Glen Beck and Sarah Palin didn't start it. They are just the latest example of right-wing extremism, and it has been present in the U.S. for well over a century. But it has learned to hone its presentation to sound more acceptable to the American people. Henry Ford wrote in his "Dearborn Independent" that Fascism, Nazism, and Hitler were all preferable to growing left-wing power. Greed capitalism saw in labor unions and voices of the people a danger to their protected place in American society. Actually, since the Industrial Revolution there has been an ongoing struggle between greed capitalism and left-wing movements. Child labor, tax breaks, slave wages, etc. were the expressions of greed capitalists. Forced equality and socialism were expressions of extreme left-wingers.
However the right-wing political movement in the U.S. has refined its approach. They have had to mask their intentions in order to sell the American people on right-wing extremism. Terms like Fascism and Nazism were seen as foreign and enemy sounding. Cloaking it in God and patriotism worked better here. And so at least since Ronald Reagan's presidency, right-wing politics has tried to present itself as God-fearing, patriotically American, etc. It has snuck under the radar until now it feels comfortable openly challenging minorities and left-wing thought. Unless it is forced to unmask, it will survive and thrive. The Tea Party movement is tailor-made for God and patriotism.
"Many studies have discovered a close link between prejudice and 'patriotism' . . . Extreme bigots are almost always super-patriots." -Gordon W. Allport
"The standardization of mass-production carries with it a tendency to standardize a mass-mind . . . The worst defect of patriotism is its tendency to foster and impose . . . and so to stifle . . . liberty." -J.S. Hobson
The current brand of right-wing extremism left the use of child labor and slave wages behind, and sent that business to foreign countries, often Third World countries. Today it has turned to God. And Beck is adept at calling on God to sanction his brand of right-wing extremism. He is the personification of 21st century Fascism and Nazism ...but doesn't he sound pure and wonderful? Lets look at other attempts to replace democracy with God.
"God had a divine purpose in placing this land between two great oceans to be found by those who had a special love of freedom and courage." -Ronald Reagan [if they were white; American Indians and other minorities need not apply]
"Who says I am not under the special protection of God?" -Adolf Hitler
"Why would we have different races if God meant us to be alike and associate with each other?" -Lester Maddox [leading Georgia politician and defender of racism and separation of races]
"God ordained segregation." -Reverend Billy James Hargis
"God has marked the American people as His chosen nation to finally lead in the regeneration of the world." -Senator Albert J. Beveridge
"All propaganda has to be popular and has to adapt its spiritual level to the perception of the least intelligent of those toward whom it intends to direct itself." -Adolf Hitler
"The great masses of people...will more easily fall victims to a big lie than a small one." -Adolf Hilter [Obama is a Moslem!]
"The Divine Law is against communism." -Earl F. Landgrebe
"Fascist rule prevents worse injustice, and if Fascism goes under, nothing can save the country from chaos: God's cause goes under with it." -Arthur Cardinal Hinsley
"Naturally the common people don't want war...Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought tothe bidding of the leaders...All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism." -Hermann Goering
"One of the great attractions of patriotism -- it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what's more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous." -Aldous Huxley
"No other factor in history, not even religion, has produced so many wars as has the clash of national egotisms sanctified by the name of patriotism." -Preserved Smith
Be careful in what you wish for in America. Those shouting loudest about God and patriotism may be the real devils in disguise. Look what happened to other nations that took God and patriotism as their guides.