I remember when Glenn Beck was a virtual nobody on the radio, and he didn’t always seem to have a message that was in focus. As time has passed, it seems that he’s really finding his voice, and there’s much more consistency in his views of the issues. If any program on the cable news networks sounded a cautionary note far in advance of the bursting of our nation’s housing bubble, it was Glenn Beck during his 7 pm and 9 pm time slots on CNN’s Headline News. I noticed that more and more people who I encountered in daily life were identifying themselves as Glenn Beck fans.
Then there was an announcement that Glenn Beck had reached an agreement with Fox News Channel that he’d be airing a program weeknights at 5 pm. Immediately, Glenn Beck disappeared from Headline News. There was a lull among Glenn Beck fans, with no TV show to watch, and with the radio broadcasts difficult to locate on radio dials (and perhaps at a time of day when one isn’t available to listen in) but it was a lull with baited breath, as Glenn Beck fans counted down the days anticipating Glenn Beck’s return to television.
I thought that a 5 pm air time would knock some wind out of Glenn Beck’s sails, since he no longer had air times that were considered prime time. That doesn’t seem to be the case. If anything, the audience interest is intensifying, and I’ve encountered even a greater percentage of people that I bump into are taking notice of Glenn Beck.
A case in point: Last Friday, I watched Glenn Beck’s show on Fox News. But I didn’t watch it at my house. Instead, I watched it amidst a small gathering of people who’d assembled together for the express purpose of watching Glenn Beck together. I wasn’t the ringleader behind the effort to gather for a Glenn Beck program, either. Usually, I’m the one who’s dragging others to political events, not the other way around. This time, others invited me, . . . and my dad, and my mom, and my brother, too. Others were taking the initiative.
Is it just my imagination? Or is Glenn Beck really motivating people at the grassroots to engage each other in discourse about our communities, our states, and our nation? OK, maybe the numbers are still small . . . maybe I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, but there’s one thing I did get a sense of while watching Glenn Beck: I’m not alone. For Glenn Beck, that was a primary purpose behind the desire for people to view Friday’s program at gatherings rather than staying home to watch. His message of “You are not alone” was designed to demonstrate that I’m not the only person up in arms over the erosion of the maxim that government in our nation is “OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people.” I sometimes wonder at the loneliness of my soap box perch at Buckeye RINO, with its modest traffic count of perhaps one page view per month, wondering if my disdain for bailouts and for socialist takeovers registers with anyone. Well, others may not be reading Buckeye RINO, but I did find myself gathered among like-minded individuals who share my concern that the people need to reassert their sovereignty over the government . . . thanks to Glenn Beck.
Besides assuring me that I’m not alone, there were a couple of other things Glenn Beck wanted to achieve. One of those was to remember the way we all felt on September 12, 2001. To that end, Glenn Beck invited all to check out a website titled THE912PROJECT.COM. I don’t want to have to explain what it is, so just click on the link and see. OK?
One other thing that we could achieve by gathering was to make plans for what we, individually and collectively, could do along a civic vein in the spirit of September 12th. After watching Glenn Beck, our gathering took a short break, drove over to a local restaurant, and reconvened for supper where we discussed being involved in local campaigns and local politics. I thought I would be the one most eager to get revved up for local political advocacy, but not so. Others seemed quite eager to take the bull by the horns.
One more thought: For those who think this recent smattering of “Tea Parties” in various cities around the country are just a hiccup, that’s not the vibe I’m picking up. I think it’s the tip of the iceberg. I think there is more fervor among the right-of-center grassroots now than there was a year ago, and the fervor seems to be growing, not waning.