In case you’ve bought a faux-patriot-douche filter for your media intake, Glenn Beck held a “Restoring Honor” rally a weekend ago on the place and anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream Speech.”
Finally, all the hoards of frightened white people who make up the Tea Party had a place to honor the MLK by whining about how the liberals are Jim-Crowing all their rights to treat Muslims and immigrants as second-rate humans, and live in a tax and government free theocracy. Dr. King would be so proud.
When asked by the media what the hell “Restoring Honor” meant, Glenn replied,
“Most of the reports seem to completely miss the mark of what I’ve named it. Honor. “Restoring Honor.” Merit. I mean, how much more obvious? How are you missing this? Merit, honor.”
Oh, right, restoring America’s merit. Honor. Its ability to hold its metaphorical head up for not selling the family farm to those evil strip mall developers!
Of course what they mean is getting back to the “good ol’ days,” of morality and common sense! All the way to when they walked to school barefoot with their sisters on their back and churned their own butter and a man could be a man and a woman could cook dinner for that man. Yes, this rally was essentially one big lecture from your kind of racist grandparents about how much the neighborhood has changed.
“We want to go back,” they say, “to before America took a wrong turn!” But no one can articulate what this wrong turn looks like, what, specifically, this “cancer” of “progressivism” has wrought. Surely they don’t mean to return to the recession of G. Dubbs and the rise of reality television shows. Not the blow-joby Clinton days with Britney Spears dancing in a Catholic School girl outfit and PSAs about AIDS. Maybe they long for the recession of Bush The First, or the moral fortitude of the corporate, cokey eighties, when greed was good and financial deregulation was booming but then busting. Not the 70’s, after all that was Roe V. Wade, that was Watergate and the gas crisis and Women’s liberation. Perhaps the sixties? Free Love? The Cuban Missile Crisis? Assassinations left and right?
I have a sneaky suspicion they mean the fifties. And sure, it’s easy to idealize a time that’s been best preserved in black and white TV shows about perfect mothers and hard-working fathers and little boys who catch frogs. And there was more modesty, more decorum. People wrote “thank you” notes. Pot roasts and stuff. But let’s not forget that the fifties were only good for some people. As a country we were still pretty much treating black people and women and anyone who wasn’t a straight, white, Christian male like shit. While I’m not surprised that the kind of people who hate on ACORN and health care and listen to Dr. Laura conveniently misremember exactly how perfect this country was back then, those are not values we ought to be returning to.
P.S. Hey look at that delightful illustration! The most wonderful Kate Elizabeth has agreed to draw me some drawrrings for my posts sometimes. Check out her work and make her famous!