Was there ever a man who was wrong more often about more stuff than Glenn Beck? I know history has its share of demagogues, but Beck is certain to go down as one of the most profoundly prolific. Yesterday, he revived an old meme that conservative politicians love to lob around -- that the green movement is trying to indoctrinate your children! Trying to turn them against you! Even, as Beck exclaims in the video above, trying to get them to kill you! His target? Powershift, the event that gathers thousands of young climate and clean energy leaders from around the nation.That's the tenuous link Beck tries to draw between the radical movements of the 60s, including the Weather Underground from which he draws his quote, and the extraordinarily peaceful gathering of college students and community leaders at Powershift. You see, one of the keynote speakers at Powershift was Beck's favorite punching bag, Van Jones -- a maniac who thinks we should be working to give the underprivileged access to clean energy and green jobs.
If he would permit himself to be honest for just a second or two, even Beck himself would admit that linking 60s-era Bill Ayers and modern era Van Jones is beyond ludicrous. Ayers called for radical action and bombed government buildings, while Jones called for ... getting solar panels for poor people. That madman.
And the part that Beck seems to take most offense to -- Jones imploring students to discuss clean energy issues honestly with their elders -- was anything but a call to be disrespectful to authority figures, as Beck portrays it. Anything but. Here's what Jones really said:
"You have the opportunity to say to your uncle Joe, "Excuse me, sir, don't you believe in liberty? And if you do, how can you live in a country where every American is forced to be an energy consumer for the rest of our lives? Shouldn't we have the right as Americans to be energy producers?"
Pretty radical stuff. Thank goodness the vast majority of America has come to see that it's Beck who's unhinged (he'll soon be leaving Fox News to plummeting viewership and nearly nonexistent ad revenue streams) not the leaders like Jones who are doing honest work to secure a more sustainable future.
More on Powershift
10000 Students Take to DC Streets, Calling for Action on Climate
Powershift 2011 Kicks Off in Washington DC
Bill McKibben at Powershift 2011: "It's Not CO2 That Rules the Day, It's Money"