Sign up for email alerts, from breaking news to weekly commentary:
The "Beckinization" of the far right
Perhaps you thought that, surely, the far right wing in American politics couldn't get any nuttier. If so, you clearly hadn't factored in Glenn Beck.
Since losing his glory-spot as a Fox-TV yackety-yacker, Beck has been less visible, but no less busy, continuing to promote himself as leader of the political wacky, and still delighting them as the P.T. Barnum of conspiracy theories. His hottest-selling shtick in recent months is a piece of fear mongering about an entity that few other people in the world consider at all fearsome: The United Nations.
"Agenda 21," wails the Beckster on his subscription-TV show and other forums, referring to an obscure, innocuous, and non-binding resolution approved by UN members (including the US) 21 years ago. Be very afraid, Beck bleats in alarm, for this document lays out the secret, diabolical scheme of internationalists to seize America's autonomy. Under the guise of promoting "sustainable" development, goes the theory, the United Nations intending to ban our suburbs, take our golf courses from us, usurp our freedoms, and impose a global dictatorship. To depict the horror of Agenda 21, the cover of Beck's new book on the topic features the UN logo looming over an American landscape, which is imprisoned behind barbed wire. Subtle!
Silly, too. But it's the hot new thing on the far right. "Heroic" lawmakers in Alabama and Tennessee have already banned any implementation of Agenda 21-style provisions in their states – even though none were proposed. Five other state legislatures are considering the same this year. Also, the new tea party senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, says the UN takeover of America will be a top issue for him. And, of course, the big rumor on the right is that Barack Obama is using CIA mind-control-techniques to implement the UN dictatorship.
Do these people ever even visit reality?
"Indiana GOP Lets Glenn Beck Set Legislative Agenda: Introduces Bill To Fight U.N. Conspiracy Theory," www.thinkprogress.org, January 14, 2013.