So yesterday, Glenn Beck traveled to Iowa to endorse Ted Cruz.
I have mixed feelings about Glenn Beck. There are occasions where he appears to be lucid and insightful — even downright brilliant. Then, seemingly without warning, he shifts gears and I suddenly find myself hoping his staff are keeping all sharp object away from him.
But since I took some time to give some thoughts on Palin endorsing Trump, I thought I should at least comment on Beck endorsing Cruz.
Like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck was a very instrumental force within the conservative counterculture that emerged after Obama’s election. And like Palin, Beck has lost some of that influence over the last few years.
Also like Palin, Beck is a flawed human being who sometimes says things or does things that leave me scratching my head in confusion.
Beck has not made a secret of his support for Ted Cruz, nor has he been quiet about his ambivalence over Trump.
I’ll be honest, I can only take small doses of both Beck and Palin. Each of them, in their own way, kind of make me want to suck a tailpipe if I am exposed to too much of either.
Many Cruz supporters have voiced some concern about Cruz not just accepting Beck’s endorsement, but choosing to campaign with him. I get it. Glenn Beck can be, well, volatile — that’s the word I’d use to describe Beck. He’s like an unstable chemical mixture that could, if handled correctly, be completely useful, but, if mishandled in any way, could explode in your face.
For each positive thing about Glenn Beck, there is an equal and opposite negative thing. The same, I believe, that could be said about Sarah Palin.
I don’t think Cruz shot himself in the face by campaigning with Beck for a lot of the same reasons I don’t think Trump hobbled himself by his use of Palin’s endorsement. The truth is endorsements just don’t have the same kind of impact they once did. I think the number of people who will decide to vote for either Trump or Cruz based on Palin or Beck is probably infinitesimal.
Ted Cruz, by all accounts, is a gracious and respectful man — which I believe was on display in his gracious response to Palin’s endorsement of Trump. He didn’t attack or criticize Palin. He didn’t accuse her of stabbing him in the back. Nor did he accuse her of being a fading celebrity who wanted to hitch her wagon to the guy with the most name recognition. In that same way, Cruz showed the same kind of gratitude and respect toward Glenn Beck in accepting his endorsement.
“Glenn is a good friend and a fearless and reliable conservative,” Cruz said in a statement on his website. “Glenn has been a relentless fighter for liberty, for limited government, and for restoring the country we all love so much. His powerful voice and passion played a critical role in my Senate victory and I am now proud to have him in our corner in 2016.”
Some may say Cruz should have distanced himself from Beck because of Glenn’s occasional kookiness.
But consider this. All of us were deeply critical of how quickly Obama would toss people under the bus who might harm his winning the White House — the way he distanced himself from Jeramiah Wright and Bill Ayers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not comparing Glenn Beck to Jeramiah Wright. My point is, Obama showed no loyalty. He was a cold and perfidious opportunist.
If Cruz had chosen to distance himself from Beck, I would have thought the same thing about him. It would have shown him to be a fair-weather friend who would jettison anyone that he perceived would hurt his campaign. Cruz’s loyalty to Glenn Beck and gratitude for Beck’s work in helping him win the Senate should be commended, not criticized. There’s so little loyalty anymore.
Will there be people who are turned off to Cruz because of Beck’s endorsement? I doubt it. My guess is, the people who despise Cruz now will despise him more. And the people who support Cruz will continue to support Cruz. Much like Palin’s endorsement of Trump, I don’t see it moving the needle much.
Before I close, there is one thing that just frosts my Pop-Tart about the news of this endorsement.
Several conservative websites are intimating in their headlines that Glenn Beck announced that he would support Bernie Sanders over Donald Trump.
Now, I couldn’t find the quote where Beck said, “I’d vote for Sanders over Trump.” And, naturally, none of these websites that intimated such were kind enough to provide it.
Beck didn’t say it.
This is the actual quote (from the Hill):
“Honesty, faith and truth are basic requirements. And quite honestly, I have to tell you, this probably isn’t going to go over very well, that’s why I like Bernie Sanders,” he said. “Bernie Sanders is like, ‘Yep, I’m a socialist.’
“I can actually sit at a table with a man who says, ‘Yes, I’m a socialist, and yes, I don’t like what we are doing, we should be more like Denmark,’” he added.
“What we really need in America is, enough of these politicians who are telling us what we want to hear, hiding behind fancy language, and actually have a debate between a constitutionalist like Ted Cruz and a socialist like Bernie Sanders.”
I agree with Beck on this: I would love to watch Ted Cruz debate Bernie Sanders. That would be awesome. In fact, both Cruz and Rubio could systematically dismantle Bernie’s entire house of cards with such laser-like effectiveness, it would be a thing to behold.
But I disagree with Beck on this: I don’t like Bernie Sanders. He’s a cranky, angry curmudgeon who has absolutely no earthly idea how the real world operates. He is an economic illiterate who has been given an enormous megaphone from which to showcase his economic ignorance delivered on a cloud of bellowing anger. Fortunately for him, most college-age and twenty-something voters have been deprived of the education necessary to know that Bernie Sanders is an economic ignoramus, so they’re eating it up with a spoon.
So, no. Unlike Beck, I do not like nor respect Bernie Sanders.
But read what Beck said and you’ll see that he did not say “I’m going to vote for Bernie Sanders over Trump.” But that is exactly what is being implied on a number of conservative, Trump-friendly websites. Trust me, guys. Glenn Beck is able to say something off-putting all on his own without you guys putting words into his mouth in order to fan the flames of anger against everyone who is not in Trump’s corner. It’s petty and disingenuous.
I have no doubt that Glenn Beck loves this country and is devoted to restoring the Republic. None whatsoever. Does he have his bizarre moments? Um. Yes. He does.
But he did not say he would support Sanders over Trump.
Can we at least try to maintain some semblance of intellectual honesty here? If we don’t, we’re no better than the Leftists in the Democrat Party.
You know. The people we should be trying to defeat?
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RANT: Politics & Snark in the Age of Obama,
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