Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives ~ John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) English philosopher, political economist and influential liberal thinker of the 19th century.
Program: Countdown with Keith Olbermann 9/24/2009.
Subject: World's worst person.
Winner: Lonesome Rhodes Beck. Referring to The Constitution, Article One, Section 9...
"The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person".
Glenn Beck Says: That's right. The founders actually put a price on coming to this country: $10 a person. Apparently they felt like there was a value to being able to live here. Not anymore. These days we can't ask anything of immigrants - including that they abide by our laws.
Keith Olbermann Responds: A clause requiring the continuation of slavery, he thinks is about immigration. He may be the dumbest man on the planet.
My Commentary: Shouldn't Glenn Beck's new book be titled "Arguing with Myself", instead of "with Idiots"? Or "My Arguments Prove I'm an Idiot"? Is Glenn really this dumb, or does he just think his fans are? How was he even able to write a book, let alone four (since November of 2007). Clearly the guy has problems simply READING. I Googled "Ghostwriter" and "Glenn Beck", but all I found was a headline concerning Sarah Palin hiring a ghostwriter for her memoirs.
Before the self-proclaimed book czar's latest anti-Obama screed he had the gall to write a book "inspired" by Thomas Paine's Common Sense. Apparently Beck was inspired by the title and obvious (to Beck) anti-government polemic contained within. When Mr. Paine writes, "society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness" and concludes that government is a "necessary evil" (because it restrains our vices), this translates for Beck as a warning against the dangers of "big government".
But the government Thomas Paine was railing against was the monarchy of Great Britain, not one of, for, and by the people. When Mr. Paine wrote Common Sense the notion that the people of a nation could govern themselves was unheard of. Which is why fellow founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson referred to our new representative democracy as a "liberal experiment".
Thomas Paine may have said, "government is best which governs least" (a quote conservatives appreciate), although he certainly wasn't a conservative or a libertarian (as Beck claims to be) by today's standards. Some of Mr. Paine's revolutionary ideas included a progressive income tax targeting the wealthy "to give the poor bootstraps by which they could pull themselves up", a fund to provide housing and food for the poor, a pension for all workers in their old age, public employment and a 90 percent reduction of armaments by all nations to ensure world peace.
Do these sound like ideas that would be championed by the Republican Party of today? Or, would their response to such suggestions be that redistribution of wealth by governmental theft is socialism - and that if we're weak on national defense we may as well surrender to the Socialist Marxist Commies and/or Muslim terrorists (and become atheists and/or Muslim converts, presumably)?
Glenn puts himself forward as a populist, but being a Libertarian makes this claim quite dubious in my opinion. Wikipedia defines (classical) populism as being "derived from the Latin word populus, which means people in English (in the sense of nation, as in: The Roman People (populus Romanus), not in the sense of multiple individual persons".
That we are a nation of individuals and not at all a "we society" - as Michael Moore suggests we should strive to be in his documentary film "Sicko" - is the essence of Libertarianism. (BTW I don't give a damn what the Populist Party of America thinks, Libertarianism and Populism are at odds with one another. Libertarians, the same as Republicans, would be against all of Paine's "revolutionary ideas" detailed above).
According to Beck "The populist sentiment is Common Sense" (a direct quote from Beck's own website), which is correct, but not at all what he is doing (promoting a populist sentiment). What Beck is doing with his "common sense" book is fraudulently recasting Thomas Paine as someone SHARING his anti-"big government socialism" point of view. Which is an out-and-out perversion of Mr. Paine's legacy. The "idiot" book is clearly more of the same nonsense. With Beck what it is really all about is protecting his millions.
In fact, it is fairly easy to discern that Beck is a fraud. Look at who he's attacking - labor unions and ACORN, two populist organizations! American Rights at Work, a union advocacy group truly states that "Unions, by fighting for higher standards for workers, businesses, families, the environment, and public health and safety, have helped to build the middle class and make sure the economy works for everyone". That's populism.
ACORN advocates "for low and moderate-income families by working on neighborhood safety, voter registration, health care, affordable housing, and other social issues". That's populism.
By Beck's own admission populism is common sense. But by Beck's own actions it is obvious he doesn't support populism. Although, it is common sense for him to promote the interests of America's super wealthy, the modern-day equivalent of Great Britain's aristocracy. He has done so successfully (people are buying his books and watching his show) and he has been rewarded handsomely.
A positive review of the "idiot" book declares it to be "chock-a-block with all the facts and data one needs to successfully and authoritatively rebut the Left's preposterous proletarian propaganda". "Proletarian propaganda", is, of course, code for "rhetoric in support of working people", or POPULISM.
Populism is preposterous, and needs to be attacked. That's according to a positive review of the "idiot" book. And Glenn Beck is a fraud and a moron. That's according to ME. Although, as Beck's earnings illustrate, there are quite a few gullible fools eager to buy into his faux populism. In regards to such people, Thomas Paine said, "When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon", and "Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it".
I'll leave you with a deft observation regarding Glenn Beck...
Glenn Beck likes arguing, but has a deep-seated hatred for logic ~ Stephen Colbert, 7/29/2009 on the "Colbert Report"
 Thomas Paine (1737-1809) A Sort History by Eric Foner.
 Thomas Paine and the Promise of America by Harvey J. Kaye, Thom Hartmann's "Independent Thinker" Book of the Month Review, BuzzFlash 2/2/2006.
 Senate Votes to Deny Funds To ACORN by Andrew Taylor, Associated Press 9/14/2009 (Reason to Read: ACORN alleges "prostitute & pimp" videos were doctored).