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Beck Calls On Imaginary Grandparents To Attack The Census

Reported by Guest Blogger - June 11, 2010 -

Guest blogged by Democritus

Monday (6/7/10) was “What Would Your Grandparents Say?” Day on the Glenn Beck program as Beck asked himself - and answered for himself - the same question in relation to a number of topics in the news. First off, Beck used his imaginary grandparent(s) to attack one of his favorite targets, the U.S. Census.

Beck claimed to wonder what our grandparents would say about the government hiring over 400,000 temporary census workers. But he made no attempt to find out the answer, other than to just offer more of his own views, disguised as "theirs."

Well, Glenn, I’m sure there are plenty of grandparents who would agree that the people must be counted so that your beloved democracy accurately represents its people. This is one right-wing conspiracy theory that I do not understand: the supposed danger derived from and the so-called corruption of the national census. The only conclusion to which I can come is that the expansion of representation in the Congress is threatening to conservatives because of the increasing Hispanic population, which the Right has failed tremendously at courting; a situation made worse by the most recent immigration law passed in Arizona.

Beck went on to list the number of employees in other industries like the “oil and gas extraction industry, which is about 165,000 jobs,” or “How about electronic and appliance stores? …You know how many appliance-store workers we have? 480,000… You take a train, you can know that there are 216,000 people backing you up… The air transportation industry (has 456,000 employees).”

Apparently, Beck forgot that 72% of all households in the U.S. received, completed, and returned their census, while approximately 30% failed to do so. That 30% equals more than 30 million households, which is a lot of households. I imagine, and I have about as much authority as Beck does on the subject, that our grandparents would find the use of so many census workers to be necessary to cover the number of homes that failed to return the census.

Ultimately, I imagine our grandparents would be fine with the use of temporary census workers to collect the information that fell through the sieve of little time, lost forms, or any other problem that Americans may face in their day to day life during this Great Recession. Heaven forbid the government hire out-of-work Americans to perform a duty necessary for the continuing function of our democracy, and an honorable one at that. It always amuses me the way conservatives malign government employees, people doing the day-to-day, hard work needed to keep our society functioning.

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