Otter Disaster Designs - Pop Culture Themed T-Shirts

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Glenn Beck Doesn't Understand Libertarianism, and Should Shut Up About It

Glenn Beck often talks about the 'fact' that he is a "libertarian at heart," but he is not. Today he said he, "wants to be a libertarian," but he does not. These statements come from someone who doesn't really understand the libertarian position.

He was going off about Ron Paul's debate performance, and he's a harsh critic of Paul's. Beck doesn't like Paul's approach to foreign policy and the war in Iraq, and that is fine. He's entitled to be critical of Paul, certainly, but he should really be a more informed critic when it comes to Paul's libertarianism.

Beck claimed Ron Paul said that he (Paul) would eliminate the CIA, FBI and the IRS. The debate moderator said those things of Paul. That doesn't mean Paul has never suggested eliminating them(he has said he'd like to eliminate the IRS, and has talked about reforming the CIA, I've never heard him talk about the FBI), but it was the moderator and not Paul saying them at the debate last night. Beck inaccurately put those words in Paul's mouth last night.

To Beck's credit he did say it was inappropriate for Giuliani to audibly laugh during Paul's responses, and I agree. I wasn't sure it was Giuliani, but whoever it was showed a real lack of manners and decorum.

After his discussion of the debate he went into his (oft repeated) shtick about how he likes libertarianism, considers himself a libertarian 'at heart, and 'wants' to be one, but just can't because the country lacks the morality(?). I guess he believes that 'morality' can be successfully dictated and enforced by government action (see Prohibition, Prostitution, the War on Drugs, and on and on).

His arguments tend to lean in the direction that all libertarians are essentially anarchists, and that if they were in charge(an oxymoron?) we'd have heroin addicts littering the streets (a very accurate paraphrase from a month or so ago). Beck is essentially, and commendably a free market conservative with Neo-Con leanings (especially when it comes to foreign policy and Israel), who, for some reason likes to associate himself with the term libertarian.

He obviously doesn't even remotely understand the arguments against the War on Drugs, or the idea that decriminalization and privatized treatment via charities, churches and other private sector solutions would probably take more heroin users off the streets than current government run solutions.

If he really 'wants' to be libertarian, then he should try to understand the libertarian position better, so he doesn't sound like such an ass when he talks about it.

No comments:

Past Disasters