Tea Party and the Right  
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New Study: Tea Partiers Three Times More Likely to Say Violence Is Warranted. Exhibit A: Glenn Beck

When a survivor of the Tucson shooting told a Tea Party leader, "You're dead," he was arrested and committed. Why is Glenn Beck any different?
 
 
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Illustration for this story by News Corpse

I have documented numerous examples of right-wing advocacy of violence, as have many others. But nobody crosses further over the line, or more often, than Glenn Beck. And here is the ultimate display of deliberate hostile intent. It is an overt call for violence and an instruction to viewers:

“Tea parties believe in small government. We believe in returning to the principles of our Founding Fathers. We respect them. We revere them. Shoot me in the head before I stop talking about the Founders. Shoot me in the head if you try to change our government.

I will stand against you and so will millions of others. We believe in something. You in the media and most in Washington don’t. The radicals that you and Washington have co-opted and brought in wearing sheep’s clothing — change the pose. You will get the ends.

You’ve been using them? They believe in communism. They believe and have called for a revolution. You’re going to have to shoot them in the head. But warning, they may shoot you.

They are dangerous because they believe. Karl Marx is their George Washington. You will never change their mind.” ~ Fox News, June 10, 2010

This cannot possibly be justified as acceptable political discourse. This is not merely an expression of opinion. It is not metaphorical. It is a call to arms. And Beck’s audience is listening. They have heard him say that “The country will be washed with blood.” They have heard him warn that he may have to speak in code:

“I fear that there will come a time when I cannot say things that I am currently saying. I fear that it will come to television and to radio, and I will stop saying these things. Understand me clearly. Hear me now. If I ever stop saying these things, you will know why. Because I will have made a choice that I can only say certain things, and I haven’t lost all of the rights. But know that these things are true. And if you hear me stop saying these things, it’s because I can no longer say them to you. But hear them between the sentences. Hear them, please. I will be screaming them to you.

One of those to whom Beck was screaming was Byron Williams who was apprehended following a police shootout as he was on his way to San Francisco to kill people at the ACLU and the Tides Foundation. In a prison interview he said…

“Beck is gonna deny everything about violent approach and deny everything about conspiracies, but he’ll give you every reason to believe it. He’s protecting himself, and you can’t blame him for that. So, I understand what he’s doing.”

That’s right, Byron understands what Beck is doing, and so do I. A new poll by Public Policy Polling reports that 13 percent of Tea Partiers say the that violence against the current American government is justifiable. While that may sound like a small percentage, there are two things to keep in mind: 1) It’s more than three times the percentage of non-Tea Partiers who say violence is justifiable. And 2) It only takes one lone nut to wreak havoc. One lone nut like Byron Williams or, perhaps, Jared Loughner, as we learned in Tucson a week ago.

Let me be crystal clear. I am not associating Loughner to Glenn Beck. There has been no evidence (yet) to link the two. However, there have been other lone gunmen in addition to Williams who were indisputably linked to Beck.

 
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