Glenn Beck's on many rhetorical hit lists these days. And rightfully so: he's built his career out on fear-mongering and histrionics. It's costing him money, yes, but it's also garnering threats on his family. This should stop.

On this evening's installment of his namesake show, Beck again bemoaned the fact that people are calling him names. Tonight's hurtful moniker: "clown." This, he says, is alright, because he is a clown: the proud capitalist just wants to make people happy!

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Unfortunately for his already tenuous mental stability, not everyone's tickled by Beck's antics and now he and his family are forced to live in fear of the unwashed liberal masses. Obviously no one should be threatening Beck or his family. It's just in poor taste. And it's shortsighted, for, as much as you may not want to admit it, we need Glenn Beck.

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  • First, we need Glenn Beck because, quite simply, he's a prime example of free speech. That we definitely need, even if it means we have to put up with his increasingly hysterical proclamations of socialist takeovers and ideological hit squads. That close-minded, perhaps even pathological, anxiety brings us to our second point....

  • Beck epitomizes the right-wing fanatic and, thus, exemplifies the nation's darkest political recesses. Without him, saner citizens wouldn't know the insanity that flows through a fairly large chunk of our increasingly divided country. Beck helps the comparatively liberal set know their enemy. Or, at least, the exaggerated enemy. He's a walking guide to conservative talking points. Thanks to his highly successful program, Beck provides adversaries with clues on how to defeat their own, personal Grendel. He goes right, they go reasonable.

  • While Beck's a guide to conservative talking points, he's also a great conversation starter. "Did you see Beck last night?" "Yeah! Shit, that man's going to give himself a stroke." That's a guaranteed fast friendship.

  • Beck's a cautionary tale. Tell your children that if they believe everything they read, then they'll end up just like him. Watch your critical thinker grow.

  • As a clown, Beck makes us laugh. That, we all know, is the best medicine and will no doubt come in handy as millions and millions of people find themselves without health care.

  • Finally, the 45-year old gives us all a reason to feel better about our own particular prejudices. Even if you think all Asian people are good at math (which they are) or Jewish people are cheap (which they are), you can know, without a doubt, that you're not as hateful as him. And that, we're sure, will help us all sleep easier at night.