Glenn Beck: ‘I’m more and more libertarian’

Posted by Donny Ferguson at Libertarian Party blog. Reposted to IPR by Paulie.


Popular conservative talk radio personality and Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck is bringing more than his trademark wit to cable news. He’s bringing an evolving philosophy.

“‘Every day that goes by, I’m more and more libertarian,” Beck told The Miami Herald.

“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,” Beck said of why he finds himself agreeing more often with libertarians.

In fact, during the 2008 election Beck hosted Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr and eventual vice-presidential nominee Wayne Root. In his first week hosting FNC’s Glenn Beck from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. ET weekdays his guests included Congressman Ron Paul, a libertarian and the party’s 1988 presidential nominee and libertarian thinkers Steve Moore of the Club for Growth and ABC’s John Stossel.

62 thoughts on “Glenn Beck: ‘I’m more and more libertarian’

  1. Steven R Linnabary

    No, but OTOH, it seems as though everybody at one time or another wants to be libertarian.

    Even Bill Clinton CLAIMED to be libertarian…when it suited him.

    I could come up with others that have at one time or another claimed (or wished) they were libertarian.

    Hopefully, it will cause listeners and viewers to seek out REAL Libertarians.

    PEACE

  2. Robert Capozzi

    SL: Hopefully, it will cause listeners and viewers to seek out REAL Libertarians.

    Me: This begs the question: who are they?

  3. Steve Trinward

    nope, he is far too judgmental and pro-coercion on preventing other lifestyles (and even viewpoints) from even existing! He still has a long way to go before he can call himself a conservative, instead of an imperialist, warmongering neocon!

  4. The Pattern

    Robert, real libertarians are those who would push the button, right now, to end all those government programs that don’t work, cost too much, and are unconstitutional. Real libertarians would implement real change, today, given the choice. Others just want to talk us to death.

  5. Mik Robertson

    If maximizing individual liberty is libertarian, then the question becomes how do we maximize individual liberty. The next question would be can Glenn Beck help to achieve this? If so, welcome aboard!

  6. Jeff Wartman

    We need to concentrate on making libertarianism more palatable than worrying about purity.

    I welcome Glenn Beck into the party, and I hope he brings more like him.

    There’s a reason Cato is more highly regarded than LvMI. Same goes for Reason Magazine v. more radical libertarian rags.

    We need to make libertarianism less about how radical we can be and more about welcoming anyone who wants the government to leave us alone.

    Hell, I’d be happy if Grover Norquist wanted to join the LP.

  7. robert capozzi

    pattern, interesting perspective. where is this button to which you refer? if the button is a construct and a metaphor, please explain how your metaphor is relevant.

    I for instance might push the button, but since this IS NO button, I’d suggest more effective strategies to roll back the State.

  8. libertariangirl

    Glen Beck is pro-drug war , thats a big problem for me but perhaps we can change his mind for him:)

  9. CaptainFreedom'sWorkout

    Any person who would DARE defend Proposition 8 and the Neo-Nazi authoritarian vile-filled hate that they unleashed on California should NEVER call themselves a libertarian.

    I am offended. I am morally offended that anybody can say “I’m a libertarian” and “I supported Prop 8″… Glenn Beck is antithetical to libertarian thought. He supports big government and the Christian Race Federation jumping into your bedrooms and arresting people who are living their own lives.

  10. robert capozzi

    captain, the implication of your post seems to be that a person can never be a L if they ever held non-L positions. Or, there are some L positions that are sacrosanct, others that you’ll accept later-in-life changes of mind and still be in the L camp in your book.

    please expand on how your lifetime litmus test works. (I note that Beck said “more and more,” btw.)

  11. VirtualGalt

    This begs the question: who are they?

    And, who gets to decide? Because if they are handing out toaster ovens to the winners, I certainly didn’t get one.

  12. paulie cannoli Post author

    Linnabary: Hopefully, it will cause listeners and viewers to seek out REAL Libertarians.

    Capozzi: This begs the question: who are they?

    Virtual Galt: And, who gets to decide? Because if they are handing out toaster ovens to the winners, I certainly didn’t get one.

    paulie: It’s in the mail.

    Hogarth: Hey! I want a toaster, too!

    P2: Our records show you already received your toaster, and signed for the package. No double dipping!

  13. paulie cannoli Post author

    I’m glad Glenn Beck is becoming more libertarian.

    Wikipedia:

    On May 11, 2006, Beck said the following on his Headline News show, “And that’s why I found myself taking a hard look at George W. Bush lately. I’m actually starting to feel a little like John Kerry, flip-flopping on my opinion of him every day”

    …….

    Beck supports the war in Iraq. On his April 24, 2007 Headline News show he said, “Either you think that we should have never gone there in the first place and we should get out immediately, or you’re like me and you think we should finally start fighting this with everything we’ve got.”

    He went on to say, “If we withdraw from Iraq right now, it will be our country’s biggest moral scar since Vietnam. […] to abandon these people and let them get slaughtered after we started it. If we did that now, this would be America’s most shameful act of immorality since slavery.”

    Border security

    Beck is a proponent of strong security along the United States borders, and he supported the release of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, whose sentences were both commuted by President George W. Bush on January 19, 2009.

    Beck has often proclaimed himself pro-life, including being opposed to euthanasia, and has also suggested on The Glenn Beck Program his support for the death penalty; “I kind of like the fact that I keep getting his name wrong. Medellin? Medellin! He’s been executed.”

    His show on Fox News premiered on January 19, 2009 titled Glenn Beck. His first guests included Karl Rove, Governor Sarah Palin, and the wife of Jose Compean and wife of Ignacio Ramos, the two border guards whose sentences were commuted by President Bush on January 19, 2009.

    FAIR brought up a 2005 comment Beck made on his radio program where he noted he was “thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could.”

    On June 28, 2007, Beck read on his radio program a fake ad created by the “Insiders” — a group of subscribers to his web site — that recommended turning the bodies of Mexican illegal immigrants into fuel. Beck noted at the outset that “sometimes the Insiders go too far,” and remarked “I don’t think we need to make the illegal aliens into fuel….That would be evil conservative, yeah. I don’t even know if that’s conservative. That would be…psychotic, perhaps? Sociopathic, perhaps?” Despite Beck’s comments distancing himself from the fake advertisement, Media Matters pointed out that “the ad was posted on the front page of Beck’s website under the title ‘Picture of the Day,’ with a caption that described the ‘ad’ as a ‘brilliant creation.'”

    Well, everyone has to start somewhere – I used to believe in big government on many economic issues, for example.

  14. Ross Levin

    Regardless of the man’s political opinions, he is a hack. He smudges the facts, he makes his money off of people being ignorant, he is a product of corporate news through and through… that is not something I would want representing my cause.

  15. robert capozzi

    virtual galt, who gets to decide is an excellent question. it is the root (radical) question I’ve been asking Susan.

    of course, there are people whom I’d say are NOT L…GWB and BHO, for ex. If they claimed to be, I’d beg to differ.

    so, while I’d want our tent to be big enough to include liberty lovers of various stripes, I wouldn’t want the LP to be populated with people with no commitment to liberty. I’d surely lose interest if the agenda was merely to get Ls elected, with no ideas or agenda.

  16. paulie cannoli Post author

    Capozzi: This begs the question: who are they?

    Virtual Galt: And, who gets to decide?

    C2: virtual galt, who gets to decide is an excellent question. it is the root (radical) question I’ve been asking Susan.

    of course, there are people whom I’d say are NOT L…GWB and BHO, for ex. If they claimed to be, I’d beg to differ.

    OK, so how would you answer your own question, and Virtual Galt’s?

    I like the idea of a big tent, so long as it is balanced (big tents that lean too far to the right just leave crushed elephants and clowns); but when does big become too big, how can we tell, and who decides?

  17. robert capozzi

    PC, anyone who wants less coercive government is L in my book, net net. who decides is the party membership, which chooses the platform, leadership and candidates.

    I too prefer left/right balance, but how that manifests is up to the membership (as well as individual perceptions of what is left or right).

    If the party careens off either course, then again it’s up to the membership to course correct. and of course if the party gets TOO far off course in any member’s opinion, then he or she can agitate for change, become a lurker, or move on to more satisfactory pursuits.

    all IMO.

  18. Michael Seebeck

    “Beck has often proclaimed himself pro-life, including being opposed to euthanasia, “

    I’m opposed to Youth In Asia, too. Can bring the troops home from Korea, please?

  19. Michael Seebeck

    “Despite Beck’s comments distancing himself from the fake advertisement, Media Matters pointed out that “the ad was posted on the front page of Beck’s website under the title ‘Picture of the Day,’ with a caption that described the ‘ad’ as a ‘brilliant creation.’””

    One can be brilliantly creative and still be psychopathic. Think of Dr. Phibes or Dogbert.

  20. NewFederalist

    Wasn’t Karl Marx a libertarian? Or was that Groucho Marx? Perhaps Sean Hannity or maybe Bill O’Reilly… who really gives a shit what they say they are. Unless you think like me you are totally wrong!!!!!!!! (That is why the LP will never die but never be significant, either.)

  21. robert capozzi

    when Reagan and Clinton said they were L, I thought it was helpful to the cause even though they don’t fit in my def. of L.

    marketing is all about repetition…it gets people’s attn…gets ’em thinking.

  22. Stewart Flood

    Is it still legal to mail a toaster? Remember, toasters do have launch capability (ejecting toast).

    Beck is not a Libertarian, nor does he play one on TV.

  23. Gene Trosper

    Good for Glenn beck.

    While he still has quite a way to travel before he can honestly claim to be a true-blue libertarian, I welcome him in his search and encourage him to grow stronger in developing a libertarian outlook.

    This is a good development, not a bad development.

  24. Gene Trosper

    @25:

    Do a Google search for a band called Dirty Sanchez (led by a drag queen named Jackie Beat) performing a song called Youth In Asia!

  25. Gene Trosper

    @29:

    Economically, he sure is starting to sound a lot more libertarian.

    In an age of bailouts, we need all the friends we can.

  26. Susan Hogarth

    I think an important point is being missed here. I don’t think the discussion is about whether or not Beck is l/Libertarian. It’s about how he is *moving toward libertarianism*.

    Beck is bringing more than his trademark wit to cable news. He’s bringing an evolving philosophy.

    “‘Every day that goes by, I’m more and more libertarian,” Beck told The Miami Herald.

    Anyone who doesn’t think that is Good Thing is missing the point.

  27. paulie cannoli Post author

    when Reagan and Clinton said they were L, I thought it was helpful to the cause even though they don’t fit in my def. of L.

    marketing is all about repetition…it gets people’s attn…gets ‘em thinking.

    Good point.

  28. The Pattern

    Robert, very simply, you wouldn’t push the button. So, it doesn’t matter whether or not there is a button. You are too timid to effect real change. Don’t worry about it. Go back to working for neo-conservative war mongers. I’m sure they have a comfortable desk job for you somewhere that doesn’t involve any thinking.

  29. The Pattern

    Who gets to say? Each individual gets to say. Each person gets to say whether they think someone in particular is libertarian, not libertarian, moving toward libertarianism, or moving away. There is no authority able to speak to this issue.

    Many people in the party won’t even agree on what libertarianism is, or what it means to be a libertarian.

    Holz-in-his-thinking conceives of liberty as something that entitles the USA military empire to invade any country, overthrow its government, and impose a new form of government. He calls it libervention. Most other people call it foreign military occupation and tyranny.

    A number of consistent, ethical, principled libertarians – people you wouldn’t like, Robert – use the zero aggression principle and apply it as a yardstick to see who is and isn’t a libertarian.

    Murray Rothbard and Leonard Read wrote and spoke about a button to instantly do away with coercive and compulsory aspects of government – a button you wouldn’t touch if it were presented to you.

    Since you aren’t a libertarian, Stewie, you don’t get a toaster. We’re all very glad that you worry about obeying postal regulations, you unspeakably vulgar sycophant.

  30. sunshinebatman

    Glenn Beck is a duplicitous shitweasel. Anyone putting any stock or trust in what Beck says is too gullible to have any business running a serious political party.

  31. paulie cannoli Post author

    Siberia, then New York. My capsule biography:

    Paulie was born in Siberia, part of the former USSR in 1972 and the USA is reminding him more of the country his parents took him out of every day. Growing up in the epicenter of the 1980s crack cocaine explosion in NYC, Paulie got caught up in the available business ventures and saw some of his friends die, and then became an activist against the drug war.

    Through his involvement in the drug peace movement, and college studies in free market environmentalism, he became interested in libertarianism, and abandoned the Democrats after they picked the military-industrial-corporate-statist DLCer and drug warrior hypocrite Bill Clinton as their nominee in 1992, thus finally disproving the idea that 60s radicals were merely infiltrating the establishment in order to change it.

    Paulie became an LP member in 1995 and a life member in 2000, and has occasionally been on the executive committee of the Alabama LP. Since 1998, he has traveled the country as a professional activist. Between that and his earlier travels in the import-export business as a teenager, he has been to 49 US states and about 20 countries, and lived in a number of them. As a life long entrepreneur, he has also started hundreds of businesses in a wide variety of fields.

    Paulie recently worked on the Steve Kubby for President campaign, has been an active member of the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus, is an advisory board member of Liberty Consulting, and hopes to start a new national College Libertarian Organizing Committee.

    He is an Anti-war, true leftist, anarchist, left libertarian, agorist, (r)evolutionary.

  32. libertariangirl

    do you speak russian? and do you have one of those big furry circular russian hats? what do they call those?

  33. Robert Capozzi

    Pattern: Who gets to say? Each individual gets to say. Each person gets to say whether they think someone in particular is libertarian, not libertarian, moving toward libertarianism, or moving away. There is no authority able to speak to this issue.

    Me: Agreed. My point is the Rodney King way is to recognize that there are many paths to liberty.

    The Pattern: A number of consistent, ethical, principled libertarians – people you wouldn’t like, Robert – use the zero aggression principle and apply it as a yardstick to see who is and isn’t a libertarian.

    Me: Sorry if I’ve given the impression I don’t “like” people who have a different path for liberty. The Lenny Kravitz way is to let love rule.

    TP: Murray Rothbard and Leonard Read wrote and spoke about a button to instantly do away with coercive and compulsory aspects of government – a button you wouldn’t touch if it were presented to you.

    Me: Well, Rothbard was a nonarchist, Read wasn’t. Read was only talking about regulation, Rothbard the entire State. Whether I’d push the button depends on the situation. If I pushed the button and believed it would lead to nuclear annihilation, I wouldn’t do it, even if I thought it was “ethical” in isolation. So, I find that construct unhelpful, without meaningful insight.

    I’ve had this conversation with other Rothbardians (and was one back in the day), but I still don’t get what is gained by using yardsticks to determine who gets anointed L and who doesn’t. Perhaps you can expand on the point, Pattern. Why does Rothbardians engage in this practice? Is the sanctimony of it somehow satisfying?

  34. paulie cannoli Post author

    I’ve had this conversation with other Rothbardians (and was one back in the day), but I still don’t get what is gained by using yardsticks to determine who gets anointed L and who doesn’t. Perhaps you can expand on the point, Pattern. Why does Rothbardians engage in this practice? Is the sanctimony of it somehow satisfying?

    In one sense, yes.

    In another, it makes sense in a way, because if you propose 9 ways to cut government and one way to increase it, chances are the one way to increase it is the only one of your ten proposals that will pass.

    Also, if you make a move that is “sideways” (for example, sales tax instead of income tax) you are most likely to end up with both, no matter what your intentions.

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