USA TODAY - Glenn Beck is suffering an existential crisis — politically speaking at least.
The most recent crisis — Beck has a long history of heavy on-air soul searching — began to simmer with the rise of Donald Trump, but it reached full boil when he heard first lady Michelle Obama's speech in the wake of Trump's lewd remarks on a decade old Access Hollywood recording.
"It doesn’t matter what party you belong to — Democrat, Republican, Independent— no woman deserves to be treated this way," Obama said. And the words hit Beck like a ton of bricks. He called it "the most effective political speech I have heard since Ronald Reagan."
"Those words hit me where I live," Beck told The New Yorker in an interview. "If you’re a decent human being, those words were dead on."
Beck went even further in the interview, saying President Obama "made me a better man." This is the man who called Obama a Marxist. a racist with a "deep-seated hatred for white people" and who once asked a guest if Obama might be the Antichrist.
"I did a lot of freaking out about Barack Obama," Beck conceded to The New Yorker. He said he regrets calling the president a racist and he said he considers himself a Black Lives Matter supporter.
“There are things unique to the African-American experience that I cannot relate to,” Beck told The New Yorker. “I had to listen to them."
Beck has taken a lot of heat from his listeners for his opposition to Trump — whom he called "dangerously unhinged" — and said he had received death threats. "These people scare the hell out of me," he said of Trump's "alt-right" supporters.
It's been a long, strange road for Beck, who is searching for a new path. "So much of what I used to believe was either always a sham or has been made into a sham," Beck told The New Yorker. "There’s nothing deep."
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