Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Glenn Beck is fanning the wrong flames

In Opinion, Political Critique on March 1, 2011 at 9:25 pm

First, I believe that Mr. Beck’s intentions are pure.  I fear, however, that the attacks on him have, understandably, triggered innate defense responses.  Consequently, he’s fighting and waging the wrong battle.  He’s fighting hate with fire; that will not end well.  I admit that understanding what we are facing is necessary, but it is not a complete, winning strategy.  Inflaming the left without making the contrary arguments calmly and repeatedly will result in a power struggle to the death of the Republic.

Support for freedom and individual rights thrives if, and only if, it is nurtured.  Beck’s TV shows (so too the opposition’s) are filled with telling his audience who to be against.  He cites polls showing this or that preference of some position by some majority.  Over and over he suggests that the supporters of the majority view, as revealed in that magic crystal ball called a poll, needs rise up and impose its will on the rest of the country.

He will never be more wrong.  We must not tolerate our politicians or TV pundits mimicking Joe Barton (See his Tea Party speech here) who wrongly thought he could pander to the Tea Party Patriots by identifying with the tank driver in Tiananmen Square, likening the Democrats to the little girl.  I don’t want to cajole anyone to agree with me, I want to be free, including free of Democrats or Republicans passing laws that tell me how to live and where my money should be “invested” by the federal government.  A government that is not neutral is tyrannical.

The sovereignty of the individual as set forth first in the Declaration of Independence, all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, is the most important and radical political statement in the history of mankind.  Never before was the individual recognized as the center of all things.  That uniquely American, foundational truth gets overlooked when the power struggle for a majority begins.  Candidates bob and weave to bundle together enough votes from disparate interest groups to form a majority.  Then, once in office, the newly-powerful elected official hides behind the “voice of the people,” the power of democracy, and a “mandate” to [unlawfully] infringe on the freedoms of the people who voted against him in favor of those who voted for him.

That cycle will accelerate the downfall of the Republic that Mr. Beck genuinely claims to be working to avert.  I pray he finds his bearings and stops preaching fire and brimstone, and instead instructs his opponents about salvation.  Even during violent battles, Abraham Lincoln saved the union by appealing to his enemies best nature, not by attacking their worst flaws. 

With malice toward none, with charity for all.

Please rediscover that spirit, America.  Please.

–  See Lincoln’s Sword by Douglas Wilson for a scholarly treatment (and inspirational read) of President Lincoln’s use of rhetoric to save the Union.


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