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How Glenn Beck's Twisted Worldview Goads Disturbed People into Acts of Violence

Glenn Beck’s inflammatory rhetoric has been tied to a number of violent attacks and threats against Beck's targets and other public figures.

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Beck has suggested that the Obama administration is looking for a “Reichstag moment” that it would use to seize military power and put an end to democracy. But that’s not the worst charge: Beck has said that the progressives -- or, in his mind, communist revolutionaries -- in the administration are willing to pursue their goals with genocidal violence resulting in millions of deaths. "The revolution of 1776 was a picnic compared to what the revolutionaries of today would like to do,” he charged, “It’s not a lot of fun. Usually millions of people die.” Here’s more:

“Great and powerful evil is on our doorstep…it is starting all over again…it shows you how close we came to falling into the same kind of trap that Europe did, that led to 70 million dead in China, led to 40 million dead with Stalin, 10 million dead by Hitler. We were this close. The progressive movement, it’s the same thing, we know better than you, we’re smarter than you…it’s not about freedom, don’t let them lie to you, it’s not about democracy, it is about control.”

On his June 10 show, Beck warned that "anarchists, Marxists, communists, revolutionaries, Maoists" have to "eliminate 10 percent of the U.S. population" in order to "gain control." They couldn't achieve such a goal when Richard Nixon was president, Beck stated, because "the family was together" and the government under Nixon "wasn't as corrupt as it is now." Beck added: "Now they can. Now they can."
On a smaller scale, when speaking to a woman who called in fearful that the Obama administration will want to kill her because she’s going on disability, Beck agreed that they would.

Beck frequently charges that the left is planning to provoke violence in America to achieve its aims. As Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank put it, “Beck has at times spoken against violence, but he more often forecasts it.” Beck has said that progressives support "armed insurrection," and that President Obama is "poking and prodding" the Tea Party to violence.

  • “I believe these are the most dangerous two years of our republic. Because in the end, in revolutions, the real dangerous killers show up when things start to fall apart. When the nudge moves to shove, and the shove doesn't work, the killers show up. It happens every time. That's why we must be united for peace, we must be united with love, we must be united with God." [ The Glenn Beck Program,9/27/10]
  • “Violence will come. And violence will come from the left. Violence is part of the plan. Not mine, not yours." [ The Glenn Beck Program, 9/13/10]
  • "I fear a Reichstag moment, a -- God forbid -- another 9-11, something that will turn this machine on, and power will be seized and voices will be silenced. God help us all.'' [Newsmax.com, 10/7/09]

Beck even twisted straightforward comments by former administration official Van Jones encouraging progressives to advocate for their priorities with the administration into a revolutionary plot. In Beck’s telling, Jones told activists “you have to force the president to do what he knows he has to,” which is reminiscent of a story about Franklin Delano Roosevelt telling an advocate, “I agree with you, now make me do it.” But in Beck’s hands it becomes code for the 1957 Czech revolution with “bad guys” orchestrating riots and violence so that the average people would support an authoritarian response.

“The far left needs the violence…they create chaos…they’re all infiltrated in the government… the government can swoop in to fix the problem.”

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