Fox host Glenn Beck suggested on his TV program Wednesday that citizens are being "set up" to overreact so they will be branded as violent extremists by those who support pervasive growth of the federal government.
Citing reports that more than 10 members of Congress say they have received threats of violence following their votes for healthcare reform, Beck urged frustrated citizens to eschew violence.
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USA Today reports that the FBI is investigating several incidents of threats and intimidation against members of Congress.
The popular talk host said the administration is populated with 1960s-era radicals who learned that violent uprisings ultimately fail to gain popular support. Those same officials would be delighted to see Obamacare opponents fall into the same situation, he said.
"They need you to be violent," Beck warned on his program, adding, "Don't be set up."
Beck told viewers not to pick "anything up but their scriptures," and to trust in God's deliverance.
Beck's call for responsible conduct echoed similar appeals from House Minority Leader John Boehner and former GOP Majority Leader Dick Armey.
Boehner said Wednesday, "Violence and threats are unacceptable. That's not the American way. We need to take that anger and channel it into positive change."
Armey, who now serves as chairman of the conservative, pro-liberty FreedomWorks organization, told Newsmax in an exclusive interview Tuesday that casting epithets "is counter-productive [and] plays into the hands of the bad guys," he says.
Of FreedomWorks he said, "If we control the stage and you try to climb on with rudeness and that sort of thing, we're going to remove you. If in fact we're not in a venue where we can control whether or not you're in attendance, we're certainly going to disavow you.
"So that means people like the Lyndon LaRouches, who can get as whacky as can be, just don't come to our arena. Stay away. Don't embarrass us with your presence. If you want to act that way, go create your own venue for acting goofy. But don't impose your absurdity on us, and give the bad guys to allege that it is ours," Armey added.
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