The above clip is one of the more succinct examples of what Glenn Beck spends just about every day doing: taking historical facts, arranging them in a shady jigsaw puzzle of innuendo, and then identifying individuals that he claims are diabolically plotting to destroy America. It’s the equivalent of taking the noodles out of your bowl of alphabet soup, arranging them into a death threat, and then attributing the threat to someone you’ve never met.
Frances Fox Piven is a Professor of Political Studies and Social Science who, like many patriotic Americans, was a radical in the sixties. How radical? She co-authored a paper suggesting that, were the welfare system to be taxed to the point of failure, it might result in a government-backed mandatory wage for all citizens. If that sounds like socialism, it’s only because it is socialism.
However, Ms. Piven’s greatest accomplishment was not the destruction of the welfare system or the end of capitalism. Instead, she is best credited for introducing the tie-in between voter registration and the DMV. So, the woman who made it easier for Americans to vote is Beck’s poster child for the forces that are out to destroy our country.
So, it comes out that, in the last two years, since Beck started his prime time crusade to malign her, Ms. Piven has received a steady stream of nasty death threats. Really nasty:
“â€œI got e-mails that said, â€˜Die You Cunt,â€™ and â€˜May cancer find you soon,â€™ â€ she tells The Progressive. â€œAnd people are posting my address on the Internet with their messages that are really crude and ugly and violent.â€
Piven’s politics were radical, but not as radical as suggesting that the founding of the U.N. and the abolishment of slavery were merely pieces of an anarchist/communist plot to destroy America. But Mr. Beck and his blackboard are perfectly willing to float that hypothesis as if it were fact. And, once floated, he’s happy to then single out Ms. Piven as a key architect of this attack on America. Frances Fox Piven, a woman who cared deeply about all Americans and devoted her life to ending poverty, is a radical anarchist out to destroy our way of life. Glenn Beck isn’t trying o protect us — he’s just making sure that we know that the plot to destroy our country exists, and Piven is one of the people responsible.
Beck’s acolytes believe him to be sincere, and they’re willing to take his word that Piven poses a threat to their security. As I’ve been blogging here, Beck fans have loaded up their cars and set off to kill people that Beck identified similarly before.
It’s tempting to equate what Beck does to yelling fire in a crowded theater. But what he does is far more insidious. Imagine what your life would be like if you were the constant recipient of nasty, sometimes obscene death threats. There should be laws against this type of malicious maligning of people whose politics don’t agree with his; there should certainly be human decency that says, “I’m not going to inspire this type of behaviour”. Beck has no such decency, and he isn’t engaging in political debate. What he’s doing is far more personal, sadistic, and cruel. And it will likely result in murder soon. It’s kind of a miracle that it hasn’t yet.