Glenn Beck’s Dress Code Goes Too Far
By J. Ladd Yost
Let me begin by saying that Glenn Beck has been an invaluable asset to this country in doggedly exposing Barack Obama’s background and his associates extreme leftist, statist, socialist, redistributive views. He has exposed Black Liberation Theology far better than Sean Hannity has by delving into the writings of the Rev. Dr. James H. Cone. He has highlighted the extremism of the various Obama czars and continues to provide points of irritation that are giving rise to pearls of legitimate dissent.
I thought it was fine for him to advise those attending his August 28 Restoring Honor Rally to leave their signs at home. The rally was supposed to be a non-political gathering to raise money for and to honor the families of fallen Special Forces soldiers. It was also to honor American icons of personal freedom that included George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King. It would have set the wrong tone at that gathering to have a plethora of signs attacking the current regime. Ok, I’ll accept that.
Well, now Beck is telling his faithful to cease with the signs and the costumes for the biased media will pick out the tiny handful of objectionable ones and make that the whole story.
You cannot discredit the movement now. … Dress normally. Take the signs down … [T]hey are judging you not on the content of your character but on your signs and your clothing. … [I]f you take off the Statue of Liberty dress and you put the signs down, that will be the only thing the media will be able to focus on: The content of your character.—Glenn Beck
Beck’s rebuke is wrong in a number of obvious ways:
Much of the appeal of the Tea Party gatherings has been the obviously homemade, idiosyncratic signs people are using to express their individual views, in contrast to the controlled, staged, ultrauniform demonstrations mounted by unions such as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Nancy Pelosi’s charge that the Tea Party is Astroturf is utterly laughable.
The contrast between the distinctive homemade Tea Party signs and the manufactured, unvarying SEIU signs illustrate both sides’ view of the ideal world. The Tea Party champions the individual’s freedom of conscience and personal expression; whereas, union statists demand conformity of thought and they fear individual expression.
Such demand for uniformity is often tied to race. Some leftists assert that individual expression is a luxury of Whitey, whereas people of color must act collectively to gain power and break the White Power Structure and replace it with a redistributive system to right historical wrongs. There doesn’t seem to be any point at which black people can start to be individuals in this paradigm–what does that tell you?
At other times, uniformity is seen in the context of classic labor union class struggle, using the Soviet model. Either way, uniqueness is sacrificed to the greater good and decisions are left to leaders. So much for the dictatorship of the Proletariat.
The tiny handful of objectionable signs at Tea Parties are the litmus indication of freedom of expression and spontaneity. It’s up to the members to show how insignificant the bad signs are by evidence, rather than to avoid the whole problem through a voluntary blackout of ideas.
Conservatives are not afraid of a free market, as the products and services with merit will rise and the inferior and shoddy goods and companies will fall by the wayside.
Statists see free markets as a cementation of the unfair advantages of the privileged (white men). The remedy is a benign central government replacing “market chaos” with “intelligent planning” and “social justice.”
Beck is taking the stance of the officious planner, afraid of the marketplace of ideas. This is out of character and should have caused a cognitive dissonance in him or his staff. He is doing what union leaders and other leftists do to control their people. He is limiting their individuality and reducing them to a monolithic “superprop.”
Beck is no longer a harbinger of freedom but a Pied Piper of self-aggrandizement, not unlike Mr. Obama. He warns people not to dress up as Uncle Sam, Betsy Ross, or the Statue of Liberty because the leftist media will ridicule them. Really? How does it besmirch the character of Tea Party members to dress in costumes that symbolize the freedom and liberty for which so many Americans have fought and died to uphold and defend?
The danger that a Lyndon Larouche supporter will brandish a poster of Obama with a Hitler moustache pales in comparison to the rendering of the Tea Party/9-12/8-28 gatherings to meaningless aggregations of “angry white folk,” whose message is controlled by those on stage with the microphones.
The media will not stop denigrating the Tea Party, signs or not. With or without the signs, members of the mainstream media will continue to brand the Tea Party movement as an all white, narrowminded, prejudiced, parochial bunch of bigots who hate the idea of a black man in the White House. A signless movement of mind-numbed Glennbots is not the image that Beck himself, nor we, want to project in promoting this noble demand for constitutionalism.
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