By TOM TURNIPSEED
Led by Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, Tea Party worshippers of the Founding
Fathers want to return to the "good ol' days" of 1787, when most
African-Americans were slaves, many poor whites were indentured servants,
and women couldn't vote. At the time the Founding Fathers wrote the
Declaration of Independence and Constitution, Native Americans were being
slaughtered for their land, and Mexicans who were indigenous to the
Southwest and the West coast of what became the United States were
included in the genocide.
None of the ancestors of the African American, Native American, or Latino
speakers addressing the mostly white Tea Partiers at the Lincoln Memorial
on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech
would have been among the Founding Fathers. No women, Jews, Muslims, poor
people or non-land owners were numbered amongst the Founders who were rich
Conservatives have trouble seeking sensible solutions to our present-day
problems of poverty, violence, and perpetual war that make rich folks
richer while poor people suffer and weapons makers and war profiteers make
big bucks while killing and injuring innumerable innocent people. The
problems are caused by big moneyed interests with the help of simple
minded sycophants like Beck, Sarah Palin and the Tea Partiers. Their
answer is to look backward to the wealthy Founding Fathers for guidance.
The Tea Partiers believe the mythologized Founding Fathers are more
intelligent and moral than anyone today except maybe radical right-wingers
like Beck and Palin.
While hosting the Glenn Beck Program, a nationally syndicated talk-radio
show and the Glenn Beck Show on Fox News Channel, Beck has been promoting
conspiracy theories and delivering incoherent diatribes against socialists
and environmentalists. Beck has called President Obama a Marxist,
communist, and socialist who is taking America down the road to fascism.
He has accused Obama of being a racist with a "hatred for whites", and
alleged that the Obama Presidency is like evil gorillas, endangering
humankind and compared Obama's America to "the Planet of the Apes". He
said that Al Gore wants to create a new "Hitler youth" because he promotes
environmental awareness among young people. Beck doesn't believe in global
warming, but loves guns and militarism.
In Washington Beck did not mention Obama or Gore, but rather, assumed the
role of an evangelist, presenting a religious theme of "Faith, Hope and
Charity" which was a lame attempt to mask his worship of Mammon, the God
of big business. Beck's big show "just happened" to be at the Lincoln
Memorial where Martin Luther King II made his iconic speech 47 years ago
to the day. Beck said he was totally unaware it was the anniversary of
King's address when he scheduled his event and he believes the Lord led
him to schedule the event at that time and place. He also boasted that the
right wing rally had "reclaimed the civil rights movement." Beck said he
heard the voice of God while addressing his flock, a symptom
characteristic of schizophrenia. He and his far right friend and probable
Republican Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin repeatedly mentioned King's
legacy, as giant screens carried King's image and brief excerpts of his
1963 address. Earlier this year Beck denounced King as a "radical
socialist" and questioned why a national holiday had been named in his
honor. Beck was born in a Roman Catholic family, but converted to
Mormonism. He says he "found the Lord" who saved him from his alcohol and
drug addiction and his channeling the voice of God sounds like the faith
required in a 12 steps effort to stay on the wagon.
In his rambling speech Beck gave several quotes from the Declaration of
Independence, recited the Gettysburg Address, invoked trite clichés of
Americana and read bible verses. Palin said she was the mother of a
"combat vet" and led a chant of "USA, USA, USA."
In the past other extremist populist movements in America also wrapped
themselves in the cross and the flag, but espoused some social and
economic policies that appealed to the common man. Father Charles Coughlin
and Rev. Gerald L.K. Smith were demagogic leaders in the depression days
of the 1930s, who at least talked about the dangers of capitalism, with
Coughlin advocating a guaranteed annual wage and nationalization of some
industries and Smith calling for income limits for the wealthy and old age
pensions for everyone.
When he announced the rally, Beck promised to present a plan which would
provide "specific policies and action steps" to found "a new national
movement to restore our great country." Instead, in his speech on
Saturday, he said he decided to not reveal the plan, because of a
conversation he had with God. Rather than explaining his plan "to restore
our great country", Beck said that people should turn to the Lord by
praying on their knees and leaving their doors open so their children
could see them doing so. Could it be that the billionaires and corporate
entities who fund the tea party movement nixed the plan that might help
poor and working class people at their expense?
Beck, Palin and their fellow Tea Partiers worship the rich white men and
moneyed interests who fund their movement and their politics. Their gods
are 21st century manifestations of the rich white men who were the
Tom Turnipseed is an attorney, writer and peace activist in Columbia, SC.
His blog is http://tomandjudyonablog.blogspot.com
Belief is the death of intelligence--Robert Anton Wilson