is about on par with Insane Clown Posse in a lot of ways, if you break it down.
Both groups play to a very particular, niche segment of the United States, for whom he managed to tap into something inside of their collective subconscious. The same way that alienated, white suburban teens might see the appeal of building communities around wearing clown makeup and goth pants and drinking shitty soda, a group largely built of alienated baby boomers and Gen-Xers, faced with the fear of being old and irrelevant, their cultural movements largely forgotten, see the idea of banding together to hold up incomprehensible and bizarre signs.
And of course, there's also an equally ridiculous theatrics, and certainly a lot of really shitty music.
Each has a central ideology which makes sense pretty much exclusively to them, and about which they will become extremely dogmatic if pushed.
As much as, to one segment of our country, the statement that, "If you're a good ninja you get leave the Carnival of Carnage to go to Shangri-La, but if you fuck up and get tricked by The Great Malenko, Jake Jeckel will drop his balls and the wraith to Hell's Pit", a roughly equal, but much more media present segment of the community believe that Barack Obama is a fascist socialist, hellbent on white slavery, hate any kind of measure that might resemble helping people, including welfare programs (which bare a striking resemblance to programs suggested by Beck's hero, religious skeptic Thomas Paine, and measure's advocated passively by Beck's hero Dr. Martin Luther King JR), believe that gold is magic and intrinsically valuable, and not subject to fluctuating demand (presumably because it looks pretty), and think that Ayn Rand was a great author, and not a shitty, tactless hack with leaden prose, and a half-assed philosophy that sounds something like Nietzsche without the sense of humor, and whose epic work, Atlas Shrugged, is pretty much Twilight with Capitalists instead of Vampires and Werewolves.
Neither Glenn Beck, nor the Insane Clown Posse have to give a thought, at this point in their careers to gaining any kind of widespread, more mainstream appeal, and both tout being out of the "mainstream", because they have both managed to lock into a particular audience, who will, for the most part, follow whatever they do.
And for this, the fiscal possibilities are pretty much endless, and pretty much mean negate the need to ever draw a wider base.
There are a staggering number of people in this country who would pay endlessly for hatchet man pendants, ICP action figures, Gathering tickets, copies of Big Money Hustlas, and and any other merchandise the group could slap their face onto. And in turn, people, in droves, will pay for Beck's shitty books, including his recent abomination The Overton Window, will buy t-shirts, and posters, and access to the premium content on his website.
By the same degree that, if ICP were announce the sale of Dark Carnival Lederhosen, black with chains and metal studs, a drawing of Violent J's fat mug on the crotch, it would sell like hot cakes, if Glenn Beck were to announce the sale of "Freedom Cozies", a foam sleeve with a Cleon Skousen quote and a painting of white Jesus and Thomas Jefferson in a teary embrace, to keep your pocket constitution warm, people would throw their money at it.