Religion dispatches includes an article by Joanna Brooks titled "How Mormonism Built Glenn Beck." The reader can see how the comments following the article reveal disagreements as to how well the author understands Mormonism and its culture, but I point out this article in order to make readers aware of the significance of religious beliefs in the public square in general, and the continuing rise of individuals with a connection to the Mormon faith who are involved in American political discourse in particular.
One significant facet that is missing in Brooks' analysis is Beck's "end times" views which represent an amalgamation of Mormon teaching and pretribulational dispensationalism found in popular books by evangelical "prophecy experts." Such thinking is reflected in Beck's largely pessimistic view of America's economic and political systems.
Readers might also note another facet of Brooks' piece in this comment:
..Beck’s spectacular rise suggests that evangelical conservatives (especially those under 40 who may not remember the anti-Mormon cult crusades of the 1980s) are increasingly willing to set aside their reservations about Mormons when it suits their pragmatic and political interests.This is a reminder of the fluid nature of both politics and the religious landscape, including evangelicalism. It would seem that the portrait of Mormonism presented in previous decades by certain segments of evangelicalism is waning, as is the priority younger evangelicals give to such conceptualizations.