. . .for preparing him to storm the literal battlefield of ideas with “the truth” (and guns and explosives) aimed at “starting a revolution.”
What sort of lessons did his televised schoolteacher use?
“I think you’re about to witness a country burning down to the ground.”
“You might as well start calling our government Crime Inc.”
“All it takes is one insane leader . . .”
“Grab a torch.”
“I’m comin’ for ya, oh, I’m comin’ for ya . . .”
“I’m gonna find these big progressives and to the day I die, I’m gonna be a Progressive Hunter.”
“Drive a STAKE through the heart of the bloodsuckers.”
I offer today a study in contrasts as my argument that public education — not necessarily public school but education of the public, by the public, for the public — matters more than ever to every single one of us as individuals, even those of us who don’t have kids in school or have no children at all.
Cock of the snook for above video to Lynn at BMTT.
UPDATE: See Glenn Beck Drawing on 1950s Extremism?
Beck, who has emerged as a unifying figure and intellectual guide for the Tea Party movement, finds fodder for his Fox News Channel and syndicated radio shows in the ideas espoused by the John Birch Society, an ultraconservative political group founded in 1958 that, Wilentz writes, “became synonymous with right-wing extremism.”
“It’s a version of history that demonizes the progressive era, particularly Woodrow Wilson,” Wilentz says. “It sees it as the beginning of America’s going down the road to totalitarianism, which ends in Beck’s version, with Barack Obama.”
Particularly troublesome, Wilentz says, are the gross historical inaccuracies Beck makes on his Fox show, which now reaches more than 2 million people each day.
“On one of his shows, for example, he pulled out a ‘Mercury’ dime. On the back of [the dime] is the fasces, which is the symbol of fascism,” Wilentz says. “So [Beck] says, ‘Aha! Who brought the dime in? It was Woodrow Wilson. We’ve been on the road to fascism for a long time.’
[But he’s] neglecting the fact that fasces didn’t become a fascist symbol until well after that dime was made and designed — and the man who designed it [knew that] fasces was a design of war and balanced it off with an olive branch.
Those are the facts. It has nothing to do with the coming of American fascism under Woodrow Wilson.”
Sean Wilentz is a history professor at Princeton University. He is the author of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln and Bob Dylan in America.