Long before Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert descended on the National Mall, the Fox-News figurehead summoned his followers to the Lincoln Memorial for an equally public outpouring of political activism.
To become one of 25 finalists for TIME’s 2010 Person of the Year award, Glenn Beck showcased his version of action against Washington on August 28, organizing his side of Washington’s polarized conversation for a rally entitled ‘Restoring Honor.’ The name turned some heads thanks to ironic timing, as the date mirrored the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s renowned “I Have a Dream” speech.
The purported calendar ‘coincidence’ rubbed several prominent civil rights activists the wrong way. The Rev. Al Sharpton paralleled Beck’s antics with a D.C. march of his own. Other dissenters penned electronic signatures in protest of the event. At the end of the day, Beck captured the meaning of his gathering via a classic conservative value: “It has nothing to do with politics, it has everything to do with God,” he said.
In his spare time this past year, Beck authored his first novel and founded his own online university. More than 85,000 voters believe he should be TIME’s Person of the Year. Vote for one of our finalists at TIME.com, or discuss the candidates in person at a TIME POY meetup.