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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Glenn Beck Check: Part VII, Book Review of "Being George Washington"

Glenn Beck has written yet another book, but this time he isn't passing himself off as an expert on climate change or trying to conduct yet another "progressive" witch hunt. Instead, Beck is trying to be George Washington. Much like his ridiculous 2009 attempt at trying to become the next Thomas Paine (a hysterical notion due to the fact that Paine had almost nothing in common with Beck), Beck has now moved on to bigger and better things (like moving from the #1 cable news network to nothing more than a glorified Youtube program). Being George Washington: The Indispensable Man, as You've Never Seen Him, the title of Beck's newest and greatest laugh-u-mentary, is essentially the attempt of a desperate man to stay relevant by hijacking the legacy of the father of our nation.

Unfortunately for Beck, most have caught on to his smoke and mirrors circus act and now accept the fact that he is not a historian. With that said, I don't want to completely toss the baby Beck out with the bath water. Even if his newest book is little more than an attempt to make George Washington look like a modern day conservative who hates progressives, loves talk radio, attends Tea Party rallies, wants Obama dead, buys gold from Goldline and is a Glenn Beck "insider", the work does do one thing very well: it illustrates how the legacy of Washington has become bigger than the man himself. George Washington, the man, was like any other: flawed, prone to rash decisions, arrogant and worldly. But George Washington, the legend, has reached a Herculean level of prestige. No American has, or likely will, reach the level of fame that Washington has achieved, and make no mistake, George Washington is certainly deserving of the accolades. In this respect, Glenn Beck's work excels. He treats Washington as a religious object worthy of our adoration and devotion. But again, as a work of history, the book is exactly like his earlier attempts at uncovering the past: piss-poor.

Beck's book opens by suggesting to the reader that each and every one of us, as Americans, are modern day George Washington's. Beck writes:
The news of my self-elevation to national fatherhood will likely spread from blog to blog, then to news sources and pundits, all of whom will be more than happy to spread the news that Glenn Beck's messianic complex can no longer be contained. None of them, of course, will take the time to realize the irony of the situation: they are literally judging a book by its cover.

So what's the truth?

Simple, I do believe I am George Washington.

But I also believe that you are too.

I don't believe this because I have an extraordinarily high opinion of myself. I believe it because I have a real understanding of who George Washington was.
And though I have no problem with Beck's suggestion that we all are capable of doing great and noble things, the political undertones are reminiscent of those employed by earlier politicians who also hijacked the Founding Fathers to legitimize their political goals.  By declaring "I am George Washington," Beck is essentially trying to say that all of our Founding Fathers were cut from the same cloth as him.  This is beyond ridiculous to anyone with even an elementary understanding of early American history.

But what is even worse about Beck's "book" is the fact that it twists facts to fit his strange and twisted agenda.  Beck argues that Washington was a "devout Christian" but then provides zero evidence to support this claim (probably because all of the evidence supports the contrary).  Beck also tries to argue that Washington saw "progressivism" as the greatest threat to American prosperity.  A funny notion since "progressivism" doesn't come along for quite some time.  Of course, Beck offers not a single shred of anything resembling evidence to support strange assertions that have nothing to do with anything.

In short, Beck's book is a textbook example of how somebody who knows little about history can completely derail any attempt at true and objective research into the past.  Beck wants the Founding Fathers to be like him so much that he sacrifices any true historical pursuits upon an altar of psycho partisan politics.  In so doing, Beck has once again rendered his work to be of little to no value.  I would offer up a more detailed review of Beck's "book" but it simply became too painful to wade through all of his B.S.  Yeah, it really was that bad.

Perhaps it would be best for him (and his most devout followers) to go off into their compound of "freedom" and leave the rest of us alone for good.

1 comment:

Naum said...

Recent Daily Show Bit on Beck:
Glenn Beck's Utopia