Departure of Glenn Beck

He was the second coming of Senator Joe McCarthy and would have made Joseph Goebbels proud. Glenn Beck mastered the world of propaganda by using fear and the Big Lie to amass a following and shift the political balance. How long could he last? Now Beck is leaving Fox News, as his ratings have plummeted. But the damage done to the country is far from over. Read the details at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/will-bunch/it-may-take-27-years-to-u_b_846460.html.

What Beck did so successfully was to paint emotion-laden pictures of ghastly consequences of the policies and views he opposed. He generated fear entirely disproportionate to genuine threats. His positions were so extreme that even those who did not accept his outlandish scenarios were subject to his influence. It’s what Goebbels called the Big Lie, something so large and so dire that people would assume a small fraction of it must be true.

Fear is a powerful and ancient emotion. When we feel afraid, we are unable to feel or think of anything else. Beck was able to arouse a level of fear that effectively shut down his audience’s ability to assess his statements rationally. Whether or not people believed him they figured, “What if he’s right?”

In these times when people are afraid for their economic well-being, worried about threats from overseas, concerned about climate and the depletion of natural resources, Beck was the creative fear-monger who could exploit the fears of many to his own advantage, and influence the political dialogue in America. Even after he leaves the public stage, many will wonder, “What if even a little of what he said was true?”

Fear is that powerful.

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