When I was a teenager I wore bell-bottomed jeans with patches and protested against the Viet Nam War. Glenn Beck was only a 7-year-old snot-nosed kid at the time.
During this same period in my life (when I used to get high), I was also anti-big-business, anti-government, and "anti" almost everything else except for free love and pot. I had shoulder-length hair and I liked listening to Jimi Hendrix, Blind Faith, and the Rolling Stones - just to name a few.
But what I didn't know was, I was just a stupid and rebellious young man who didn't know any better.
I definitely wasn't a jock or a surfer in those days, but I wasn't a hippie per se either. I thought bikers were cool back then, but I wasn't a tough guy or an outlaw either - I just like customized Harleys ever since seeing the movie Easy Rider. And my best friend's dad at the time had restored vintage Harley-Davidson and Indian motorcycles in his garage, and I occasionally had a ride on one.
Sometimes my friends and I called ourselves "heads" or "freaks"...but the neighbors, our teachers, and our parents called us other things.
One of my friend's dad labeled himself as a right-winger, but my friend and I were just young impressionable young men back then and didn't really understand politics or the economy in those days...we just hated Nixon because the cool college kids and George Carlin berated or made fun of him.
We weren't really "cool", we just aspired to be cool by mimicking others that we thought were cool...just as young people always have, just as they still do today. We had no clue at all.
I never hung out with those college kids who protested the Viet Nam War (the ones that I thought were cool and who had evaded the draft with deferments because of the influence their wealthy corporate fathers held); I hung out with the GIs who were a few years older than me and had just returned from that war. I didn't spit on them, I went camping with them, I got high with them, and I lived and worked with them in the factories of Western Massachusetts.
JFK had been my last favorite President at the time and I suppose as a young man I might have been a liberal Democrat if I had had to label myself politically. But I had no idea what either political party was all about. It wasn't until I had to support myself by working a full-time job, and then when Ronald Reagan became President, did I make the conscience choice of calling myself a Republican. I suppose it was his charm, sense of humor, and tough talk that enamored me to him. I hadn't realized it at the time that what the GOP had been doing all that time was dismantling the working-class with outsourcing and anti-unionism.
Most of my working life (38 years, since 1973) I belonged to one labor union or another, because the wages and benefits were usually always better than working in non-union jobs. It wasn't until I became laid of in 2008 did I have time to reflect on my political beliefs, studying the economy and the political tenants of both major parties more vigorously. What an eye-opener my research has been, and how naive and ignorant I've been most of life.
I felt foolish to learn that the Republicans have always disdained the working-class (me) and were only beholden to the big-businesses (my bosses), those immoral entities that I once despised as a young and uninformed man.
I used to watch Glenn Beck occasionally when he was still at CNN, when I was still working. After I was laid off in 2008 I watched Beck every day he aired at his new gig at Fox News. Once he joined Rupert Murdoch's rabid "news" crew, Glenn Beck's sanity really began to unravel. But because I watched him all the time, and because I still thought I was a conservative Republican, I didn't notice the gradual change from one day to the next. I had already been brainwashed by the time Glenn Beck first started railing against America's unemployed.
The summer of 2010 was about the time I went from Republican to Democrat, and I have Glenn Beck to thank for that, and for opening my eyes. He had lied about me - personally. I was so shocked that I had to ask myself, "If he will lie about me, what else has he been lying about all this time?"
Before, when Glenn Beck had bashed Obama and the Democrats and the unions, like an idiot, I cheered him on. When he blamed the demise of our country on all the socialists in our government, I despised all those evil-doers as much as Beck did. When he attacked Obama-Care, so did I. When he ridiculed the progressives, so did I. When he called the 99ers Socialists who only wanted a government hand-out and were trying to bring down our country I stopped dead in my tracks.
WTF?!?!? I had asked myself, "Did Glenn Beck just call me a Socialist?"
Regarding the 99er rally in NYC: On August 12, 2010 at 1 PM (PST) Neil Cavuto on Fox News insisted that the 99ers were only protesting for more jobless benefits, and not for jobs. His guest, Tara Setmayor (a Republican "communications director" / corporate propagandist) agreed with him, implying that the 99ers were only looking for more entitlements (government hand-outs). She had used the same old tired argument that the unemployed would rather collect unemployment benefits, rather than find work. But that's also a lie, and I can prove it.
A few days later (when I still considered myself a conservative Republican) I wrote a press release about Glenn Beck's rant.
And what Fox News also deliberately failed to mention at that time was, there were no jobs for the 15 million unemployed. A few members of the AFL-CIO such as the UFT (Teachers Union) only showed up at that 99er rally in NYC to show support for the 99ers (many who were laid off union members themselves). I saw only two members of the Democratic Socialists of America there with a single banner.
But for the most part, it appeared to be a largely average and diverse cross-section of ordinary American citizens who showed up at the rally. So as usual, Neil Cavuto and Fox News had been bashing the labor unions and unemployed.
Mister Nickels, a co-founder of the Unemployed Workers Action Group and the American 99ers Union responded to Glenn Beck's ignorant rants about the rally in this post.
I began listening more carefully to what the real message of the GOP was all about and what their media propaganda arm (Fox News/Beck) were spouting, reading between the lines. After a while, I didn't have to read between the lines at all...it was all out there for the whole world to see.
I started a "Fox News Wall of Shame" on my last website (which is down now for lack of funds). I had carefully monitored and made notes and counter-arguments for all their lies. But after a while, I found myself getting so angry that I could barely watch the likes of Glenn Beck any longer. After only a few short minutes of just seeing his face, I was prompted to quickly change the channel - I was that disgusted. I suppose I just couldn't stand the thought that I had been so taken in by him and his puppet-masters for so long, and my shame of my own ignorance was shoved in my face every time I saw Fox News on my TV set.
And it made me wonder...how many millions of others who used to think like me are still out there, but who might still be employed and still believe all the insane rhetoric that Beck spews. That it's the labor unions who are to blame - it's the unemployed who are to blame - it's the poor who are to blame - it's the Democrats who are to blame. How many people in America still believe this nonsense? That the Republicans (corporations and bankers) are the "good guys" and the labor unions and laid-off workers are the "bad guys". Scary!
People like Glenn Beck of Fox News always wants their audience to believe that all liberals are Socialists. But only a small number of Americans actually call themselves that, and just affiliate themselves with the Democratic Party because MOST support the average working American, not the greedy banksters and multi-national corporations. What red-blooded communist would associate themselves with the GOP, those who are more like Nationalists, and don't believe that the other half of the country aren't even true Americans?
Myself, I believe that all members of the GOP leadership are true Americans, they're just "anti" anyone who earns less than $50,000 a year - and are only "lukewarm" to small businesses owners that GROSS between $1 and $5 million a year. The Republicans are against average working Americans and primarily support the rich...it's that simple, and has always been. Stupid me.
While I still don't consider myself to be a far leaning left-wing liberal, I might considerate myself to be a moderate Democrat. I still don't agree with idiots like Al Gore on global warming, but even though there is some man-made global warming with our carbon emissions, the next long great Ice Age will most likely be the result of the naturally re-occurring 25,000 year cycle this planet experiences because of earth's spin on its own axis. Al Core is still just a fear-monger, creating and profiting on the ignorance of others...much like those in the GOP.
But I'm definitely no longer a "conservative", which in itself is misleading. There's nothing conservative about giving tax breaks to the rich while people who busted their backs all their life are being threatened with more years of hard labor before they can retire on their measly Social Security checks, getting very little cost-of-living increases. Glenn Beck is rich now, so he and HIS family no longer needs Social Security. Although 15 years ago he would have. But most average Americans can't be wealthy, because somebody has to do the REAL manual labor.
And I know for a fact that I'm no longer a Reaganite or Republican either. I'm just a regular guy who supports average working Americans and resents greed and corruption in our politicians and corporations. And I despise liars like Glenn Beck too. Go ahead Mister Beck, sue me for slander, I dare you! Kick this little blogger while he's down! You kicked me before when you slandered me!
"When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose."
Like Glenn Beck, I was also born a Catholic. But for one or two weddings, I haven't been to church in 30 years, so I'm probably a very bad Catholic. But unlike Glenn Beck, I never converted to Mormonism - but maybe now, instead of being a bad Catholic himself, Beck's become a very good Mormon at the urging of his wife. But Glenn Beck's no Saint. I just hope I'm not near as bad as all those who are not true Orthodox Jews, those that the all-knowing Glenn Beck has been ranting about lately. But Mister Beck is no Mother Teresa himself; he never took a vow of poverty to help the poor and disenfranchised. He, like the rest of Fox News and the GOP and the big corporations and our government leaders and the wealthiest 2% of this country - all wants everybody else to do most of the sacrificing during the Great Recession, but they all offer to sacrifice so little themselves. I've lost everything, what has Glenn Beck lost? So who truly holds the moral high ground?
Withholding the funding of federally extended unemployment benefits (for the jobless and the other potential 99ers who still qualified) last December in exchange for extended tax cuts for the richest 2% was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. The GOP was never so transparent.
Glenn Beck said the long-term unemployed (the 99ers) should be ashamed to call themselves Americans. I admit it, I am ashamed. But not for being a 99er, nor for being un-American, but for being a recovering Beck-o-holic. But I'm also proud to report to you that for the last several months, I've also been clean and sober. I used to be one of these Fox News sheeple, but no more.