While watching Glenn Beck often leads me to speculate about his mental stability, he is clearly an entertaining speaker. He also is not one to shy away from controversial remarks, even when they are directed at Republicans.
At the recent CPAC event he said something that struck me as quite correct: “It’s not enough just to not suck as much as the other side.” That He also added: “The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. I have not heard people in the Republican Party admit they have a problem and when I did hear them say they have a problem, I don’t know if I believed them.” Beck went on to enumerate the problems the Republicans face, such as an addiction to spending and a willingness to put the government ahead of the individual. While this is a stock libertarian line, Beck seems to be on target in calling the Republican party to task.
The Republicans allege to be fiscal conservatives, but they tend to be profligate spenders when they get into power. Beck’s own hero, Reagan, was no fiscal conservative but a big spender. Bush, of course, spent Clinton’s surplus and then kept on spending-thus handing Obama a massive money pit to climb out of. In general, the core ideas of fiscal conservativism are quite plausible: do not spend more than you have and when you must spend, spend responsibly.
The Republicans have also alleged to be for small government and for the individual. However, as Beck points out, the Republicans and the Democrats both create massive government. Be it under Reagan or Obama, the Federal government has grown and become even more intrusive with each passing year. This has resulted in a greater consumption of resources (mostly through waste) as well as more restrictions on liberty.
What always strikes me as an amazing irony is when I hear Republican politicians speak about how government is the problem while they are working very hard to become part of that government. Naturally, they can be quite right (that government is a problem). However, it seems to be wise to be suspicious of someone who is eager to become part of what he considers to be the problem.
Overall, Beck is quite right to be critical of the Democrats and the Republicans.