal their identity when funding candidates. Our democracy is going to hell in a hand basket.
    Blame to government for everything so that it will no longer be able to regulate and protect us against polluters, monopolists, business malfeasance and fraud. As if the government created the economic fall.
    And to those who can’t tell the difference between socialism and communism, don’t go to Europe because they have some socialism there and it’s not bad.
    I never dreamed that something like 9/11 could happen. Now I cannot believe that so many Americans follow like sheep after very ordinary, half-educated people like Glen Beck and his ilk. As our economy goes down, so does our culture. This beautiful country with its ideals that would never countenance the dogmatism of Glenn Beck deserves better.

  • jeffe

    I have listened to enough of Glenn Beck to come to the conclusion that he’s a demagogue, and he spouts a lot hate speech. I’m not fan of Olberman, however I’m pretty much to the left of him.

    So Peter, does this mean because by your observation because people like Olberman are on air saying what he does, that this gives Glenn Beck justification to call Obama a racist and all the other nonsense he puts on the air? Is this your thesis?

  • Beverly

    Since I’m not a psychiatrist, & have never heard his show, I don’t understand the reasons either, especially after hearing the clips on your show. Pretty scary! No one can deny that this man is unhinged, as are so many Americans; his faithful followers are in this group. Who else could be entertained by someone like that?

    Those who like him, & believe any of the outrageous things he says, have to be very gullible, with an extremely low IQ; the same people who blindly believe things they read in “The National Enquirer”, (at least that publication tells us that they make up every outrageous story, & that it’s all in fun), or what they hear from Teabags, or any other Republican. They don’t want to be confused by the facts, so they never want to find out if a politician, entertainer, or anyone else on Faux News, etc. is telling the truth.

    Every RESPONSIBLE American voter spends a lot of time trying to seperate fact from fiction, at nonpartisan websites like factcheck.org, politicheck.com, CBO.com, AARP.org, (especially to find out what health care reform is REALLY all about), etc.. We find the honest candidates, & vote for them. The rest of America does as they’re told, & votes for the Republicans who Beck, Palin, & the rest of those dangerous entertainers tell them to vote for.

    They are unable to think for themselves, or to check everything said by every public figure, to be certain that they vote for candidates who have done the most to help US, not the greedy, corrupt liars who only care about the big corporations, apologizing to BP, & cutting taxes for the wealthiest people in the Country, (knowing that it will increase the Deficit enormously,even though they CLAIM that they want to DECREASE the Deficit, & that we willHAVE TO BORROW $700,000,000,000.00 FROM CHINA, in order to give it to the wealthy), & will do everything in their considerable power, to keep jobless people from collecting their unemployment compensation. It’s all about Big Business, & the upper class, for too many politicians. THEY MUST NOT GE T OUR VOTE!

    Every one of us has the responsibility of finding the facts. If we don’t, we’ll believe the fairy tails being perpetrated almost hourly, by Teabags/Republican’ts/Blue (Dirty) Dogs,  Palin, Angle, CHUCK GRASSLEY, Boehner, McConnel, McCain, Brewer, O’Donnell, Paul, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, Beck. . . & vote for the wrong people; the ones who don’t care about us, & who have PROMISED to repeat every mistake of the past, (including deregulation, cutting taxes for the richest Americans, & ELIMINATING unemployment benefits, etc.), which will cause another major Depression, worse than anything we’ve experienced. 

    Those of us who DO think for ourselves, must always find the truth, & vote for those who are on OUR side. (Check with aforementioned websites, & usa.gov, to learn who has REALLY helped us. It’s the only way we can override the damage done by those who do what they’re told to do, instead of the voting for the best America has to offer

    We owe it to ourselves, & our Country. 

    .

  • Michael Budig

    Beck is a dangerous demagogue. His comments and observations are inane at times to attraction attention (like the comments he made recently that slavery was a not a bad concept- and did not become a problem until government regulation got involved)- and then he seems surprised that people take him seriously. The problem is that people do take him seriously.

  • michael

    “Perhaps Murdoch is a contributor to NPR.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_News_Corporation

    http://www.npr.org/about/aboutnpr/annualreports/NPRSponsorsDonors08.pdf
    $1 million+
    Fox Searchlight Pictures

    $50,000 – $99,999
    FOX Broadcasting Company

    NPR is more so corporate own than public listeners

  • TomK

    Also, beck et al have adopted Goebbels’ “big lie” technique with great success. For example there is not a shred of evidence that gvt spending has anything to do with the problems facing average Americans today, but they repeat over and over that gvt spending is a problem until their sheep-like listeners believe it. Tax rates are near historic lows but they repeat over and over that we are “taxed to death”, etc etc. The ultimate result of their class warfare is just more wealth for their aristocrat friends and their corporations.

  • Jim in Omaha

    William Maher said:

    “Why don’t some of you NPR lefties get out of your Lexus’s and Mercedes now and then and do some actual interviews with conservatives to find out where their actual views come from”

    Who should we be talking to? Do any of them appear regularly on Fox, which, far from appealing to a “minuscule” population, claims to be the source of news for more Americans than any other network? To claim it isn’t the main mouthpiece for what passes as conservatism in America is disingenuous, an outright lie, or woefully ignorant. Or maybe just the claim of someone playing the devil’s advocate in the most outrageous manner, which would qualify him as journalist on Fox.

  • Patty

    Many Americans feel disenfranchised and justifiably so, as they have lost jobs, homes, retirements, marriages and futures that at one time seemed secure and rosy. We do need change within our political system, beaurocracies, corporations and finance. And it seems like “those in charge” are not listening. Unfortunately this climate is encouraging demigods and fringe elements to capitalize on the fear and anger of the public, which feels it has no voice or power. Because our information systems don’t require fact checking, Glen Beck is able to say anything and people will believe it, whether true or not. We really need transparency regarding his background. If he is a Mormon, a Libertarian, then listeners need to understand that they need to verify everything before making any rash judgments or conclusions. Unfortunately we are a society which is too quick to judgment. We want answers instantaneously.

  • http://singingstring.org Maggi Smith-Dalton

    The way to handle a tantrum in a child or in a demagogue is to apply the technique of extinction. Paying attention to bad behavior is rewarding that behavior.

    HELLO????
    Tom?
    NPR?
    America?

  • john smith

    When hearing from the right wing hack from weekly standard that the beck negatives are balanced by his reading lists, spitiruality, etc, why the M.C. doesn’t ask why rev. wright, who is spiritual and suggests a wide variety of educational experiences shouldn’t be given the same slack.

    It seems that the mainstream media only sees nuance when it is discussing the right. When discussing people of color or progressive people, one politically incorrect issue is enough to call for their banishment

  • BobG.

    Beck himself says:

    “I say on the air all time, ‘if you take what I say as gospel, you’re an idiot.”
    http://thinkprogress.org/2009/03/30/beck-idiot/

    That says it all about him and his followers.

  • joshua

    Glen Beck can say what he does because we have no fair and balanced system in America. The media is controlled by fascist corporations–they are fascist by nature–know that! Corporations allied with hitler–know that! War is favored by fascist corporations, especially ones linked to war-profits–which are numerous in America, as they were in WW2.

    People who say we have free speech and a balanced government obviously don’t pay attention. Nothing in America is free–money talks, honesty walks. The corporations have complete control over every aspect of government and American society. Yo do not vote. You dont even have a choice. its an illusion. Coke or pepsi is not a choice people. Bud or Bud Light is not a choice. Walmart or Target is not a choice.

    if we have free speech than why do honest journalists get fired and muck-raking newspapers or radio stations investigated, harassed and shut down? The media is a lie–a controlled substance, a narcotic delusion. its brainwashing. Its NOT grounded in any thing like truth or reality. It does no investigative journalism. it never asks the hard questions. That would be taboo. Why do peace activists get investigated by the FBI? Why do protesters get corralled into caged “free-zones” miles from points of interest? Why is everything the people as for ignored? Why is every law designed to favor the rich and the corporations? Why did the government repeal the bill of rights?–revoking your right not to have your possessions searched and seized, invading your home and privacy at will–checking on your library use, monitoring every transaction via money-transfer cards, making it possible to pinpoint your exact location on earth, monitoring emails, accommodating social networks to keep profiles on everyone? Why did Obama declare that he can revoke your citizenship at will without a reason? (Bush would have done the same! as would any fascist puppet masquerading as President)

    because you do not live in a free country with anything resembling democracy. it is a sham! You are the plebeians–to be entertained–gladiators we salute you! meanwhile, the aristocrats plunder the earth, lie to you, terrorize, wage cruel war, torture, kill, murder, lie some more, wielding toothy grins, or sneer. it is certainly not fair and balanced. Do we have something to fear–yes–ignorant Americans, Teabaggers, transnational corporations, the WTO, free trade, the government (unless you are happy being just like Brittany) heehee! then go chew some bubble gum or join the police force–whom are pretty much all brownshirt teabagger types that hate democracy and have no idea what it is. Glen Beck is corporate america! the same system that supported the nazi movement, and spoke of fascism as the wave of the future (now, is the future)–by the way the BUsh family were huge advocates of fascism (which was not a dirty word in the thirties), and the same system that financed both sides of the conflict–for profit–happy to lie to people, and send children off to die as cannon fodder, and victims of genocide. That is history–a history we don t talk about. When beck talks about Hitler he is flipping the truth upside down–a tactic all neo-cons use, all republicans use, all teabaggers use. The media doesnt like to talk about that truth, or other dark lies on September mornings.

  • Bernard Webb

    Beck’s crabbed, paranoid vision of the future, along with its wild inaccuracy, is perfectly captured in another insightful article by David Frum:

    http://articles.cnn.com/2010-10-04/opinion/frum.road.serfdom_1_tea-party-serfdom-yardstick?_s=PM:OPINION

    This article should be required reading!

  • Aggie Hemme

    I agree with alot of the comments made about “why are you giving the time of day to Glenn Beck?” When I turn him on I am appalled at how he disrespects the leaders of our country especially our president. I would like to make two points here. One is that no matter how you feel about someones policies, they deserve the respect ofl any citizen. When America threw the tea overboard, our founding fathers set up the constitution to elliminate taxes from the British who the colonists left to be free from. This is today, the second point is that America has given up the founding fathers values. Where is the compassion, kindness, and consideration that we claim is a democracy? The times have changed since the constitution was drawn up. They didn’t worship money, they had strong faith. They didn’t spend their capital on football, movies, and the entertainment industry. It is a different world today. Let’s try to remember what our values are and vote for what we believe in and do it in a kind and loving way. Our truly great leaders have shown us that non violent ways have worked. We are no longer a great nation. Not if you look at who we worship today. I don’t give Glenn Beck my time at all.

  • ann

    Re crossing the line: you mean, like referring to Hillary Clinton as a bitch?

    Oh wait, that was Dana Milbank

  • Brian

    Everyone believes Jesus, when he returns, will be named “Jesus.” This is not necessarily true. His reincarnation could be called anything, and, yes, anything includes “Glenn Beck.” So if you are not listening, you could be sinning.

    If you recall, a lot a people in the Bible did not believe that Jesus was really God. Boy were they wrong. And we are still paying for it today.

    So this year, when you are opening your CHRISTmas presents, ask yourself, what is it Glenn Beck is really saying, and should I be listening?

  • Rob

    @TomK commented “Tax rates are near historic lows but they repeat over and over that we are “taxed to death”, etc etc”.

    Your comment is not entirely true. It is true that federal tax revenues relative to GDP declined from roughly 20% in 2000 to +-17% in recent years due to both the Bush tax cuts and the current economic recession.

    A far more accurate statement would be that total federal spending as a percentage of GDP for 2010 is about 25%, which is HIGHER than any time during the 20th and 21 st centuries, with the exception of WWI and WWII. Government spending is well over 40% when you add in state and local government spending. The charts generated from the attached website link come directly from actual federal government statistics. .

    http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/downchart_gs.php?year=1903_2010&view=1&expand=&units=p&fy=fy11&chart=F0-fed&bar=0&stack=1&size=m&title=&state=US&color=c&local=s

    If you are still not convinced that our long term federal budget problems are due to government spending, please take a lot at some of the attached CBO reports. As an example, federal government spending on mandatory health programs alone is expected is projected to grow from 5% of GDP in 2010 to over 10% over the next 20 years. This is not sustainable. We need to face economic reality. Health care and other social safety net programs will need to be reformed and means tested if we hope to preserve them in some form because they are not on a sustainable budgetary path.

    Do you really think the extra +-1% of GDP generated from repealing the Bush cuts only income over $250k will make a dent in our budget deficit? The bottom line is that the tax increases proposed by President Obama and the economic left do not even close to paying for this increased spending. Our President does not even have the political courage to discuss repealing the Bush tax cuts in their entirely.

    http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=11579.

  • Nevan

    Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are not conservatives, they are con-artists.

  • CHRIS M

    “A far more accurate statement would be that total federal spending as a percentage of GDP for 2010 is about 25%, which is HIGHER than any time during the 20th and 21 st centuries, with the exception of WWI and WWII.”

    Why the exception – what do you call our wars in Iraq & Afganistan? What they don’t count because they aren’t a “WW”? Look pretty big to me.

    “We need to face economic reality. Health care and other social safety net programs will need to be reformed and means tested if we hope to preserve them in some form because they are not on a sustainable budgetary path.”

    How about examining the bloated Military spending because we are, hmmm, in two wars? No, instead lets piss on old folks, the poor, and the disabled. Unhappy with how the current social safety net system is working – ask for Enforcement to weeds out the con-artists and ne’re do wells.

  • Ruth

    How can people listen Glenn Beck. He rants, he raves, he makes stuff up, he is incoherant half the time. What can possibly be his appeal??

  • Kevin

    There is no disconnect between Glenn Beck’s brain and his mouth.

  • Kevin

    and we have to suffer from it

  • roy merritt

    Beck, Limbaugh, and their ilk are the worse examples of the right wing. Beck’s appeal is much like that of “Lonesome Rhodes” the notorious character Andy Griffith played in the Elia Kazan directed movie about right wing hucksters whose hubris eventually undoes them. Keith Olberman often makes the comparison with obvious glee. Limbaugh escaped his initial scandal of drug addiction that no doubt led to his deafness. He has one more and hopefully we will soon witnessing it.
    Beck was quite notorious when he was a shock jock and according to some sources had worn out his welcome in that career. I for one think Beck is a confidence man who does not believe the first thing he says. For him it is an avenue to great wealth. Once his appeal wanes he will slink off like the repetilian creature he and all these blustering talking heads obviously are. The real tragedy is that a substanial portion of citizenry would embrace these people seeing as how transparent they are.

  • William Maher

    For the literally braindead, the word “Nazi” means National SOCIALISM. Capitalism is the antithesis of Socialism/Marxism/Fascism. In principle(for the 1 in a million who’ve been trained to think according to principle), there is scarcely a difference between Socialism, Marxism, or Fascism: You are either free or you are not free–hello!. Did your deplorable
    socialist public school system forget to review the definitions of these 3 virutally interchangeable political systems?(I say I’m shocked) Just a minor reminder– it was the socialist FDR who put 110,000 innocent Japanese citizens in concentration camps(in the U.S.) in the 1940′s–with of course, no due process–NADA. Please remind me– was it FDR’s newly overhauled socialist Supreme Court that threw these innocent people in concentration camps? What a great kickoff to the socialist New Deal, huh?

  • Rob L

    Glenn Beck would have little appeal if American’s hadn’t been shafted every which way by their leaders over the last 30 years. The elite mantra of banker overlords, one-way trade, and unlimited immigration has decimated the middle class.

    Glenn Beck may be a charlatan, but the anger is real. The people running the country would be smart to dial down their greed before the audience starts getting out of their armchairs.

  • Joseph

    No fan of FOX News here as they are just too obviously a propaganda network for the Republican party. Recently it has even gone as far as the corporation donating at least two million dollars to the Republicans. Still as wrong headed as I think most of FOX’s on air personalities are I would never say that I hate them. Glen Beck though is a special case. The man has made himself rich by promoting fear and hatred. That and he has Nazi Tourettes (thank you Jon Stewart).

  • Wanada

    I find so many comments, from obviously left wing critics, almost laughable. I’m not a straight-line conservative by any means, but I get so sick of the liberals saying that the followers of the conservative movement are ignorant, white supremacists, christian fanatics, hate mongers, and stupid gullible people. Can the liberals say and do anything they want, [seems as if they are full of hatred and prejudices]? Why was it all right for the left to criticize and protest Bush and the conservatives over, and over again for years? I have seen so much hatred from liberal stars and the media. One could see the HATE AND DISGUST in their faces as well as in their words. Yet, how dare the conservatives rebuke anything the left says or does. Where do people get the idea that the Tea Party is unruly or violent or prejudice. A lot of people on the left look down their noses at conservatives saying they are uneducated and ignorant just because they have different values or ideas. I agree that Glenn Beck is over the top, but so are some people with opposing views. I believe that his ” views do come from Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, Thomas Paine–and other constitutionalists. I heard no comment about Beck’s focus on “Faith, Hope, and Charity”? I guess that it didn’t fit with your agenda. Why is it OK for so many so called “news journalists” to only report things that benefit the left; aren’t they supposed to be unbiased? Why did Obama and his People refuse to appear on Fox shows????
    Concerning history—- well, as we all know, it depends on what you read and where you read it. There are a lot of biased and twisted “facts” in historical accounts.
    I wish we all could get over our biases and prejudices and strive to work together to make our nation a better place to live. I suppose power and greed will always be a dominate force in our society.

  • Chris

    “total federal spending as a percentage of GDP for 2010 is about 25%, which is HIGHER than any time during the 20th and 21 st centuries, with the exception of WWI and WWII”
    Gee aren’t we in a couple of wars right now?

    “We need to face economic reality. Health care and other social safety net programs will need to be reformed and means tested if we hope to preserve them in some form because they are not on a sustainable budgetary.
    Let’s take a look at military spending first before jumping on the backs of the old, sick & infirm.

  • Alex

    “For the literally braindead, the word “Nazi” means National SOCIALISM.”

    “Socialism” was just a word Hitler chose to use. In reality, he relied on wealthy capitalists for financing and political support. Once in power, he paid them off handsomely in military contracts. It is this collaboration between the extreme right wing government and conservative corporate capitalists combined with the conservative military, old Prussian landowners and unemployed middle class that made his regime possible. Hitler was no Marxist and socialism does not equal fascism. On the contrary, if we are not careful, we will get a form of fascism in this country pretty soon thanks to all powerful corporate interests and corrupt politicians.

  • michael

    “Why was it all right for the left to criticize and protest Bush and the conservatives over, and over again for years?”

    could be they lied about a WMD, and took our country to war with Iraq, while demonizing any Dissenting voices at the time. While creating the Patriot act, Failed No child left behind, and losing that surplus granted when he first got in office. Throw in torturing in the name of the U.S. (which we prosecuted the Japanese for)

    “I heard no comment about Beck’s focus on “Faith, Hope, and Charity”? I guess that it didn’t fit with your agenda. ”

    What the rally with Rev Hagee. You know who that is right? NPR spent about a week or two before the rally, during the rally and after.

    obviously someone as smart as yourself would be aware of such

    There are prob a good amount of people who are smart who watch glen beck but choose to be misinformed, hateful and racist.

    Like the saying goes “Republicans are not all racist buy many racist are Republicans”

    You can find this on muslims, gays, blacks, latinos, poor, (starting back up on the Chinese’s) from talk radio(mostly all right-wingers) and Fox News esp.

  • michael

    “Why did Obama and his People refuse to appear on Fox shows????

    might of been Fox News promoted lies aobut his birth cert(which ONPOINT and NPR had guest on to claim he’s a Kenyan), him being an Muslim, an Kenyan, daily distortion from (supposed expert and unbiased guess) and reporters/many from right wing talk radio.

    Could be your answer, but he has been on with Bill O and Brett H. from Foxes Cable News.

    BTW NPR defended Fox Cable News at the time against the boycott(even know Bush did a similar act to MSNBC) Which NPR did not defend

  • michael

    “Do you really think the extra +-1% of GDP generated from repealing the Bush cuts only income over $250k will make a dent in our budget deficit?”

    always a start, the common tatic that used is that not enough Americans pay the federal income taxes, but critics of this tactics state that these americans pay state,sales, fica, and etc, in taxes. The Right than states there only talking about the Fed Tax, but just now in Rob comment it was stated Americans pay the lowest Fed Taxes to date but than Rob added the state taxes and etc,.

    Which is it please? Are we including over taxes when referring to that 40% that don’t pay Fed Taxs? if not why does this not apply to Fed Taxes being the lowest without including state taxes?

  • Jim in Omaha

    @William Maher:

    Still waiting for you to identify the true conservatives of today. While you’re at it maybe you can identify all the true conservatives who so vehemently objected to the WWII Japanese internment camps too. I expect you can’t do either.

  • michael

    As well, what is the % in the U.S. government spending in relations to spending of that 25%?

    Maybe we should have a National discussion about cutting defense spending to reflect our economic situation :)

    Cutting it in half would amount to about 4Trillion dollars saved in 10 years.

  • michael

    As well, what is the % in the U.S. government spending in relations to defense spending of that 25%?

  • Zeno

    When will Mr. Beck begin speaking to his followers about repealing minimum wage laws? http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/tea_partiers_on_the_dole.html

    Beck advocates please supply link where Mr. Beck tells his supporters that they are living off the government by collecting a minimum wage.

  • William

    If Conservatives like Glen Beck don’t matter why is the President of the US so afraid of him?

  • Rob

    Michael, Just to clarify my earlier reference to the 40% of GDP statistic did not refer to taxes. I simply stated that total federal, state, and local government spending is over 40% of GDP, which is a fact. My response was intended to convey certain facts regarding government spending, which is growing much faster than tax revenue particularly at the federal level. People can look at the CBO reports and draw their own conclusions.

    I also stated current federal spending is +- 25% of GDP (and growing), whereas federal tax revenues have averaged about 17% in recent years and were about 20% of GDP in 2000 prior to the Bush tax cuts. Once again, these are hard facts. Even eliminating the Bush tax cuts in the entirety (which President Obama has not proposed) still does not even come close to covering this recent growth in federal government spending. While conservatives should outline specific programs they will cut when proposing tax cuts, I also think liberals should outline specific tax increases to fund proposed increases in government spending, rather than simply the standard “tax income over $250k rhetoric”.

    The only way we can fund a Western European modeled social safety net is with a European consumption based VAT.

  • Mark

    Glenn Beck appeals to the fringe…however, so did all the left-wing critics who bemoaned George W. Bush during his presidency. Definite hypocrisy for NPR and their lefty authors to now sit up straight and analyze these “fear mongers” who see Barack Obama as the root of all evil. It goes on ALL the time.

  • David Peterson

    Thank you On Point for covering Beck.

    He is an enigma.

    In the interest of fair disclosure I have watched his show maybe 10 times this year. What I saw does not match a lot categorical criticism of him. I saw someone who cited history from original text and challenged his audience to research for themselves.

    He absolutely makes some outrageous accusations by association but he follows up with challenge to for the listener to research and prove him wrong. I found that aspect of his show refreshing and, unforutnately, original.

    I could do without the tears and bombastic attacks but he does elevate topics worth considering.

    I do find it intereseting that some within these comments refer to his watchers as simpletons and gullible and sheep-like. It seems narrow minded to refer to 3 million (or whatever) viewers with such broad categorical insults. Perhaps this is why the ruling elites don’t comprehend the anger within america.

  • Rob

    Defense spending is about +-$680B in FY10 including both wars, which I believe is about +- 4% or 5% of GDP. This does not include defense related costs from other government agencies, such as the Department of Energy which devotes a large percentage of its budget to maintaining our nuclear weapons programs. I totally agree that defense spending needs to be on the table with the rest of our government spending.

  • michael

    Rob,

    I had a # including DOE of about 800 Billion as well as not being able to account for Intelligence spending and the interest off the debt that is accuring from such(since we are still borrowing money)

    Of course if we are being honest and the dem’s stated they were going to raise taxes and cut spending the republicans would use this to kick them out(even know they claim they wish to reduce spending yet has not under there watch) . How many times have you heard our elected republicans in congress/senate say spending more money on defense is putting debt on our grandchildern?

    But i agree some entitlement programs should be cut much like defense spending

    Kind of a catch 22 for the dem’s Check out the 2 santa clause theory if you like.

  • michael

    Rob,

    check out Gates comments on cutting defense, he goes on to close a base to reduce the military budget that resulted in a few millions in savings than aske for 30plus billion for the wars over sees, than another few million for Homeland and Boarder control.

    Net effect increase in defense spending. Besides Ron Paul I hear very little from the right in cutting such. I do agree at some point the Left will have to admit taxes will have to go up, I also some the right can admit such as well.

  • Earnan

    “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” Samuel Johnson.
    This quote is one of the most overused of all time. Mr Johnson was referring to one person in particular who had tried to restore his image by a reinventing himself as a super patriot.

    Beck, if he truly believes the stuff he spews, is an idiot. Nothing more than ignorant entertainor who happens to be a great orator and has the ability to connect with many lumpenproletariats out there.
    Most educated conservatives I know think he (along with palin) is simply a clown and embarassing to this nation.

    Those who are comparing him to Hitler need to read a biography of Hitler. Other than being talented demogagues they have little in common. Hitler was much more intelligent, and ultimately much more disturbed.

  • david

    Lets be honest people, there is an election coming up and this program was geared to mear anybody conservative. Let us make a honest comparison of the left and the right.
    The right calls for a rally in Washington, the left counters with their call for a rally. The outcome of the rally will determine the quality of the caller and the people who that person draws.
    Watch and research both rallies.
    The right or the Beck crowd. The photos show how many showed up and who showed up. The agenda was stated.
    The pictures show the crowd left the area pretty much as they found it, CLEAN!
    The left, endorsed and backed by Obama and some 300+ organized groups,state their agenda. Check the list of those groups, many were radical, socialist and communist groups. The pictures tell the truth. The pictures also show how this crowd left the area. Research: trash left by 10-2 and 8-28 rallies and see for youself.
    So, be honest, which crowd would you entrust the future of the USA with????

  • listener

    Political appeal of Glenn Beck? how about entertainment appeal. Stay classy NPR, this was a joke. If need look no further than some of these posts. Embarassing that NPR is even wasting their and listeners time entering this silly silly conversation.

  • Marc

    I do not understand the appeal of this guy. I lean to the conservative side of things (other than issues of the environment, health care, wars …. but honest, I really lean conservative). I also can understand why cheap shot artists like Maddow and Limbaugh have a following. They’re entertaining and feed their followers what they want to hear. But Beck has all the bad they have and he’s just kind of creepy.

    I think the arguments that his followers are facists, racists or whatever are overly simplistic. Maybe they’re right, but so many people use these terms when they simply disagree with someone that I just think there’s more that. And though I’ve never watched him for long, he just seems a bit unhinged. So, is it just that people agree with him, or is what I’m seeing as creepiness, more than that?

  • twenty-niner

    “I think the arguments that his followers are facists, racists or whatever are overly simplistic.”

    The level of vitriol is so intense that terms like racist, fascist, communist, and socialist get tossed around without any reservation to the point where they are almost meaningless. Fascism is a radical form of totalitarian government where independent initiative is suppressed in favor of the collective. It is also characterized by xenophobia and a single-party military state to promote unity.

    Economically, fascism rejects laissez-faire capitalism for its individualistic and anti-collective nature, but doesn’t go so far as to advocate full socialistic state-control. It strives to create a government-controlled cooperative between corporations and labor; but again, under fascism, production is geared towards the collective, specifically the state’s war machine.

    To say fascism is the opposite of communism is naive and simplistic, as they share much in common: authoritarianism, collectivism, and in most cases, militarism. The socialist egalitarian aims of communism, however, are not shared by fascists, although they do aim to end class envy to promote national solidarity.

  • Ben

    I love Glenn beck. I listen to NPR and conservative radio all the time and you can definitely see each slant except conservative radio tells you their bias whereas NPR and other outlets act as if they are impartial. This program on beck is just that an attempt to be impartial when its not. Obviously Mr. Ashbrook hasn’t listen to Beck but if you do any reading on your own you can substantiate much of what beck says. He is witty and funny.

  • Jim in Omaha

    @Rob re: taxes:

    How about starting with taxing high incomes the same way we tax those making $10/hour, which would be 15.3% of their TOTAL GROSS INCOME, plus the slightly progressive income tax. Since we are now being told that the trillions that have been withheld from non-wealthy wage earners and self employed to fund their future social security payments shouldn’t and aren’t going to be really used for that purpose, but used to fund general government operations, this should be acceptable to all who demand that we not unfairly soak the rich. Treat ‘em like a working stiff and tax all of their income, no matter what the source.

  • Stacey Griffin

    The many comments of npr listeners buoy me, although I’ve only skimmed them. Their bead on the radio personality and his show acknowledges that his questionable showmanship has unquestionable profits and has ballooned into syndication and book deals. Perhaps a question should be: Can the populace distinguish between a catalyst designed to generate money for himself and one whose goal is to rouse the conscience of individuals for the better?

    The selected excerpts from Beck’s show (maniacal voice interspersed with rational voice) and the rally in DC should clarify two items: on air his comments are driven by his following, and in DC with a broader audience his message was tempered to dullness. He certainly lacks the stirring gift of history’s greatest speakers, so naturally he would employ controversial means – tone, catch-phrases for hate, etc. to garner a brand. If he modeled his negativity upon the undeniable success of those aforementioned political negative campaigns, is it any surprise that his alarmist tactics have a measure of success as well?

    His emotional appeals and alternate rage over a system he can’t actually solve must resonate with people, especially those who prefer not to do their own research on topics that may concern them… even ones aware of the manipulation.

    I’d love to empower individuals to discover for themselves just how to locate current relevant sources of information – wait, isn’t there already a public forum for this?

    …hmmmm. Ne’er the twain shall meet, since it’s so much simpler to allow another to select your information for you.

  • Jayne

    If I believed in god I think I’d probably be praying about now. Glen Beck seems to have captured too many people’s mind and thoughts. Hmm, kinda sounds like communism dont cha think? And if Sara Palin is allowed to run for president in 2012 or any other year I will then know this country no longer has any shame at all. The woman couldn’t even finish a term as Governor, how the hell could we even entertain the idea of allowing her to run for President? The Bush years really dumbed down our country and now is the time to take education by the horns and teach real science and history accurately and build this country back up to above the IQ of a moron for starters. After that the genius sky is the limit.

  • Not a Chance

    Even Beck is something of a puppet, despite getting rich from it.

    The puppetmaster is Murdoch.

    The Tea Party and the 2010 election are a dangerous experiment by Rupert Murdoch and his close circle of elite class power-mongers to see just how far they can take manipulation of the ignorant in America- the ultimate goal is a political franchise in the world’s greatest “democracy,” powerful enough to challenge any entrenched interest, and which they can direct at a whim.

    This is the most sinister, direct, and terrifying approach to institutional domination by any power elite that the world has yet witnessed.

    Murdoch spent his life building the most massive, influential, and diverse media empire on the planet, and before the old man departs this world, he’s keen to see just how powerful a machine has resulted from his life’s work.

    Murdoch and pals have reached demigod status in terms of influence, and they’re now toying with the population of the world’s most powerful country for their own glorification and nefarious ends.

    This is the culmination of the life’s work of one of the world’s most accomplished Machiavellis.

  • Bret Storm

    Overstatement, hyperbole, and alarmist claims is what Onpoint is all about. Vilifying the right. Doesn’t the president wear a bullet proof vest? Don’t many celebrities carry guns? Don’t many celebrities have body guards? But Beck has these, so I guess he must be a nut. What logic. Brilliant. Onpoint’s guests are frauds. Ashbrook is a phony. I suspect that those on the right that Tom and his producers attack are not even viewed or listened to by Tom and his merry men.

    By the way, how is that gloabl warming thing doing? Tom keeps pushing man made global warming in spite of the many falsehoods, distortions, and fabrications from the warming alarmists. Gotta love our boy Tom.

  • Dave Hall

    I was telling a friend that I had noticed, in my own family and in the country as a whole, that people like Glenn Beck appeal to Americans who fit a certain profile: White, male, short of stature and under-educated, and their wives and girlfriends. This segment of the population used to have a assured place in the culture and economy: Secure jobs for life in blue or low-level white collar jobs, the ability to own a home, and the assurance that they would be put, in terms of opportunity, ahead of women and minorities, not based on their intelligence, ability or education, but on their race and gender.

    It is now clear to these men that they have no secure place in society because they must compete with women and minorities who are increasingly better and better educated. No wonder they’re panicked. After generations of having a free ride, they now will have to fend for themselves.

    Add to the above-mentioned profile, as my friend suggested, a long commutes that give these men time to listen to right wing talk radio, and you have a powerful potential for anger and fear.

  • Christian Blake

    You guests are just pissed off because Glen Beck can sell books and you helped out your lame hosts to try and catch up! They will never make it as all they can do is to attack a successful author and conservative! Why don’t you ask these fools that you bring on their true motivation?

  • Christian Blake

    Why be civil?
    Were the framers of our constitution civil?

  • Chuck

    A whole show on this man necessary, more people should camp out on this guy’s doorstep and watch everything he does, every club he belongs to, every person he gives money too, watch everything he does, everything. Put a camera on him 24 hours a day.

    24 hours a day! Expose him! Let’s see the real Beck.

    He is able to play on people’s fears and the sad fact that our countries ability to think for itself and the level of education has sunk so low at this point we will never recover.

    The next step for this country is fascism not socialism, because so many people will eat anything clown like this spit out.

  • ken smith

    Will there be a programme on leftie commentators?
    Balance on NPR seems to be going the way of BBC with a liberal twinge of PC.
    For me Beck is an actor and plays emotions. Now maybe I think I should listen again and take it more serious. Reason he has the ear of people is playing on basic fears that are squahed by the above, the majority don’t feel heard

  • Rob

    @Jim in Omaha, While these discussions have gone off the topic of Glen Beck (my fault), I am not sure I totally understand your comment. Are you proposing to: 1) tax capital gains at a higher rate: 2) eliminate the cap on social security earnings; or 3) Implement a new social security tax on capital gains? As I previously stated on other posts, I have no problem taxing capital gains at the same rate as ordinary income provided it is part of broader reform that treats all income the same regardless of source and exchanges lower (but still progressive) rates for fewer deductions.

    Regarding eliminating the earnings cap on social security from the current +-$95K, I thought liberals argued that social security was supposed to resemble a pension system? Would you propose the person who earns $400K receive 4 times the current legal benefit if this cap was eliminated? After all, they are paying far more into the SS system. Of course not. I believe a far better approach is admit SS is really an anti poverty program and implement some form of means testing on benefits for those with other sources of income and a net worth over $____.

  • Roberto

    There are two elephants in the room that really need to be addressed here regarding NPR and Glenn Beck.

    The first is that Glenn Beck has risen to prominence by figuring out how to mobilize a previously under-recognized yet immense demographic: the mentally challenged, or as I would prefer to call them, the stupid.

    Stupid people have it harder in life, no question about it. Glenn Beck provides these people with an easy route to fulfillment which aslo happenes to empower him in the process, and he does this by being a bully that the stupid can proudly stand behind. That’s it. That’s his entire deal. Everything else is secondary to this one basic reality when you are talking about Glenn Beck.

    The second elephant in the room is the utter failure of NPR to fulfill its mission, if its mission is to serve the needs of the public and to inform the public. Instead you actually legitimize dangerous charlatans like Glenn Beck by trying to appear even handed instead of focusing on being honest and serving the public.

    A Great case in point is this absurd notion that Obama is a socialist. Any informed intelligent person realizes that socialism is not what people are afraid of when they speak of socialism. What they are afraid of is Stalinism or totalitarian communism. In his bully role, Glenn Beck gains power when we allow the two to be confused and you seem happy enough to play right along. Failing to have the courage to stand up to a bully empowers the bully. Having a polite discussion about the taunts of the bully empowers the bully. Failing to stand up to the bully empowers the bully.

    You people really ought to know better. Beck has the excuse that his abuse of the American people is making him a fortune, but you are supposed to be hear to support the listeners and so what is you excuse for aiding Beck in his scam?

  • Jeand’arc

    @Whateverman: Thank you! I detest Beck, too, but I want to know what other people think he’s about. It’s important because silence feeds and breeds ignorance.

  • jeand’arc

    Brian, Glen Beck is not Jesus. Glen Beck is a very good capitalist. But Brian? Please don’t watch him anymore because I think you’re going to take what he says as gospel. And Beck himself said, “If you take what I say as gospel, then you’re . . .”

    I think the last two words of the sentence are “an idiot.”

    Country’s in deep stuff is all Beck’s “followers” are like you.

  • joshua

    William Maher: do you know what semantics is? Do you know what rhetoric is? Spin-doctors, talking heads, dictators, politicians, Presidents–they use rhetoric an semantics to manipulate words and your thoughts. The Nazis were not socialists–Hitler came to power with the help of capitalists. If the people want to hear that they are socialists or communists–(as in China)–or democratic capitalist dreamers as in America–thats what power-hungry fascists tell them. You can be both a socialist and democratic. You can be communist and democratic. You cant really be captialistic and democratic–it doesnt make sense. Profit motive will alwaya–always trump democracy. So most Americans are living in a twisted fantasy and have no concept of the real world, or the world outside America. You can be liberal–socially, and conservative–economically. Free trade is not conservative. free trade is the pursuit of profit at any cost–using slavery, wage-slaves…no regulation. It is why all the jobs and technology are outsoured to China–and your “democratic capitalist” presidents such as Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Bush and Obama are responsible–commanded by the corporations. They are the corporations. Its a revolving door. therefore there is no democracy. Its fascism. And it s treason. They wage wars all over the world. World wars. They call themselves Americans–but they are not loyal to Americans. With unlimited campaign financing corporations and governemnts from around the world now own America. The rich and powerful made that happen. nationality is a thing of the past. Its an illusion. Corporations rule the world. But they wont say it. They will use semantics and rhetoric to mke you believe what you want to hear–and wave your flag and sing hymns and the national anthem and go on talking about socialism as the antithesise of democarcy. You’ve been hoodwinked–socialism is a far better vehicle for democracy than capitalism ever will be or ever has been. Communism has never existed, but if it did–it would be a better vehicle for democracy. Communism cant come into being without a natural social shift in consciousness. you cant force people to be compasionate and community orientated. Capitalism may be natural–its barbaric and savage and the least among us dont have to think –they can just be savage-capitalists. Socialism requires humility, reason, science, compassion, altruism, kindness. Not really American qualities.

    Glen Beck uses rhetoric and semantics to cast his nasty spells on you and other simple minds. Just as spin-doctors working for totalitarian governments have done since the beginning of civilization. Religion is a spin-doctor, a talking head, propaganda…

    The mind is like a muscle and it atrophies if you dont use it. “they” don’t want you to use it. Cannon fodder and consumers are not meant to think. You dead peasants. Thus the glen Becks and Fox news stations, and the drive for more standardized testing and private charter schools–designed to dumb down America–even more.

  • twenty-niner

    “It is now clear to these men that they have no secure place in society because they must compete with women and minorities who are increasingly better and better educated.”

    Not exactly. The loss of blue-collare jobs has actually diproportionately affected minorities who have taken the brunt of this recession:

    “Economic Disparities for Minorities Sharpen in Recession”

    http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=1af6656aba2d44b3432b30760e47365c

  • twenty-niner

    “Communism has never existed, but if it did–it would be a better vehicle for democracy.”

    Soviet Union (until 1989), China, Cuba, India (West Bengal), North Korea, Vietnam, Laos?

    What’s your definition communism? Would private property be allowed? You don’t seem to like corporations, so how would our goods be produced? State-run factories? What would our living quarters look like? Would we all get nice houses, or just party members? What would we drive?

  • Joshua Hendrickson

    Beck’s success is no surprise. It’s easy to sell books if you’re aiming for the lowest common denominator, and can count on Walmart to promote your work. If you can entertain an audience of moderate-to-low intelligence by appealing to their prejudices and misguiding them through a history that they already suppose they know (i.e. the Founding), then of course you’ll be a big success.

  • joshua

    On the last comment: no one in gov. is trying intentionaly to collapse American gov.-well, if beck says that I agree-i just think what he is saying is completely wrong. We are so far from socialism and nobody, especially Obama is trying to institute socialism. But he should be. We should be.

    Corporations have been trying to collpase gov since the conception of America and have achieved that aim on so many levels. Today we are a fasscit corporate feudal society spinning harmful dstorpian lies.

    Corporations and fascists are trying to collapse America–and are doing well. I do believe it is orchestrated. Nothing goes to plan–perfectly–so their will be discrepancies, but a corporate takeover is in effect. Democracy in America is a lie. And Glen Beck is part of that engine–inciting stupidity and mobilizing brown-shirts from the lunatic fringe.

    So many of us agree on these things–just the cause and the aim is totally different.

  • http://victorials.wordpress.com victoria

    wow…he’s scary…or maybe what’s scary is that people spend time with him, soooo much time…

    the whole thing is scary, and for how little we invest in education, we’re getting our just deserts.

    poor, disenfranchised, and resentful of knowledge, we’re in for it…

  • http://tombstone001.blogspot.com MOHAMMED N. RAZAVI

    Call him a clown or a kook, preacher or a provocateur as you show today indicates he can not be ignored. He may be off the wall and a nit wit, but you have to admit that some of what he says could happen not because he says it so, but that the realities of out country could make it all come to pass. Whether you live in the right wing utopia or the left wing utopia,m we are in a mess. So why is it more appropriate for Ariana Huffington to claim that the United States is becoming a third world country but not right for Beck to say that we could have a revolution, from the left or the right! CONTD!

  • Max

    My lord…how is it ok to call tea party people Teabaggers!

    I can’t believe you allow such slander Tom. it’s completely off point, childish, and ad hominim (like most arguments against tea party participants).

    I really respect you Tom and I think you can see that what is at the core of the everyday tea party person has some merit.

    (and yes, of course you should talk about Beck…just as you should talk about Oprah, Hitler and all other famous or infamous ppl.)
    max

  • matt Fraioli

    How about art imitating life? Anyone remember Howard Beal from Network? He was the ‘prophet’ of the airwaves who channeled the peoples rage at society’s ills with the mantra..”I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” And why was he there? He got great ratings. Sound familiar?

  • Zeno

    ““… Communism has never existed, …” -Posted by joshua

    Joshua is correct.

    This is true, because communism is a noble concept, but it is in complete conflict with human nature.

    It will never exist because it is a fanciful wish, and ignores all of the realities of human nature…it is identical to deregulated capitalism (Reaganomics). It hopes people and their greed will somehow be overcome with compassion and empathy. Communism and Reaganomics need to be thrown onto the trash pile of failed social experimentation.

    Extremism is ALWAYS wrong, and the systems that are based on extremism are ALWAYS doomed to failure…after causing tremendous damage and pain.

    The false Republicans of the past 30 years have based their existence upon a false ideology. Now that their ideology has been proven false by reality, they are stating that it failed because it was not carried out to its most extreme level. Ahh..how many communists have been saying the same thing and reacting the same way.

    Mr. Beck and his fellow haters are not collecting the original GOP, but the extremists who don’t know what to believe anymore, and are looking for scape goats. The members are the Gingrich crowd, the Religious right, Regan worshipers, Bush worshipers, etc. These were the revolutionaries that were going to change America and bring about a moral utopia (Communists would find this very familiar)

    Reagan and Lennon are the figureheads of failed ideologies that had no attachment to human reality.

  • michael

    “My lord…how is it ok to call tea party people Teabaggers!

    I can’t believe you allow such slander Tom. it’s completely off point, childish, and ad hominim (like most arguments against tea party participants).”

    Can anyone say hypocrite, the picture is from the tea party rally on the Freedom Works website photos. It shows a Picture of Nancey P with a whole in your mouth saying Teabag Nancey P.

    http://teaparty.freedomworks.org/photo/1002057-1?context=latest

    Like david said “The pictures tell the truth. ”

    another one is saying Obama is guity of treson and many other craziness on there website.

    http://teaparty.freedomworks.org/photo/jeans-dc-march-photos-066?context=latest

    So lets stop with the fake outrage of the word teabagger, since many of the teaparty people were using it themselves until they started getting made fun of.(of course)

  • Bootman91

    Tom,
    I must say I’m quite disappointed w/ you. You WERE my favorite lib commentator. Your slant isn’t as obvious as most, because you are apparetnly well trained in your art; you’re a GREAT interviewer. However, you have reached a new low… “teabagging” is QUITE the pejorative. I guess if your intent was to give voice to other/all positions, ok, but unlike some of your less informed posters, I don’t see this as a means of giving a voice to the ‘hated right’. The author is quite aggressively and directly insulted HALF or more of the country; correction–ALL of the country. Half is doing the ‘teabagging’ according to his title, and the other half is being ‘teabagged’. And thankfully, those of us who are informed and listen to you for information, were able to ‘hear’ how much of an idiot this author (and I use the term lightly) was, you uncharacteristically showed too much of your slant, and have put yourself on ‘his’ side. OF COURSE the current POTUS is a socialist. So was the last one. WHY couldn’t the ‘author’ (lol) answer any of your questions directly, like the ‘violence’ from the right because of Beck (wanna hear about ‘violence’ from the left because of socialism and anti-conservatisim? Thought not…). The author also says that one can’t be judged by the company one keeps. Really? That certainly CAN be true…BUT JUST HOW MANY KNOWN/A D M I T T E D SOCIALIST S U R R O U N D this president? Beck has compiled a video montage of 20 different people. JUST HOW have they been taken out of context and edited, one has to wonder? A spade is a spade (ther you go, that’s a good one…and I’m black!). The author states that the founders were deist and the myth is that they were Christian. What they were was (?) educated INFORMED Christians, for the most part, or at least almost half of them. And all of this is out of context too?
    (His ‘religion’…Tom, the POTUS is a smart man, no doubt; others of your ilk have labeled him a “god”. WHY would he leave “Creator” out of his quote of the DOI? Doesn’t ANY of his actions warrant ANY questions?)

    The argument that the Founding Fathers were deists is a myth found only in the pages of revisionist history.

    The two Founders most sited by secularists are Jefferson and Franklin. Why? Because they were the least religious of the Founders. However almost half of the signers of the Declaration (24 of 56) held what today would be considered seminary or Bible school degrees. None of the Founding Fathers fit the description of a “deist”, an “agnostic”, or an “atheist”.

    In Benjamin Franklin’s 1749 plan of education for public schools in Pennsylvania, he insisted that schools teach “the necessity of a public religion . . . and the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern.” Consider also the fact that Franklin proposed a Biblical inscription for the Seal of the United States; that he chose a New Testament verse for the motto of the Philadelphia Hospital; that he was one of the chief voices behind the establishment of a paid chaplain in Congress; and that when in 1787 when Franklin helped found the college which bore his name, it was dedicated as “a nursery of religion and learning” built “on Christ, the Corner-Stone.” Franklin certainly doesn’t fit the definition of a deist.

    W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

    (Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co. 1854), Vol. IX, p. 229, October 11, 1798.)

    Our liberty depends on our education, our laws, and habits . . . it is founded on morals and religion, whose authority reigns in the heart, and on the influence all these produce on public opinion before that opinion governs rulers. — Fisher Aimes, Framer of the First Amendment

    (Source: Fisher Ames, An Oration on the Sublime Virtues of General George Washington (Boston: Young & Minns, 1800), p. 23.)

    Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime & pure, [and] which denounces against the wicked eternal misery, and [which] insured to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.

    (Source: Bernard C. Steiner, The Life and Correspondence of James McHenry (Cleveland: The Burrows Brothers, 1907), p. 475. In a letter from Charles Carroll to James McHenry of November 4, 1800.)

    I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.” — Benjamin Franklin

    (Source: James Madison, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, Max Farrand, editor (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911), Vol. I, pp. 450-452, June 28, 1787.)

    No free government now exists in the world, unless where Christianity is acknowledged, and is the religion of the country. — Pennsylavania Supreme Court

    (Source: Pennsylvania Supreme Court, 1824. Updegraph v. Commonwealth; 11 Serg. & R. 393, 406 (Sup.Ct. Penn. 1824).)

    The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. — Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration

    (Source: Benjamin Rush, Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical (Philadelphia: Thomas and William Bradford, 1806), p. 8.)

    There are literally dozens more I can site, but I think these suffice. We need to stop listening to liberal professors who insist on destroying our actual history for their own pursuits

    I’ll keep listening Tom, but you stooped a bit too low on this one. I don’t support NPR, and while I will cite your show as a reference for info, and will direct others to listen too, I’ll make sure I suggest NOT supporting NPR financially, at least any more than we HAVE to through taxation.

  • Pancake Rankin

    Zeno: that’s Lenin, although John Lennon was a dreamer.

    Attractive pov though.

    I think the Shakers actually practiced communism, and were successful for several decades. (Communists making furniture; imagine that.)They were also abstinent sexually, didn’t emotionally own one another.
    Got any ideas about it?

  • Jim in Omaha

    @Rob:

    Of topic but of more importance to our country’s problems than Beck.

    My point simply is that, now that those in charge have made it clear that payments we made to fund our future SS payments (which have made the system fiscally sound for the next several decades) aren’t going to be used for that purpose and just treated as just more taxes to fund the federal government, then let’s tax all at the same rates. No caps on payroll taxes; all income treated the same. That should make it clear to the whining wealthy and high income that they actually pay a lower portion of their take in taxes than the average earner and have been getting a sweet deal since the 1980′s. I guess we agree.

  • Will H

    Bootman,

    Selective referencing and claim is a dangerous practice.

    http://rationalrevolution.net/articles/history_of_the_separation_of_chu.htm

  • Mel

    Can we add an “um and uh” filter to the broadcasts with a tape delay? Am getting very tired of listening to guests and host who simply cannot carry on a conversation without stuttering.

  • bootman91

    Will H,
    Thanx for the reference.

    “The majority of the 100 plus founders were Christians, as were virtually all Europeans at that time. Of the Christian founders, most were very progressive in their views and were among the staunchest proponents of separation of Church and State. Some founders, including many of the most prominent, are known to have been Deists as well. Thomas Paine is of course the best example of an American Deist, but Benjamin Franklin also declared himself a Deist and Thomas Jefferson also wrote his own version of the Bible in which he took out all of the supernatural events of the New Testament. Benjamin Franklin is the only founder to have signed all three of the founding documents: the Declaration of Independence, The Treaty of Paris, and The Constitution. While Jefferson declared himself a “true Christian” (to Jefferson most priests and evangelicals were not “true Christians”), he also later declared himself an Epicurean. Epicures was a Greek materialist philosopher.”

    My score, you have to understand is based on the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen, is Jesus 1 you 0. And in the essence of debate, I’ll even concede 1 to 1…
    Interesting though that of all that I posted, THIS is what you chose to single out. Encouraging to me actually…
    I don’t know of anyone who says you HAVE to be a Christian to live here or that Gov.Co. should FORCE people to be Christians. Frankly, all of the evidence is to the contrary.

    And you know, also wanted to ask o’l Tom, and you too, if either of you have ever listened to Beck’s show? I listen to Tom often, as well as Rehm, and Farai Chidea; about all the left-ism I can stand–but I listen. Furthermore, a bit more on topic, the author said that liberal was/became a ‘dirty word’ and ‘they’ changed it to progressive. Why? Why was/is liberal such a dirty word? And if all that’s changed is the name…
    And Mel, there’s a REASON why he was stuttering…he DIDN’T stutter when he was speaking about factual clear information…

  • Victorgladium

    I very much enjoyed the interview. I’m from Europe (Denmark) and as such, do not know in general which programs are popular in the states, but now I understand the reason for Jon Stewart’s “rally to restore sanity”. If demagogues like Glenn Beck are so popular in America, it is is a sign of decline, afterall we tried this in Europe (80-60 years ago….). When I look up “Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America” on Amazon, the other hits are: “Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance” and “Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free” – which maybe isn’t far from the truth. I hope the rally will restore at least SOME degree of sanity over there… btw thanks for great some great programs WBUR!

  • victorgladium

    @bootman91
    Here in Denmark state and religion isn’t all separated, but still we can have a “healthy” dialogue in our public radio. We have religious AND non-religious interviews. I think you have to see this interview in the light of what it is: an interview with a man who’s written a book on a given subject. It’s ok to disagree. I don’t, though, I really think there’s something wrong when a man this crazy, I’m talking about Beck here, can have such a deep impact on people, and my guess is, these people are not the brightest in all of america. It’s always very important to be critical, no matter the subject, if you just take everything’s coming your way, that’s stupidity. I mean, in the old days, back in 1798 (you quote johyn adams) there was no knowledge of how important hygiene was at the hospitals, however there was a man who linked the death of newborns and mothers with doctors not washing their hands, in general people thought this was a crazy idea, but now we know better because there was someone who was critical – even on a matter none thought was done wrong. Programs like this are important and interesting. Please challenge yourself!

  • Victorgladium

    @matt Fraioli
    You’re right, it DOES sound familiar

  • Victorgladium

    @Zeno, whateverman, jeand’arc, jeanine, etc. Thank God there are still sane people! After reading most of this discussion I thought everyone was angry with this interview :)

  • http://tombstone001.blogspot.com MOHAMMED N. RAZAVI

    @bootman91

    I am neither a Christian (guess what) or a believer in much of any other faith, religion obviously does not make many persons to act “morally”. On the other hand I do see the immorality of deficit spending by the country and the individuals,I also see the immorality in not providing health care for persons who are not able to buy health insurance because their immoral employers are too involved in free trade and laying off people. I do not see any morality or a Christian value in asking for lower taxes when the country is broke by promoting a lie that given bigger tax cuts the rich create jobs so the poor can feed their kin. If it were true our rich country men would not have sent jobs overseas while the locals had to do without, our leaders would have put the country first not the welfare of the industrialists or the new world order. Our foreign policies would have been based upon promoting human rights and fairness and not supportive of oppressive and cruel regimes. Our education system would be based on merits and hard work not directed towards the lowest common denominator, or foot ball and cheer leading and being popular. We surely do not need any Taliban light either.

  • Robert

    It’s a shame to hear so much resentment to someone expressing their right to speak. It sounds more like a lot of the listeners are defensive and don’t seem to have the ability to step back and look at the bigger picture. Instead of becoming resentful and defensive, look at Beck and others constructively. Even if you don’t agree with them, there is a reason they believe what they do and why they take the time and feel a need to voice their belief. Have you ever asked yourself, “what if”? Consider the possibilities and be more constructive. There is nothing wrong in having pride in one’s country and the founders who made it possible. And remember, nothing is free, neither “rights” nor “privileges”. I am a free thinking adult American who has served more than 20yrs in the military.

  • Joshua Hendrickson

    The debate on what the Founders did and did not believe and proclaimed will go on forever, since plenty of contradictory evidence is available and since they are not around to interview. My suspicion is that Franklin, for all his many pious utterances, was often guilty of dropping a wink; much of his behavior was well out of Christian bounds of morality. Jefferson and Paine were both certainly Deists, as good as atheists for their time. And ultimately, so what? The real history of hardcore atheism begins in the 19th century anyway.

    Bootman, you parenthetically said you were black. That you are a black conservative is hardly unusual … but I wonder: how many black atheists do you know? Perhaps it is only my own ignorance on display here, but for myself, I can’t think of even one.

  • Ishmael

    What a load of drivel. Why give this clown more than two minutes?
    US politics seems to get more and more puerile and silly, inconsequential.

  • Jim

    Glenn Beck’s main message is “Faith, Hope, and Charity”. I am not sure what is so scary, crazy, or insane about that.

  • Joshua Hendrickson

    Jim says,

    “Glenn Beck’s main message is “Faith, Hope, and Charity”. I am not sure what is so scary, crazy, or insane about that.”

    If that’s your interpretation of Beck’s message, so be it. Let’s examine it, shall we?

    Faith is belief in things without evidence. To my way of thinking, that is crazy, insane, and the implicatons of it have always been scary.

    Second, Hope … isn’t that the evil Obama’s catchphrase? And didn’t Saint Palin ask America how that “hopey changey” thing was working out for us? I guess Beck means for his followers to hope that liberals all go away and die in a hole somewhere.

    Last of all, Charity. Beck has gone on record saying that any Christian church that talks about charity is part of the liberal conspiracy and advised his followers to leave such a church. How charitable!

    • Liz

      Beck has gone on record saying that any Christian church that talks
      about charity is part of the liberal conspiracy and advised his
      followers to leave such a church. How charitable! 
      BECK HAS NEVER SAID THE ABOVE.
      What does Palin have to do with hope and & change when we are discussing Beck? We got our hope and change with Obama-you should be happy. Our stimulus worked, unemployment is at its lowest, gas prices are at its lowest, housing market is going great, our country has no debt – what more do you want??

  • Listener in Brooklyn

    THANK YOU WILLIAM!

  • Jeff

    If you want to understand Glenn Beck, go look at the career of Madonna. They both built careers on shock value. If you want to know where his arc is going, go look at hers.

  • Jim

    Thanks for the clarification Joshua. I am not sure what you mean by “my interpretation of Beck’s message”. This is simply what he has been stating on his program for many months now. On a very regular basis, he encourages people to do their own research and not to take his word for anything. Does this also scare you?

    Could you site the source for your last comment regarding charity and the Christian church? I would like to look it up (looks like I am just a follower I guess).

  • joshua

    @Twenty-niner: “Soviet Union (until 1989), China, Cuba, India (West Bengal), North Korea, Vietnam, Laos?

    What’s your definition communism? Would private property be allowed? You don’t seem to like corporations, so how would our goods be produced? State-run factories? What would our living quarters look like? Would we all get nice houses, or just party members? What would we drive?”

    You all ready have a state-run economy–all those so-called innovating corporations are subsidized by tax-payers. The military-industrial complex is subsidized by tax-payers–its all stat-run. its a monster. Its not fair and balanced and its not based on the individualistic right to rise which is capitalism.

    But what would a so-called ‘communism’ look like–more like socialism–regulated capitalism–anti-trust laws, no monopolies, no free trace–fair trade instead–de-centralized authority–localized direct democracy, community radio sponsored by the listeners, organic local food production, more artisans and local self-employed jobs. manufacturing can be organized on many levels–but one very successful model is a co-operative, where all the workers in any particular factory or plant have equal responsibilities and duties and make all the decisions together, and share in a ll the profits. No top down management which is fascism and exploitation. These business are proven to be more productive, safer, healthier, and fulfilling. (and it more sustainable and green) A worker now becomes rich–not bill gates rich but very content. You can do it with a pizza shop as well as a shoe factory or a high-technology computer chip plant. The business are limited in size fostering more competition, and local influence, and the scales of justice and fair trade stay balanced. it benefits local communities and will never leave the community or destroy the livelihoods of its workers because they are the equal owners–they make all decisions together–including hiring and firing. When you hire sb. you are admitting sb. as an equal owner with equal responsibility and accountability.

    This society would have universal health care. maternity and retirement benefits. Long vacations–which are proven to be more successful. It would have open prisons designed to show prisoners that they can be valuable citizens rather than alienated. people are often criminal because they have been treated as criminals and fascist organizations have sustained generations of poverty and class warfare.

    mental health would be nearly Utopian.

    Education would be free. An community radio and community tv would raise awareness to level America has never know.

    Disinformation in American media will lead you to believe that the methods introduced above in Europe do not work–bu that is a lie. Europe is the most productive, wealthiest, happiest continent on earth.

    In fact if we had direct democracy it would look more like communism because everyone is participating equally in their community. How is my vote or my opinion considered or my needs met in a society where big money has so much influence and plans my future. If you really think the wealthiest people on earth who have interrelated businesses and economies dont get together and plan how things are gonna work, plan the world order you really are naive–its not a kookoo conspiracy–its business as usual and its common-sense. They are involved in a democracy. We are not. We are the serfs.

  • joshua

    In “communism” it would not be state run as is your American capitalism. You would own anything you earned–no will hand you nice homes. It will operate as it does now–but with regulations–a cozy thing we call “laws” to protect citizens–its a social contract. If you start a business you can earn money created by the community or regional bank (see Ben Franklin model in Pennsylvania during colonial era) and you will live quite comfortably, but in a democracy you have to participate and stay informed–its not passive as is your society–where corporations and media dictate your every desire. In your society you dont have to think and you dont want to think. its a burden. In a democracy if you dont think you lose, but maybe you are good with your hands, maybe you like toiling in the garden producing organic food for your family and the community–you are forced by nature and habit to get involved and therefore become more aware of society and how it benefits you–not just apathetic drones supine in front of the one-eyed monster.

    The co-operative owned factory that you work at designed by members of the community-you–will make you wealthy and you will have a very nice home. Do you need a manision with twenty garages and 568 bathrooms? Is that sustainable? Do you need ten homes or three homes? is that sustainable or even practical. Because that looks like feudalism to me. And it unfairly sucks wealth out of the earth which is a community shared asset. Why should bill gates have more earth resources than me. Why do we poverty in the world. Capitalism. Bill gates. The earth has rights. And bill has no right to drain it for himself or suck the oil out under my land with a long straw.

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