Glenn Beck saw "McFarland, USA" over the weekend and said it made him reconsider what America really is.
"I'm changing as an American, and I think it's a good thing," Beck explained on his radio program Monday. "I'm searching now for deeper meaning. I am rejecting the marketing and the packaging that has come with being an American. All the flags and the fireworks and the anthems have grown faded and tattered at best. ... America isn't a place. America isn't a banner. It is not a policy or political party. It is not our president. It is not our Congress. It is not even our men in uniform."
Beck said America is the revolutionary idea "that a man can live free and pursue the feelings of his heart and become all that he can be."
In "McFarland, USA," track coach Jim White gets a job in a "small, dusty, poor migrant workers town" in California, where Beck said he didn't recognize the food, traditions or the language, but he "knew every family."
"I knew the people. I knew the neighborhood. I pined for that community. I long for that neighborhood," Beck said. "The kind of community that comes from strife. Strife that's not complained about, not merely endured, but strife that is shared and made lighter and brighter because we are all in this together, unlike our current understanding of the word strife."
Beck said he sees America today as "a nation divided," whether it is by income, race or faith.
"We have become nothing more than a collection of parties and policies and political debates," he said. "I want to point out for anybody who wants to boil this movie down to some sort of immigration propaganda nonsense, I am deeply committed to legal immigration."
"May I suggest that you go see 'McFarland,' and you let that movie wash over you to answer or ask deeper questions of yourself?" Beck continued. "Who are we? What really made us great? Where are we headed? Am I part of the problem or am I part of the solution? Who and what am I not seeing? What am I pining for really? What is it that I'm trying to hold onto that I don't want to slip away unnoticed in the dark of night? 'McFarland' gently allows the self-aware to ask, 'Who do you want as a neighbor? People behind a nice manicured lawn and a fence who look like you do, but you rarely see, or those who would give you everything they have and welcome you as part of the family?'"
"America isn't Main Street, USA," Beck concluded. "It is any street where the people are good, hard-working and filled with those that celebrate tradition of family and friends, places where we come together and bear each other's burdens and stand shoulder to shoulder, knowing we can make tomorrow a better place for our children."
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