What does this even mean? There’s no extrapolation here, not even some out-of-context quote taken from Washington or Lincoln. “
“We surround them” vs. “the Spirit of 9/12”
Weepily, Glenn Beck asks us to think back to the day after 9/11, and look past our partisan ways. On the banner at his “9.12 Project,” he states “The day after
First off, as regards the veracity of that claim in the first place, no, Glenn, WE (Democrats/progressives) surround YOU (Republicans/conservatives), pretty damn overwhelmingly*.
( source )
Initially, I expressed dismay that Beck has such a large pulpit from which to express his views, and that someone so obviously unbalanced has such a large audience. A friend of mine said, fairly, that I couldn’t have it both ways – I couldn’t see Beck and his followers as marginalized *and* be dismayed by the size of his audience. I actually think that, after parsing the issue a bit, that’s completely reasonable. Beck’s audience is, on average, 2.2 million viewers a night at most recent count. That’s a respectable cable audience, to be sure, and most certainly linked to Beck’s recent turn for the hyperbolically apocalyptic, but let’s put things in perspective.
Now, numbers don’t mean a damn thing by themselves, and the only reason I’m throwing these around is to counter the numbers that Beck likes to throw around. I don’t begrudge Beck his desire to make it seem as though his “movement” or whatever it is is larger than it is – the first instinct of a cornered animal is what, after all? To puff itself up to appear larger than it actually is in the interests of self-preservation.
But to use such intimidating language – “WE surround THEM” “this is OUR country” and then to claim that your aim is unity is blatantly hypocritical and doesn’t make any sense. If you’re using the fiery rhetoric of “us and them,” you lose the ability to play the unity card.
* - A personal note to my friend Aaron here: you asked me if this poll was purely partisan, and I responded that, indeed, it only counted self-identified Democrats/Republicans. And I understood the point you were making: that more conservatives are distancing themselves from the Republican party because they don’t feel that it accurately reflects their conservative values (I would argue that it’s just as much because of the damage the GOP has done to their own ‘brand value,’ but that’s a discussion for another day). I was wrong: