Glenn Beck has written his first suspense-thriller fiction novel, The Overton Window. Debuting at number one on the New York Times bestseller list, it combines action and intrigue with romance, as its main characters seem to be from two completely different worlds.
Noah Gardiner is educated and wealthy, the rising vice president of a high-powered New York City PR firm whose owner is his father, Arthur Isaiah Gardner. The female main character is Molly Ross, a grassroots activist with a commitment to promoting the liberties espoused by the Founding Fathers.
I conducted an email interview with Glenn Beck on July 12.
Elise Cooper: What is the theme of the book?
Glenn Beck: The book centers around a hundred year plan to fundamentally transform and destroy America as we know it, and the plan kicks into high gear after the country suffers a “crisis” situation. The book is called The Overton Window because in order for the plan to be successful, public perception must be swayed. The Overton Window is the technique that can get the job done.
ED: Why did you write it as a novel instead of a non-fiction book?
GB: I’ve always been fascinated and entertained by thriller novels. I talk to authors of the genre on my program all the time. It’s a gripping format, and it allows you to push the limits of where the mind is willing to go. That said, like many other great thriller novels, The Overton Window is based largely in truth. There were even a few parts we had to edit out of the book because they actually happened before it went to print. Plus I was kinda hoping to beat Stephen King on the bestseller list, since he thinks conservatives can’t read.
EC: Do you consider the book’s theme/message optimistic or pessimistic? You talk about the system being broken beyond repair while at the same time saying that we have the freedom to choose our own pursuit of happiness. Please explain.
GB: I know this is sort of a copout — but both, really. It’s clearly pessimistic, unless you are a progressive who doesn’t mind the end of America as we know it, because you see how vulnerable America and her freedoms truly are. But at the same time it’s optimistic because we already have the solution to the problem, and it lies with us. As long as we are aware and willing to sacrifice our lives, fortunes, and sacred honor — no government would ever get away with snatching freedoms from us.
EC: In the book you seem to view both the right (“a fringe group of dangerous heirs to the likes of Timothy McVeigh”) and left extremists (“Instead of Bill Ayers given them Benjamin Franklin”) as a threat to America’s foundation. Please explain.
GB: Any extremist — suicide bombing Islamic, abortion bombing Christians, Pentagon bombing Bill Ayers, McVeigh and Malcom X — all of them are completely insane. Resorting to violence is of course 100% the wrong thing to do, for a million reasons, and that goes for both the left and the right. Violence is not only immoral, it’s ineffective. The only thing it does is cause government to say “see, those crazy Christians or those crazy Muslims need to be stopped” and when government steps in, it only gets worse. They get more power, and you get less. Just how progressives want it.
EC: Why did you use the quotes from John Adams (“We are a government of laws, not men”), Thomas Paine, Dr. King, Carroll Quigley, and Winston Churchill?
Beck: I used them because I believe all of them, in their own way, provide us with many of the answers to the problems we are facing today. They experienced what I believe we are currently experiencing and may experience in the future if we are not careful.
EC: Which one is your favorite and why?
GB: Right now I’d have to go with Dr. King [“No lie can live forever”] as my favorite. He believed in the American people — he truly believed that when they fully understood the level of injustice that was happening, and once they were completely informed, Americans would choose the right side. I believe the same is true today with progressives and their veiled mission to fundamentally transform America. When Americans understand the true meaning behind “fundamental transformation” they will choose the right side.
EC: You talk about restoring America instead of transforming it. Is transformation another word for change?
GB: No, change and transformation are completely different. Change represents making adjustments and fixes to the system we are currently operating under, transformation is completely changing our operating system. When Obama says he wants to fundamentally transform America, he doesn’t mean have less lobbyists around. Progressives don’t believe in the Constitution — they think it’s outdated and the president even bemoaned that it’s a “charter of negative liberties,” which is a good thing, but he doesn’t think so. He doesn’t like our system of merit, and wants to fundamentally transform it into one of “rights” such as the right to a job, health care, a home, and so on.
EC: Restoration to you is preserving — can you be specific as to what values you want to preserve?
GB: Faith, hope and charity. Right now we are relying more and more on government every single day. We’ve got unemployment benefits that run for 2 years, and they want to continue extending them almost indefinitely! I know people are struggling, but that’s not what America is about. When we are centered on those principles and values, we’re the greatest nation on the planet.
EC: The good guy’s desires were summed up with the words: faith, hope, charity. The bad guy’s desires were summed up with the words: fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Can you explain what you meant by these words and why you used them?
GB: What made us great in the first place is that we weren’t dependent on the government. We trusted in God and believed this country was divinely inspired, we believed in the power of the individual, and we helped our neighbors in need through churches and the community. Well, you can clearly see what we are: in debt, weak, and a nation of dependents.