Thursday, November 15, 2012

Why I disagree with Glenn Beck

Secession petitions are a huge hit on the Obama White House website. Tens of thousand of Americans are putting their names on what strike me as mostly symbolic petitions to allow their states to leave the union.

Glenn Beck is among those denouncing these petitions. But his reasons for doing so are the very reasons people are signing. Beck has outlined his views on his radio and Internet TV shows. His news site The Blaze has published excerpts.

Among Beck's warnings:

“Now how do you think that’s going to work out?” Beck asked on his radio show. “I mean, how dumb do you have to be?  Really?  You’re putting your name on a list that goes directly to the White House, and you’re putting your name on a list and saying, ‘yeah I think we should secede, I think there should be a Civil War.’”\ 
When co-host Stu Burguiere pointed out that the petitions request a “peaceful” secession, adding that it really is just a place to “make a statement,” Beck appeared unconvinced. 
“Uh huh…[And] do you think that these people don’t forget who made a statement to them?  Are you out of your mind?”
Is Beck this naive? The White House and Obama campaign organisations already know who sides with them and who doesn't. The campaigns, both Republican and Democrat, spend untold time and money researching how people voted and who those voters were. If Beck thinks signing a symbolic petition makes you an enemy of the White House, it seems to me being a registered Republican, or asking for a Republican ballot in a partisan primary, would probably already have you on a list.

I see the petitions as a vehicle to inform the White House there's a limit to what the nation will tolerate, limits to what it can stand. And I'm not just talking matters of conservative tolerance. On its present course, the United States is not economically viable. Long term, or maybe even in some shorter time span, we're heading for an economic and political catastrophe under present spending patterns.

Anything that helps people realize the status quo of an ever expanding government spewing out ever more invasive regulations (and entitlements) financed by an ever expanding debt can't go on forever is a good thing. The survival of the United States is not guaranteed. In an over simplistic way, secession petitions may have started to spread the message to the mainstream.

Now's the time to make the case that government needs to mend its ways, and return to levels of control and entitlements that are sustainable. The alternative is that the states need to prepare to function on their own in the event the federal government collapses from its own overreach and excess.

People like Beck are counter productive when they encourage us to hold our opinions, and use scare tactics of potential political retaliation to reinforce their message of keeping silent.

Don't think of secession petitions as an all or nothing proposition. Think of them as a starting point in negotiations. If the government sees enough of us are serious about returning America to less controlled, more sustainable path, the progressives may even start to bend a bit. And a secession position leaves room for conservatives to compromise far short of leaving the union.


  1. I'm not a fan of these secession petitions, but I'm not a big fan of Beck's, either (he's sometimes right, but he's a bit too . . . cultish for my tastes).

    Mostly, though, I don't think these petitions are being received in the intended spirit (an expression of displeasure) so much as something that can be used against the signers. For example, anyone who "renounces" their American citizenship is an immediate target for everything from gross violations of their Constitutional rights to outright murder as a traitor and "terrorist." Granted, anyone who disagrees with this admin is so-deemed (and as such, a potential add to the president's kill list), but to me, it's just silly to proclaim, legally and publicly, that you no longer want United States citizenship. We aren't playing with puppies here, these are big, dangerous, lethal attack dogs.

    1. Signing a petition for secession is not synonymous with renouncing U.S. citizenship. Consider how the British handled citizenship issues when granting Kenya independence.

      Presenting this merely for the sake of argument. I don't see the secession petitions currently circulating at the White House site as binding documents. But they are, for many, a serious protest of federal overreach into the affairs of the states and the nation's citizens.