09 Jan 2013

Thoughts on Glenn Beck

Politics 103 Comments

Well the big to-do in my Facebook circles is Glenn Beck’s announcement that he’s rebranding his “The Blaze” as a global libertarian network (HT2 DK).

Not sure if you guys remember, but years ago I had thought Glenn Greenwald was being too harsh on Beck. “Hey the guy is obviously putting on a show, but for a radio and TV personality the message is pretty good right?” No, Glenn Greenwald blew me up in the comments here, among other ways by linking to the below video. (See, I admit when I am wrong. Glenn Greenwald killed me in that particular argument.)

103 Responses to “Thoughts on Glenn Beck”

  1. l4k says:

    Watching Beck recently it appears he is becoming more of a libertarian but he still holds to some neo-con views especially as it pertains to Israel.

    Many of his comments in the video are over four years old. He has disavowed most of comments supportive of Bush and the bailouts.

    • Yosef says:

      Is your point that, once things are out of favor (Bush, the bailouts), Beck disavows them? He isn’t becoming more libertarian, he is just an opportunist

      • Doug says:

        Until about a year ago I was an avid Beck fan and listener from from about 2005, when he was based in Philly. During the last year of W’s presidency, Beck was very critical of Bush, he openly admitted he questioned the legitimacy of the Patriot Act, and he was, for quite a while at least, preaching doom and gloom on the economy before anybody else was talking that way.

        He definitely has changed, but he’s not a libertarian. Obviously that could be a broad definition, and he leans that way, of course.

        But Ron Paul is right: he’s a good demagogue.

        • Yosef says:

          Doug, “the last year of W’s Presidency” is when Bush was strongly going out of favor, and people on the right felt more comfortable criticizing him.

          Out of curiosity, what happened a year ago to change you from an avid fan?

  2. Daniel Kuehn says:

    Out of curiosity – is it your position that someone who supports prosecution of the war on terror either is a neocon or cannot be considered a libertarian?

    • Bob Roddis says:

      Yes. DK, I just knew you wanted my special opinion too.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      DK in my book you can’t be a libertarian if you are for the Patriot Act. Certainly not if you are passionately in favor of it, as opposed to, “This makes me want to vomit, but I just don’t see how we can avoid doing this. Here are my 8 caveats for supporting it, and once the government does X, Y, or Z with this thing, I will admit it was a mistake for me to support it.”

      • Daniel Kuehn says:

        Right. I’m not sure you can be a liberal in general if you passionately support the Patriot Act. A lot of it is fine, of course, but I sort of assume when we’re talking about the “Patriot Act” we’re talking about the more problematic provisions.

        But I’m not curious about that. I’m curious about the war on terror. People seem to converge on this idea that he’s not a libertarian because of his foreign policy views, but his views that Paul is wrong on the war on terror don’t seem to me to automatically disqualify him as a libertarian. Some people seem to have this idea in their heads that you have to be a passivist or an isolationist to be a libertarian and I’m not sure that’s fair, and I was curious about your take on it.

        • Ken B says:

          You need to go to purity school Daniel.
          http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2005/sep/29/comedy.religion

          • Daniel Kuehn says:

            :)

            I like: “A Mormon told me that they don’t drink coffee. I said, “A cup of coffee every day gives you wonderful benefits.” He said, “Like what?” I said, “Well, it keeps you from being Mormon …”"

        • guest says:

          Why the Left Fears Libertarianism
          http://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory217.html

          More than a century since the progressives and socialists twisted liberalism into an anti-liberty, pro-state ideology, they see that they have made a huge mess of the world, that, as they themselves complain, social inequality persists, corporatism flourishes, and wars rage on. As the chief political architects of the 20th century in the West, they have no one to blame but themselves, and so they target us – the true liberals, the ones who never let go of authentic liberal idealism, love of the individual dignity and rights of every man, woman and child, regardless of nationality or class, and hatred of state violence and coercive authoritarianism in all its forms.

          Unfortunately, most of the left would rather not focus on the 98% of the Obama agenda that mirrors that of George W. Bush, including all the war on terror excesses they condemned for seven years.

          Everyone who votes for Barack Obama, a man with the blood of thousands of innocents on his hands, all to avoid another Republican administration that will presumably (but unlikely) slash back the domestic state, would seem to have some sorry priorities. You really care about the poorest, most innocent people? Throw your party, your president, your social democratic dreams under the bus – threaten to withhold your votes from any Democrat who lends his support to any war ever again.

    • guest says:

      Ron Paul, by the way, understands that there’s danger to be concerned about from the Islamic fundamentalists:

      War and the Constitution | Ron Paul
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo4kdGhsbls#t=34m36s
      (Start at 34:36)

      But he is also aware that our government causes its own problems:

      Ron Paul Predicted 9/11 a Decade Ago!!!!!!!!!!!!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hJTisovvjc

      Is Ron Paul serious? Blowback in 1979 from a 1953 coup?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldgbOxDX6DE

  3. Ken B says:

    ” I admit when I am wrong”
    This seems an apt moment to remind you you need to deal with all that OLG stuff you put off.

    • Daniel Kuehn says:

      He’ll deal with that when it’s inter-temporally optimal to, Ken B!

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Hmm good catch Ken. There’s no way I had time to do it, but it did slip through my calendar somehow. Maybe I was mad at you one day and deleted the note to myself?

      • Ken B says:

        One day? ONE day???

        :)

        • skylien says:

          Hey Ken,

          Maybe your children or grandchildren will explain the OLG stuff to you when you are old enough.

          ;)

          • Ken B says:

            I wouldn’t want to burden them that way …

            The discussions are on my blog btw, a few longish entries, including the Landsburg note Bob and I wrote together, and a detailed reductio example on his claims for his example.

            • skylien says:

              I am not talking about who interpreted Landsburg better. I am just referring to the OLG debate itself. Of course we don’t want to go over that again. Yet I have an idea:

              Since you (and Gene) think that Bob’s model can be replicated quite flawlessly with direct taxation, why don’t you take Bob’s screen play “The economist zone” and rewrite it without debt or any form of IOUs, just direct taxation. Put it up your blog and tell us when you are ready.

              I doubt you can do that without making the story quite absurd.

              • xgsmmy says:

                I asked Nick Rowe (and suggested it to Dean Baker) if a bond sales tax based on the spread between GDP and interest could be employed to reduce any excessive burdens, but he pointed to an blog posts about “trills” and I still don’t know if it would work.

                I also suggested that using Noahpinion’s tax the burden should never be for any future generation more than what the prior generation thought they could live without. (The previous generation lends voluntarily so they’d have to lend away their consumption to burden the latter generation with their consumption.

                Also, you can at any point default and so make the burden as it has been revealed to that point, fall on those who lent to government, who should have assumed such a risk when they lent.

                In any case it is the interest that’s the burden, not the debt itself, and Baker wrote an estimate of what he thinks it is (very low), and Nick Rowe’s NGDP targeting (possibly) suffers from the same problem (I think Nick imagines the bank only needing to use expectations and so not needing to make many purchases).

              • xgsmmy says:

                The thing that still bugs are deficit financed tax cuts for the wealthy. I can’t figure out why that should ever be done.

              • skylien says:

                Well the thing is this. Gene made an XLS in which he used instead of a debt scheme just direct taxation. Gene as well as Ken think that proves that debt is not the problem.

                I think to do this on the XLS is not enough, because that overlooks the critical issue, of how do you start it? How do you keep it going? I am well aware that Ken the dictator could do that, but in a democracy that is IMHO not going to happen. Public Choice cannot be omitted when you think about this issue. (Bob didn’t he spelled it out in his hilariously funny blog post “The Economist Zone’)

                To prove my point (I am not sure if you have read the screen play yourself therefore I give you the link below) I am just asking of them to rewrite it.

                I think that will show them that they can’t without very absurd assumptions. Without debt or some form of IOU or a promise to pay out later a certain amount such a scheme that burdens future generations at the expense of present generations is not possible, hence debt (at least some form of it) is key!

                http://consultingbyrpm.com/blog/2012/01/the-economist-zone.html

              • skylien says:

                “at the expense of present generations ”

                I meant of course “for the benefit of present generations”

      • Ken B says:

        Plus you promised M_F.

        I’ll give you a little more grac e period before I start taunting you like John Cleese …

  4. Roberto Severino says:

    I really don’t know exactly what to think of this story. On one hand, the libertarian message will have a larger platform to reach more people. That should be a good thing, but at the same time, since you have Glenn Beck in charge of creating this network out of his website The Blaze, I don’t think this is going to go that well for the reputation and credibility of libertarianism, especially since there are already many divisions and voices of dissent within the movement itself and a lot of people probably already believe that the movement is way too far out and kooky, as someone I heard put it, for them to accept, learn about and possibly embrace. Just look at Alex Jones on Piers Morgan the other night. I’m pretty sure many people believe that he holds libertarian beliefs and while Piers deserved a lot of the verbal beating that Jones gave him, he made the whole thing way too over the top and silly with the 9/11 conspiracy theory nonsense.

    It might make modern liberalism even more powerful, but at the same time, as Daniel has stated, they would start relying less on the far left and progressive movements and there could potentially be less gridlock with a weakened right wing movement. This is why I just can’t really consider myself a part of any political movement. Anyways, excellent blog you have here, Bob! As a layman, I’ve learned quite a lot from reading this and various other economics websites.

    • Doug says:

      When Glenn Beck, Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, Andrew Napolitano, and Noam Chomski claim the label (at least in part) “libertarian,” that word has either lost its meaning or we need clarity on what the heck it actually means.

      • Roberto Severino says:

        My brain hurts whenever I see people call themselves right-libertarians, left-libertarians, Bleeding Heart Libertarians or the hundreds of other labels that have been passed around among the divisions between the Mises Institute, The Cato Institute, the Reason Foundation and others and how they all tend to differ in some way. In my opinion, it’s all over the place and hard to keep track of each type of libertarian’s beliefs and principles, even though I enjoy reading from all the various points of views in libertarianism.

        • Ken B says:

          Yes, the label is largely meaningless. It certainly seems unmoored from ‘liberty’. You’d think “libertarians” would object to slavocracy.

          • K.P. says:

            If only “liberty” had a well-defined meaning.

          • Bob Murphy says:

            You’d think “libertarians” would object to slavocracy.

            ^^ It was surely a flip comment like that, that made me delete the note to myself to answer your debt issue.

            • Ken B says:

              Now Bob, you know that’s just trash talk. But there is a substantive point I’ll spell out. I think it a perfectly small l libertarian position to support forcibly ending slavery. The British did it for example. Yet many big L Libertarians act as if that were a crazy notion. But it’s all a matter of which and whose liberties take priority in any given instnace. In Canada we’d have jalied you for seizing a runaway slave; I kinda like that notion of liberty.

              • K.P. says:

                Don’t most (possibly, all) libertarians argue that the British approach to end slavery was superior to the U.S. approach?

              • K.P. says:

                Excuse me, small and big “l” libertarians.

              • Ken B says:

                KP: Everyone does I hope. But that’s not the issue Some Ls argue that even the kind of force the Brits used is unjustifiable and un-libertarian. I think that’s clearly wrong and suggests an attempted hijacking of the word. So it’s not whether the Brit approach was better, but whether it was acceptable at all.

              • K.P. says:

                That makes sense, transfering tax-payer money to slave-holders just doesn’t sound very consistent. Whether that’s practical, I don’t know.

                (And seeing the original use of the word to describe a set of communists, I don’t think anyone can hijack it at this point.)

              • crossofcrimson says:

                Most of the people I’ve encountered that push this more “radical” line of thinking were not “big L Libertarians.” Unless there’s been a huge recent shift in the Libertarian Party that I’m unaware of…..

              • Dan says:

                Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, crossofcrimson.

      • Daniel Kuehn says:

        One of my favorite exercises is taking someone’s definition of “libertarian” and seeing if it applies to me. It almost always does, which to me says it’s a pretty useless definition.

        • Roberto Severino says:

          Haha! In that case, my own pet dog is a libertarian. He abides by the non aggression principle unless the mail carrier comes by or a stranger knocks on the door and comes in. You’re right. It really doesn’t hold much weight in the grand scheme of things. Just to make things easier, just have a lot of the libertarians call themselves conservative and you’ll clear up a ton of confusion even though I know it isn’t supposed to be a right or left wing political philosophy.

          • Daniel Kuehn says:

            The thing is I don’t think it would be hard at all to have a definition that excludes me, but that would require talking specifically about the government rather than about political philosophy, the market, or liberty. It’s interesting to me that few people go that route, though. I imagine they think acting like they’re distinct on political philosophy (liberalism), the market (pro) or liberty (pro) will get them more positive feedback than pointing out how they’re actually distinct on specifics having to do with government. Talking too much about what you think about government makes you look too much like a political platform. Talking vaguely about things that most Americans in the liberal tradition subscribe to makes you sound less partisan and more reasonable.

        • Ken B says:

          Oh man Daniel, if you’re gonna throw a pitch that slow I have to take a swing, I cannot help it/

          A useless definition, or a “useless” definition?

          :)

        • Dan says:

          Or it could mean you are delusional.

          • Ken B says:

            That’s part of the definition? Score!

          • Daniel Kuehn says:

            That seems unlikely. It seems a lot more likely that the definitions are vague and feel-good definitions that cover everyone and their mother.

            I suppose I wouldn’t know if I’m delusional, but I think it’s a pretty safe bet I’m not.

            • Bob Murphy says:

              That seems unlikely. It seems a lot more likely that the definitions are vague and feel-good definitions that cover everyone and their mother.

              Well the standard definition Rothbardians would use is belief in the NAP. That’s not you, so you’re not a libertarian. QED. Next?

              • Joseph Fetz says:

                Ding, ding, ding, ding. Bingo! Eureka! You’ve won the prize behind door number one.

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                “Non-aggression” is about as vague as these definitions come Bob! That having been said, there are definitely NAP articulations that exclude me, but (one of) Rothbard’s own versions:

                “No one may threaten or commit violence (‘aggress’) against another man’s person or property. Violence may be employed only against the man who commits such violence; that is, only defensively against the aggressive violence of another. In short, no violence may be employed against a non-aggressor.”

                Clearly does not exclude me from libertarianism unless you add considerably more to it.

                The definitions at places like Learn Liberty. IHS, Cato, etc. largely include me (and I’d guess most people).

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                Don’t get me wrong – I know Rothbardians have a much more specific definition in mind that does exclude me. For that matter, most non-Rothbardian libertarians do too!

                The sociologically interesting question is why they often seem reticent to make that specificity more explicit.

              • Bob Murphy says:

                DK wrote:

                Don’t get me wrong – I know Rothbardians have a much more specific definition in mind that does exclude me. For that matter, most non-Rothbardian libertarians do too!

                Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t you here admitting that all Rothbardians, and most non-Rotbhardian libertarians, have a definition in mind that excludes you from being a libertarian?

                Again, I’m not expecting you to go jump off a cliff, but can you understand why people find it frustrating to argue with you?

              • Ken B says:

                And this is a perfect example of what I mean by hijacking the term. Emo would be proud.

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                Libertarians are not alone in this. The initial definitions offered by progressives and conservatives generally include most libertarians, progressives and conservatives too!

                It’s a natural tendency, I think. It’s not specific to libertarians.

                People fight over guys like Alex Jones and Glenn Beck precisely because so much of ideological affiliation is based on peoples’ personal feelings of affiliation and not on a really clear cut definition.

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                re: “Emo would be proud.”

                Hey now – there’s no need to bring Sesame Street into this. Didn’t we have enough of that during the election?

              • Ken B says:

                I define KenKuehnians as those who care about all living creatures and their rights, who want only best for the world and its inhabitants, with sweetness and love for all. Not like you nasty Libertarians, Conservatives, Liberals, or Socialists.

              • Bob Murphy says:

                If opposing Ken B is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

              • Ken B says:

                You ticke me, Danie

                (Read that carefuy)

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                To put meat on this, I think saying “Libertarians don’t think the government should tax income or spend on social problems” is a lot better definition than the NAP as it’s usually articulated, because there are a lot of people out there who think the government should tax income and spend on social programs that would counter that they are perfectly in line with the NAP.

                I am all for broad statements of the liberal tradition. That’s very important.

                But I don’t see why these are often passed off as something that they’re not: detailed ideological definitions.

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                Don’t listen to him: there is currently a debate raging in the journals and blogosphere as to whether KenKuehnianism is right or KuehnKenianism is right.

                And don’t even get me started on those Callahanians. They always throw a monkey wrench into things.

              • Ken B says:

                A jumped up monkeywrench.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                DK:

                You wrote:

                “No one may threaten or commit violence (‘aggress’) against another man’s person or property. Violence may be employed only against the man who commits such violence; that is, only defensively against the aggressive violence of another. In short, no violence may be employed against a non-aggressor.”

                “Clearly does not exclude me from libertarianism unless you add considerably more to it.”

                It does exclude you, DK. You are excluded from that definition because you want, among other violations of the NAP, Keynesian policies to be implemented, and Keynesian policies violate the NAP.

              • Ken B says:

                Bob to DK:
                ” a definition in mind that excludes you from being a libertarian?”

                But Daniel isn’t talking about “in mind”. He’s talking abnout “in print.” That’s more or less the whole point Bob, and the point behind my KenKuehnian mock definition. What is said is vague feel good loosey goosey pablum.

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                MF if you want to include anti-Keynesianism in the NAP, that’s fine but you have to add to the definition I provided to get that.

              • Dan says:

                DK violates the NAP in print as well as in mind.

                I said:

                How does killing peaceful secessionists minimize killing?

                Daniel Kuehn said:

                Disbanding this Union, I think, is likely to make for a very unpleasant next couple centuries. Its on the basis of that assessment that I’d back the move.

                http://consultingbyrpm.com/blog/2012/11/the-economics-of-the-great-depression-online-class.html

              • Daniel Kuehn says:

                Dan -
                By “peaceful” I assumed you were saying “not in a state of war or physical violence”. It’s not clear to me that the act of secession itself is not aggressive.

                I remember being pretty cagey about the whole secession thing, but I could be remembering it wrong (not that I trust any of you lot to have a more faithful recollection).

              • skylien says:

                Daniel if people don’t have the right to disassociate themselves from a community, do you also think a man has the right to threat his wife with assault if she tries to get a divorce?

                Or are you saying that you arbitrarily define the association of the united states differently than any other which would show the double standard of morality you have?

              • Dan says:

                Daniel, you don’t even remotely adhere to the non-aggression principle. No libertarian would support killing peaceful secessionists because “disbanding the Union would lead to a very unpleasant next couple of centuries.”

                Also, you have no problem with drone bombings even though innocent people get killed. You support war that results in the death of innocents. You support killing if you believe it will prevent more killing. You’re not following the NAP. You’re delusional if you think you adhere to it.

    • Daniel Kuehn says:

      re: “Just look at Alex Jones on Piers Morgan the other night. I’m pretty sure many people believe that he holds libertarian beliefs”

      Well he does hold libertarian beliefs, doesn’t he?!?!

      He just happens to hold other beliefs as well you’d rather not associate with. What’s sad is he made good points, but that was overshadowed by a lot of awful points. It’s frustrating when people act like the second amendment is just a protection for hunters or something like that. Too many people are afraid to just say “no – we have the right to bear arms precisely because it may be necessary to use them to kill other human beings”.

      • Roberto Severino says:

        Alex Jones is really just a clever businessman who knows that he needs to act like a lunatic to keep his brainwashed audience listening and so his business stays afloat. When one does a three hour radio show based on conspiracy theories, you have to embellish the facts and make up a lot of nonsense to fill up air time. I doubt he’s really like this in real life.

  5. Ken B says:

    Beck is an odd duck. Sometimes he makes perfect sense and sometimes he’s the buffoon he plays.

    I hear Krugman plans to debate him.

    • guest says:

      I hear Krugman plans to debate him.

      That would be bad, since Beck is a Friedmanite on monetary policy.

      • Ken B says:

        It was a joke guest.

        • guest says:

          Now *I*m the slow one.

          I’ll do what Murphy told the other guy, and quit employing dumb.

  6. Yosef says:

    Beck wishes he could be a libertarian, he truly does. But we just aren’t worthy of freedom yet. We aren’t good enough, aren’t responsible enough. Once we are a moral people, who have found God, then Beck will agree to us all having freedoms.

    (Most recent example: http://www.video.theblaze.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=25548071&topic_id=24584158 around 1:45)

    • Doug says:

      Example of that: Beck said he’d be in favor of eliminating drug prohibition if the outcome of those who still wish to screw their lives is not welfare and special programs, but that they actually suffer from their consequences. He thinks that we can’t have it both ways. I’m not saying I agree, but that seems to be where he’s coming from.

      • Yosef says:

        Doug, Beck has, at times, framed it that way. That he would be in favor of drug reform if it meant they would not get help from the government. But more often, and in general terms (so not just drugs) he has framed it in terms of our morality. In the clip from the other night, it was pure morality, not an issue of the welfare state.

  7. Scott Lazarowitz says:

    Glenn Beck, “neocon”? No, just “con” is more like it.

    He really is just an opportunist who manipulates listeners and viewers’ emotions, regarding the Constitution, liberty, 9/11, “terrorism,” and Israel.

    I don’t think he really is sincere in his constant religious sermons and tirades. And I don’t believe he is sincere in his proclaimed devotion to Israel either. Or his proclaimed devotion to the Constitution. But he is sincere in his devotion to Glenn Beck.

    • K.P. says:

      “And I don’t believe he is sincere in his proclaimed devotion to Israel either. Or his proclaimed devotion to the Constitution. But he is sincere in his devotion to Glenn Beck.”

      Maybe he is a better libertarian than I thought.

  8. Matt M says:

    Well, I’m an avid Beck listener. He’s certainly no Tom Woods, but he’s probably the closest thing to libertarian we’re ever going to get on “mainstream” media. I don’t really think it’s fair to call him a libertarian OR to call him a neo-con. He’s libertarian on some issues, and neo-con on others. He was incredibly pro-Romney and anti-Ron Paul (hard to call yourself a libertarian after that), but he’s also been heavily critical of the GOP establishment and regularly says things like “the Republican party is over” (and not in a ‘unless we save it by becoming more liberal’ sort of way, but in a ‘good riddance’ sort of way).

    I listen often and I get the preception that the majority of this guy’s core values are libertarian, he just has a few neo-con positions that he can’t seem to get over, namely the whole “WE MUST PROTECT ISRAEL FROM EVERYONE AT ALL TIMES” deal. Back during the primaries, that seemed to be the ONLY thing he disagreed with Ron Paul about, and yet it was enough to make him vehemetly anti-Paul.

    • Yosef says:

      Matt, saying “He’s libertarian on some issues, and neo-con on others” is akin to saying a mixture is three quarts of milk and one quart of sewage: it’s just a gallon of sewage.

      • Matt M says:

        Of course, the neo-cons could make the same claim. “Beck’s not a real conservative, he’s just a crazy libertarian, after all he believes in abolishing the TSA!”

        I’m not sure what is to be gained by imposing some sort of purity standard. Is the guy libertarian on every single issue? No. If you can’t handle that, that’s your perogative. But I’ll continue to reach out and try and build bridges with those people who are simply libertarian on MOST issues, myself…

  9. whiskey1bravo says:

    That figures.. Maybe they are beginning to realize they can’t win an argument against liberty, so they just need to rip it up, stomp it in the mud, set it on fire and sprinkle the ashes from atop Mt Rushmore by having one of the biggest ignoramus’ in MSM say he’s a Libertarian. God save us.

  10. Joey Clark says:

    As a subscriber to the Blaze as well as an avid fan of the Mises Institute and RPM, I wonder how many people commenting have watched the programming, especially the shows where Beck serves little to no role. The network is obviously not libertarian in an anarco-capitalist sense but definitely has libertarian leanings. For instance, “Real News” is an excellent show, and I’ve actually seen them mention Mises and Rothbard.

    As an atheist, I would describe Beck and most of his audience as Christian Right which entails a strong appeal to Christian identity and classical liberal ideals. I consider Beck a christian conservative who has become more libertarian as time has gone on. Frankly he’s become more informed and thus palatable as time has gone on.

    It is really asinine how much we seek to separate ourselves politically, making enemies out of people that could be possible allies against tyrants. I would suggest Mises’ and Rothbard’s ideas could gain huge exposure if we engaged constructively with folks at the Blaze.

    But simply yelling, “Neocon!” because someone disagrees over Israel or whatever else will get you nowhere fast and cuts off a chance to persuade others about the merits of non-intervention.

    • Dan says:

      Hold on, so you are chastising us for not giving the guy, who insults Ron Paul and his supporters on a regular basis, more respect? I bet I don’t have to go back more than a week to find a clip of him calling Ron Paul supporters crazy. Yeah, I can’t figure out why libertarians don’t like this warmonger.

      • Joey Clark says:

        How often do you listen or watch Beck or the Blaze (which showcases other people besides Beck,) Dan?

        He has called Paul’s position on Israel and Iran crazy. He has said other things that piss me off regarding Paul and some ideas. But regular basis? No.

        I didn’t ask you to give him respect. I suggested to constructively engage people such as Beck in discussion rather than name calling and labeling even if they may do so to you on some positions. You know, the whole golden rule, agape thing.

        But just so I get this straight, your point seems to be:

        “Well he calls us names too!”

        Well that just leaves us with a bunch of name calling.

        We have too much of that as it is.

        • Dan says:

          No, my position is that Beck isn’t a libertarian. He is one of the most insulting critics of actual libertarians, and he is simply trying to co-opt the libertarian name. I don’t trust the guy, and I think that he is no different than a guy like Irving Kristol. I mean the guy makes Reason look radical by comparison.

          I have no problem pointing out that Beck isn’t a libertarian, and that he is a warmonger. You can say that is name calling, but I say it’s calling a spade a spade.

          • guest says:

            Ya, that was really unfortunate.

            But I get the feeling he didn’t really want to understand Ron Paul’s views on foreign policy.

            Beck called Ron a genius on the economy, but somehow he becomes a total retard when it comes to Islamic fundamentalism.

        • Dan says:

          Just let me know how many links you need before you start to sense a pattern.

          I think one of the reasons I really can’t stand Glenn Beck is because I spent fours years talking to his listeners on a daily basis. So, yes, I’ve listened to his shows way more often than I care to admit. I had to in order to know what nonsense he was telling my clients. This guy doesn’t lead anybody to libertarianism. He makes people who are philosophically aligned with George Bush think they are aligned with Thomas Jefferson. It’s truly amazing to hear a bunch of sociopathic warmongers going on and on about the founding fathers and then talking about how we needed to vote for Romney.

          My girlfriends father has read everyone of his books and watches his shows everyday. Her father is so delusional that he thinks his fascist worldview is libertarian, and thinks my anarcho-capitalist worldview is socialist. Beck does nothing but confuse the hell out of people. I try to get him to read Mises and Rothbard but he tunes me out because he already knows my views are wrong because I like Ron Paul. That is what Beck does for the libertarian movement. He makes people hate the guy who has brought more people to libertarianism than anybody who has ever walked the planet.

          • guest says:

            Your girlfriend’s father thinks you’re a socialist because, like the hippie socialists that were responsible for the Day of Rage in the 60s, you and Ron Paul blame America for Islamic terrorist attacks, and are opposed to war in a seemingly stoner-esque “make love not war” kind of way.

            This is difficult to unwind for the neocons. Yes, the socialists at least claim to be anti-war, and their reasoning is that they believe free markets are responsible for other countries’ oppression.

            I was a neocon, so keep trying to reach him. My transition came through the economic route. I figured Ron Paul couldn’t be a complete moron after having predicted the housing crash, so I at least checked out some of his “blame America” claims.

            Show him these, and see what he thinks:

            Ron Paul Predicted 9/11 a Decade Ago!!!!!!!!!!!!
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hJTisovvjc

            Is Ron Paul serious? Blowback in 1979 from a 1953 coup?
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldgbOxDX6DE

            Washington’s Farewell Address
            http://www.heritage.org/initiatives/first-principles/primary-sources/washingtons-farewell-address

            The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

            Third Annual Message to Congress
            http://www.teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=664

            We have seen with sincere concern the flames of war lighted up again in Europe, and nations with which we have the most friendly and useful relations engaged in mutual destruction. While we regret the miseries in which we see others involved let us bow with gratitude to that kind Providence which, inspiring with wisdom and moderation our late legislative councils while placed under the urgency of the greatest wrongs, guarded us from hastily entering into the sanguinary contest, and left us only to look on and to pity its ravages. These will be heaviest on those immediately engaged. Yet the nations pursuing peace will not be exempt from all evil. In the course of this conflict, let it be our endeavor, as it is our interest and desire, to cultivate the friendship of the belligerent nations by every act of justice and of incessant kindness; to receive their armed vessels with hospitality from the distresses of the sea, but to administer the means of annoyance to none; to establish in our harbors such a police as may maintain law and order; to restrain our citizens from embarking individually in a war in which their country takes no part; to punish severely those persons, citizen or alien, who shall usurp the cover of our flag for vessels not entitled to it, infecting thereby with suspicion those of real Americans, and committing us into controversies for the redress of wrongs not our own;

            War, Ron Paul, and Conservatism
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLUoWhWsOWk

            Thought Controllers Call Ron Paul “Extreme”
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FFhSr1A1do

            • Dan says:

              He really doesn’t know my views very well. I live in Los Angeles and he lives in Indiana, so we aren’t around each other all that much. He just knows I like Ron Paul, and he hates Ron Paul. So that means I’m a socialist in his mind. I would need to be in closer contact with him to have a chance of convincing him to become an actual libertarian. As is, I’d rather talk about things we both agree on for the few times we have the opportunity to talk.

          • Matt M. (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

            Actually, he lead me to libertarianism. Or at least, he was a bridge that led me to it. I started as a Bill O’Reilly neo-con. Glenn Beck was the stepping stone between that and real libertarianism. Back in my neocon days, had someone came up to me and started quoting Rothbard and criticizing the war, I probably would have dubbed that person an America-hating Commie and never given it a second thought. But surely you can admit that Glenn Beck is MORE libertarian than O’Reilly or Hannity or those guys, right?

            • Dan says:

              Yes, but in the way my head is closer than my feet to the sun; sometimes and not by much. I don’t believe his libertarian views are genuine. He seems like a snake oil salesman to me. If he led you to libertarianism then that’s great, but I talked to about 100 different Glenn Beck fans every week for four years. You are an exception to the rule.

            • guest says:

              But surely you can admit that Glenn Beck is MORE libertarian than O’Reilly or Hannity or those guys, right?

              I would agree with that.

              Look how long it took O’Reilly to acknowledge the heavy Marxist influence in the Obama Administration. The video evidence was smacking him in the face.

              To your point about dubbing anti-war people America-hating Commies, another reason I, too, thought that – apart from the similarity to what the hippies were spouting – was because I thought that my government was largely following the Constitution, and that there must be a good reason to have bases overseas contrary to those who said that we were occupying other countries.

              What do I care what other countries do? We’ll get out when we’re done, and then they can do whatever they want so long as they don’t attack us.

              Learning about the 1953 coup of Iran was shocking for me. I thought my country didn’t do those kinds of things.

              Neocons don’t hate people that are different than them, folks; That’s retarded. Who hates people merely because they’re different?

              And if you show them that America has done what the Commie nations have done, then they will be angry at their government.

            • guest says:

              Glenn Beck is fantastic on exposing the Marxists. I consider him a hero.

              Check this out:

              Glenn Beck: Meet the New Radicals
              http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/43761/

          • Joey Clark says:

            I sense a pattern that Beck is a christian conservative and disagrees with Dr. Paul when it comes to Israel and being a principled non-interventionist. I think he honestly believes Iran is a threat and is sincerely concerned for Israel. You can use the pejorative term “warmonger” if you like, fair enough. You may be right sir, but sometimes people simply disagree on a particular issue without other ideological baggage.

            Who cares if Beck has idiots for listeners. I’d imagine most are disillusioned Reagan era conservatives who know very little but find Beck compelling.

            I work in and host talk radio myself, and I find there are a lot of people in general who are idiots no matter whom they support.

            I have honestly received calls from people who call themselves Paul supporters who are complete wackos, squawking rehearsed lines and labels they don’t actually understand.

            Nonetheless, I have also worked with Paul campaign supporters who are savvy and brilliant at making a case for the cause of liberty to people who DISAGREE and are skeptical of Ron Paul on foreign policy i.e. christian conservatives such as Beck.

            Your girlfriend’s father sounds like the average political talk listener: ill-informed and quick to judge based upon his own faulty bias. He seems VERY ill-informed actually.

            Yet, it would be a disservice to “smear” Beck with examples of his ill-informed listeners just as it seems you and I don’t like it when Beck “smears” Ron Paul when he airs calls from less than diplomatic Paul supporters.

            I still find the best way for the libertarian ideas to gain traction is through education and coalition-building on certain issues by engaging with groups who are not dyed in the wool supporters of MIses, Rothbard, and Paul.

            Having watched the Blaze, I don’t mind it being called libertarian. It’s not Mises U or Tom Woods or Bob Murphy but at least they have some people that criticize the drone war, question the war on drugs, and advocate free markets on their shows. This is refreshing compared to the current alphabet soup of news networks.

            If we consider your girlfriend’s father as symbolic of the average listener, I would much rather he watch the Blaze rather than FOX, MSNBC, CNN, etc. Beck and his network won’t convert him to anarco-capitalism but it will bring him closer to liberty. I know you are skeptical of Beck and his ilk, but I think the man is sincere in what he is trying to do.

            • Dan says:

              I’ll make just a couple points because we completely disagree about Beck. We aren’t going to come to any kind of agreement with regards to him. I think he is nothing more than a snake oil salesman.

              1. Beck is not a Christian. He’s a Mormon.

              2. I’m not saying that Beck has idiots for listeners. I’m saying that Beck has listeners that are being misinformed on many issues by him. One of the worst things he does is convince his listeners to believe Ron Paul is crazy.

              • Joey Clark says:

                Fair enough. Agree to disagree.

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