Glenn Beck and his rowdy crew

Sep 25th, 2009 | By | Category: Blogs

Glenn_Beck_fans_by Jason McGill

How about this great new website?  I love it.  I wasn’t blogging here as much before, mainly because the old format would have put my blogs up on the front page, knocking out other stories.  Now maybe I’ll feel free to post more.

Anyway, there’s been a lot of hoopla lately about President Carter attributing much of the fervor at the 9-12 march to racism.  Some have suggested there people are misinformed, and so driven to fear by ideologues. I think the media that have taken the protests seriously have focused on opposition to Obama and the Democrats.

But classifying the protest in any one way, or even characterizing it as mostly this or that cannot be done. Glenn Greenwald has an excellent post (again!) about the confusion surrounding Glenn Beck’s political views and his followers.

I think there are legitimate complaints and anger being expressed there, but that anger is channeled through such a broad spectrum of political language that it’s hard to know what they are arguing for. If you argue for small government and against domestic spying, is that left or right?  Against corporate welfare and for laissez faire economics?  GOP leaders were quick to hop up on stage and speak to the crowd, but many of the protesters opposed the vast increase in government during the Bush years.

Just as the left has been wrestling for years with frustration with trying to work through the Democratic party to get things done, I think there is a small, perhaps incoherent, but growing voice on the right, distinct from movement conservatives, close to libertarians, that are dissatisfied with the GOP.

The thing is, I think both these groups have much the same complaints about government. That it’s corrupt.  That it doesn’t answer to the people.  That it’s wasteful. That it serves largely to take money from the poor and middle class and give it to the rich. That there is too much influence by powerful special interests on government.

I really think each side, right and left, can look across at each other and see much of the same argument. I think they can look over and perhaps say, “Those guys are right for the wrong reasons.” How long will we be bogged down in the reasons?  How long until the struggle between the haves and have-nots, the elites and the ordinary citizens, bubbles to the surface to transcend the system of labels that serves the status quo?

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