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The way the media covered Glenn Beck’s 8/28 Restoring Honor rally at the Lincoln Memorial is shameful, but not unexpected. That said, as clueless as Geraldo Rivera is, I’ll give him credit for covering the event extensively.
But never underestimate Geraldo’s ability to come up with absurdities. In this case, the absurdity was to have Al Sharpton as a guest on his show Saturday night – for the full hour! – to comment on the Beck rally and compare it to his own “Reclaim the Dream” rally on the same day.
I found it highly insulting to have the format of the show be a comparison between Beck’s historic gathering and Sharpton’s anemic attempt to recreate a 1960s-style civil-rights march. What made it even more pathetic was that every time Sharpton spoke on Geraldo’s show, he had something negative to say about Beck or the Restoring Honor event. He came across as an angry, unknowledgeable child desperately in search of a scapegoat for his own lack of accomplishments.
Quite obviously, I was not at the Sharpton rally, but numerous reports from creditable sources place attendance in the 2,000-3,000 range. By contrast, the Beck event – which I did attend – drew a minimum of 500,000 people. (Trust me, minimum.) What is sad is that the only people who will ever know just how historic the event was are those who were in attendance, because, as I said at the outset, the media coverage was shameful.
The entire three hours of the Restoring Honor rally was filled with a spirit of goodwill and inclusiveness, with a focus on God as the answer to restoring the greatness that once signified America. By contrast, Sharpton’s pitiful attempt to counter the Beck rally was (according to news reports) filled with the same old angry rhetoric that smacks of black liberation theology. (You know, “You must give back that which you have taken.”)
The people who still buy into this kind of angry theater are anachronisms of yesteryear, those who demand endless apologies, special treatment for past injustices and never-ending free goodies from government (meaning, from taxpayers). They seem determined to make sure that white guilt remains alive and well in perpetuity. They don’t want to move on. It’s much more comfortable to continue promoting the security of “Uncle Sam’s plantation.”
The only statement at the Beck event that came close to being political was made by Sarah Palin, who said, “We must not fundamentally transform America as some would want; we must restore America and restore her honor.” (I would argue that it was simply a statement of fact that fit in perfectly with the theme of restoring honor to America.)
America is dying, and pretty much everyone knows it. It has, in fact, been dying at an accelerating rate throughout my lifetime. So Beck is right about the need to restore honor as the foundation for restoring America to its long-lost greatness.
Most Americans not only are without honor, they have no interest in even hearing about it. In the anything-goes America of the 21st century, we are witnessing the long-awaited triumph of Rousseau’s relativism. Certitudes are out; collective slavishness – in dress, eating, thinking and speaking – are in.
So, where does Glenn Beck go from here? Should the worst happen and Beck lose his eyesight, will that be the end of his mission? No, I don’t believe that for a second. As someone who has watched virtually every Glenn Beck show for the past four years (going all the way back to the days when he was honing his skills in the minor leagues at CNN Headline News), I feel like I have known this man all my life.
As the normally jaded Chris Wallace pointed out in his interview with Beck after the event, nothing like Glenn Beck has ever happened before. No mere mortal could possibly accomplish what Beck has accomplished over the past several years – and certainly not in the way he has accomplished it.
I believe his rise from a life of shame and failure to what is rapidly becoming the most powerful voice for good in America has been divinely guided. I believe he has been tapped on the shoulder by God to perform a Moses-like mission in a once-great nation that has devolved into a moral cesspool.
I believe Beck when he says he will never give up. I believe him when he says if he is forced off television, he will find another platform that is even bigger. I believe him when he says he is willing to die if that’s the consequence for speaking the truth.
I pray that Glenn Beck will not lose his eyesight, but if it should happen, I believe he will become more powerful than ever and thus an even a greater force for good. If this tragic circumstance should occur, I believe he will see it as a Jobian moment – a Divine test of his belief. It could, in fact, be the very thing that spurs him to run for president, despite the fact that he has clearly stated he has “zero interest in the job.”
Anyone interested in human nature cannot help but find it fascinating that many of the greatest men and women throughout history have been vilified and hated by a large percentage of the population. And whenever that be the case, you can count on an equally large segment of the population adoring that same person. It’s a scenario that fits Glenn Beck to a T.
The details of how the Beck saga unfolds from this point forward are unknown, but one thing is certain: His journey will continue to be an historic one. Something is happening in this country that has never happened before – at least in my lifetime. It almost tempts one to say that it’s a showdown between good and evil.