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Glenn Beck: Obama is a Marxist, Great Depression Happened in 1948, and Beck Has The Charts To Prove It

Reported by Alex - January 12, 2010 -

Have you ever seen the movie A Beautiful Mind? The film, starring Russell Crowe, tells the story of mathematical genius and Nobel Laureate John Forbes Nash Jr. and his lifelong struggle with paranoid schizophrenia. A Beautiful Mind shows Nash being recruited by the government to break Soviet codes, a task which consumes him as he begins to see evidence of conspiracies all around him. Much of this evidence appears in code hidden in newspapers and magazines, and Nash is shown circling, cutting out, and pasting clippings all over walls, and connecting them with thumbtacks and string, as evidence of sinister plots only he can see.

Paranoia … conspiracies… connections…charts…sound like anyone we know?

(Updated 1/13)

Last night (1/11) Glenn Beck treated us to yet another paranoid parade of charts and graphs in an attempt to prove something-or-other. What, specifically, he was trying to prove hardly matters since we already know that it all boils down to a conspiracy by Barack Obama and the left to destroy this country and everything it stands for - *choke* I’m sorry, I just love my country *choke* - by introducing socialism and making government slaves out of honest, patriotic, hard-working Americans. Actually, that’s pretty close to what he was saying last night.

Part of Beck’s “proof” that President Obama is a Trojan Horse for “Marxism” is that Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has, in addition to announcing an imminent devalution of the Venezuelan currency :

nationalized big oil; shut down the country's most-watched television network; threatened, fined and intimidated the only other opposition station; shutdown 34 radio stations; took over banks and tried to silence his critics…(see first video)

Beck, using his version of Nash's string and thumbtacks, equates all this with the US bank bailouts, the Fairness Doctrine (which our President has said he opposes), President Obama’s criticism of Fox “News” (I guess he is supposed to play dead while they lie about him) and the infamous statement by Maxine Waters, Representative of California’s 35th Congressional district (with NO position in the Obama administration last time I looked) that “this liberal” (referring to herself) would like to nationalize the oil companies if they don’t guarantee low rates for the consumer in return for new drilling. Oh, and both Obama and Chavez “have declining poll numbers and elections to win this year.” In Beck’s padded cell, all this connects up to mean that President Obama has adopted Hugo Chavez as a role model and that his real aim is to enslave us all to big government so he can maintain power.

Strangely enough for a Fox Noise head, Beck also implicates former President George W. Bush in this evil conspiracy. Well, he has to, because his composite graph of recessions since WW II (third video) – which purports to show that the current recession makes all the others since then look like small potatoes - clearly shows that our slide into the current recession began on Dubya’s watch. But maybe that’s not so odd, since Bush grew the government and spent money like a drunken…president (oops, unfortunate simile!) And there’s just no getting around that fact.

Maybe that’s why Beck looked so agitated during this segment – after all, the truth tends to get up one’s butt, even if it does fit nicely into one’s paranoid fears of total government takeover of our lives. Or perhaps he looked agitated because the composite graph - taken from a site called calculatedrisk.com - was confusing to him. Watch him around the 0:32+ mark, when the light of sanity pierces the swirling darkness of Beck’s mind for a brief moment and he realizes he doesn't really know what he's talking about. Poooor Becko, so flustered – maybe that’s why he thinks the Great Depression took place in 1948 (see 0:21 and 0:50 in the third video) rather than during the 1930's. After all, his chart says so - he thinks!

The movie A Beautiful Mind takes some liberties with the story of John Nash’s life; he didn’t actually paste up newspaper clippings and connect them with strings, for example, though he did suffer paranoid delusions based on the voices in his head, and thought coded messages were planted in the New York Times. Due to his illness he was unable to work for many years, but in 1994 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for a proof he wrote when he was 20 (in 1948), and he later returned to work at Princeton University.

Glenn Beck is no John Nash, searching for truth and symmetry in the higher realms of mathematics. Beck is being paid to have his breakdown in full public view on the teevee, suffering delusions that he is an historian, economist and political philosopher while he is none of these, sweating, ranting, flustering and crying on-screen for sake of the Almighty Dollar. There are those who believe he is genuinely ill and is being helped down the slippery slope by his employers, and there are those who think it’s all a cynical act. The latter would be the ultimate irony – no, let’s call it what it is, evil - because Beck drags millions of gullible Americans right down with him into a paranoid hell every time he rails on the radio or appears on TV. There are actually people who lose sleep at night believing that America is on the verge of destruction at the hands of the scheming Kenyan Obama, and spend their waking hours obsessing over the grand conspiracy they just know is about to culminate in personal ruin for themselves and their loved ones. To think that Beck laughs his way home every evening, having fooled his public yet again, is an evil too horrible to contemplate. I'd prefer to think he was nuts.

John Nash, in his later years, found a way to beat back the voices in his head. Glenn, maybe there’s hope for you, too. Let’s give Professor Nash the final word:

...After my return to the dream-like delusional hypotheses in the later 60s I became a person of delusionally influenced thinking but of relatively moderate behavior and thus tended to avoid hospitalization and the direct attention of psychiatrists. Thus further time passed. Then gradually I began to intellectually reject some of the delusionally influenced lines of thinking which had been characteristic of my orientation. This began, most recognizably, with the rejection of politically-oriented thinking as essentially a hopeless waste of intellectual effort.

(Update: I have added a link to the original source for the chart Beck used in his presentation, which I had mistaken for his own work. In addition, on viewing the original chart I am now able to see that it was indeed constructed logically - which makes it even odder that Beck referred to the 1948 recession as "the Great Depression". I have updated the relevant paragraph to reflect these changes.)

Stills from A Beautiful Mind (Showing Russell Crowe as John Nash)

H/T Media Matters for the videos.

Beck Compares Obama to Hugo Chavez – and look, he has a chart!

Beck: Obama wants to be a slavemaster.

Beck: Great Depression was in 1948