Stay tuned to TheBlaze and GlennBeck.com for more on this story in the next few days.
An interesting essay was published in The South China Morning Post over the weekend, in which a self-described former "1970s radical" discussed how she ended up rejecting communism and eventually found herself in Salt Lake City for Independence Week and Man in the Moon.
Cecilie Gamst Berg writes that she grew up in Norway and embraced leftist liberal ideology, including some of the biggest icons of progressivism. She writes, "It used to be that the people who hate, vilify and ridicule Beck were my kind of people. Growing up in Norway as your common or gardenvariety 1970s radical, I had the same posters of Mao Zedong and Che Guevara as everybody else, went to all the big anti-everything demonstrations and believed in no responsibilities and free stuff for everyone."
But after moving to China in the late eighties and seeing communism fist hand, Berg's opinion changed. After September 11, she started researching communism and radical Islam, and found both ideologies to be dangerous and rooted in the idea of controlling the lives of others.
Berg wrote, "After September 11, I started reading up on Islam and world jihad (holy war), and found that communism was just like a fundamentalist religion and radical Islam just like a militant ideology – in each there’s the same pathological need to control every aspect of other people’s lives, with the same promise of a spot of light killing in the afternoon."
Eventually, Berg stumbled across Glenn's show and has found herself following him ever since, much to the chagrin of her liberal friends:
Anyone who has listened to Beck for five minutes knows he wants small government and more personal liberty and responsibility; low taxes but high output and greater inventiveness; minimal state welfare but maximum self-reliance and personal charity.
So, although disappointed, I wasn’t surprised when my liberal friends sounded like they had fainted a little at the sound of Beck’s name coming from my mouth without being preceded by the words “I want to kill …”. Formerly “one of us”, I had broken ranks and sided with the enemy.
Berg came to believe in Glenn and his message, noting his accuracy in predicting the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the financial trouble in Greece, and the NSA spying scandal. She also noted that she found him "charming" and "genuine", as well as capable of breaking down complicated global and economic issues in a way that anyone can understand.
Eventually Berg found herself at Man in the Moon, where she met Beck fans and found them to be very different from her liberal friends descriptions. She describes her visit at the Grand America Hotel:
Among those mingling are middle-class families with young children dressed in Walk For Hope (a cancer charity) T-shirts, students and older couples.
When the elderly Joneses from Texas, who have flown to Salt Lake City in their own plane, hear that I don’t have a car, they immediately offer me a lift to the venue of the show later that day, as does Ron Douglas, a Mormon father of seven.
These are the people who, I was told, “wouldn’t understand what I said because they were too inbred” and would “probably shoot you for being a foreigner”. Yes, the people who warned me against Beck and his fans seem very concerned about guns – in the hands of lawabiding people.
Read the full piece on the South China Morning Post website, and stay tuned to TheBlaze and GlennBeck.com for more on Berg's story.