The Corner

Politics & Policy

Wait, How Did Glenn Beck Help Create Donald Trump?

CNN’s Chris Cuomo – brother of the current Democratic governor of New York, and son of the past Democratic governor of New York — asks Glenn Beck of The Blaze if he played a role in the rise of Donald Trump:

“Is there a little bit of reap-what-you-sow in some of this with the GOP, that engendering an oppositional mode towards government, in ratcheting up negativity as a mainline discourse, you wound up somewhat birthing Donald Trump?” Cuomo asked.

That’s a reasonable suggestion… as long as you know absolutely nothing about either of these two men.

Wait, broadcasting-live-from-Dallas, former wacky morning deejay Glenn Beck “somewhat birthed” Donald Trump? Beck, the Mormon who talks openly and frequently about his faith, who writes syrupy novels about Christmas sweaters, and uses his program to host in-depth discussions about the history of the progressive movement?

How does a television show host who’s obsessed with the Founding Fathers beget a political figure who is post-Constitutional?

How does a talk show host so closely associated with the Tea Party movement get held responsible for the Republican candidate who’s anti-entitlement reform, pro-infrastructure spending, and pro government-funded health care for everyone?

How did the guy who gets mocked for crying all the time beget Trump, who boasts he didn’t even cry much as a baby?

Sure, Glenn Beck called for a secure border and opposed a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in his Fox News days. But he’s also the guy who raised about $2 million to help take care of those children coming over the border illegally. Beck’s got a big heart that he wears on his sleeve, for good or for ill. Sure, both men are “theatrical,” but their styles – and ideologies – are completely different.

There were days Beck can be terrifyingly over-the-top – pouring fake gasoline over a tied-up guest! – and there are times his worry of the day turns out to be terrifyingly prescient. In 2011, Media Matters scoffed that Beck’s number one “conspiracy theory” was the emergence of “a Muslim caliphate” that would “control the Mideast and parts of Europe.” Ha-ha! What a loon!

Cuomo’s contention that Beck somehow created Donald Trump’s phenomenon suggests he cannot tell the difference among any two figures to his right. 

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