Glenn used two extended metaphors on TV tonight: The Borg, cyborg villains of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and a Cottonwood tree.
Glenn focused on China today, specifically on the movement to a post-American world. What is a post-American world? One where America is no longer the world’s premiere superpower. The most likely new replacement? China.
Our leaders aren’t exactly helping. People are being told that China’s rise and America’s fall is nothing short of inevitable. On the surface, China looks great. Almost everyone has a job and only a slim percentage of people live in poverty.
But Glenn pointed out that things aren’t quite so great. Have you heard of Foxconn? Glenn talked about the manufacturing company where people live in dorm-like buildings, eat in giant cafeterias for every meal, and seem to do nothing but work in the factories all day. It’s the same routine over and over, and each and every day. Workers have even described themselves as brainwashed machines. Unsurprisingly, there have been multiple suicides at “the campus”.
Glenn compared the Chinese to “The Borg” from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Like The Borg, who were cyborgs that operated with a collective mind, the Chinese citizens are trained to operate as a collective, not as individuals. The Borg take individuals and erase their personalities when they absorb them into their collective, and Glenn believes the Chinese destroy the individuality of their citizens.
Glenn also took time to tell the story of a Cottonwood tree. The tree, which appeared to be one of the strongest around, had been around for years and years. Kids played on it, lovers kissed under it, and families camped under it. For years the gigantic tree would color the sky red and yellow when its leaves changed in the Fall. But the tree grew in a place with a high water table, so it always had easy access to water. In fact, the roots never needed to go deep as it always had everything that it needed right at the surface. Until one day, people found the tree had been uprooted. It wasn’t broken or snapped, but it had been pulled out of the ground. Why? Because the roots weren’t deep and it always had what it needed right in front of it.
How did this story relate to the rest of the show? Well, Glenn didn’t explain that and left it open to audience interpretation. (editor’s note: I tried to tie it back to the Borg analogy and I believe that if Earth were to ever be invaded by cyborgs we can easily uproot Cottonwood trees to defend ourselves. I have to emphasize that this is NOT the official explanation of Glenn, The Glenn Beck Program, anyone on the TV staff, or any reasonable person. Just a writer for glennbeck.com who shares Glenn’s love for sci-fi.) In all seriousness, the parable calls for Americans to dig deep and find what matters. Our roots have become shallow and we have lost our connection to history and creativity.
Glenn promised to focus more on how Americans can deepen their roots during the rest of the week.