Ever since Barack Obama’s election, talk show host Glenn Beck has been among the craziest of the crazies when it comes to opposing the president and his policies. Like most of his right-wing colleagues, he hasn’t shied away from accusing Obama of all sorts of wild things and insulting him in almost every way he can think of. But recently Beck has changed his tone a bit.
Last month Beck said that not voting for Donald Trump, even if it means a Hillary Clinton presidency, was a “moral, ethical choice.” And now, in an interview with The New Yorker, Beck says that President Obama has made him “a better man.” Somewhere, Satan just put on his overcoat.
Beck says his transformation came about thanks to Michelle Obama’s New Hampshire speech about Trump’s treatment of women that followed the release of the now-famous Access Hollywood tape. Beck even praised what the First Lady had to say on his radio show, calling the remarks “the most effective political speech I have heard since Ronald Reagan.”
What did Beck like so much about Mrs. Obama’s speech? Believe it or not, some aspects of it reminded him of his idol, Reagan. After noting that Reagan didn’t believe in party or government, but in “the people,” Beck said,
She didn’t say, ‘The government should do X, Y, or Z.’ She said, ‘We,’ ‘Us’—without a political party. ‘We are better.’ ‘We need to stop this.’ It had to do with ‘Who are you as a human being?’
The former disc jockey turned right-wing darling now says he regrets some of the things he has said about the president, including calling him a racist. Beck now admits that as a white man he cannot relate to the black experience and President Obama has helped open his eyes to some of the things African-Americans deal with that white people never encounter.
There are things unique to the African-American experience that I cannot relate to. I had to listen to them.
Wouldn’t it have been nice for him to admit that several years ago? Better late than never, I suppose, as others on the right such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity continue to attack the president with almost every breath they take.
Beck’s experience with Donald Trump has also helped fuel his conversion. In the New Yorker interview, he relates an encounter with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort where he was brought to a guest room to speak on the phone with the alleged billionaire, who was in a nearby room. Beck, whose own sanity has been questioned on occasion, says he left the property with serious concerns about whether Trump might be mentally unstable. He said he considers Trump to be “dangerously unhinged.” Then he added a bit of self-deprecating humor:
And, for all the things people have said about me over the years, I should be able to spot Dangerously Unhinged.
The former darling of the conspiracy-theory crowd now travels with bodyguards to protect him from the people who used to be his fans. Many in the alt-right movement consider him to be a traitor to their cause. And Beck admits he is concerned about them. “These people scare the hell out of me,” he says.
I never thought I’d say this, but Glenn Beck is finally making sense.
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