Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Beck Autopsy

The Atlasphere has an article by an intellectually slumming John Stossel stooping to praising something like Glenn Beck. We sure won't have to operate all day long to figure out what went wrong.

The problem with Glenn Beck is that he's a conservative, and like with all conservatives his value system is so full of contradictions that he's of necessity ineffective, no matter how many people agree with him. In fact, it's a wonder he hasn't died of cognitive dissonance yet.

So, to be done with it, let's do a brief Beck autopsy. His principles, as Wikipedia quotes him, are:

1. America Is Good
2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life
3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday
4. the family is sacred
5. if you break the law you pay the penalty
6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results
7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with whom I want to
8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion
9. the government works for me — I do not answer to them, they answer to me.

Well, #6, #7, and #8 are perfectly fine. But it goes all downhill from there.

Basically, #2 flies straight in the face of #6 — if your life belongs to god, it doesn't belong to you. As does #4 — if family is sacrosanct, all your values that conflict with irrational wants of some random family member are annihilated.

Sure, #1 might be true if you hold that America is the land of #6 — but according to Beck and his ilk it's firstly the land of #2 and #4, which make #6 impossible. And #5 flies straight in the face of #8 — if he disagrees with authority, he'll at some point have to break the law to save fugitive slaves and Jews. Likewise, #3 is at least a tactical mistake — you don't tell the truth to jackbooted government thugs.

Accordingly, if #9 can ever be made to work, I'd love to see how. It sure can't be by conservatives like Beck.

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