I admit I have not watched Glenn Beck's show or heard his radio broadcasts except in excerpts when I follow a link to some particular segment. Frankly, the guy comes off as an unprincipled populist ratings hound who exudes creepiness and ignorance to me. I guess that appeals to enough folks to keep bread on his table so I say good for him. I don't have to watch and I don't. I didn't see any of the current 912 hype except what I've read in Nolan Chart columns and a few other sites where people tend to write about populist TV segments.
So, I hope the 9 “principles” that Gary Wood noted in the article:Glenn Beck Attempts to Prove We Surround Them
are accurate because his article is my only source for them.
That so many people cannot recognize the destructive patterns promoted by populists like Beck is a symptom of the dumbing down of US citizens. Beck seems to me to be the poster boy for this dumbing down process and also an effective agent for its daily promotion.
Here is my take on the damage Beck's populist nonsense inflicts on the defense of individual liberty.
1. America is good.
Anthropomorphizing an abstraction is silly and pointless. America is a continent. The United States of America is a country. Neither the continent nor the country can be “good” any more than a rock or a flag can. Ignoring the literal fallacy embodied in this populist anthropomorphizing and looking at this “principle” as a practical and relevant assertion, I'd have to say that there isn't sufficient evidence to support this assertion unless it is constrained so that it only applies to elite, politically or socially connected individuals who have ready access to wealth, theirs, ours or other really doesn't make any difference.
2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
Beliefs have nothing to do with anything. One can believe all day that the sun is purple, their neighbor is a vampire and money grows on trees….beliefs do not matter until they are manifested in actions. I've got nothing against those who choose to believe in God or those who choose not to believe in God. Those highly personal beliefs are simply irrelevant to my social and political behavior.
3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
Why were you dishonest yesterday, Glenn? What makes Beck believe honesty is something that can be mastered incrementally? This is simply a platitude that has no real meaning. One is either honest, or not. There is no incremental transition into honesty. Until one addresses the REASONS they would choose to be dishonest yesterday, there is no hope for their being honest tomorrow.
4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
Yes, a wonderful platitude that will tug the heart strings of people with families of libertarians and anarchists all a the same time. This is another meaningless bit of tripe, the sole purpose of which is to make Beck think more highly of himself.
5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
So, they should have slapped that Rosa Parks villain in jail and thrown away the key, huh Glenn? Blind justice is no justice at all. Unjust laws cannot produce just outcomes no matter how blindly they are followed. This is just another incredibly ignorant platitude aimed at the foaming mouth neocon fascist segment of Beck's audience.
6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
I'll deal with this “principle” in two parts. First, regarding the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You may exercise these rights as you see fit, that is, unless your “good America” or your “blind justice” send you off to die in a war or a prison. (and assuming the all-authoritative spouse didn't intervene…) “Good America” can nullify these supposed rights based on some quirk of goodness and justice that Beck would prefer just be carried out blindly…till it happens to him perhaps? One holds these rights only so long as those who would take them away are held in check by those who would defend them. Yet again, Beck promotes the ideals and attitudes of those who would deny these rights. Is he just stupid? Or is Beck really a wolf in sheep's clothing? From the segments I've seen and the statements I've heard him make, I think Beck isn't bright enough to be duplicitous.
“No guarantee of equal results.” Finally, something that makes sense. I now agree with 0.5 out of 6 of Beck's principles.
7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
Ugh. Promoting the paradigm of the enemies of liberty is an awful way to attempt to secure liberty. Is it really hard work though? Give me a freaking break, Beck. Talking out your ass cannot be that hard of a way to earn a living. There is no shred of charity in government. Liberals and Statists will equate government forced wealth distribution with charity until their last gasp of breath in this world but a conscientious defender of liberty would never even remotely connect the two. Government force has NOTHING to do with charity. Rather, it undermines and denigrates charity and the charitable as enemies of the “good America” fallacy.
8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
Again, giving credence to the enemy by implying there are American ideas and un-American ideas….so long as you can stipulate that your ideas are not the un-American ones. Since, “American” is an adjective describing one's residence this continent — or perhaps the neighboring continent to the south — only residents of other geographical areas can have un-American opinions.
9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.
Another liberal/progressive platitude. The government does not “work for me” unless by “me” Beck is referring to anyone who is receives an income from the government. In that sense, yes, the government works to transfer wealth from those who create it to those who receive it. The government is comprised of a vast number of elected individuals, none of whom answer to a particular citizen. Again, this is simply an ignorant platitude from a self-righteous populist.
So, my final tally is 0.5 out of 9. I don't think Beck will use me in his efforts to prove his voice still has the power to organize a herd of populists into mooing in unison.
I don't think there is any hope for the likes of Glenn Beck but I'd suggest if he does decide to become responsible for his words the place he should start is by learning the definition of “principles.” Then I'd direct him to the High-5 Conservative Principles defined and promoted at:
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