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How 1950S Extremist Ideology Influenced Glenn Beck , Republicans, Tea Party


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Yeah...these nut bags I want running the country.






In the Oct. 18 issue of The New Yorker, historian Sean Wilentz examines "how extremist ideas held at bay for decades inside the Republican Party have exploded anew — and why, this time, party leaders have done virtually nothing to challenge those ideas, and a great deal to abet them."



Jose Luis Magana/AP

Fox News host Glenn Beck addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 20. Historian Sean Wilentz says "there are polls that Tea Party members respect Beck more so than anyone else, even Sarah Palin, and that they consider [beck] not as an entertainer -- as they describe Rush Limbaugh -- but as an educator. ... People are believing that he is really trustworthy."

Wilentz, who teaches at Princeton University, argues that the rhetoric expressed by both conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck and the Tea Party is nothing new — and is rooted in an extremist ideology that has been around since the Cold War — a view that the Republican Party is now embracing.


"I think what's happening is the Republican Party is willing to chase after whatever it can to get the party back — to get power back," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "This is what's happening in the Republican Party, so instead of drawing lines, they're jumping over fences to look like they're in the good graces of these Tea Party types."


Wilentz says Beck, who has emerged as a unifying figure and intellectual guide for the Tea Party movement, finds fodder for his Fox News Channel and syndicated radio shows in the ideas espoused by the John Birch Society, an ultraconservative political group founded in 1958 that, Wilentz writes, "became synonymous with right-wing extremism."


Daniel Kramer Sean Wilentz is a history professor at Princeton University. He is the author of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln and Bob Dylan in America.

"It's a version of history that demonizes the progressive era, particularly Woodrow Wilson," Wilentz says. "It sees it as the beginning of America's going down the road to totalitarianism, which ends in Beck's version with Barack Obama."


Particularly troublesome, Wilentz says, are the gross historical inaccuracies Beck makes on his Fox show, which now reaches more than 2 million people each day.


"On one of his shows, for example, he pulled out a 'Mercury' dime. On the back of [the dime] is the fasces, which is the symbol of fascism," Wilentz says. "So [beck] says 'Aha! Who brought the dime in? It was Woodrow Wilson. We've been on the road to fascism for a long time.' [but he's] neglecting the fact that fasces didn't become a fascist symbol until well after that dime was made and designed — and the man who designed it [knew that] fasces was a design of war and balanced it off with an olive branch. Those are the facts. It has nothing to do with the coming of American fascism under Woodrow Wilson."


Wilentz says Beck is the latest in a long line of figures who have challenged mainstream political historians and presented an opposing view as the truth.


"Glenn Beck is trying to give [viewers] a version of American history that is supposedly hidden," he says. "Supposedly, all we historians — left, right and center — have been doing for the past 100 years is to keep true American history from you. And that true American history is what Glenn Beck is teaching. ... It's a version of history that is beyond skewed. ... But of course, that's what Beck expects us to say. He lives in a kind of Alice in Wonderland world, where if people who actually know the history say what he's teaching is junk, he says, 'That's because you're trying to hide the truth.' "




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These people are the same sort that called Dwight Eisenhower a frickin communist.


Can you imagine? Ike a commie?! LMAO!


I'm a leftist and I think Ike was the last best Republican to hold the office.

Yeah ya know at one time the roles were reversed and it was the GOP that stood up for the working man and the DEMs who represented big business.


I am a democratic socialist but I do understand that capitalism has its place and can be beneficial to both ends of the wealth spectrum. I don't agree with the redistribution of wealth that some socialist groups have called for if that person made themselves a millionaire or billionaire than they deserve to keep what they earned. I just want the tax burden to be equal across the board and the rich pay their fair share.


A flat tax rate of 15% for everyone is more than fair and will insure that multi billion dollar corporations pay the same 15% rate as the person earning $25000.00 a year. A 15% tax sure beats 39% for the working man and at least billion dollar Co's will pay 15% unlike some who may only have to pay 3% or no tax.

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It is the Regressive party trying to put us back to the 1950s. At that time we had African Americans in the back of the bus, separate rest rooms, and businesses that were "whites only." Subservient messages to women throughout the press. A fear mongering cold war. McCarthyism was running rampant. The poor were largely ignored. It was the time when engineers created planed obsolescence and the very idea of a consumerism economy was created by economist. Sex was taboo and abortions were illegal (except for the rich who seemed to have no problem getting them done.)


Let's not move forward toward a more enlightened society. Lets go back to when whites ruled. Because isn't that really Beck's message when he says "he wants to take back his America?"

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