We all know how Glenn Beck feels about environmentalists -- his standard line holds that they're some kind of undercover socialist agents looking to overthrow the American way of life. That's not an exaggeration, either -- that is essentially the message that he sends to his audience on a daily basis. But not only are environmentalists plotting, global warming hoax-ifying radicals, but they're scary, violent ones, too. So scary, in fact, that they just might strangle you in your sleep. His words. Note the dim lights, Beck's somber tone, the way he calmly but authoritatively looks out at you over the glasses perched on his nose. This is a matter of grave consequence, ladies and gentlemen -- environmentalists really might try to kill you if we're not careful. Fear them. All of them.
And that's really the only thing I want to talk about here -- the fierce generalizing. Obviously, Beck's factless rantings have been pored over enough -- if you still believe him to be a good source of information at this point, it's likely that nothing will change your mind. But it's interesting to note his methodology; casting in broad strokes an ill-defined group as being nefarious and dangerous. The man is framing his assertion under the auspice that anyone who professes to prioritize caring about the environment could do you harm -- perhaps he's hoping the memory of Discovery Channel hostage taker James Lee is still fresh enough in everyone's minds.
When he's reading the headlines and quotations from each of the stories -- some of which are certainly over the top and ridiculous themselves -- it seems to almost make a certain kind of sense. This famous environmentalist said this and this eco group said that, and soon, if you're largely unfamiliar with environmentalism, you might be willing to accept his premise.
But then, you might remember that environmentalists are mostly people who love wildlife and the outdoors. They're bicyclists, hikers, gardeners, walkers, and so on. They're simply people who think its worth a little extra effort to preserve our natural resources. They try to make smarter, more sustainable consumer choices. They might by products that are easier on the environment, try to conserve energy when they can. These are the kind of people who call themselves environmentalists -- watch out America. They're coming for you.
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