The kind of wingnuttery Beck is embracing -- and promoting -- is a product of the kind of politics that now has conservative America in its thrall: right-wing populism. And it's not just Beck -- it's Sarah Palin, the Tea Parties, and the broad mainstream of the American Right who are careering down this path.And that's what it boils down to, God, Gold and Guns. If you have all three, then you win...and those who don't lose by default. Winger populism has always been the pursuit of all three, and more importantly the right to pursue all three without being contested. That's what America has been reduced to in this worldview.
Take this prime moment in yesterday's Beck show as an example. Beck -- being our Fearmonger in Chief, as usual, with handy chalkboard in hand -- told the audience that we have three potential economic outcomes facing the USA: Recession, Depression, or Collapse. In other words, Disaster, Doom, or Total Annihilation. It was, as always, an uplifting scenario. He also described how we normal folks respond at each step. Paying off our debts, building fruit cellars, that sort of thing.
Then he got to the third one:
Beck: The third one is Collapse. That's 'Get out of debt and save,' plus, 'Have a fruit cellar,' plus -- I like to call the "three G system" here for this -- it's, uh, God, Gold, and Guns."God, Gold and Guns" has quite the ring to it, doesn't it? And the thing about it is, it could stand in all three aspects as the Battle Cry of Right-Wing Populism -- not just now, but as we've known it for most of the past thirty years and more. Before Beck, there was the Posse Comitatus, and the militias, and the Ron Paul wing of the GOP -- all right-wing populists, and all focused largely on the mythology of right-wing "constitutionalism", whose three great appeals to the masses have revolved around embracing the notion of a "Christian nation," returning the U.S. to the gold standard, and defending gun rights.
Now personally, you might take God and put him as an umbrella over the whole thing. And then you got your gun and your gold down here too. But that's your choice.
Do read the whole thing.