Glenn Beck’s Roman Maneuver

After scheduling a pro-theocracy rally on the date & site of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech, Glenn Beck provides the following:

Press already comparing my speech to MLK. What? I’m not MLK. most of speech will be off bullet points. The rest ad-lib. MLK genius.Me? Not.

The trick — disclaiming an elder’s mantle, or a high title, just as you set yourself up to assume it — is deft, and ancient. Suetonius describes how Augustus repeatedly denied all titles, taking only that of “first citizen,” though he was a king in all but name:

When the people did their best to force the dictatorship upon him, he knelt down, threw off his toga from his shoulders and with bare breast begged them not to insist.

Suetonius, De Vita Caesarium, “Divi Augustus,” LII; cf. id. at LVIII.

While Glenn Beck has surely come upon this ruse by instinct rather than by learning, the result is the same. This man is scripted to high heaven.

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4 comments

  1. Theocracy? Is that what that rally was about? Damn.

  2. “I come here to bury Caesar, not to praise him.”

  3. And Glenn Beck is an honorable man!

  4. I agree, it’s unusual, probably tomorrow …

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