When commentating on a public figure it’s important to judge him by what makes him different instead of by what he shares with everyone else in society. If there was a Saudi Arabian talk show host, and I told you he glorified the Prophet Muhammad, it wouldn’t tell you much. I may criticize the society as a whole for following the founder of their faith, but it would make little sense to get after the individual talk show host for being a Muslim.
This is leading into what I find strange about Paul Gottfried’s criticisms of Glenn Beck. Yes, he reveres Martin Luther King, Jr. And though I’m no King scholar, I would bet that if the man were alive today he would see affirmative action, other black supremacist legislation and big government in general as just reparations, as blacks in general tend to. But what the man’s true ideology was is irrelevant.
Latin American socialists claim Jesus as one of their own, as do American Christian fundamentalists. His teachings have been used to justify everything from anarcho-capitalism to communism. What creed would the Savior believe in if he were resurrected today? I'm guess he'd be so fascinated by computers, TV, running water and how tall everyone's gotten that he wouldn't have time to think too much about politics. As a beloved public figure with vague political views, he'd be recruited by both the Republicans and Democrats to be their next presidential candidate, the way Dwight Eisenhower was in the 1950s after winning WWII. The point is it doesn't matter what Jesus would think about progressive taxation from a political perspective, but what you can convince people he would want.
With MLK, we can better guess how he'd feel on contemporary issues. But this still shouldn't matter. Leave it to sites like this one to deconstruct Martin Luther King and what's he done from a historical/philosophical perspective and Glenn Beck to convince the rubes that the man would oppose affirmative action, socialized medicine and the entire Obama agenda.
The other day, Beck "set the record" straight on King by "showing" that he rejected social justice and collective salvation, which the Fox host sees as staples of the left. As his witnesses Beck brought on a black preacher and a niece of King.
Things get weirder in the second segment, when the two black guests start demanding reparations from Planned Parenthood and decry the "eugenics movement" still operating in America! But even this has its uses. Seeing that abortion is in the hands of the Supreme Court, convincing black people that liberals want to kill them off may get them to vote for pro-life anti-redistributionist Republicans who can't do anything about abortion anyway. We'd then have smaller government while the purifying of the gene pool that the legality of the procedure entails would go on unabetted. This kind of paranoid and faith based pandering would probably work much better than the Bushian/Rovian attempts at getting blacks to develop the right "values" and become economic conservatives. One can use the values, prejudices and fears that African-Americans already have instead of inventing new ones for them. It doesn't have to be honest and it doesn't have to be in their real interests. And all the while, no matter what you're advocating, tell them that Martin Luther King, Jr. would've supported it. And Jesus too. This is precisely what liberals do when they try to use the words of the Founding Fathers to justify homosexual marriage or race replacement immigration, and it works.
This is politics. Leave more honest discussions about the "real Martin Luther King" to the historians.