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Glenn Beck cranks up the culture wars

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08/30/2010 05:39 PM
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Glenn Beck cranks up the culture wars
Glenn Beck, consummate showman and talk hound, would have been more honest calling his rally to "Restore Honor" a rally to restore the culture wars.

Despite his splashy show to celebrate the troops, Beck's rally was not about "honor" any more than the controversy over the Islamic center near ground zero is about a building -- or the immigration debate is about fixing the system. Instead, Beck's rally upped the ante on America's social divides, all the while appearing to champion unity. It was a clever head-fake disguising backward conservative zealotry as feel-good inclusion.

"May this day be the change point," said Sarah Palin, the rally's darling. "Look around you. You're not alone. You are Americans!" In his keynote, Beck declared that America is "in the midst of a great war" over its values. "America is at a crossroads," Beck said. "We must decide: Who are we and what do we believe?"
Anxious that the culture war over gay and reproductive rights is suffering setbacks, the right is doubling down. Its revamped culture war, flaunted at the rally, is gaining impressive traction.

Fiery skirmishes in this war abound. Beck and his progressive adversaries clash over this nation's role and purpose in the world, who gets to be American at home, and what our country can afford and should demand of us. The debates over immigration, birthright citizenship, and the scope of public spending are the more visible flashpoints of this clash.

Read more [link to www.cnn.com]