TV Personality Glenn Beck Makes Stop In Tyler
By BETTY WATERS
Outspoken conservative radio and television political commentator and author Glenn Beck asserted during an appearance at The Oil Palace that Americans must remember their rights and freedoms come from God as he deplored socialism and the track the country is on.
Gov. Rick Perry (above) introduced Beck to the crowd.
Beck addressed an enthusiastic crowd Saturday that organizers estimated at 4,500 at a "Taking Back America" town-hall-style meeting that turned into a rousing religious and patriotic rally.
The fiery talk show host delivered a strong message that America has drifted far away from its founding values, challenged the crowd to take a stand and lashed the president.
Beck's traveling road show stop in Tyler followed an Advancing Freedom Rally by the conservative group Grassroots America -- We the People.
Gov. Rick Perry, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, and state Rep. Leo Berman also spoke, all delivering similar messages.
Berman told the crowd, "I believe that Barack Obama is God's punishment on us today, but in 2012, we are going to make Obama a one-term president."
Gohmert said, "The longer we go, the more we see how important it is to stick with principles."
Perry, who declared Beck an honorary Texan to a deafening roar of approval from the audience, strongly expressed support for the grassroots and tea party movements.
Texas was built by free-thinking patriots, and it's time to let it be heard in Washington, Perry said. The tea party is about taking the country back, Perry said.
The governor described Beck as a national leader of a powerful group sending a message to the current administration and congress about Washington, D.C., how to control spending and Americans taking their country back.
"I consider myself proud to be in that army," Perry said in a short news conference before the town hall meeting.
Mounting the stage, Beck criticized politicians in Washington who he called progressives and who he said simply change their words for things. The stimulus package is now the jobs bill in their rhetoric, Beck said, but vowed, "It's time that we stand for the truth. We will be silent no more. It's not violent, it's not racism, it's not sedition."
Beck told the crowd, "It is time to say things that need to be said -- the only way to solve our problems is if we fall to our knees and thank God for the blessings of this country."
Beck asked attendees to ponder questions such as "Do you believe this is God's land? Do you believe our constitution was divinely inspired? Why do you believe those things?"
Recalling history of how America was founded as well as biblical stories, Beck said the American flag is a symbol of God's freedom. Those who fought for the country through the years didn't fight and die so that people could go to the mall shopping, have Social Security or health care; they fought so that people could be free, Beck said.
The American seal as drawn up by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson was a pillar of fire and the split Red Sea behind it for the Israelites to cross, Beck said.
"We must remember who we are. We must remember what brought us here. We must remember what protected us. We must remember these rights do not belong to us -- they come from God," Beck said. The crowd rose in unison to its feet applauding loudly and yelling.
If people don't know the history, "find it and tell your children," Beck urged the crowd. "If God is with us, who can possibly stand against us? The answer is no one."
The responsibility to get the country right for the sake of freedom, liberty, the land, the Constitution and ideas "is on our shoulders; it's eternal," Beck said.
"I don't know what is supposed to happen on this land. I have no idea what God has in store for these people, our children, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He just asks you to stand in place and that is our job … to stand where he wants us to stand."
Beck's positions already were widely known among the crowd.
Pete Fisher, of Bullard, said he likes Beck because "I think he's basically honest. I think he tackles issues that are very difficult sometimes. I think he's sincere, and I think he's on the right track most of the time."
Fisher agreed with Beck that the fundamental transformation that Obama promised to bring the country is, Fisher said, really national identity theft.
"The whole nature and fabric of our country is distorted and I'm delighted to see people finally realizing it," Fisher said.
His grandson, Timothy Fisher, of Tyler, said he came to the Beck show mainly to hear Beck, but also because he likes to see Americans come together and express their rights and freedoms.
"I'm opposed to the socialistic agenda that Obama has planned. I like Beck because he delivers his message well and he's a real honest guy and I like his character," he said.
Jan Gray, of Tyler, said Beck has new ideas.
"He's the only one I know of that's really articulated very well what's wrong with the country and the way it's going; he's the only one I've heard that has identified accurately really what the problem is." Ms. Gray said. He has defined the illness of our country -- progressiveness, she added.
Susie Sibbing, of Whitehouse, said she has watched Beck since before the presidential election and has been impressed with his knowledge and his ability to look into the constitution issues and what's happening with this administration.
"I think he is a shining star for us right now," Ms. Sibbing said.
Another Whitehouse resident, Jackie Thompson, echoed that she is impressed with the research Beck has done into the groups of people in high places in this country.
"He uses humor to get through people's defenses. There are people that don't like him, but I think he's great," she said.
James Johnson of the Chandler and Lake Palestine area, said Beck's message is "for us get on the ball and try to get America back to what it was and get the politicians to listen to us and vote. They need to remember who runs the country and that's we the people. This health care scam has got to be repealed. Mr. Beck wants the government to respect the constitution and what they are doing is unconstitutional. We're not socialists."
Beck's broadcasting career began early, at the age of 13, when he won a radio contest in Mount Vernon, Wash., to be a disc jockey for an hour. In high school, he began working part-time at a radio station in Seattle, and after graduation, he worked for a number of stations in Texas, Arizona, Maryland, Connecticut and other states.
"The Glenn Beck Program" first aired in 2000 in Tampa, Fla., and two years later went nationwide on 47 stations. By 2008, the program reached almost 300 stations and ranked fourth in the nation with more 6.5 million listeners.
In the meantime, Beck joined CNN's "Headline News" as host of a nightly television news commentary show, Beck left CNN in late 2008, joining FOX News Channel, where his shows have gained high ratings, as well as criticism.
Besides his radio and television syndicated shows, Beck is an author of both fiction and nonfiction, having released almost a dozen books, including three that rose to No. 1 on The New York Times best sellers list.
His books include "Common Sense: The Case Against An Out Of Control Government" and "The Real America." He has released three books in audio format, including "America's March to Socialism: Why We're One Step Closer to Giant Missile Parades." Beck also is publisher of the entertainment magazine "Fusion."