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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/1/10

Glenn Beck Hates Unions

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Message Stanley Heller

Labor has a problem, a big one. Hater Glenn Beck hates unions. And Beck is popular. The crowd down in D.C. for his "Restoring Honor" rally was huge, over 300,000 by an NBC estimate (another estimated the crowd at closer to 90,000).

In D.C. Beck was all peaches and cream calling for everyone to turn to God. Hundreds of preachers and ministers and a rabbi or two flanked him.

It's on the radio and TV that he unleashes his venom. Some examples:

Nov. 28, 2008. Beck was doing a show on a Broadway stage in Manhattan and claimed he was bedeviled by outrageous union rules that called for breaks. He went into a rant about whether OSHA would let people handle Scotch tape and said, "I've never had to deal with unions before. I hate them. I hate them."

June 23, 2010. "It's not union members who are bad. Union members, please hear this clearly. The union bosses from the beginning, however, had an agenda far different than the typical American blue-collar union worker. Union workers, you are not racists, revolutionaries, or Communists. Maybe some are, but, you know what, some non-union members are as well. But your dues and your fees and your willingness not to recognize who your unions have been from the beginning are empowering Communists, racists and those who will be responsible for destroying our country and then monopolizing it"

In the same show Beck pretended to be a friend of Blacks, giving a "history" of unions with cherry picked quotes "proving" that unions were racist to the core.

On April 12, 2010 he went after pensions, giving this advice to arch budget cutter Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. "He's got to break up the union pensions. Otherwise the State of New Jersey goes out." Beck continued, "You can't have those wages! You can't have those pension packages! You can't retire people and have them live like this forever. You can't do it! We've known that for a long time. So don't act surprised by it. I know it's tough. I know it's awful. But you know what's worse? The entire system shutting down."

Of course, he claims that while he's against unions he is all for workers. Yet when he noticed the recent New York Times article about people who had run out of unemployment after 99 weeks and still he couldn't find work, he went on this tirade:

"Go out and get a job. You may not love the job. Work at McDonald's. Work two jobs". Two years is plenty of time to have lived off your neighbor's wallet." He went on to accuse jobless workers of being anti-capitalist and socialist.

Right. 1,400,000 ninety-niners are going to walk down to Mickey D's and get jobs.

Who is Glen Beck?

Who is this guy? What does he know that gets so many people to listen to him?

We in Connecticut know a bit about Beck. He was a Top 40 DJ in New Haven through most of the 90s. He played songs. He did stunts. He once dressed up as a banana and dove into a pool full of Styrofoam. As far as I can tell he has no education past high school, and no military service. His only jobs have been on radio and TV.

There's no necessary reason to look down on him for this. A person can be self-educated. So what was his education? According to Salon, "As Beck has recounted it in his books and stage performances, his first attempt at self-education involved six writers that formed a strange sort of Great Books program. Beck's curriculum included books by Alan Dershowitz, Pope John Paul II, Adolf Hitler, Billy Graham, Carl Sagan, and Friedrich Nietzsche."

Did he actually read any of those authors (Is Hitler an author)? Who knows, but judging by his passionate outbursts his real education was his recovery from alcohol. He freely admits he was lost to booze. He started going to AA meetings in 1994. What Beck learned from the experience was that you hit bottom and you decide by yourself whether to live or die. "Help" would only mean a bleeding heart offering you to pay your bar bill. And this is what he believes about the economy, about unions, about everything. You help yourself. You pray to a God who has your same primitive outlook. Everything else is Communism.

With Obama's "recovery" stalling badly, millions of people are turning to Beck's alternative. No subsidies. No bailouts. No unions. Let it all fall apart. Let's hit bottom and start off again clean and sober. Welcome back to 1931.

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Stanley Heller writes about the Middle East at www.TheStruggle.org. He writes about the economy, teaching, politics and labor at EconomicUprising.com
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