Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Twisted principles

Glenn Beck is seriously twisted, as Donna noted the other day.

Steve Benen and Blue Texan have good rundowns on the recent Beckian wierdness.
But I think what disturbs me the most is how this lunatic is becoming increasingly popular with the local rightwingers.
Nick at Conservative Dialysis linked approvingly to Beck’s paranoid reworking of the National Anthem and Andres Bocagnera of San Antonio Conservative has been taken in by Beck’s latest hyped up charade.

These “Nine Principles and 12 Values” (or the “Nine Prophecies of the 12 Sarcofagi” as Dennis Miller recently mocked on Fox) are worth a look to see just how badly this guy’s screws have come loose.

The Nine Principles
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. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
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 who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
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.

The first “principle” - America is good - seems like it should be followed by several exclamations of What!! What!!! as in today’s urban lingo when a hipster throws out a provacative statement and then openly entreats anyone to challenge him on it. Beck is just asking for anyone to question him so that he can denounce them as “unAmerican” or what have you.
But now compare Principle 1 with Principle 8. First you are saying that “America” is always good no matter what, but then you are declaring that you can still be critical of “authorities” without being called “unAmerican.” Just what do these people think “America” is anyway? Clearly to them it is some abstract concept which they can place up on a podium and pretend to “love” while at the same time they can vent their hatred and disgust at the American government and American authority figures. Because after you get past the first two principles, the rest is pretty much just a long-winded anti-government screed.
Or how about principles 4 and 5? Does anyone see any problems here? First they declare that “My spouse and I” are the ultimate authority, not the government. But then they declare that “If you break the law you pay the penalty”. But who makes the laws? The government, of course. So how can rational people not see a contrast between these “principles”?
“Justice is blind and no one is above it” is a nice saying. But it ignores the fact that laws are not always just and forcing someone to “pay the penalty” doesn’t always result in “justice.” But I guess I’m getting too complicated for the simple-minded folks who would buy into this stuff.
These “principles” can best be summed up as defensive, angry outbursts motivated by selfishness, greed and a deep distrust and dislike for one’s fellow Americans.

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