And the hits just keep on coming.
The list of people who Glenn Beck has attacked with faulty logic and fear tactics is growing longer. He offended a good number of African Americans with his attacks on Van Jones, President Obama's former advisor on green jobs. He offended many Christians with his attacks on social justice gospel and liberation theology. His August rally was an exercise in civil religion. Now he has offended Jews and others with his attacks on George Soros.
In his attacks on Soros, Beck says that Soros wants one world government and wants to achieve this through influence on American politics and on the Obama administration. Beck has offended Jews in his retelling of Soros' childhood when he survived the Holocaust by living with people who were not Jews. He has offended Jews because they understand the horrible moral dilemma that Jews faced during the Holocaust, especially children who had limited power. Survival was the primary goal.
I am offended by Beck's attack on Soros. I am not only offended because it represents the worst of America's public discourse, not only because once again he is making a specious argument that is an insult to the intelligence of the American people, not only because he seeks to further divide an already divided nation, not only because he continues to peddle the snake oil of fear, but I am offended because he is opening a wound for millions of people that need not be opened. This serves no good purpose.
My mother once said to me that the most important discipline is to guard what comes out of your mouth. Speak what is true, kind, and necessary. The first test is truth. Next is the truth kind and compassionate. Last is what you have to say necessary. Sometimes a harsh and unkind truth is necessary to be spoken in order to get to the justice of a situation.
As is his wont, Glenn Beck takes facts and distorts them beyond any recognition of what is true. In his determination to discredit progressive politics he stoops to the unkind and the unnecessary. If Soros' economic and political analysis is incorrect, get an economist on the program to explain why Soros is wrong. Beck does not agree with Soros' progressive politics and thinks that his political prescriptions for the United States and for the world are incorrect. Fine. Give a critical analysis of them. However, Beck is in no position to comment on Soros' personal intent, that he wants to be and is the puppet master of global politics.
Are the American political system and the world economic system so fragile that one individual can work his will? There are too many competing voices, too many competing interests, too many billionaires with different political positions and agendas for one man to rule the world. Beck claims to be a Constitutionalist and has placed James Madison in his pantheon of American saints. It was Madison who argued that the federal system would mean that the various factions would have to form coalitions to gain a governing majority. This was the check against the will- to-power of one individual, group, or ideology controlling the levers of government in the United States. We can argue about how well that has worked, especially in the face of the fact of the gross and growing economic disparity in the United States. But it is clear that George Soros, or no other individual, is the monster we have to fear. To say so is offensive.
Dr. Valerie Elverton Dixon is an independent scholar who publishes lectures and essays at JustPeaceTheory.com. She received her Ph.D. in religion and society from Temple University and taught Christian ethics at United Theological Seminary and Andover Newton Theological School.