I first became aware of Glenn Beck in a sort of backhanded way. He was already well on his way to capturing the hearts of conservative America with his nationally syndicated radio show, but not yet a pillar of Fox News. At the time, I was working on a book about business leaders with ADHD (ADD), and a friend directed me to an interview that Beck had recorded with Ty Pennington, host of Extreme Home Makeover.
As I learned, both have ADHD and take medication to help manage the condition. As someone with the condition, who also takes Vyvanse (an ADHD medication), and was writing a book, I was quite excited to hear the interview. I actually contacted Beck's office in the hopes of interviewing him, but sadly he declined.
Since then, Beck has become a celebrity and the source of much personal conflict for me. On the one hand, he's a legitimate, 'out' ADHD role model. We don't have too many. In addition, the condition seems to contribute heavily to his success. Love him or hate him, you've got admit that he's well spoken, highly creative and superbly entertaining. (These are traits commonly associated with the condition.) On the other, I passionately disagree with his politics and demagoguery. He's flip-flopped more times than The Daily Show can mock and happily peddles his right wing fantasies as if they were actually facts. Truly, it scares me that people take him so seriously.
Today, I learned that Beck wants to transcend the stage and mobilize his political 'base.' That's fine, but I would suggest that now is not the time for half steps. If he thinks that his ideas are so compelling, I'd urge Beck to follow in the footsteps of Jesse Ventura and run for governor. In other words, put his money where his mouth is. Fortunately, New York Republicans don't have a credible candidate for governor in 2010, so Beck should have no trouble clinching the ticket without having to be a spoiler.
Should he take such a step, I will happily donate to the campaign, and my respect for Beck would increase enormously. Of course, I wouldn't want him to win, and if he did, I think that my home state would be worse for it. My only consolation would be knowing that New York has its first openly ADHD governor. For me, that would actually be a big deal.