Does Beck Think Americans Are Weak?

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Why doesn’t Glenn Beck have confidence in America?

During his Monday radio show—when the subject was the Tucson tragedy—Beck came to the rescue of his friend Sarah Palin, who had come under criticism for a map her political action group had created last year that placed cross-hairs over the districts of 20 Democratic legislators it had targeted—including the one represented by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). Beck read to his audience an email from Palin in which she declared, “I hate violence. I hate war. Our children will not have peace if politicos just capitalize on this to succeed in portraying anyone as inciting terror and violence.” And Beck also read aloud a note he had sent Palin:

Sarah, as you know, peace is always the answer. I know you’re feeling the same heat—if not much more—on this. I want you to know you have my support. But please look into protection for your family. An attempt on you could bring the republic down.

Ponder that for a moment. If someone attempted an attack on Palin would it truly destroy the foundation of the United States of America? Beck wasn’t even referring to a successful assault; he mentioned merely an attempt. And that does beg the question, does he think the country is in such a weak state that it would crumble if some nutcase tried to harm Palin?

This is overheated rhetoric—even on a Beckian scale. Is he that eager to suck up to Palin or to pander to her followers? This nation, after all, has experienced—and survived—tough times: depression, war, civil war, riots, 9/11, and so on. Americans soldiered on after the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln, John Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy, and others.

Any political violence would be horrific—no matter the victim. But for most Americans, Palin is not the center of the universe—or the country. They certainly would carry on if she were the target of violence. This nation is made of sterner stuff than Beck suggests.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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