Back in July, Democracy Corps released a truly fascinating analysis of the Tea Party movement that included their well-researched assessment of Tea Partiers' take on Glenn Beck:
Mr. Beck has started his Beck University to disseminate his political and religious philosophy, along with his own version of American history that is often curiously at odds with most scholars'. So from whose writings does Glenn Beck draw his theories?
This affinity for Beck came through very clearly in the focus groups. The only news source that participants said they could trust was Fox. Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity were cited as people who “are not afraid to tell it like it is” and support their arguments with solid facts. Beck was undoubtedly the hero in these groups. Participants consider him an “educator” (in contrast to the popular Rush Limbaugh who is an “entertainer”) who teaches people history and puts himself at risk because he exposes the truth. In the words of a woman in Ft. Lauderdale, “I would trust my life in his hands.”
|W. Cleon Skousen|
So, who's W. Cleon Skousen? According to that fine representative of the liberal media, Salon, the late Mr. Skousen was "a right-wing crank whom even conservatives despised." Among many other books, Mr. Skousen published 5,000 Year Leap, which Mr. Beck often waves around at public gatherings. Salon's Alexander Saitchik has this to say about the book:
"Leap," first published in 1981, is a heavily illustrated and factually challenged attempt to explain American history through an unspoken lens of Mormon theology. As such, it is an early entry in the ongoing attempt by the religious right to rewrite history. Fundamentalists want to define the United States as a Christian nation rather than a secular republic, and recast the Founding Fathers as devout Christians guided by the Bible rather than deists inspired by French and English philosophers.Here's what Mr. Beck, himself, has to say about the book.
The first thing you could do, please, is get the 5,000 Year Leap. Over my book or anything else, get the 5,000 Year Leap. You can probably find it in the book section of GlennBeck.com, but read that. It is the principle. It is so easy to read. It's the book Ronald Reagan wanted taught in high schools and Ted Kennedy stopped it from happening. That should tell you all you need to know. It is so easy to understand. When you read these principles, your mouth will fall open. You'll read it and you'll be -- the scales will fall off your eyes on who we are. Please, number one thing: Inform yourself about who we are and what the other systems are all about. 5,000 Year Leap is the first part of that. Because it will help you understand American free enterprise. You'll be able to defend it. You'll be able to know what makes it possible for 6% of humanity living under our free economy to produce 1/2 of the Earth's developed wealth every single year....And here's some of what Dr. Wilenz writes about 5,000 Year Leap in his New Yorker article.