Seven years ago, Glenn Beck sat on the set of “Fox & Friends” and announced that he was pretty sure that President Obama had “a deep-seated hatred for white people.” On countless episodes of his show on Fox News, Beck tirelessly exposed the vast left-wing conspiracy on his chalkboard to prove the newly elected president was actually a Marxist dictator, hell-bent on overthrowing our country.
Today, Glenn Beck says he was wrong.
In an interview with The New Yorker, Beck admits he went a little insane after Obama was elected:
I did a lot of freaking out about Barack Obama. But, Obama made me a better man.
Beck says he also regrets calling Obama a racist, and now counts himself as a member of the Black Lives Matter movement.
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Beck says what changed his mind about the Obamas is when he clicked on a video of Michelle Obama’s speech after the infamous “Access Hollywood” video of Trump was released and was completely mesmerized, saying on his radio show that her speech was “the most effective political speech I have heard since Ronald Reagan.”
Beck said when Michelle called Trump’s admission to sexually assaulting women “intolerable” and “disgraceful” and her plea to decent people from any party to disavow his behavior towards women struck a chord in him:
Those words hit me where I live. If you’re a decent human being, those words were dead on.
Beck said Michelle almost invoked a Reagan-esque view of the country with a more populist message rather than speaking from her political party:
She didn’t say, ‘The government should do X, Y, or Z.’ She said, ‘We,’ ‘Us’—without a political party. ‘We are better.’ ‘We need to stop this.’ It had to do with ‘Who are you as a human being?’ ‘How do you view women?’ Brilliant speech. That was a moment that transcended all political thought.
According to Beck, Donald Trump also played a role in his slow realization that put the President into better perspective. Beck says Trump summoned him to a room at Mar-a-Lago and then phoned Beck from an adjacent room and held a conversation that convinced him the Republican nominee was completely bonkers:
We had this weird, almost Howard Hughes-like conversation. This guy is dangerously unhinged, and, for all the things people have said about me over the years, I should be able to spot Dangerously Unhinged.
Beck says Trump’s supporters also “scare the hell” out of him, saying that the alt-right sees him as a traitor and sends him death threats. Beck was initially a Ted Cruz supporter in the primary and never fell in line behind Trump after he was announced the party’s nominee. This led to some soul-searching on Beck’s part and he admits he’s reaping what he has helped sow:
We’ve made everything into a game show, and now we’re reaping the consequences of it.
So much of what I used to believe was either always a sham or has been made into a sham. There’s nothing deep.
It takes a certain amount of bravery to admit when you’re wrong, especially considering how rabid Trump supporters are, but we’re glad Beck can see the good in people he once hated. It’s somewhat gratifying to see someone like Beck try to move away from the dark side. But he gets nothing more than an unenthusiastic golf clap from me.
Beck is among those like Sarah Palin and Sean Hannity who have spoon fed a good portion of our nation conspiracy theories, lies, fear, ignorance, and outrage. Beck cheered the rise of the Tea Party nightmare. He had his audience freaking out and buying meal rations and gold and learning to survive in the wilderness because he was convinced President Obama would usher in the apocalypse.
Beck and company have cheered on obstructionism, they booed good-for-America policies, and have left this country utterly unrecognizable. So it’s just a little less than bittersweet Beck decides only now that we’re on the brink of facing a Trump presidency that he decides to try out being rational and decent for a change.
So the only question left to ask is, “What the f*ck took you so long, Glenn!?”