One of the most frequently used rhetorical images at Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” event was the crossroads. Attendees were told urgently and repeatedly by Beck and others that America is at a crossroads, that everyone has to make a big, historic, important decision to save America – right now! Do it!
How Many Crossroads Must a Man Walk Down?
But since this was Beck’s “non-political” event, he couldn’t say the big choice or big crossroads had anything to do with the 2010 or 2012 elections, on which Tea Party activists are intensely focused.
He said his rally was not about politics but God, about “turning back to the values and principles that made us great.” He told people how to pray and how much money to give to their churches. And he demanded they make that big choice, whatever it is.
Here are just a few of the very many crossroads to which Beck led his followers. None of them seem likely to be clear or focused enough to spark the national transformation Beck promised from this rally:
“America is at a crossroads and we must decide. Are those words that Abraham Lincoln spoke and they have no relevance or meaning on us today?”
“America is at a crossroads and today we must decide who we are, what is it we believe. We must advance or perish. I choose advance.”
“America is at a crossroads and there is a clear and simple choice. Do we choose to just look at the scars, do we choose to look back, or do we do what every great generation has done in America in times of trouble: look ahead, dream about what we’re going to become, not worried about what we are, look forward, look west, look to the heavens, look to God, and make your choice.”
“My challenge to you today is to make a choice. Does America go forward and the American experience expands, or does the experiment fail with us?”
Beck repeatedly urged everyone in the crowd to “grab your stick,” a reference to his earlier description of Moses as “a guy with a stick.” With all due respect, Glenn, Moses gave his people clearer instructions.