Glenn Beck has been getting a great deal of attention lately. I don't watch him, but I read about his "9-12 Project," so I thought I would take a look at his website. At the top he has a symbol of a segmented rattlesnake, representing "12 Values" and "9 Principles." The 12 values are pretty basic, but the 9 principles demonstrate why I'm not a political activist. I'm just way too cynical. My comments on each:
1. America is good. That's awfully vague. Pure good? Good as opposed to bad? I'd have put something like "America is a force for good" instead.
2. I Believe in God and He is the Center of my Life. Obviously I don't, and he isn't. What is the point of putting this in there? Why would you want to exclude large numbers of otherwise like-minded people from your political movement? And I'm not just talking about atheists. There are many people who believe in God, but wouldn't say he's the center of their lives.
3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday. I'm sorry, that just sounds ridiculous to me. If some speaker actually said that I'd be rolling my eyes and laughing under my breath.
4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government. Yeah right. Try exercising your authority not to pay your taxes, or your authority to drive 100 mph down the highway. Saying that you and your spouse are the "ultimate authority" is just silly. Nice wishful thinking. And I'm not sure exactly what he means by the family being sacred.
5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it. Again, more wishful thinking. Justice is different for those with greater status, power or resources. It always has been, and probably always will be.
6. I have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results. Ok, finally one I have no problem with (although I'm guessing Beck believes in natural rights, and I do have a problem with that).
7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable. Nonsense. It can and does force you to be charitable, and to contribute to many things which you might actually oppose. It's called taxation.
8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or share my personal opinion. What if your personal opinion is that the U.S. would be better off as an Islamic theocracy? Is that un-American?
9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me. We should elect people who actually believe that.
Just one note... Although I'm not a Glenn Beck fan, I have nothing against him either. If his 9/12 project helps galvanize opposition toward Obama's policies, I'm all for it. But I find his 9 principles hard to take too seriously.