The Glenn Beck rally is confusing people.
He is aiming far beyond what most people consider to be the goalposts.
Using Boyd’s continuum for war: Material, Intellectual, Moral.
Analogously for political change: Elections, Institutions, Culture.
Beck sees correctly that the Conservative movement had only limited success because it was good at level 1, for a while, weak on level 2, and barely touched level 3. Talk Radio and the Tea Party are level 3 phenomena, popular outbreaks, which are blowing back into politics.
Someone who asks what the rally has to do with the 2010 election is missing the point.
Beck is building solidarity and cultural confidence in America, its Constitution, its military heritage, its freedom. This is a vision that is despised by the people who have long held the commanding heights of the culture. But is obviously alive and kicking.
Beck is creating positive themes of unity and patriotism and freedom and independence which are above mere political or policy choices, but not irrelevant to them. Political and policy choices rest on a foundation of philosophy, culture, self-image, ideals, religion. Change the foundation, and the rest will flow from that. Defeat the enemy on that plane, and any merely tactical defeat will always be reversible.
Beck is unabashed that God can be invoked in public places by citizens, who vote and assemble and speak and freely exercise their religion. They are supposed to be too browbeaten to do this. Gathering hundreds of thousands of them to peaceably assemble shows they are not. But showing that the people who believe in God and practice their religion are fellow-citizens who share political and economic values with majorities of Americans is a critical step. The idea that these people are an American Taliban is laughable, but showing that fact to the world — and to potential political allies who are not religious — is critical.
Beck is attacking the enemy at the foundations of their power, their claim to race as a permanent trump card, their claim to the Civil Rights movement as a permanent model to constantly be transforming a perpetually unjust society.
He is nuking out the foundations of the opposition’s moral preeminence, the very thing I proposed in this post.
Ronald Reagan said we would not defeat Communism, we would transcend it.
Beck is aiming to have America do the same thing to its decaying class of Overlords, transcend them.
Beck is prepping the battlefield for a generation-long battle.
He is that very American thing: A practical visionary.
Restore pride and confidence to your own side, and win the long game.
As Ronald Reagan also said, there are simple solutions, just no easy solutions.
God bless America.
[UPDATES BELOW THE FOLD]
UPDATE: One commenter, Richard40 who attended the rally said “As a conservative secular libertarian, I felt a bit left out … .” He said Beck could have included him by having a non-religious person on stage, and by saying “our only requirement is you believe in the founding principles of America, and wish to return to those principles.” He noted further, correctly in my view, that “The key to the Tea Party coalition is to stay unified on issues where conservatives and libertarians agree, like spending, deficit, size of government, and honest government, but allowing a big tent, that respects differences on social issues … .”
I did not go to the rally, I don’t know Glenn Beck, I don’t have a TV so I don’t know watch his show, and I am not a mind reader. So I can only speculate about this event. Other people have been a little bit stumped by it, too. I think that it was expressly not labeled as a Tea Party event. If so, that would make sense. The Tea Party is one circle on the Venn Diagram. The target audience for this event is an overlapping but not identical circle. The goal here seems to have been to encourage and mobilize one very large group of people, a huge segment of the population. No event is going to accomplish everything or appeal to everybody. Since the event included a call for forty days of prayer for the country, it was pretty obviously directed to people who pray. The totality of the coalition which is growing, which I think of as The Insurgency, is made up of several components. The unifying element is exactly the political and economic factors Richard40 mentions. A purely political event would have been a different event. There is room for all kinds of events.
And as a Roman Catholic, I will extend my hand to Richard40 and all other non-religious fellow citizens who share the same civic, political, economic and Constitutional principles I do. For the small number of doctrinaire libertarians who cannot stand dealing with someone who goes to church, I can only say, wake up, look hard at what is happening, and see who your real opponents are. We can have a civil discussion about the issues we disagree about when this current menace has been beaten back. We are in this thing together.
UPDATE II: Whoa. Mr Beck himself linked to this post, and tweeted: “The ONLY guy to actually get it!”
So, the accuracy of my penetrating analysis is confirmed.
Is the Internet the most groovy thing ever, or what?
He also mentioned his new news site The Blaze, which I am now going to look at … .
UPDATE III: Apparently Mr. Beck commented on this post on his radio show. If there is a link for that, I would appreciate it if someone would put it down in the comments. [Thanks to several people for sending the transcript. here it is.]
UPDATE IV: Beck-O-Lanche! [Moved here.]