At Salon, Mark Benjamin has a postmortem with video of Saturday’s Glenn Beck extravaganza. The piece underscores the point of the last post, which is that the movement has no cause.
[Update: A number of rightie bloggers, including the genuinely demented William A. Jacobson and this more articulate lady, have objected to the previous post as a mischaracterization of the “movement.” But you know what they can’t do? They can’t refute the premise and define the movement’s cause, because the movement doesn’t have one. It’s a movement that exists to fill a psychological need for a movement, and it’s a movement being bankrolled by people who think they can manipulate the mob for their own ends. And the true believers can’t face up to that.]
Members of the crowd seemed genuinely enthusiastic, but when I talked to them, they uniformly resorted to clichÃ©s to explain what the rally was about.
Gerald Chester, a truck driver from Elkhart, Ind., said he came because of Beck. “What he is about is a good thing, restoring honor,” Chester said. “Bringing God back into American’s lives is important. When asked what attendees should do to accomplish this, Chester replied, “That’s a good question.”
Note that the people in the video do not say anything hateful or crazy, and Mark Benjamin isn’t trying to demonize them. He just gives them an opportunity to explain why they are there. The most interesting thing, I think, is the way people reacted when asked what the movement is calling on them to do; what “call to action” they are hearing. You can see in their faces that the question surprised them. They hadn’t thought it all out that far.
Sorta kinda related — Paul Krugman, “It’s Witch Hunt Season.”