The indictment Thursday of former President Donald Trump over a 2016 hush money payment led to plenty of more-unhinged-than-usual opinions on Fox News, perhaps none more outlandish than those shared by former network host Glenn Beck.
During an interview on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Beck depicted the Manhattan grand jury’s vote to indict Trump as a foreboding indicator that the United States is “no longer viewed as a superpower”—and more specifically a sign that Democrats want to see violence from Trump’s supporters as a pretext to somehow strip them of their rights.
“What this is all about, I believe, is trying to inflame this country. They’ve wanted violence from the right from the beginning. They can’t wait [for] it. They need it. Because if we strike out—look at January 6!” Beck said. He then for some reason called attention to the fact that “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley, one of the Capitol rioters who had been imprisoned for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, was moved into a halfway house this week.
“The day they’re letting him out, they do this to Donald Trump?” he said. “They want you to strike out. Why? Because then they can close the cage.”
Beck then predicted dire straits for the U.S. in just two years’ time: the U.S. dollar will collapse, the nation will be “at war,” and the public will live in a “virtual police state.”
“I know that might sound crazy to a lot of people. It’s not far off. The Bill of Rights is gone!” he told Carlson, who complained earlier in his show that the indictment is “an effort to take [Trump] out of the political race, [which] is not allowed.”
(Carlson also criticized Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg specifically, calling him a “rich kid” who is the “product of private schools and Harvard”—a particularly ironic dig, given his own status as the heir to a multi-million dollar frozen foods fortune.)
Beck wasn’t the only one on Carlson’s show—which ran the entire hour without a commercial break—who reacted to the indictment as if the country were coming apart at the seams.
Former Illinois Governor and convicted felon Rod Blagojevich apparently felt that the start of the Civil War in April 1861 was an appropriate comparison.
What Trump is now facing, said Blagojevich, “is not only frightening, but … probably, I would say, the most threatening thing to our Republic since South Carolina fired shots at Fort Sumter.”