So….the Republicans have put out their Pledge to America. Is it any good?
Jeffrey Tucker sums it up pithily by juxtaposing short quotes from it and the Declaration of Independence:
Declaration of Independence (1776): “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…”
A Pledge to America (GOP, 2010): “Whenever the agenda of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to institute a new governing agenda and set a different course.”
If this goes on, related fellow TLS blogger Daniel Coleman to me, in another 100 years it will be “Whenever a subpoint of policy within a government agenda becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to organize a committee to change those subpoints of policy and replace them with better subpoints.”
Liberty Central, the Establishment’s attempt to co-opt the Tea Party, has a poll asking us to grade the Pledge. Head on over there and tell them what you think of it. Fellow TLS blogger Jacob Huebert has a couple of good posts on LewRockwell.com about Liberty Central, the Tea Party, the Pledge, and Glenn Beck.
The Liberty Central poll only lets you grade the Pledge as a whole. Here is a quick graded breakdown of important aspects of the Pledge, with short reactions by me in parentheses:
At the beginning of his show this morning, Glenn Beck started ripping into the imam that all the talk-radio hosts love to hate, because the imam has (correctly) pointed out that the U.S. has killed many more innocent non-Muslims than al-Qaeda has.
Beck went on to defend the U.S. embargo against Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people during the 1990s, argued that we should have fought the Iraq war “full on” from the beginning (meaning we shouldn’t have been so squeamish — as if “we” were — about killing innocent people), and claimed that the current U.S. government is the only one in the history of the world that has ever fought wars in a manner that avoided killing civilians.
Last year, Beck promoted a rally in Washington to protest the federal government’s taxing and spending. This year, he’s holding a rally to glorify the U.S. military. Can there be any doubt that by the time the Republicans regain control in Washington, Beck and his many followers will be right back where all the conservatives were during the George W. Bush years? Only it will be much worse, because they’ll have much bigger, more powerful government at their disposal, which they will not reduce one bit. And one shudders to think of what the apparent growing extreme, irrational hatred of Muslims may lead to.
Unless, that is, Ron Paul and other true libertarians can steer the Tea Party movement onto the right track before it’s too late.
As a good first step, it’s time for everyone — including some people who should know better — to stop suggesting that Glenn Beck is any sort of libertarian.
(Cross-posted at LRC and my blog.)