We all like to think we’re special, even if we don’t want to admit that we think we’re special. And as much as I detest the ideas it stands for, this is part of the reason conservative talk radio has been so successful. It makes Americans listening to it feel that the beliefs they hold make them special and set them apart from the rest of the country.
Glenn Beck is a master at this. I’ve listened to him again recently, and it’s amazing how talented he is at what he does. Human beings, especially in a world as fast-paced and confusing as ours, have a deep desire for meaningful existence, and Glenn plays that desire like a boss. He tells his followers that they are soldiers in a war. He tells them that God created them for a purpose. No matter how small and insignificant they might feel, they have a job to do. They were meant to be here to help the cause. Now, “helping the cause” usually means sending money to Glenn and purchasing something he is selling, but that’s just how this higher cause works–it needs your cash.
So, slimy and manipulative in the worst way? Yep, but I can’t completely knock that kind of evil genius. If only I was as good at using my dark superpowers, and with the same financial results!