While the media is praising Glenn Beck for drawing what is being debated to be between 87,000 and 400,000 people on the Mall in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, regardless of the actual figure, it only proved what we already knew, Glenn Beck has the ability to draw a crowd.
After months of media hype on his popular syndicated radio show and his FOX Television program that tops the ratings cycle after cycle and has millions of daily viewers, one could have expected more. With financial and promotional assistance from FreedomWorks, a sponsor on Beck's radio show, an e-mail promotional campaign to 500,000 conservative activists from the Tea Party Patriot's e-mailing list, and co-sponsorship by the National Rifle Association one should have expected ten times more than 100,000 people to show-up.
What Beck's rally proved yesterday, was not that his Tea Party and Evangelist followers are such a dominating political group, it simply proved once again that Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin have perfected their methods of preaching to the choir, and that they know how to use the massive, well-funded ultra-conservative media machine that FOXNews and all the conservative political action groups have laid at their feet. It also proved what we already knew, both Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are Bible-Belt and fundamentalist Christian rock stars who use the apocalypse and fear of change as their most powerful tools for achieving monetary gain.
Forced to avoid explicitly partisan politics because of the event's co-sponsorship by contributions to the tax-exempt foundation Wounded Warriors, Beck left it up to "Providence," and took on a decidedly Evangelical approach as he recounted his conversation with God on what to do at the rally.
“God is the answer,” Beck said. “It was about four months ago that we were still kind of lost, and we didn’t know what we were going to do when we got here,” Beck said. “And I was down on my knees, and we were in the office. And I said ‘Lord, I think I’m one of your dumber children. Speak slowly!’ And the answer was, ‘You have all the pieces. Just put them together.’ The pieces are faith, hope and charity and looking for those things inside each of us.’”
To his throng of worshipping followers, Glenn Beck said, "Something beyond imagination is happening, America today begins to turn back to God.''
Make no mistake about it, Glenn Beck and his sect of followers, whether they were in Washington yesterday or not, want nothing less than a theocratic government governed according to biblical law, and nothing less than the United Christian States of America.
Through the prism of Beck's own megalomania, he sees himself as divinely in tune with our founding fathers and their intentions. Yet his vision of America is so far to the Right of the Constitution they wrote and adopted, it is hard for most progressives to view Beck as anything other than a dangerous ideologue bent on dismantling our constitutional government as we know it today.
Yesterday didn't prove Glenn Beck's divinity, and yesterday's rally certainly didn't make Glenn Beck an historic or iconic civil rights leader.
Even if you use Beck's own expectedly inflated estimate of between 300,000 and 600,000 people attending his rally, it only proves that he has managed to convince hundreds of thousands, and maybe even a few million people in this nation, to accept his apocalyptic, theocratic solutions to abate their intense fear of the future as they fervently wait for the rapture and the fabled Second Coming of Christ. But with Beck as their leader and false prophets, yesterday was nothing more than more Beck-esque media shtick for profit and egotistical pleasure.