I don’t watch Glenn Beck, but many of my coworkers do, even though, as union-represented workers, Beck views us as favorably as he would a piece of chewing gum stuck to his shoe.
As I cleaned a locker room today I overhead two of my brainiac coworkers discussing Glenn Beck. One juicy quote: “Beck says he’s really scared about the goings on at the White House.” No elaboration on the scary goings on, I guess it was enough to know the virtually fearless Glenn Beck looked at President Obama’s White House and knew fear. Another choice cut: “Beck says the congress isn’t even writing the health care bill, ACORN and SEIU are!” (Queue omininous music)
Here’s a clip of the Beck show. Please watch it and tell me just what the hell this lunatic is saying.
First, a quibble: There is no such word as OLIGARHY. The word Beck wants is OLIGARCHY. The “ingredients” on Beck’s blackboard don’t add up to, or even spell, OLIGARCHY.
An Oligarchy (Greek Ὀλιγαρχία, Oligarkhía) is a form of government in which power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society distinguished by royal, wealth, intellectual, family, military or religious hegemony. The word oligarchy is from the Greek words for “few” (ὀλίγος olígos) and “rule” (ἀρχή arkhē). Such states are often controlled by politically powerful families whose children are heavily conditioned and mentored to be heirs of the power of the oligarchy. Oligarchies have been tyrannical throughout history, being completely reliant on public servitude to exist. Although Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as a synonym for rule by the rich, for which the exact term is plutocracy, oligarchy is not always a rule by wealth, as oligarchs can simply be a privileged group. Some city-states from Ancient Greece were oligarchies.
Beck is half-right–quite unintentionally, but still half-right: we do have an Oligarchy; we do have rule by an elite few; we do have a ruling class. In part, it has been this way from the beginning of our Republic. Elite “electors” chose our leaders, not a popular vote (the system has been tweaked over time). Many of our early presidents handed the ball off to a hand-picked successor (ex/ Jefferson to Madison to Monroe to J. Q. Adams). In our current national politics we have dynastic, oligarchical families like the Kennedy’s, Bush’s and Clinton’s. We had George Bush Sr. serving as president, eight years later we had his son Jr. serve, and at some uncertain date in the future we will most likely see a presidential run by the “good” Bush son, Jeb (formerly Governor of Florida). William J. Clinton was president from 1993-2001. His wife, Hillary R. Clinton, formerly a senator from New York, now Secretary of State, ran for president in 2008, and will most likely run again in 2012 or 2016. Joe Biden’s son are eye-balling political careers, as are, certainly, many other Senator’s sons and daughters. The US Senate is in every respect nearly a carbon copy of Great Britain’s House of Lords.
Additionally the Republican and Democratic advisers and power-brokers hold executive positions in an interconnected web of multinational corporations, banks and think-tanks. The same names appear and reappear behind-in-scenes and in supporting roles: Robert Rubin, James Baker III, Henry Kissinger, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Phil Gramm.
The 21st century Titans of Industry, like the Walton heirs (Wal-Mart), spend tens and sometimes hundreds of billions supporting and opposing legislation. The Walton’s specifically have fought a PR battle for years against the Estate tax. Through their media campaign, the Estate tax has been rechristened the “Death Tax”. While this tax only effects multi-million dollar estates, average citizens fear paying it due to the phethora of misinformation spread far and wide by Wal-Mart money. The situation becomes tragic when one realizes the framers of our Constitution supported an Estate tax to guard against the rise of–wait for it. . .oligarchs.
Health Care giants have fought off meaningful reform since the Truman administration.
Beck’s boss, Rupert Murdoch, controls a massive media empire spanning the globe and including Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. Murdoch shapes what we think and feel by controlling what we see, hear and read. His “news” channel is light on news and heavy fluff and opinion (see Glenn Beck show, O’Reilly Factor, Hannity, etc).
Peons and patsies like Andy Stern of SEIU and the organizers at ACORN are just red herrings. If they had real power, we’d have Universal Single-Payer Health Care (or Medicare for all). If they had power, the Employee Free Choice Act would’ve passed by now (so-called “card check” is still stalled/blocked in the Senate–and the “card check” provision for organizing a union has already been stripped from the bill, leading one to ask, what’s a card check bill without card check?)
Glenn Beck is crazy. Glenn Beck is right, but for all the wrong reasons. Glenn Beck needs to stop pissing on ordinary Americans like ACORN activists and SEIU members and target the real muck-a-mucks. Most importantly, Glenn Beck needs stronger meds and a dictionary.