In a stunning interview with The New Yorker, Glenn Beck has admitted that he and those like him contributed to the rise of Trump. However, that isn’t the most shocking admission he made. Beck also claims that President Barack Obama has left him a changed man, for the better:
“I did a lot of freaking out about Barack Obama.” But, he said, “Obama made me a better man.” He regrets calling the president a racist and counts himself a Black Lives Matter supporter. “There are things unique to the African-American experience that I cannot relate to,” he said. “I had to listen to them.”
The thing that is the most important here, though, is that it took his interactions with Donald Trump to remove his blinders when it came to both President Obama and Hillary Clinton. Not many were harsher than Beck when it came to their imaginary sins, but it was only when he was confronted with a real danger, a man who is actually “dangerously unhinged,” that Beck able to see past his preconceptions.
He told a story of Trump summoning him to a guest room at Mar-a-Lago; Trump then telephoned him from an adjacent room. “We had this weird, almost Howard Hughes-like conversation,” Beck said. He left convinced that Trump was nuts. “This guy is dangerously unhinged,” he said. “And, for all the things people have said about me over the years, I should be able to spot Dangerously Unhinged.” [The New Yorker]
But that wasn’t all it took to get Beck to this point; First Lady Michelle Obama helped. Her speech following Trump’s infamous “grab ’em by the p*ssy,” tape spoke to him. Her words moved Beck in a way that made a real difference. It made him see that, while he disagreed with Hillary Clinton on a lot of things, and while he had been very negative about the Obamas in the past — no decent person could see Trump in any other light than unfit:
The First Lady ripped into Trump’s comments, calling them “disgraceful” and “intolerable,” and adding, “It doesn’t matter what party you belong to—Democrat, Republican, Independent—no woman deserves to be treated this way.” Beck was mesmerized. On his radio program that day, he heralded Obama’s remarks as “the most effective political speech I have heard since Ronald Reagan.”
“Those words hit me where I live,” Beck said the other day. He was speedwalking up Eighth Avenue with his wife, son, and daughter, all in from Toronto. “If you’re a decent human being, those words were dead on.”
When you are hearing this from Beck, a right-wing pundit often used in liberal circles to define “Right Wing Nut Job”, it should serve as a wake up call to everyone, regardless of political affiliation. Trump is a threat, and if the farthest of the far right can see him as a danger that must be voted against, every one of us should be able to.