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On rare occasions, a unique figure bursts onto the national stage and has a dramatic impact on politics, culture, or both. Glenn Beck is one of those figures. He is surely the biggest, fastest, most controversial star in the political commentary business in my lifetime.

Beck is a real-life version of Howard Beale, the fictional television commentator in the 1976 film classic “Network.” Beale whipped his cultish TV audience into a frenzy, exhorting them to stick their heads out the window and chant, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

Much to the chagrin of the oligarchy in Washington, however, Glenn Beck is not a fictional character. He’s real, and he has succeeded in enlightening his audience far beyond Beale’s simple rants about the unfairness of life. Beck is much more knowledgeable, much more factual, much more rational and much more focused on the key issue: America’s loss of liberty.

I find it more than just a bit ironic that ultra-liberal CNN Headline News gave Beck his first forum on television. There, he created a huge stir with his “rodeo-clown” antics and his willingness to talk openly about his drug- and alcohol-addicted past. But as he increasingly added his political views to the mix, people started asking, “Why isn’t this guy on Fox News?”

What will it take to restore common sense and rein in out-of-control government? Get Glenn Beck’s book inspired by Founding Father Thomas Paine

Of course, Roger Ailes was closely observing Beck all along, and, in January 2009, he brought him to Fox and fit him into the 5 p.m. time slot. While Beck had been moving more and more toward political commentary at CNN Headline News, from the moment he came to Fox his transition to near-total politics was swift.

Combining his incredible talents with the work of his equally incredible research staff, Beck became a household name seemingly overnight. In truth, of course, he had been in media for 30 years, but he had never before had a forum like Fox News.

Beck’s show is so good that I’m convinced if a person doesn’t watch it on a regular basis, it’s almost impossible for him to understand the true causes of the moral and economic collapse of the United States – or even that it is collapsing – because no one else on TV covers most of the stories he dissects in impeccable detail. His modus operandi has been to expose the bad guys through their own words by playing audio and video of them shooting off their mouths and by quoting their writings.

For quite some time now, I have believed that Beck has become so good at exposing the truth, so well-respected and so powerful that the Forces of Darkness in the White House and Congress view him as a major threat to their aspirations to eliminate the Constitution, the rule of law and individual sovereignty in the United States. (In fact, they now refer to him as “the Beck problem.”)

But, as I have written in the past, the Obamafia is in a no-win situation with Beck. If its leaders ignore him, he will continue to disrobe Chairman Obama and his malevolent progressive pals through their own spoken and written words.

On the other hand, as they have already discovered, the more they try to discredit Beck, the more attention they draw to him – and the more people will learn about the details of how they plan to fundamentally transform America. Worse, their childish mudslinging is no match for Beck’s 60 minutes of hard-core truth five days a week (not to mention his three-hour daily radio show).

So Beck keeps raising the ante, and there is no question in my mind that the oligarchy in Washington sees him as a major obstacle between where they are today and their ultimate goal: a firmly entrenched, all-powerful federal government that controls every aspect of people’s lives.

Listening to Beck this past year has convinced me that he senses he has been chosen by a Higher Power to lead the charge against the evildoers in government. If so, it’s not the first time God has surprised the world with his choice of a messenger.

In laying down the gauntlet, Beck has pointed out that as a recovering alcoholic, he’s already been at the bottom, so nothing scares him. “The worst thing that can happen in my life,” Beck has said, “is to lose my honor and to return to my Heavenly Father without honor – without doing what I was supposed to do.” When people talk like this, it represents a very big problem for those in power.

Beck has made it clear that he is not afraid of losing everything if that’s what it takes to convey the truth to as many people as possible. And, as the far left knows all too well, a man who is willing to lose everything can be a huge obstacle to its achieving its socialist objectives.

The willingness to lose everything is, in fact, a key to being a successful revolutionary, or, in Beck’s case, a counter-revolutionary. How many people do you know who are prepared to lose everything to fight for what they believe in?

Not long ago, Beck came right out and said, “I’m going out swinging.” That statement carried with it some very strong implications. Clearly, something has to give.

My best guess? I hope I’m wrong, but I have long had the feeling that Glenn Beck will be leaving Fox News other than through old-age retirement.

How might his departure come about? The way I see it, there are four possible avenues of exit, which I will discuss in detail tomorrow in Part 2 of this column.

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