So I recently sat down with my remote to catch up on world events like every responsible citizen does: watching Stephen Colbert. I learned Fox News pundit Glenn Beck is receiving a one hundred year plan from God himself. This plan will reverse the course of American history. We will again become a Christian nation and our nation’s capital will return to its rightful place at the Creation Science Museum in Petersburg, KY as was prescribed in the Federalist papers. (I might have made that last part up.)
Glenn will be sharing God’s plan– his dream– for America at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28th. What is the significance of this date and location? It’s none other than the anniversary and site of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech.”
I’ll leave the low hanging fruit for my Democratic friends to pick, that it’s either delusional or arrogant for Beck to attempt to cast himself as the next MLK. I’ll let others point out the absurdity of a talking head casting himself in the mold of perhaps the greatest Christian hero and martyr in American history. They can point out how Reverend King immersed himself in the Old Testament prophets and the Sermon on the Mount and emerged with a non-violent strategy that freed all of us from a cruel system of hate and oppression and then contrast that with Glenn’s talent of crying whenever he hears or says the word “America.”
I’ll stick to more Republican concerns: Glenn Beck, you are a bad capitalist. Not enough time has passed to cash in on MLK. Don’t you remember how Johnny Carson occasionally attempted a joke about Lincoln’s assassination and nobody in the audience laughed? Johnny would mutter, “It’s still too early, I guess” and then get along with his monologue. This, after over a century of time had passed. Do you really think you can evoke King’s legacy for your own personal profit just fifty years later?
Ask yourself, Glenn, how long was it before Sears started having sales on lawn mowers and bed sheets on President’s Day? That never would have flown in 1869. The Ford Theater didn’t offer matinées and double-features to commemorate the unfortunate tragedy that took place in their boxed seats just last year.
Trust me, Glenn. It’s still too early, even four decades later. The memory of MLK’s greatness is fresh in our minds. America understands his dream remains unfinished and that there is still much work to be done. We’re simply not ready for your dream, not on a day when we should be reflecting on King’s legacy. We’ll misinterpret your genius as a cynical attempt to cash in on the blood of a martyr. That can’t be good for your position on the NYT bestsellers list.
My advice would be to let more time pass. You’re a patient man. It takes a long suffering individual to propose a century’s worth of goals and objectives. Give your plan a century or so to mature, like a fine wine. We might be ready for your vision then. At least if MLK’s dream is complete by then.