Glenn Beck and the Truthyism of Socialism

If 53 percent of Republicans held a favorable view of North Korean unicorns practicing polygamy inside Noah’s ark on a mountaintop in Iran as the skeletal Ann Coulter donned an American flag fat suit while reading her marriage vows to Dick Morris at The Heart Attack Grill in front of a wall-screen TV broadcasting a SportsCenter announcement that NASCAR had officially banned foreign cars from competing in the Daytona 500, then Stephanie Miller would stop being sexy—and liberal—and paranoid rednecks across the country would sleep in peace, because lady bugs would be manly.

Maybe that sounds a little kooky, but it’s no less feasible than Glenn Beck’s theory that Democrats won the 2012 election because of socialism.

To his credit, Beck does cite data. According to a November Gallup poll, 53 percent of Democrats held a favorable view of socialism. You don’t even need a chalkboard to connect these dots. Truthy facts don’t lie!

What Beck apparently forgot to mention was that that very same polling firm also found that 53 percent of Democrats…held a favorable view…of socialism…in 2010, which just so happens to be the year Republicans swept the midterm elections.

Wait a tick! How could the pro-socialist Democrats give Democrats a victory in 2012 when the same percentage of Democrats were pro-socialism in 2010?

As it turns out, the only measurable change in how Americans perceived socialism took place among…drum roll…REPUBLICANS!

According to the 2010 Gallup poll, 17 percent of Republicans were pro-socialism. That number jumped 23 percent in 2012.

If my math is correct, that means socialism-loving Republicans, not Democrats, gave Obama a second term!

It also means that the past two years Republicans spent screaming about the evils of socialism served only to persuade six percent of their own party that socialism isn’t all that bad. If you think about it, that makes heaps of sense. According to the GOP, Medicare and Social Security are forms of “socialism,” but people like these programs, so if you spend your entire working life paying into a system that not only provides a safety net for society’s elderly and disabled, but which also provides a cushion for your own retirement, then hell yeah!—why wouldn’t you love quote-unquote “socialism”?

There is a slight problem with the conclusions drawn from this data. We all know that Republicans aren’t big on numbers, or science, or sanity, so we’ll give them a pass this time and double-check their math for them. Generously assuming that Democrats and Republicans each comprised one half of the electorate (excluding, for simplicity’s sake, libertarians, independents, and bleeding-heart-Roseanne-Barr liberals), then one half of socialism-loving Democrats plus one-quarter of socialism-loving Republicans equals…uh…I think significantly less than the 51 percent that put Obama back in the White House. One half of one half—Dems—is one quarter of the whole, or two-eighths, plus one quarter of one half—Republicans—which is one eighth, equals three-eights, which, converted to a decimal, is 37.5 percent, also known as “not a majority.”

Why does this matter?

It doesn’t.

Republicans have been frantically flipping through their dust-coated binders full of Bible quotes searching for reasons why their election strategy of offending women, gays, and minorities somehow failed to deliver them to victory this election. Without socialism as the culprit, the party would have to, you know, support equality and shit; and stop holding the middle class hostage in order to get tax cuts for millionaires; and strike “white is right” from their platform; and revise their “rape is God’s will” rhetoric.

Blaming socialism is easier, and no mathy arithmetic or contradicting set of polls will convince them otherwise!

President Obama’s single-payer healthcare system, the Democratic Party’s assault on the banking industry, their bludgeoning of Wall Street, the crippling regulations and astronomically high tax hikes they put in place to redistribute corporate wealth and big-business profits to welfare moms and homosexuals—these and other Marxist policies are proof that a majority of Americans now believe that sloth is patriotic, work is for suckers, and to pick oneself up by one’s bootstraps requires that government first tie the laces.

Maybe they use the term “majority” a bit too loosely. Maybe they think Pontiff Socialism crucified Jesus. Whatever their justification for doubling down on the policy positions that Americans flatly rejected in 2012, Republicans don’t appear ready to change their ways. Then again, if they manage to rally enough support from the polygamist unicorn voting bloc in 2016, they may not need to.


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