#1 New York Times bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio host Glenn Beck provides readers with the truth about the issues the media and politicians are scared to touch.
COURAGE > COWARDS
As we approach the most important presidential election in America’s history, something has been lost among all of the debates, attack ads, and super- PACs—something that Americans used to hold in very high regard: THE TRUTH.
Glenn Beck likes to say that “the truth has no agenda”—but there’s another side to that: people who have agendas rarely care about the truth. And, these days, it seems like everyone has an agenda. The media leads with stories that rate over those that matter. Politicians put lobbyists and electability over honesty. Radicals alter history in order to change the future.
In Cowards, Glenn Beck exposes the truth about thirteen important issues that have been hijacked by deceit. Whether out of spite, greed, or fear, these are the things that no one seems to be willing to have an honest conversation about. For example:
* How our two-party POLITICAL SYSTEM often leaves voters with NO GOOD OPTIONS.
* How extremists are slowly integrating ISLAMIC LAW into our SOCIETY.
* How PROGRESSIVE “religious” leaders like JIM WALLIS are politicizing the Bible.
* How the CARTEL VIOLENCE on our border is FAR WORSE than people realize.
* How “LIBERTARIAN” has been INTENTIONALLY turned into a DIRTY WORD.
* How GEORGE SOROS has amassed enough MONEY and POWER to INFLUENCE entire ECONOMIES.
In some cases, the truth is out there, but people simply don’t want to hear it. It’s much easier, and certainly a lot more convenient, to keep our blinders on. After all, as a quote attributed to President James Garfield made clear, “The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.”
Miserable or not, the truth can no longer be something we hope for; it must be something we live. When courage prevails, cowards do not—and this book was written to ensure that’s exactly what happens.
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Glenn Beck, the nationally syndicated radio host and founder of TheBlaze television network, is a thirteen-time #1 bestselling author and is one of the few authors in history to have had #1 national bestsellers in the fiction, nonfiction, self-help, and children’s picture book genres. His recent fiction works include the thrillers Agenda 21, The Overton Window, and its sequel, The Eye of Moloch; his many nonfiction titles include Conform, Miracles and Massacres, Control, and Being George Washington. For more information about Glenn Beck, his books, and TheBlaze TV network, visit GlennBeck.com and TheBlaze.com.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
“ I am impatient with those Republicans who after the last election rushed into print saying, ‘We must broaden the base of our party’—when what they meant was to fuzz up and blur even more the differences between ourselves and our opponents.”
—Ronald Reagan, 1975
I’M SURE you’ve noticed how little choice there seems to be in politics. I hear it over and over again from people who call in to my radio show and tell me that they don’t see any point in voting since both candidates are equally terrible.
They’re often right. In 2008, our choice for president was between a Republican who wanted to spend billions to “combat” global warming and a Democrat who wanted to spend hundreds of billions to do the same thing. In 2004, it was between the incumbent George W. Bush, whose embarrassing conservative record we’ll cover later, and John Kerry—a man who, by some accounts, had been the most liberal member of the Senate for multiple years.
If it seems like no “real” conservative or libertarian candidate for president ever makes it very far it’s because they don’t. They are derided and marginalized by the establishment and mainstream media until their names become toxic. By the time the power base is done with a candidate who might pose a threat, he’s become the punch line to a joke, the plot of a Saturday Night Live skit, or the first thing that pops up on Google when you search for “homophobia” or “racist” or “idiot.”
None of this is happening by chance. It’s a shell game, and the progressives who run our political parties, our universities, and our media treat the rest of us like tourists in Times Square. It may occasionally look as if libertarians and small-government candidates have a chance to win the prize—but that’s just the way they set up the con. The illusion of victory is omnipresent, but it’s just that—an illusion. A con can’t ever really be beaten.
THE SHELL GAME TURNS 100
The Big Con started right around 1912. America was given a “choice”: Woodrow Wilson or Theodore Roosevelt. The New Freedom or the New Nationalism. Progressive or Progressive.
That was the year that Republican became Democrat and Democrat became progressive. Later, after progressives finally had their hands on our wallets, they stopped calling themselves progressives and took the name “liberal” instead. When people caught on to that, the left changed the names to protect the guilty once again.
The Con, Revealed
Hillary Clinton actually described these bait-and-switch word games pretty well during a 2007 debate after she was asked if she would define herself as “liberal.”
You know, it is a word that originally meant that you were for freedom, that you were for the freedom to achieve, that you were willing to stand against big power and on behalf of the individual.
Unfortunately, in the last 30, 40 years, it has been turned up on its head and it’s been made to seem as though it is a word that describes big government, totally contrary to what its meaning was in the 19th and early 20th century.
I prefer the word “progressive,” which has a real American meaning, going back to the progressive era at the beginning of the 20th century.
Progressives realized long ago that if you rig the game of politics against the small-government option, then you end up with a series of candidates who increasingly blur the line between the parties. Eventually the parties themselves become meaningless—empty vessels that simply serve to funnel money and power through the system. With very few exceptions, our elections are really no longer about whether to grow or cut government’s size and power, but rather by how much they should grow. We debate double-digit increases in social program spending versus single-digit increases. We debate how many new billion-dollar entitlements we should add instead of whether these programs should even exist in the first place. We debate whether teachers unions and the U.S. Department of Education should have more or less power, rather than whether the federal government should have any role in local education at all. All of this is part of the con, and it’s worked to absolute perfection. With very few exceptions even the “boldest” of conservative politicians submit budgets and bills that, a hundred years ago, would’ve been too far left for even a Democrat to propose.
Whenever candidates or groups raise their hand and question these debates, invoke the Constitution, or propose “radical” ideas like a balanced budget amendment, shutting down overreaching and ineffective federal agencies, or adhering to the Tenth Amendment, they are ostracized. Why do you think the Tea Party was immediately branded as a bunch of racists and birthers? It’s because they posed a real threat of waking voters up to the fact that Americans are being presented with a never-ending series of false choices. The progressive establishment can’t allow real diversity to stand.
The only hope we have of changing this is by first educating people as to how this happened and who’s behind it—and then by presenting a better way forward. That’s what the first two chapters of this book are all about: the virus—progressivism; and the antibiotic—commonsense libertarianism. Yes, we have plenty of other issues to solve, and many of them are covered in this book, but if we don’t start by treating the underlying disease then none of that will matter.
So, let’s take a giant step back, get out of the weeds of the twenty-four-hour news cycle and cable channels and Twitter attacks, and ask ourselves this simple but important question: How did we ever get to the point where the conservative/libertarian point of view does not even get a seat at the table?
THE RINO–AN ANCIENT SPECIES
It’s pretty easy to spot the people who don’t really fit into the Republican Party. A lot of times these are the same people who frequent the Sunday morning talk shows or are media darlings. I’m talking about people like Arlen Specter, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham. But these types of Republicans are nothing new.
Theodore Roosevelt was one of the first RINOs (Republican in Name Only) in American history. Yes, I know, Roosevelt was brave and strong. He explored the world. He strung up rustlers in the Wild West. He wrote more history books than most people ever read. He edited a magazine. (Even if Newt Gingrich were around back then, Teddy Roosevelt would still have been the smartest guy in the room.)
All of this made Roosevelt incredibly dangerous when he decided to get on board the Progressive train. And the longer he rode those rails, the more radical he got. His “Square Deal” was one thing. It started the ball rolling. It got the nose of big government under the Constitution’s tent by regulating business and the banks. But then Roosevelt’s progressivism got increasingly more toxic. After he left the White House, he unveiled something he called the “New Nationalism.”
They Really Said It
You know, my hero is a guy named Teddy Roosevelt.
—JOHN MCCAIN AT A PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE IN OCTOBER 2008
And for government to not leave guarantees that you don’t have the ability to change, no private corporation has the purchasing power or the ability to reshape the health system, and in this sense I guess I’m a Theodore Roosevelt Republican. In fact, if I [was] going to characterize my—on health where I come from, I’m a Theodore Roosevelt Republican and I believe government can lean in the regulatory leaning is okay.
There’s a reason Barack Obama took time out in December 2011 from pretending he was FDR or JFK or Harry Truman or Lincoln (and from golf, too, come to think of it) to channel Roosevelt at Osawatomie, Kansas. Osawatomie is where, in 1910, Roosevelt gave a speech that would sound right at home in today’s Democratic Party. “We should permit [wealth] to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community,” Roosevelt told a crowd of thirty thousand listeners. “This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had, but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary. . . .”
Two years later, Roosevelt doubled down, turning from rogue elephant to Bull Moose and running for president on his own Progressive Party ticket. The New York Times explained that Roosevelt’s 1912 Progressive Party convention was at best a gathering of “a convention of fanatics.” How bad was Roosevelt’s 1912 campaign? It made people think that Woodrow Wilson was conservative. That’s bad, but what’s far worse is that Roosevelt is the president who some prominent modern-day Republicans, like John McCain and Newt Gingrich, still look up to.
Roosevelt certainly wasn’t alone in being a progressive Republican; the GOP was infested with these guys. In 1912, Roosevelt’s Progressive running mate was California governor Hiram Johnson, a big-time Progressive who hated Japanese immigrants. You know who worshipped Johnson? Earl Warren—the same guy who, as the Republican governor of California during World War II, helped FDR ship the Japanese in his state to internment camps.
Sometimes the Truth Slips Out
I am keenly aware that there are not a few men who claim to be leaders in the progressive movement who bear unpleasant resemblances to the lamented Robespierre and his fellow progressives of 1791 and ’92.
Then there was Nebraska’s progressive senator George W. Norris, who served nine congressional terms (five in the House and four in the Senate) as a “Republican.” Norris was the very model of a RINO. Not only did he endorse FDR in 1932; in 1928 he had also endorsed Democrat Al Smith. Norris also sponsored FDR’s Tennessee Valley Authority and Rural Electrification Act (both alongside segregationist Mississippi anti-Semitic congressman John Rankin) and was very pro-Soviet (“Russia is more in accord with the United States . . . than most any other foreign nation”).
I guess it’s not really surprising that when Henry A. Wallace (another former progressive Republican) and his communist-controlled Progressive Party staged their national convention in 1948, they hung a huge portrait of the late former supposed Republican George Norris from the rafters.
Another big-time Republican progressive was Wisconsin’s Senator Robert La Follette Sr. “Fighting Bob” La Follette actually wanted to be the national Progressive standard-bearer in 1912, but two things stood in his way: Teddy Roosevelt, and a nervous breakdown he suffered while delivering a speech in Philadelphia that year. (It must have been really stressful keeping up the small government charade.) In 1924, La Follette finally embraced who he really was, leaving the GOP and running for president as a Progressive against Calvin Coolidge. His platform included nationalizing the country’s big industries, an idea that was so good it resulted in an endorsement from the Socialist Party of America.
AN UGLY HISTORY
In his 1796 Farewell Address, George Washington put on his spectacles and looked right into the future when he warned us about the dangers of political parties, or factions:
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.
It’s hard to find a better example of the “absolute power of the individual” or the “ruins of public liberty” than the way early progressives looked at the weakest members of our society. These people, many of whom are emulated and respected by modern-day politicians, weren’t just busy trying to control big business or monetary policy; they also wanted to control society—from cradle to grave. In some ways that’s just the natural evolution of their ideology; once somebody thinks they know best about a bunch of things like regulating the snot out of the economy, they think they know best about everything.
“Everything,” in this case, included determining who was good enough to live, die, and breed.
That was what the Progressive Era eugenics movement was all about. Crippled? No children for you. The wrong race? Ditto. Have special needs? You’re an embarrassment to society and you’ll get none of our attention or care. That’s right—the people who advertise themselves as the ones who care most about the “least of us” are actually the people who preferred that the least of us didn’t exist.
One of the big players in the eugenics movement was a guy named Madison Grant. Since Grant was named after two presidents, he thought he was really great—and, more than that, he thought that you weren’t really great at all. In 1916 Grant wrote a huge bestseller titled The Passing of the Great Race. It contained gems like this:
Mistaken regard for what are believed to be divine laws and a sentimental belief in the sanctity of human life tend to prevent both the elimination of defective infants and the sterilization of such adults as are themselves of no value to the community. The laws of nature require the obliteration of the unfit and human life is valuable only when it is of use to the community or race.
As the percentage of incompetents increases, the burden of their support will become ever more onerous until, at no distant date, society will in self-defense put a stop to the supply of feebleminded and criminal children of weaklings.
The Passing of the Great Race was translated into German in 1925, and guess who was a big fan? Yep, that’s right. “The book is my Bible,” Adolf Hitler wrote to Madison Grant.
So, what’s this got to do with this chapter? Just this: Madison Grant and Theodore Roosevelt were great friends. And when The Passing of the Great Race came out, this is what Roosevelt wrote to Grant: “The book is a capital book: in purpose, in vision, in grasp of the facts that our people must need to realize. . . . It is the work of an American scholar and gentleman, and all Americans should be grateful to you for writing it.”
Senator McCain, is your hero really “a guy named Teddy Roosevelt”?
“The laws of nature require the obliteration of the unfit, and human life is valuable only when it is of use to the community or race.”
—Madison Grant, writing in a book endorsed as “fearless” by Theodore Roosevelt
Back to the national picture. There were three Republican presidents of the 1920s: Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover. Harding and Silent Cal were true conservatives: they cut spending and taxes; they reduced the national debt; they vetoed bad legislation; their policies fostered growth and prosperity. They got it right.
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