Beck a PoMo Conservative— and It's Working Well for Him

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2009 9:54 AM CDT
Glenn Beck.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Glenn Beck’s popularity as compared to the more “traditional American conservatism” of, say, Rush Limbaugh heralds the advent of a new archetype, Nate Silver writes on FiveThirtyEight: “Beck is a PoMoCon—a postmodern conservative.” A recent poll shows Beck and Limbaugh equally popular while Limbaugh’s negatives dwarf Beck’s. Silver sees Beck’s anti-establishment leanings as a plus in a country that “seems to be becoming more anti-establishment, too.”

Beck’s anti-establishment rhetoric, which reserves equal distrust for big government, non-governmental institutions, elites, and political parties, seems to have struck a nerve. And it is blissfully unconcerned with history or a continuum. PoMoCons are “skeptical (sometimes to the point of paranoid),” and their movement a “relatively spontaneous reaction to the here-and-now,” Silver writes. “There is no future, no past—there is only today. And today is a pretty good day to be Glenn Beck.”