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Lexington Green and the Glenn Beck Show

My fellow Chicago Boyz blogger and co-author, Lexington Green, has hit the big time – as a story on the nationally broadcast Glenn Beck Program . Having written an incisive post on the strategic Boydian aspect of Beck’s recent rally at The Lincoln Memorial, Lex today discovered that his analysis would be read on the air by Beck himself:

Glenn Beck: This guy gets it

GLENN: All right. So this guy, Lexington Green, I’m assuming that’s not his real name, writes in Chicagoboyz.net: I think I see what Glenn Beck is doing.

I think this is the only guy that really gets it. The Glenn Beck rally is confusing people. Why? He is aiming far beyond what most people consider to be the goalposts. Using Boyd’s continuum for war, which, you are all for that one, right, Pat?

PAT: Sure. Boyd’s continuum? How many times have we talked about Boyd’s continuum?

GLENN: Okay. Well, let’s make it once. Material, intellectual, and moral. He is using for political change elections, institutions and culture. Beck sees correctly that the conservative movement has only had limited success because it’s good at Level 1, the elections, for a while. Weak at Level 2, institutions. And barely touched Level 3, culture. Talk radio and the tea party are Level 3 phenomena, popular outbreaks which are blowing back into politics. Someone who asks what the rally has to do with the 2010 election is missing the point. Beck is building solidarity and cultural confidence listen to this. This is it.

PAT: A smart guy…..


Read the rest of the transcript or listen to the audio here.

I have never watched Glenn Beck on TV, except a brief snippet of his interview with Sarah Palin, but as a major media personality, it was very gracious of him to reach out and acknowledge Lexington Green. That level of exposure is something that has been a long time coming for Lex, and IMHO, it is richly deserved.

Having gotten to know Lex in the last few years well enough to call him a friend, and having been a guest a number of times at his book-lined home, I can attest that Lex’s keen intellect and depth of knowledge gives his writing the cultural verve that deserves a larger audience than our humble corner of the mil/strategy blogosphere. He’s one of those small minority of bloggers toiling out there who has the right stuff to play at a much higher level.

Congrats Mr. Green!

24 Responses to “Lexington Green and the Glenn Beck Show”

  1. onparkstreet Says:

    Yes to all of that.  I’ve learned a lot from that blog, and Lex’s posts are always very good. As are yours!
    – Madhu

  2. zen Says:

    Gracias, Doc Madhu!

  3. lewis shepherd Says:

    Nice tribute to the success story. Good stuff.

  4. T. Greer Says:

    Not a big fan of the Glenn Beck show, but that is some pretty cool beans.

  5. Seerov Says:

    I see some good signs despite the fact the rally was dripping with political correctness and white groveling. Regardless, the important thing is that its a step in the right direction.  People are meeting, networks are being created, and feelings of solidarity are being cultivated.  Most important with the Tea Party/Beckians/Paulites is that not only are they anti-big government, but they’re also suspicious of the international bankers/federal reserve.  This is a huge step for the American Right.  A real political vision/program and ideology can be injected in the future, but the soil must be prepared first.  Beck is helping prepare this soil.      

  6. Lexington Green Says:

    Dude.  Thanks.  I have never watched Glenn Beck before, either.  The people who hate him make me like him, though.  I updated that post, Update IV, trying to put this little episode in a larger context and find "the larger meaning."  I also announce that Jim Bennett and I are working on a book. More on that as we go.  Among the other fallout from this, Sarah Palin is now following Lexington Green’s tweets.  Life gets weirder and weirder.  I need to do more tweets.  

  7. Brian C. Hickman Says:

    @Seerov:    Albert Pulhols and Martin Luther King’s niece, white groveling?

  8. J. Scott Says:

    Congratulations! I’d like to get on the "advanced purchase" list for the forthcoming book—and autographed if convenient! I’ve forwarded the link around to my "associates" and the response has been uniformly positive.

  9. Dave Schuler Says:

    I agree that Lexington Green is a smart guy.  However, when I read his post over at chicagoboyz my immediate reaction was that I doubted that was the motivation behind the rally but was pretty sure that Beck & Co. would be happy to back that interpretation out of it after the fact.

  10. zen Says:

    Heh. Yeah, I’d be happy to jump on Lex’s reasoning postpriori as well 🙂

  11. Purpleslog Says:

    Googling using "lexington green beck" yields "about 65,500 result" as of a few minutes ago.

  12. Lexington Green Says:

    Dave, do you think he had some other agenda, and does not want to say what it was?

    I think he had not articulated to himself what he was trying to do, based on the TV snippet I saw of him reading my post.

    Or do you see something deep or even nefarious about the whole thing? 

  13. Seerov Says:

    "Albert Pulhols and Martin Luther King’s niece, white groveling?" (Brian C. Hickman)

  14. Charles Cameron Says:

    May I draw your various attentions to Zen-friend Cheryl Rofer on Lexington Green on Glenn Beck at Phronesisaical

  15. morgan Says:

    I think Beck’s thinking is still in the formative state and, no doubt, Lex’s and Bennett’s book would help solidify it. Onward and upward with it guys. 

  16. Cheryl Rofer Says:

    Thanks, Charles.
    And I tend to agree with Dave Schuler.

  17. MMaineiac Says:

    Beck is a huckster and a fraud,  the further out on the limb ( and the lower his ratings) he goes the more desperate the search for anyone who can increase his credibility

  18. Lexington Green Says:

    Even if Beck is a huckster and a fraud, and I have no idea.  I have now seen part of one episode of his show.  But he has tapped into something real.  You don’t get huge, well-behaved gatherings like he got unless you have found something real. 

    Thanks for cross-posting your critique on CB, Cheryl. 

    I will respond when I can. 

  19. david ronfeldt Says:

    if i may inject a TIMN perspective, here’s part of what i think TIMN indicates:  beck is on course to continue tribalizing a set of people who want to be tribalized. 
    his emphasis on “honor” at the rally implies this.  the words “respect,” “pride,” “dignity,” and especially “honor” are part and parcel of language that goes with the tribal form of organization.  the more that language is used, no matter how nicely wrapped, the more a speaker is trying to generate tribal/clan support (“we” feeling), often for what later turns into “us” versus “them.” 
    the “restoring honor” rally is not a one-off event.  it’s one in a projected series of events.  i’ll wait to see how the language and other matters evolve before being sure what this event means/meant.  otherwise i/you/we may get out-boyded.  today’s positive-sounding embrace does not preclude — and may be stage-setting for — a dark turn tomorrow that has even more appeal among the tribalized. 

  20. zen Says:

    Hi david,
    Sociologists and historians have sometimes talked about the "honor" subculture in some American regions and demographic groups, which would be a latent sentiment that could be easily revived. It also fits within the context of a class conflict as articulated recently by Codevilla:
    Decline of the Honor Culture by James Bowman
    Culture of Honor: The Psychology of Violence in the South by Richard Nisbett

  21. J. Scott Says:

    Honor is a continuum. James Bowman wrote a marvelous volume on the history of the concept…and Senator Jim Webb wrote Born Fighting–which is the Scot-Irish history of the USA—honor plays a big role in this culture. I find it interesting that Beck’s rally has evoked a "review" as it were. I was having lunch with an old sub buddy the other day and this topic came up; he’s about 10 years older than me, but it was clear that "honor," in the manly sort of way has no shelf-life. While not exclusive to men, and sometimes used by other cultures as a weapon, the American tradition is usually backed up with more than rhetoric…

  22. david ronfeldt Says:

    thanks for the pointers, zen.  mostly new to me.

    i read bowman’s “history of honor” book several years ago.  interesting, in part because americans rarely talk about honor.  as i recall, bowman regards this as a lapse, and thinks u.s. policy and strategy should make honor more central, much like other nations and governments often do.  
    i think he is mistaken:  america’s exceptional rise as a world power, and the influence of u.s. policies and strategies, have stemmed in part from our not emphasizing honor.  we’ve relied on other concepts, like credibility and reliability as a partner, that presume honor without parading it.  we’ve operated with ways and means, like opening up markets, that transcend or sidestep honor.  actors that emphasize honor tend to get clannish and fightin’-mad when pressured (as in the south as you note, like urban gangs, like immigrant and anti-immigrant groups, etc.).  in some situations and for some groups, that can be ok, make sense at times, even be a big plus (e.g., in military).  but for our positioning as a world power?  american strategic culture, grand strategy, and diplomacy have generally benefitted from not putting honor front and center, indeed from hardly ever mentioning it.  (instances of dubious merit: lbj?  bush jr?)
    from a TIMN perspective, dramatic increases in americans getting worked up and declaiming about honor on national and/or regional scales may be a sign of accelerating decline, division and displacement, of a moody reversion to tribal motives and frames. 

  23. Lexington Green Says:

    Walter Russell Mead’s analysis of Jacksonian America is the best assessment I have ever seen of the role of honor in American regional and national culture. It periodically asserts itself.  Probably not a sign of overall decline that this event as labelled, and from the sound of it, mislabelled, "restoring honor."  

  24. wklady kominkowe Says:

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

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