Some of the people I love most in this world are right-wing conservatives. That would include most of my family. I am the red and black sheep of the family. Talking politics when in the presence of my parents and siblings is an invitation to familiar disaster. We all love each other and we share a passion for politics but we stand at opposite polls.
Knowing right-wing conservatives tunes one into what the Archie Bunker crowd is thinking. Lately, conservatives are talking of revolution, rebellion, and taking their country back. This is a chilling prospect. After all, as much as the United States embodies most of what is ugly in modern living, what these would-be revolutionaries want is a return to a fantasized past that makes the Taliban look liberal. They've convinced themselves that "the founding fathers" wanted the United States to be a theocracy. When conjoined with their belief that "the founding fathers", not The People, determine what our society should be like, the implication is that they believe that Christianity ought to be forced down our throats, children should be forced to pray in school, and all non-Christians should shut up or get out.
The difference between this rising wave of would-be revolutionaries and the Taliban, aside from the name they use to refer to their god, is that the Taliban are led by Mohammed Omar and these neo-Christian fascists are led by Glenn Beck. I cannot keep track of the enumerable times that I have heard these new zealots refer to Glenn Beck as "their man." They truly believe that Glenn Beck is leading a revolution - a revolution complete with commercial breaks and tea parties. They fail to even wonder how it could be that a revolutionary leader is paid by a major television network or how it could be that a revolutionary leader refers to himself as an entertainer. Well, perhaps that shouldn't be too surprising since they think Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger are revolutionaries too and that John Wayne was America's greatest hero.
All of this naming of names has a purpose. Yes, I've taken a winding path to get to this place in the essay, but now we are here. Never before have I seen such a poignant example of the old cliché, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." Clearly a televised revolution, commercial breaks and all, has one purpose only: to maintain the status quo. It is not a revolution, it is a reaction. In a time when capitalism is showing its dark side, the ruling class wishes to mobilize Brownshirts to shut the mouths of those who might have something pertinent to say. To conjure up these anti-bodies of the capitalist memeplex, they need to program a mass of ideologically motivated zombies. A necessary component of that project is to choose a useful ideology. Christianity is the ideology they have chosen.
The rising horde of Beckists is forming behind the televised putsch of Fuhrer Beck. You can identify them by the their television sets and car radios. Every waking moment is lived tuned to Fox News and/or Glenn Beck. The reactionary Rupert Murdoch twilight zone is their universe.
All of this has set me thinking. At this point in time, the first truly revolutionary step an American can take is to shut off the television. The television has become the chain that binds us in mental slavery to the ruling class. It is time to shut off the television. It is time to pull the plug on fascism. Yes, it is only a first step, but every long march begins with a first step. Throw out your television. If you love a Beckist, throw out her television too. Once you have done this, start gathering rocks and go from there.