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Jan 21, 2009

Glen Beck, becoming libertarian.

H/T Libertarian Republican.

I generally have little time for ‘opinion makers’ and pundits, and the rightist or conservative ones are only slightly less irritating than the lefties. I would find a frontal lobotomy more stimulating than the morbid Allan Jones, and don’t fantasise over the generally histrionic Ann Coulter, (although, I’m a somewhat partial to Elisabeth Hasselbeck.) Keith Olbermann would delight the average masochist but lefties love to be talked down to by authoritarian figures, its part of what they stand for.

There is an article in the Miami Herald relating to Glen Beck, which I find interesting: -

Glenn Beck goes on the air with Fox News for the first time Monday afternoon, and he's got a surprise for you: He's not a conservative anymore.

''Every day that goes by, I'm more and more libertarian,'' says Beck, whose new show (titled, coincidentally, Glenn Beck) will air from 5 to 6 p.m. weekdays. 'I've always been a conservative. But every day I find myself believing more and more in states' rights, individual rights -- let people alone, get the government out of everybody's lives, let everybody rule themselves.''

That might seem startling news from somebody who's built a multimillion-dollar one-man media conglomerate out of jauntily acerbic conservative commentary. In nine years he's gone from a rookie talk-show host on a puny Tampa radio station to a syndicated powerhouse heard on more than 300 stations (including Miami's WIOD-AM 610). …..

''I'm not so sure that he was ever a conservative to begin with,'' says Bill Shine, senior vice president for programming at Fox News. ``He's one of those guys it's hard to put into a corner or give a label to. I think that's what makes his show interesting. I think that's what makes it unpredictable.''

What will be different is Beck's political perspective. Libertarians eschew the culture wars, think drugs and pornography should be legal, favor an isolationist foreign policy and generally believe in shrinking the government to about the size of a walnut -- all of which appalls most mainstream conservatives. Beck, in fact, regularly ridiculed libertarians on his CNN show for their beliefs about foreign policy and drugs.

Beck is what I would call a developing libertarian.

Generally he is in favor of a strong military and not afraid of using it. He seems to display enough intelligence to reject the idea of immediately pulling American troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, which would place him at odds with the LP, but appears like many libertarians rather soft on preemption.

His statement, “I think we've got to say to the world, `If you come after us like they did on 9/11, we will pound you into rubble. Otherwise, we're minding our own business,'' sounds promising on the issue, but why wait till they do it? There should be a requirement for a damn good case prior to hitting the other guy first but Israel’s recent attack on Gaza proves that even retaliation for unprovoked attacks is not a good enough reason to satisfy the anti-war element.

Despite almost wrecking his career and life with grog and drugs and pulling back from the brink, he is willing to countenance legalization but his statement about selling heroin in vending machines is a fairly stupid and provocative one. I doubt that any but the far out radical drop kicks are using such an analogy, it is better to decriminalize ‘soft’ ones first, then explore the possibilities. The war on drugs is not working and will never work, but this kind of talk makes our name stink among voters.

He ends that statement fairly sensibly though with; ….. “saying heroin should be legal, that's fine, as long as you as a society are willing to step over the guys in the street,'' Beck says. ``Real, true libertarianism will only work when people will govern themselves and not make special exceptions for their feelings. You can't be libertarian and let everything go to pieces and then do all kinds of special programs for the people who screw up.

``But when everybody is willing to self-regulate and take responsibility for their own actions, count me in.''


  1. It would be nice if Beck becomes libertarian but first he needs to become an adult.

  2. As I said, I have little time for these people. Fortunately over here we tend to be spared most of them apart from Opera during the day when there are better things to do, and late night when we can ignore them.

    My exposure to Beck is limited to the odd Youtube where he is talking to an interesting subject like Palin, so I really have little idea of what he is really like. I am hoping that this is actually a sign that there is a transition among conservatives towards limited government, rather than a buildup of libertarians.

  3. I don't think any of you will like this article, but I thought it was kind of funny.

  4. I don't know why you think I would have much interest in it, never mind dislike it. It seems to be some opinion-maker I have never heard of, bitching about people taking notice of Beck instead of him.

  5. Er... as long as Beck has as is #2 Principle (In his 9-12 Project) "I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life." he shows himself to be a typical theocratic nitwit "conservative" and not a Libertarian at all. Like a growing number of these pundits they seem to embrace the "Fiscal Conservative" part of Libertarianism and completely ignore the "socal liberal" (or "personal freedom" if you like)part of this philosophy.

  6. Being Christian and being libertarian are not mutually exclusive. You are confusing Christianity with the religious right.

    There are probably as many social libertarians who are only concerned about not getting busted for smoking pot with little concern for the economy, as there are those who only support the fiscal part. In reality each are only partly there.

    The two are intertwined, but it seems that some of us find one side acceptable and not the other.

  7. "The two are intertwined, but it seems that some of us find one side acceptable and not the other."

    Which proves my point. There is a word for fiscal and social conservatives: conservatives. They are not libertarian. Nor should they pretend to be--which is, in my view, exactly what Beck is doing.
    Your inference that I am confusing Christianity and the "religious right" is in error. I would have no problem with whatever Beck's religion (or lack thereof) is. Where I (and any Libertarian) have a problem, is using one's religous beliefs as a sole basis for legislative action--something Beck as been shown to be very comfortable with on numerous occasions. Ergo: the man may be a conservative, but is not a Libertarian.

  8. I have the good fortune to live in Australia and therefore avoid much exposure to these people. As result I am not really in a good position to know Beck's actual position on some of these issues.

    If you scroll back, you will notice that I referred to him as a "developing libertarian," that is, that based on the tone of the article if it is accurate, he seems to be moving in our direction. Whether he will get here is up to him, but I don't think it helps to slam him for it.

    On looking up the 912 project I tend to think the statement, "I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life," seems to be no more than a statement of personal belief, which it would be better off without, but I do not see it as a statement of intent. it is unfortunate to have it there as it will discourage some of the secular people from contributing to it.

    Overall I think the site has the potential to open the eyes of a fair section of the right to the concept of a state that minds its own business. Possibly a few of us should join in the discussions diplomatically and lead them this way.

  9. As a former LP county chairman and former speechwriter for a LP VP candidate I would like to see a program where Glen Beck and Bill Mahr sit down with a real libertarian and discuss the issues.
    Both Mahr and Beck claim to be something that they are not, at least not completely.

  10. This is quite an interesting suggestion Anon, but I feel that we should be willing to give a bit of credit for acceptance of our views as long as the guy doesn't claim to speak for us on issues where he holds non-libertarian views.

    Beck is in my opinion not there yet, but may improve.

  11. Glenn Beck just proved to the world he is not a Libertarian. If he was, he wouldn't have completely ignored the Libertarian candidate in the Massachusetts Senate race. For all his bullsh*t talk about liberty and small government, it seems he is just a shill for the GOP. Another fake Libertarian is Bill Mahr, if you watch him lately you can see he is hack for the Democrats.

  12. He must have been caught with porn. Before Libertarians are caught with porn, they're conservatives.