The Tinderbox Theory of the Republic

Glenn Beck favored radio listeners today with excerpts from his email correspondence with Sarah Palin over the shootings in Tucson.

Both correspondents were naturally eager to distance themselves from Jared Loughner’s murderous rampage at the Safeway on Saturday, and say that they abhor violence. They come in peace. “Sarah, as you know, peace is always the answer,” Beck writes:

I know you are feeling the same heat, if not much more on this. I want you to know you have my support. But please look into protection for your family. An attempt on you could bring the republic down.[emphasis mine]

What’s most striking here is not the patently absurd notion that “an attempt” on Sarah Palin’s life would or “could bring the republic down”; it’s the very idea of the republic underlying it.

That is the idea of the republic as a tinderbox. Apparently the place is ready to explode at the slightest provocation. In Beck’s view, or self-serving conceit, most Americans are locked and loaded, ready for civil war. We are teetering on the brink of revolution. Don’t tread on us. In our distressed republic, good people have been pushed to the limit. We are ready to resist tyranny at every turn, or at least before every commercial break, and with every self-aggrandizing tweet.

And all it would take to ignite the tinderbox would be the assassination of… Sarah Palin?

Is this our Helen?

It’s unclear whether Palin thinks her face or her Facebook page could launch a thousand ships, but she shares with Beck the view that her obnoxious behavior and his are of historic importance: “Thanks to all you do,” she replies, sounding vaguely apostolic, “to send the message of truth and love and God as the answer.”

And yet even with good men like Beck out there our future is not secure: “our children will not have peace if politicos just capitalize on this to succeed in portraying anyone as inciting terror and violence”. So peace is always the answer, or at least truth and love and God are the answer, unless, of course, the “politicos” keep picking on Sarah Palin.

And if they don’t stop? Then all bets are off, I suppose; and all patriots should fear for the republic.

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