Conservative radio host Glenn Beck believes that Donald Trump poses a grave threat to democracy. On his program Thursday, Beck ruminated on comments Rush Limbaugh made earlier in the week about how nationalism and populism had overtaken conservatism in the presidential race.
“I hope he is wrong on this because this is the biggest warning about the end of the republic I think I have ever heard coming from Rush Limbaugh,” Beck said. “This means anyone who will wrap themselves in the flag, not on their principles — anyone who will say, ‘I’m just like you and I’ll fix it,’ will overtake the principles.”
Beck went on to tell his listeners that they should be very worried. “Look, we have nothing against Donald Trump as a man,” Beck said. “We don’t. It’s just this is a very dangerous combination and I have been warning against it since Fox. I said keep your eyes open because it will come. The pendulum will swing the other way and it will be bad.
“The only other thing you have to add to that — he’s talking about populism and nationalism. If you add socialism — populism, nationalism and socialism, you have the makings of Adolf Hitler.”
One thing about Trump: He brings out the hyperbole in his critics. Is that just the state of the media today? Or does Glenn Beck really believe, behind closed doors, in his heart of hearts, that Trump could be the next Hitler?
To be fair, maybe he’s not saying that. Maybe he’s just saying that Trump’s phenomenal rise could be compared to the rise of someone like Hitler, or that someone else could use the Trump template to further an evil agenda.
Maybe it really comes down to this. These conservative talkers have made a fortune with President Obama in office. Some of that is bound to go away if a Republican is elected president. It wouldn’t be the least bit surprising if these commentators were secretly praying that Hillary Clinton wins the next election. What could be better for business?
Sorry to say, but the U.S. could use a healthy dose of nationalism right about now. Trump isn’t talking about sending ethnic minorities into exile. He’s talking about enforcing the immigration laws that Obama has seen fit to ignore. He’s talking about restoring the rule of law. Do his positions read like a perfect checklist of conservatism like those of Ted Cruz? Perhaps not, but Cruz ain’t beating Clinton in the general. With Trump, there is a chance.
And chances like this, Beck should well realize, must be seized.