Glenn Beck: "When Mormons go bad, they go REALLY bad. They go socialist." https://t.co/EpTmbebvH2
— McKay Coppins (@mckaycoppins) January 23, 2015
It is fascinating to watch this thing go all over twitter in a matter of seconds, First thing, watch the video, there is no context whatsoever. One must assume from the comments that Beck is commenting on some local Utah issue, but you can’t really tell. Secondly, Beck has his history so, so wrong. His reference to Smoot-Hawley is just bizarre. One, not both, of the sponsors was a Mormon. We did an extensive 5 part review (I – II - III – IV – V) of a book that centers on the seating of Reed Smoot way back when this blog started and there is simply no evidence that its was Smoot’s religious convictions that informed his sponsorship of that ill-fated tariff. Finally there is the point that Beck himself, as almost everyone that responds to Coppins notes, is a Mormon, though he is rumored to be having a crisis of faith. I met Beck at Romney’s “Faith in America” speech back in ’07 and he then seemed a man who knew where the lines were.
One must wonder here if Beck is not the one mixing his “gospel and politics.” Could it be that Beck’s personal issues with his faith are influencing his comments? One must also wonder with his “Tea Party” and “Bush/Romney” mentions if he is not reaching for a convenient stick to throw at candidates that he disagrees with? That is to say, Beck appears to be the one using religion as a political weapon here.
Regardless one thing is certain, and the Twitter response makes this quite plain, if a Mormon with as public a profile as Beck is going to take Mormon swipes like this open war on Mormons in public life has been declared if Romney runs. Beck may have left himself some plausible deniability with the word “when,” but does he honestly think the general press is going to notice that or be so nuanced?
This campaign has not even really started and it’s getting awfully ugly already.