November 12, 2010
Glenn Beck’s anti-Semitic crusade
“Here’s a Jewish boy helping send the Jews to the death camps.” - Glenn Beck, November 10
“You’re being duped” by Soros, Tides, ACORN, and PBS - Glenn Beck, October 21
“I would have never started watching Fox News if it wasn’t for the fact that Beck was on there. And it was the things that he did, it was the things he exposed that blew my mind.” - Byron Williams
On July 18, 2010, Byron Williams opened fire on California Highway Patrol officers who had stopped him on an Oakland freeway for driving erratically. For 12 frantic minutes, Williams traded shots with the police, employing three firearms and a small arsenal of ammunition, including armor-piercing rounds fired from a .308-caliber rifle. In an affidavit, an Oakland police investigator reported that during an interview at the hospital, Williams “stated that his intention was to start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU.”
If I try to defend George Soros against Glenn Beck’s attack, by dissecting all the ways that Beck is twisting a few pieces of a larger story, I lose. The damage is done. The particulars of Soros’ childhood experience are irrelevant. His real crime, for Beck and the right wing, is that among the billionaires, he seems to be the only one to spend money on left wing causes the way right wing billionaires have been spending on theirs. Not every billionaire is fascist, and if more of them followed Soros’ example, the left might have the kind of intellectual army sent to the field by the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute, with cadres of pundits trained in the daily talking points, and given extra cash by speaking at seminars.
The psychotic confusion of Beck’s punditoracy…. Did you think it wouldn’t end with Jew hatred? All conspiracy theory has to end blaming us, the Jews. All political lies converge on us. Political lies on the left converge on us, too, but anyone who wants to give Beck a pass and make this an example of how both sides are guilty, is guilty of Jew hatred.
Why are vampires and zombies the metaphors of the age? Because no other metaphors better describe the world in which we live. The vampires are the seducers who bring the herd to violence, and make the herd their slaves. Glenn Beck is a vampire, Byron Williams was his zombie. Anyone who exuses Glenn Beck after this latest rant is either a vampire or a zombie.
There is no reasoning possible with them anymore, and the ballot is the only stake you can drive through their heart. Violence can’t work against them because the provocation gives them everything they want, the excuse to suspend what remains of liberty, in the name of liberty
Again, the only resistance is the ballot, thus, their attack on voters and voter registration and their history of voter suppression and the reason why the conservatives on the Supreme Court have given corporations the power to fund unlimited cash into election campaign.
So, the TIDES foundation is targeted by Beck, because, as TIDES states, “Our mission is to partner with philanthropists, foundations, activists, and organizations across the country and across the globe to promote economic justice, robust democratic processes, and the opportunity to live in a healthy and sustainable environment where human rights are preserved and protected.”
What Beck fears most, more than the truth, more than being called an anti-semite, is high voter turnout.
Soros gave money to the Prop 19 campaign not to legalize pot as much as to get out younger voters, hoping that this would defeat the Republicans.
The incoherence of the right wing is the product of careful study, the product of the right wing think tanks. There is no coherent argument against Beck or Limbaugh or Palin, because under - I was about to say fascist, but that’s not accurate anymore, call them what they call themselves, Tea Partiers – under Tea Party thinking, language can’t hold thought anymore. It’s easy to refute Beck point by point, but impossible to stop him, because the arguments we make against him have to be carefully researched and organized, and organized thoughts are to the Tea Party mind like organized labor; the enemy.
Beck, Murdoch, the Kochs, Limbaugh, Ailes… their wet dreams don’t allow them fantasies of death camps, but something more like Chile under Pinochet or Argentina under the generals. We’ve already sanctioned torture, and the enhanced interrogators have been trained and are surely willing, if not waiting.
Do you remember Jacobo Timerman? He was an Argentine journalist who was tortured in a secret prison for two and a half years starting in 1977, in the years when the Argentine military killed thirty thousand people. He was then released on condition that he leave for Israel. In 1981 he published “Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number,” his memoirs of that time. For attacking Ronald Reagan’s support for the Argentine regime, his credibility was attacked by William F. Buckley, of course, but also Irving Kristol, because the Argentines were anti-communist.
I bring this up, because even as death squads knock on American doors, taking away Jewish opponents, there will be right wing Jews who say it isn’t true.
Then, ten, fifteen years from now, there’ll be some dreadfully sentimental reconciliation ceremonies on national television, hosted by Jon Stewart, in which prisoners and torturers will be given new cars in celebration of the government imposed civility.
On Halloween, I went out in the neighborhood on a get out the vote drive with the Progressive Jewish Alliance. I was dressed as someone who gets the out vote, no mask. I’m safe, for now. But just for now.
Michael Tolkin is a filmmaker and novelist whose novels include The Player and Under Radar and whose films include The Player, Deep Impact and Nine.