[The Independent, U.K.]



La Jornada, Mexico

Glenn Beck and the New U.S.-Right: 'Like a Horror Movie'


"Like in a horror movie, the new right in the U.S. finds its driving force in fear. … the Tea Party is the expression of a paranoid delusion."


By Ángel Luis Lara


Translated Halszka Czarnocka


March 30, 2010


Mexico - La Jornada - Original Article (Spanish)

TV commentator Glenn Beck: Igniting a fire on the right and making eyes roll on the left.

Barack Obama travelled the electoral path to the White House posing as an outsider, armed with belligerent rhetoric toward the establishment of his country. The Tea Party underscores its distance from established political parties and proclaims its open hostility toward the political class. Both monsters emerged out of the ongoing crisis surrounding political representation and the parties.


According to a poll commissioned last February by CBS News and The New York Times, 70 percent of Americans are dissatisfied or angry with politicians, and 80 percent think that Congressmen in Washington are more  concerned with satisfying special interests than with solving the problems of the people who elected them.


Disenchanted with the political class and the parties, partisans of the Tea Party find their frame of reference elsewhere: Glenn Beck, an ultraconservative TV commentator, is the central spiritual guide of the movement. “He removed my blindfold and made me see that they're taking away my country,” explains a small fortyish businessman holding a sign that reads: “Thanks, Beck.”


As in a futuristic novel by J.G. Ballard or Philip K. Dick, politicians have been replaced with a TV preacher. Many point out that the most important germ for the Tea Party was the 9/12 Project, a Beck initiative that has sown the country with self-organized citizen groups that seek to "recover the values that America embraced the day after 9/11, when patriotic flag waving and religious unity enveloped the nation.”



“Beck isn't like politicians, he's real,” says the small-framed businessman in his forties. In contrast to politics, which offers fulfillment by forever making promises, the television Beck] produces is current and constitutes the real: it provides you with the fulfillment here and now. While a politician is always an uncertainty, Beck is an unquestionable truth on whom you can trust.


“Our way of life is under attack. Draw a line in sand others will understand and our values remain intact. Let’s Take Back Our Country.” This song springs from the lips of a White guy in his seventies accompanying himself with an acoustic guitar, and sporting an old button on his lapel, “Reagan for President.” This isn't Bela Lugosi in a scene from White Zombie, but a Tea Party activist.


Like in a horror movie, the new right in the U.S. finds its driving force in fear.


To a great extent, this reactionary movement is the result of two intersecting panics: one ethnic, the other of class. In contrast to the United States as such, almost all of the inhabitants of the Tea Party nation are White. A sociologist pointed out recently that the census now under way across the length and breadth of the country will inform the Tea Party militants that they're in the minority. He's mistaken: they already know. Their mobilization is a result of the panic they feel over the unstoppable growth of the immigrant population over recent decades and the current birth rates in the country: more children are being born Black, Latino or Asian than White.   




And yet, the Tea Party is the expression of a paranoid delusion that goes beyond this. A substantial part of the movement are the traditional White working class, which relates to the faded imagery of Fordism and are seized with panic when confronted with the definitive end of the old industrial order.


[Editor's Note: Fordism can be summarized as mass production using unskilled labor]


The AFL-CIO, the most important union federation in the U.S., conducted a poll after the January election in Massachusetts, when Scott Brown, one of the icons of Tea Party, put an end to more than 50 years of Democratic hegemony in that state. The results revealed that most unionized workers supported Brown. AFL-CIO Director Karen Ackerman called what happened in Massachusetts “a working class revolt.”


Incredible but true: the new U.S. right dances to the rhythm of Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger.



blog comments powered by Disqus





























[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US March 31, 3:55pm]


Bookmark and Share