02 Sep 2009

Glenn Beck on Van Jones

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In case some of you can’t figure out why so many people like Glenn Beck, here’s probably the best sample you’ll ever get of his show. He goes through and parses remarks that “green jobs czar” Van Jones made back in February, and then at the end plays a clip of Obama saying we need a new domestic security force as strong and as well-funded as the military. And through it all, Beck doesn’t sound like Alex Jones, but instead asks his sidekicks and the audience, “Where am I going wrong here? What am I missing? How is this not evidence of a Marxist takeover of the government?”

Now if you click through the link above, it will take you to a transcript of the segment, but you can also click the audio link which you will need to do, in order to appreciate the Van Jones clips.

In response to a lady asking him if his policies are Marxist (and I couldn’t tell if she meant the question sincerely, or was merely giving him a softball to defuse, the way someone might ask Obama, “Is it true you want to kill old people?”), Van Jones said:

How is that capitalism working for you? How is that capitalism working for you? How is that capitalism working for you this year?

Yes, that’s right, he said that three times in a row. (In fairness, since they were just playing snippets I don’t know if he prefaced that by saying, “No it’s not Marxism I’m advocating.”)

Also, at the end of the Q&A, Van Jones said: “In this stage of the struggle, and I’ll only speak to this stage of the struggle, I’m the best friend capitalism ever had. Thank you very much.” (Note: He might have said “the capitalists ever had,” I’m not sure and don’t want to go find it again. And the transcriber for Beck’s show missed a few other words I noticed, so I don’t want to rely on him/her.) So that’s a little bit creepy, isn’t it? (If you’re not a Marxist, I mean.)

At another point Van Jones said:

And this won’t ‑‑ we have to prepare for this to be a long process even though it probably won’t be. We have to prepare ourselves. We can’t just push the people. We can push the corporations and the politicians, but the people ‑‑ it must be a dance, you know. We have to listen, listen, listen, listen. And then learn. And then co‑lead, try to coauthor a different future with folks. And we have to assume that’s going to take a long time, but sometimes what should have taken another 20 years, Barack Hussein Obama [applause], can take a season.

Now look, let’s take a deep breath here. Just because one particular “czar” in the administration is a self-described communist (and I don’t know if he ever renounced that–here Grist “refutes” the notion by pointing out that Van Jones is currently in charge of government creation of jobs), that doesn’t mean the President of the United States is a communist. I’m trying not to overreact here. For example, suppose Ron Paul had pulled off the impossible and won the election. Presumably he would have sought input from people associated with the Mises Institute, perhaps even putting them on his payroll in some official capacity. Then his opponents would go nuts, saying that the far-right Paul was being given tax advice from self-described anarchists who thought the military and courts should be privatized. In response to the outcry, Paul would truthfully say, “Hey, I’m not an anarchist. The voters know my views; I expressed them on the campaign trail and they put me here in office. Even though I don’t share all the views of [Rothbardian Economist X], he’s a good economist and is helping to ensure that our efforts to scale back the bloated welfare-warfare state go as smoothly as possible.”

So anyway, this is what it is. But if you’ve never really listened to Glenn Beck and are curious to see what the buzz is, I think the clip (and you really have to listen to the audio to appreciate it) linked above is a great sample.

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