On today's show, Glenn Beck offered five points representing his concerns about the Obama administration (link), and he asked his viewers to contact their representatives and find out whether they were "In or Out", i.e., whether they agreed with Beck's points. If they don't agree, he wants his viewers to vote them out of office the next chance they get.
The five points follow, and after that I explain what's wrong with Beck's overall campaign. Any Beck readers who think I'm an Obama supporter should search through the hundreds of posts here about the Obama administration and their associates. While I no doubt disagree with Beck on many things, I'm not an Obama supporter. I just want to oppose Obama and the Dems in a smarter and more effective way than Beck is capable of formulating.
1. I believe in a balanced budget and therefore will vote for a freeze in government spending until that goal is realized.
Since a freeze in U.S. government spending would cripple the U.S. and the world, he apparently means a freeze on increases in government spending. That would have to be decided on a project-by-project basis; in some cases it might make sense to increase spending, in other cases it might not make sense. The smarter thing to do would be for Beck to discourage spending increases and encourage greater efficiency.
2. I believe government should not increase the financial burden on its citizenry during difficult economic times therefore I will oppose all tax increases until our economy has rebounded.
In some cases, some tax increases might make sense. As with the first, that's a more nuanced issue than Beck is capable of advocating.
3. I believe more than four decades of U.S. dependence on foreign oil is a travesty therefore I will support an energy plan that calls for immediately increasing usage of all domestic resources including nuclear energy, natural gas, and coal as necessary.
My first impression would be to follow the money and ask who Beck is wittingly or unwittingly helping; T. Boone Pickens? While identifying opposition to oil drilling - offshore or in Alaska - with dirty hippies and then supporting despoiling the environment is a bit satisfying, perhaps Beck would be wiser to try to co-opt the "hippie-esque" support for sustainable energy as opposed to simply more oil drilling. Sustainable energy doesn't have to be a leftwing position, perhaps Beck could try to take it away from the Al Gores of the world and encourage innovation in that area at the same time as opposing unjust enrichment by connected subsidy-seeking contractors. He might also want to look into the major players in the nuclear energy field, which includes General Electric.
4. I believe in the sovereignty and security of our country and therefore will support measures to close our borders except for designated immigration points so we will know who is entering and why and I will vehemently oppose any measure giving another country, the United Nations, or any other entity, power over U.S. citizens.
That's dangerously close to secure the border, the same dodge used by John McCain and other supporters of comprehensive immigration reform, aka amnesty. Our immigration problems aren't really a border problem; they're a political corruption problem. If corrupt politicians were held accountable for their opposition to immigration enforcement our problem with the border and with illegal immigration in general would be much less severe. Beck is not only not striking at the root of the problem, he's not even close. As for sovereignty, Beck can't hold a candle to others who are actually concerned about that issue, such as Phyllis Schlafly. Frankly, he should let people like her do his thinking on that issue. Note also that on his show, Beck expanded on this point to include Obama's "czars", something that make no sense; the "czars" are part of the U.S. government and appointed by a U.S. president.
5. I believe the United States of America is the greatest country on earth and therefore will not apologize for policies or actions which have served to free more and feed more people around the world than any other nation on the planet.
With some caveats, that's not such a bad concept, except where it might lead to a continuation of "freeing" people by invading their countries with deceptive or sketchy provocation when better alternatives are available.
Regarding Beck's suggestion that people send the list to their representatives, only a small number of his viewers are going to do that and they're going to get stock replies. And, most Beck viewers probably already live in areas where their representative is more on Beck's side than on the side of, say, Nancy Pelosi. And, in the "bluer" areas, there aren't enough Beck viewers to affect the election results. In other words, looking at things realistically, the idea that his viewers could have an impact on the election results simply by sheer force of numbers is a bit far-fetched. About the only impact that it would have would be to drive out more moderate Republicans in favor of less-impactful harder-right Republicans.
As for his suggestion that people ask about his five points at townhalls, that's even more worthless. Most politicians are going to respond - truthfully - that they haven't read and looked into his five points. It's just going to be yet another wasted question as the politician shines on their constituents.
Beck is slightly on the right track, but what he's proposing is never going to have an impact outside his echo chamber. Beck suffers from the same mental problem that most others - especially those on the right-wing - suffer from. They come up with ideas but don't bother thinking through how to actually implement them. They don't think through what could go wrong; they don't plan for contingencies. They seem to think that simply by stating something it will happen. Well, that's wrong. In order to have an impact, you have to have an actual "Point A to Point B" plan. And, part of that plan is to show how the other side is wrong and you have to show that to the supporters of the other side. Simple demagoguery such as that employed by Beck is not going to cut it. If you just want to waste your time on things that aren't going to have an impact, don't let me stop you.
However, if you want to actually have an impact and oppose Obama and the Dems in a smart and effective way, see the question authority summary and actually follow through by helping in the formation of a local group. And, click here for a couple questions you can ask. None of that is inconsistent with what Beck proposes, it's just a smarter and more effective method of achieving something similar to what he's proposing.
Fri, 08/28/2009 - 21:11 · Importance: 6