Is there really a country called Glennbeckistan? No. It's actually a state located on the opposite side of Metaphor Mountain from the paradise we know as Shangri La. But instead of a lush garden where people live in eternal peace and harmony, providing of course they don't leave, Glennbeckistan is a malignant void where the vegetation is all dead and the geology composed of dangerously sharp rocks. After a day or so there your soul begins to shrivel up.
As you approach its border you become increasingly cranky. Once inside any resentment you harbor immediately blossoms into black hatred. Fear thickens into paranoia. The electrical polarity of your brain cells reverses so the process known as critical thinking is degraded into a tendency to be annoyed at anyone and everything different from you. Ultimately you lose your survival instinct and become hell bent on self-destruction.
The founder of Glennbeckistan (also CEO, Grand Poobah, Supreme Commander, and Master-of-All-Sacred-and-Esoteric-Knowledge-That-Can-Be-Written-On-A-Blackboard-In-A-Sentence-Or-Less) is the Foxarian, Glenn Beck.
On the surface the Beckster appears to be an extraordinarily complex fellow -- but once you understand his basic raison d'Ãªtre he's really just another Johnny One Note trying to sell a product.
I can see why he's popular with some folk. He's funny in a fart joke kind of way. Sarcastic. Snide. Makes fun of people's names. Mocks his critics with a never ending stream of juvenile putdowns. It's the kind of wit that would win friends and influence people at the Peter Pan Academy for the Perpetually Puerile. And like any dedicated narcissist he's learned how to manipulate the weak minded and intellectually passive - and manipulate he does.
I don't know if you've ever met any truly sociopathic con men but I have. They shared an eerily hypnotic quality that feels like they're trying to pull your mind in like iron filings to a magnet.
I'm not a psychologist nor do I play one on TV but I do have a theory about these kinds of people. They're incomplete souls. The psychic equivalent to a black hole in space. Due to some unfortunate collision of genes or pre-birth trauma or a serious dose of really bad karma they are fundamentally unsure they actually exist.
It's a horrifying thing to contemplate. Instead of the powerful beings they posture themselves to be, they're pathetic creatures curled up in fetal position in the corner of their minds. Theirs is a primordial, bone raw, center of the universe doubt about their very being.
Never at rest, always in survival mode, they're perpetually trying to prove themselves to themselves -- usually at someone else's expense.
There's none of that I-am-my-brother's- keeper business with this gang. Whatever love or compassion they feel never makes it across the event horizon of their psyches. These guys are on the fast train to Me, Mine, More 24-7.
It's an existential hunger so gluttonous that it is impossible to satisfy. If it was physical they'd all end up weighing five hundred pounds.
Imagine being trapped in an endless field of quicksand. No islands of hope. No shoreline of possibility. In order not to be sucked down into oblivion you reach out in abject terror and grab everything and everyone around you -- like the drowning man who tries to save himself by climbing up on top of the lifeguard.
Beck doesn't have the juice of true madmen like Hitler or Rasputin or the genius of Machiavelli, but he does have the advantage of a broad reach and constant repetition. Even with a mediocre talent, if you lay the same line of BS on your audience day after day you'll eventually convince some of them to buy what you're selling.
Of course, Glennbeckistan would be unpopulated if not for people who are drawn to these kinds of negative roll models like moths to the flame. Like so many on the right their lives are fear based so they gravitate to the egotistical and bombastic because amped-up personalities make them feel safe and secure - as if Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly would ever raise a finger to save them from anything.
It reminds me of the power the street pimp lords over his stable of hookers. He picks needy kids, many of whom have run away from abusive homes, convinces them that he really cares, will protect them, and invites them to become part of his "family" - all the while forcing them into dangerous situations where they're expected to debase themselves for his personal profit.
In other words, he convinces them to work (vote) against their own self interests. Sound familiar?