One of Glenn Beck's favorite claims about the Tea Party movement -- and the surge of right-wing populism that he's leading -- is that it isn't about parties, it's about being American. And being American, of course, means being conservative.
He was on this briefly again last night:
Beck: Well, the media may be surprised, but I'm not. I think the days when people vote for Democrats or Republicans no matter what -- you know, if it's an R or a D, I'm just gonna pull it -- I think we're seeing the end of those days. For so long, we've bought into the Rs and the Ds -- you know, we're really at a one-party system at this point. We needed to identify ourselves as one or the other, even though it didn't really make a difference. And that label was much more important than the real label we all should have been wearing, and that is, American.
Progressives have put their agenda now into hyperdrive, and it is so crystal clear that their final goal is anything but American.
This claim -- to represent the real America, one that transcends political parties -- is the historic claim of right-wing populists throughout history.
Compare Beck's rant last night with this remarkably similar rant from Father Charles Coughlin, the renowned anti-Semitic radio preacher, in 1936: