Glenn Beck is trying to bail on the far right before Election Day

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Glenn Beck would like the public to think he's concerned about social justice now.

In an interview with the New Yorker on Monday, the archconservative pundit walked back some of the harshest claims he's made against President Barack Obama and his presidency, and positioned himself as an opponent of racism.

"Obama made me a better man," Beck now states, adding he supports the Black Lives Matter movement and that an interaction with Trump left him convinced the Republican nominee is "dangerously unhinged."

"I'm at a Dadaist time in my life," Beck says. "So much of what I used to believe was either always a sham or has been made into a sham. There's nothing deep."

In other words, Beck would like everyone to think he is woke now.

Beck is best known for aggressively pushing far-fetched theories about the new world order, comparing progressives to the Nazis and insinuating Obama pushed the Affordable Care Act to "settle old racial scores." There was also the time he headlined a rally in support of invading Iraq. As one of the media figures who most aggressively pushed the GOP to the right in recent years, his new persona struck many as cynical at best and a cheap ploy towards a new grift at worst.

Beck's public relations team later contacted the Huffington Post's Nick Baumann to let him know Beck does not, in fact, back the Black Lives Matter movement but instead merely empathizes with it. This further undercut the credibility of Beck's supposed shift.

Simply claiming to be a more empathetic person isn't really a shift in political viewpoint so much as a rebranding effort, and aside from homey platitudes, Beck has mainly criticized Trump's platform for being insufficiently conservative.

While Beck has been opposed to Trump during this election cycle, thinly veiled imitations of liberal rhetoric have been in vogue this year with the Republican nominee and his cadre of surrogates and advisers.

On the campaign trail, Trump has deployed condescending rhetoric about the black community in a transparent ploy to appeal to white voters with "white savior" rhetoric, as well as tried to co-opt Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign message. Over the summer, surrogate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich pulled a similar trick by briefly discussing the dangers of police violence to black Americans.

Perhaps Trump and Beck are much more alike than the latter would like the public to think.

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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