Predictably, Jonah Goldberg has nothing but positive things to say about Glenn Beck’s extravaganza (LA Times, “Glenn Beck’s ecumenical moment”) Whereas we at TOO lament the fact that massive crowds of White people who are worried about their future are being lulled to sleep by this new Elmer Gantry, Goldberg shows his neocon heart by being thrilled that Beck isn’t really trying to get at the real issues that are causing deep anxiety and anger among Whites:
While the crowd was preponderantly white, the message was racially universal — on the stage and in the crowd. When Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie asked a couple whether as “African Americans” they felt comfortable in such a white audience, the woman responded emphatically but good-naturedly. “I’m not African, I am an American … a black American.” She went on to say “these people” — i.e. the white folks cheering her on — “are my family.”
This is the dream of a multicultural America where everyone gets along just like one big happy family. It’s the impossible dream that ignores racial realities, such as IQ differences that inevitably result in racial stratification in the absence of enormous, resentment-inducing government efforts. And it ignores the other results of research on the reality of multicultural societies: less social cohesion and increased social conflict; reduced contributions to public goods like health care and a general loss of trust.
The pathetic thing is that Beck is leading the charge into this impossibly harmonious future under the banner of conservatism.
As a neocon Jewish intellectual, Goldberg is horrified at any suggestion that Whites will begin to define themselves as White and seek to advance their interests: “I confess, if Beck wasn’t a libertarian, I would find his populism terrifying. But his basic message, flaws notwithstanding, is that our constitutional heritage largely defines us as a people, regardless of race, religion or creed.”
In other words, Beck is fine because he believes in the proposition nation. That’s the ticket to media success: There is a certain amount of leeway on acceptable attitudes, but don’t rock the boat on the proposition nation thing. That’s the litmus test of acceptability.