Sunday, August 29, 2010

What Beck Does Right

There are a lot of good people – people with whom I agree on most things – who are put off by Glenn Beck.  Sometimes I’m put off by Glenn Beck.  There are conclusions he makes about history that I find simplistic, off-center, or just plain wrong.  His on-screen persona can be over the top.

But today, I come not to bury Glenn Beck but to praise him.  Because he does something right that matters more than almost anything else: he stands where he believes he’s been told by God to stand, and says what he knows he has to say.

The things that discourage us from doing that have great power.  For many people, it just feels indecorous.  Personality and upbringing are a tremendous self-deterrent.  For a lot of others, the natural fear of being misunderstood and thought a fool is a mighty influence.  There are many who agree with much of what Beck says, but are discouraged from saying it themselves, because of the long experience we all have with the spin-and-obfuscation machine that is automatically set in motion by any conservative-right assertion, no matter how nuanced.  Beck actually makes some insightful and complex arguments, when he’s dealing with things he has gained substantial knowledge of, but all his arguments are misrepresented on principle in the leftosphere: reworded and distorted to put him in a bad light.

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