The other day, Beck compared the murdered Norwegian kids and their friends to Hitler Youth.
The youngsters were at a camp sponsored by the Norwegian Labor Party. The suspected killer is a right-wing extremist who, according to news reports, said he shot them to start a revolution to “save Europe ” from multiculturalism.
Beck, the former Fox News star who is now on the radio, just shoots off his mouth, not guns. But he is not big on multiculturalism either.
A tea party hero, Beck hates European labor, social democratic and democratic socialist parties, and the centrist-capitalist U.S. Democratic Party. He sometimes equates them with Nazism, too.
So is he that ignorant of history and politics? Or is he is merely a two-bit hustler?
Doubtless, grieving friends and families of the shooting victims don’t care either way. But a former press secretary to Jens Stoltenberg, Norway ’s prime minister, said the comments about the shootings were “a new low” for Beck.
He also told the London Telegraph: “Young political activists have gathered at Utoya [the camp on an island near Oslo , Norway's capital] for over 60 years to learn about and be part of democracy, the very opposite of what the Hitler Youth was about. Glenn Beck’s comments are ignorant, incorrect and extremely hurtful.”
Stoltenberg is the leader of the Labor Party in Norway, a longstanding European NATO ally of the U.S.
History teaches that no Europeans more uniformly and more staunchly opposed the Nazis than members of labor, social democratic, and democratic socialist parties. On the eve of World War II, which began in 1939, Joe Stalin and the Soviet Communists cut a deal with Hitler, hoping to save their skins.
When Hitler seized power in Germany 1933, he immediately ordered his thugs to eliminate all anti-Nazis, notably the powerful Social Democrats, who had rebuked him at every turn.
Social Democrats, including future West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, fled for their lives. Those caught were beaten, murdered, or tossed into concentration camps, starting with Dachau , Hitler’s first camp.
Labor, social democratic and democratic socialist parties suffered the same brutal fate in every country the Nazis conquered. Many party members who eluded Hitler’s dragnet fought back. They took up arms, joined resistance movements and sacrificed lives and limbs to free Europe .
I don’t know if Beck has ever been to Norway . But city landmarks include a statue of one of our greatest presidents, though Beck evidently thinks he was one of the worst.
Many Norwegians – and many Americans – still revere this president. Citizens of Norway suffering under Nazi rule loved him as a powerful symbol of freedom and hope – like their exiled king, Haakon VII.
The stone likeness is of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Appropriately, it is near Akershus Castle , whose grounds encompass the World War II Norwegian resistance museum.
One can only hope, or pray, that Norwegians will recognize Beck for what millions of Americans know he is – a rank demagogue, fear-mongerer and bigot. Beck is also a phony patriot who talks tough from the safety of a TV or radio studio but somehow never got around to serving in the military.
Glenn Beck is not, thank the Good Lord, the voice of America , on the radio or anywhere else.
Even so, Beck will doubtless keep on spewing hate into his microphone. But he couldn’t get elected dog catcher, and he knows it. I trust the citizens of Norway know it, too.
Photo: Librado Romero/The New York Times