Townhall.com, August, 26, 2010
“This isn’t a rah-rah USA kind of thing. This is a sacred reflective spot in our nation… the Reflecting Pool,” said Beck, in an exclusive interview with Townhall.com and Townhall Magazine. “I think if you stand between Lincoln and Washington, spiritually, mentally, morally, we will heal our country.”
Healing his country is at the top of the agenda for the media mogul, who has recently introduced a prayer to his daytime radio show and frequently touches on his spiritual background during his top-ranked cable program. Restoring Honor is one way to propel his talk into action, and to provide a platform for agenda items that he plans on releasing at the rally.
“We have worked very, very hard on something that is extraordinarily delicate and fragile. It will be announced at the end of this, as the beginning of something that I believe will have restorative change as a result,” said Beck. “I don’t mean restore it back 2000, or George Bush, I mean restore us back to where we belong and where we should be as a nation and where we have been very few times in our nation’s history.”
Whatever it is has not been done in 240 years, according to Beck. He did not say if that was a reference to the Badge of Military Merit, issued in 1780, or has something to do with our nation’s founding, in 1776.
The rally will take place between 10 and 2pm, and will include a number of key figures, such as Sarah Palin, singer Jo Dee Messina, and Marcus Luttrell, who was awarded the Navy Cross in 2005. Dr. Alveda King and other African-American leaders will also be in attendance, flying in the face of criticism that Beck is hijacking the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, which took place on the same day and location in 1963.
“There is a revolution coming, whether you like it or not, whether that be a hot revolution or a cold revolution. A revolution is already underway in America,” said Beck. “Now who’s going to win? Is it going to be those who understand the Constitution and our founding principles and know that we have gone off those principles decades ago? Or are we going to throw this baby out with the bath water and say “we have got to try something entirely new”? That’s the question of our age and we better decide which side you are on.”
It’s clear which side Beck is on. Through a mix of Christian theology and political evangelism, he’s established himself as a man who is nothing if not dedicated to our Constitution and a religious order.
“I see this as a George Washington said, ‘Meet me on the battlefield of ideas.’…Does man have a right to decide his own destiny without the coddling of the collective? Does man pay for the sins of the mistakes of his father or for the grandeur of his father does he get reward? Or does a man have to stand on his own two feet and live and die in his own merit with the understanding that there are some, some, in our society that just can’t stand on their own two feet and we have a responsibility to take care of those. Is that where we are headed?”
Perhaps another option is an oligarchy, said Beck. He is especially concerned about the intersection of politics and power. “Or are we headed towards… some sort of controlling government that will only allow man to expand, succeed, and fail just so much. That’s the first battle and that’s the battlefield of ideas,” he said.
Beck has received scores of criticism from those who say the timing of his event – on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech – seeks to overshadow the civil rights movement in a negative or demeaning way. For example, Media Matters has titled the event Glenn Beck’s 8-28 “reclaim the civil rights movement” rally. But Beck is nonplussed.
“I’ve read Martin Luther King’s speeches, I’ve read his sermons, I have listened and respect the words he said, I take him at his face value and that is to follow God, listen to God, be peaceful, but stand for the right of man to be equal and have an equal shot,” said Beck. “That it is not about the color of skin, it is about the content of character. I don’t know if there is going to be a word on stage that Martin Luther King would disagree with.”
One-thousand buses have reserved space in D.C. for the event. By comparison, there were about 3000 buses for President Obama’s inauguration.
Stay tuned for a full transcript of Beck’s exclusive interview with Townhall.