The more Glenn Beck plays a happy warrior unapologetically defending America's most cherished values, the more his enemies want to savage him.
Their latest target: “The Overton Window,” Beck's first venture into the suspense-thriller fiction genre. The book debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times best-seller list – marking six consecutive occasions that a Beck book has grabbed the top position.
"The media – and I'm seeing it now also not just in the media – it drives them crazy that I'm successful," Beck tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview on his latest best seller. "They can't figure out why."
In the foreword to “The Overton Window,” Beck predicted the book would be controversial. He expected to face the same mockery and ridicule that Sarah Palin and many other conservative writers experience from mainstream-media book reviewers.
One example of the double standard: Left-leaning authors who resort to the simplistic stereotypes of conservatives common to Hollywood movies are free to conjure the most grotesque global-Armageddon scenarios imaginable. That's just fine.
But when Beck proposes a rather toned-down variation on that theme, it's a different story. In fact, one reviewer suggested a well-thumbed copy of “The Overton Window” might one day be found nestled among empty ammo cases belonging to the next Timothy McVeigh-style extremist.
There, that should teach that Beck guy to write best-sellers!
“The Overton Window” holds true to its author's political sensibilities. It blends action, intrigue and romance into a story powerfully relevant to today's political scene. Its main characters are two brilliant young people who could hardly be more different. Noah Gardiner seems to have it all: education, looks and wealth. He's the rising vice president of a high-powered, New York City PR firm. The firm's owner happens to be Noah's austere, manipulative father, Arthur Isaiah Gardner.
Noah's sure-fire path to worldly success goes awry, however, when he falls in love with Molly Ross, a dedicated grass-roots activist who dresses like the "head greeter at the Grateful Dead Cultural Preservation Society."
In Molly, Noah sees an irrepressible spirit who has the one thing he lacks: a commitment to a cause that is larger than one's self. If Noah's world is all about the Benjamins, Molly's is all about promoting the liberties that the Founding Fathers put their necks in a noose to espouse.
Hopelessly smitten, Noah attends a tea party-type rally where his mind is opened to new ideas about what is really taking place just beneath the surface of American life.
What Noah doesn't realize is that while the truth may set you free, it often comes with a hefty price tag.
In Noah's case, that price is being beaten, arrested, held captive by men in black and put on a course that leads to a confrontation with his own Machiavellian father. Oh, and he gets tortured, too.
Along the way, Noah stumbles onto a vast bipartisan conspiracy – what ails America "is not about a political party," Beck insists.
The subversive scheme involves manipulating the U.S. body politic by way of "The Overton Window" principle.
“The Overton Window,” a real-life theory of human behavior, holds that public opinion will always cling to a safe middle-ground on the issues, eschewing the extreme viewpoints on either side – unless a drastic turn of events changes the paradigm, thereby making ideas once dismissed as too extreme acceptable to the American people.
Noah discovers incriminating documents that launch him into a pulse-pounding race to locate and defuse a nuclear device before it can trigger an "Overton Window" right here on American soil. One of the book's surprising twists: the dark character behind the conspiracy to trigger a Reichstag moment in America.
A fanciful tale? You might think so, until you page through its 28-page afterword, with authoritative sources and notes that suggest Beck is dead serious when he calls the book "faction." He defines that as "completely fictional books with plots rooted in fact."
Indeed, when Newsmax asked the Fox News host how close he believes the nation really is to an Overton Window shift, he replies without hesitation: "I think we're living in one now."
Given that Vince Flynn, Nelson DeMille and Brad Thor all have heaped praise on “The Overton Window,” it goes without saying that the book is an entertaining, thought-provoking read.
And with every book that flies off the shelves, readers receive an extra bonus: The certain knowledge that their purchase will help to drive Beck's critics crazy.
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Newsmax caught up with Beck to talk about “The Overton Window.” In an exclusive Newsmax interview, Beck reveals what motivated him to delve into adult suspense fiction and shares his perspective on just how close America is to really losing its liberties. To critics who wield Saul Alinsky's favorite weapon of ridicule to attack him, Beck offers the following message: "Bring it on Saul," he says. "Bring it on."
Newsmax: “The Overton Window” is about a drastic attempt to manipulate public opinion. How did you come up with that idea?
Beck: To tell you the truth, it really started with my frustration of working with my business partner. This was going back two years now, I think it was. I was on the road for [the best-selling children's tale] “The Christmas Sweater.” I had just left CNN, which was an extraordinarily frustrating experience, because I was on the air as the market approached 12,000, then 13,000, then 14,000, saying: “Get your money out of the stock market! It's bogus!” And I couldn't get anybody to listen to me. I could see what was coming on the horizon. My business partner was like, “Glenn, come on, that's crazy.” And my thought was, “People can't think out of the box. And they don't see the connecting tissue.”
Could we be headed for a drastic event that would make people willing to accept radical policies?
Usually it is an Archduke Ferdinand moment, or Pearl Harbor – something that just nobody sees coming. It could be the BP oil spill that is connected to several other things. It could be the next [Gaza] flotilla. I don't know what it is. But when you have progressives at work, they don't like to waste an emergency.
When you first learned of the Overton Window theory, which tells how events can used to alter a nation's politics, how did you react?
First it was, “Oh my gosh, this explains so much.” The main villain, his words are rooted right to Margaret Sanger and Walter Lippmann and Woodrow Wilson and all of these nasty progressives. I wanted to be able to explain how they use an emergency to move the agenda … how we are intentionally doing things because they know that it will lead to the Overton Window – which I didn't know what it was – to be able to say, “Yes, well now see, you've got to take your belt and your shoes off at the airport.” The Overton people don't think that it can be moved by a politician without repercussions. My theory is yes it can, if the politicians don't care about re-election, or they don't care about their so-called power, that they're deriving their power and their juice from something else. They'll move that Overton Window all the way down. And when I found the Overton Window I thought, “Wow, this is perfect. Perfect.”
There also an Overton Revenge – a backlash to an agenda moving too far, too fast. What does the Overton Revenge tell us about a leader's ability to impose a radical agenda?
If you're living in normal times, it will fail in America. However, if you're looking at revolutionaries who will use an emergency to seize power … they'll do it piece by piece. And I think that's what's happening to us. The last piece to fall in place is the media. If they get control of the media, they get control of the Internet – which they're trying to do – then the Overton's Revenge doesn't make any difference … you silence the voice.
How close are we to a real Overton Window-type event in our country?
I think we're living in one now. I hope to God it's not the event that is outlined [in “The Overton Window”]. But I think we're living it, and on a scale of one to 10, 10 being the Overton Window is here, I'd say we're at a nine or a 10. I feel my job is to do two things. One is to try to point people to the theory of the Overton Window, in that we're in that space. We're in a hostile, dramatic moving of that window, without the possible ramifications of Overton's Revenge, which would be awful. The second message in the book, which is the Founders' Keepers, is: the solution to all our problems is restoration. Restoration of the truth, restoration of God, restoration of our history, restoration of our Constitution. When those things happen, America's problems will go away. We must rid ourselves from this progressive disease that has contempt for our way of life, contempt for our Founders, our Constitution, and our God.
Why is it when progressives write something, it's reviewed and accepted, but there's a tremendous double standard for a conservative writer.
The media, and I'm seeing it now also not just in the media, it drives them crazy that I'm successful. They can't figure out why. It drives them nuts that I'm in their hallowed halls of journalism. And yet I didn't pass through their gatekeepers. Now you're seeing it also as well in academia. The professorial cabal is starting to mount their attack against me, because I don't pass through all of their little gates. It is remarkable.
Considering the cheap shots taken at your book and the work of other conservatives, do you perceive a Saul Alinsky approach, using ridicule to destroy your opponent?
Oh my God, yes. The great thing is there's nobody better at ridiculing me, than me. I don't mind. I can play with the big boys. And I can also ridicule as expertly as just about anyone. So be careful who you're playing Saul Alinsky with, because two can play that game. With that being said, I'm not in this honestly for the long term. I don't know how anyone survives long term in this America that we're setting up. Quite honestly, I've always hated people who are, you know, “Stop giving me a movie with a message, I just want a movie.” I think times have changed dramatically, and I don't think we can afford that luxury anymore. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I am. And I will continue to preach the message for as long as I possibly can, knowing that my job is to wake people up. Because there's a real need for somebody to replace me. And then somebody to replace them. We've got to wake up, we've got to teach our children, we've got to stand vigilant. We've got to be the guardians that our Founding Fathers expected. And if we perish along the way, if our careers perish on the way, well so be it. I know I'm not going to face my Maker with these rights that are His, I'm not going to face him without doing everything in my power. And I'll do it to my last breath: “Bring it on Saul. Bring it on.”
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