Glenn Beck has had so many jump the shark moments of late, but he may have topped them all today on his Fox News show when he managed to connect Homer Simpson to the decline of the American family. Beck claimed America was Father Knows Best, but the liberal ideology has turned us all into Homer Simpson.
Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:
Beck was off on his Weather Underground conspiracy theory, and while he was trying to claim that the group has caused the destruction of the American family, “Is this line of thought is this apparent in our world today? I hate to sound like my grandfather, but I want to show you something. Before the Weather Underground came the father and the role of father in the house, the family unit is being attacked….With the exception of The Cosby Show, I can’t think of very many TV shows where the dad is the smart one.
He continued, “Before the 1960s these were the shows on television. This was Father Knows Best. Can you even imagine a show named that? This is My Three Sons, Ward Cleaver, Leave it to Beaver. The role of the father was strong, but now….but look at this difference. This is before these guys showed up, but now look at our culture. This is the funniest show ever written on television (The Simpsons). I love this show. The dad’s a shlub. How about Everybody Loves Raymond? The dad’s shlub, great show, one of my favorite shows again, but the roles are reversed. This isn’t a mistake.
Later Beck claimed that far left ideology has broken down our culture, “The breakdown in our culture isn’t a cause of the rise of this crazy ideology. It is the result of this. It depends on it. It is a path to power for the radicals. They must have it. They consume it. They feed off it.” You may be asking yourself how did a small group of 1960s radicals get an entire ideology into society and what in the hell does this have to do with Homer Simpson?
The answer is that this is just another Beck reinvention of history, but there is a deeper theme here, and it is the tried and true conservative notion that the good old days were always better. Women should feel insulted that by Beck’s idea that the 1950s family unit was the ideal, that all women should be submissive and aspire to be June Cleaver, or in the case of My Three Sons, women aren’t necessary at all.
Beck tried to use classic television to justify an attack on the rights of women. It should be noted that the kids of the Father Knows Best 1950s became the liberal radicals of the 1960s. If we turn Beck’s example on its ear, we see that The Simpsons is a program that glorifies strong women. Marge is the strong independent family member. Lisa is an ambitious girl with intelligence. On Everybody Loves Raymond, the women were the strength of the family. Both Ray’s wife and his mother were forceful characters. Sure the men were written as overgrown children, and the cultural message that sends could be a post all by itself, but I don’t think Beck’s problem is with the weakness of the men, but the strength of the women.
A dominant theme in conservative thought is returning to the past. Change frightens conservatives. They resist change to the point where most of the change they advocate involves rolling things back to the way they used to be, for example, the Tea Party and the size of government, repealing Social Security. Glenn Beck dreams of an America where women are the Homer Simpsons whose ambitions are limited to pleasing their man. When viewed through patriarchal eyes, Homer Simpson is weak for not controlling his family, and he is dangerous to Beck’s utopian vision of an America that never really existed in the first place.