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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Is Glenn Beck Good For Conservatism?

Over at Uncouth Ruminations, Carl Wicklander has some excellent commentary from a libertarian perspective on Glenn Beck's meteoric rise in the conservative movement:

But it’s still quite precarious that Glenn Beck has shed his more odious positions once the Republicans were thoroughly repudiated. His antics are a bit annoying, bordering on bad soap opera acting, but he still displays better independence than his more unoriginal talk radio colleagues.

So, is Glenn Beck healthy for the Right? Maybe, maybe not. Is he part of the solution or is he part of the problem? If he’s part of the problem, he’s far less of it than Rush, Hannity, Levin or Coulter.

Read the whole article here.


  1. The problem I have with Beck is that, while he is a good introduction to libertarian ideals, he is quite often wrong or not telling the whole truth. He is more interested in promoting himself and his books and his stage shows than anything else.

    He also does not seem real interested in promoting libertarian leaning people like Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Peter Schiff and Gary Johnson instead sticking to more conservative people like Sarah Palin.

    I still watch him regularly but definitely filter what he says.

  2. When I was in DC back in August, I was talking to a friend at Young Americans for Liberty about Beck. Our conclusions was that he is useful. He may be an idiot at times, and he may be trying to put on some type of show to gain support from the modern libertarian movement,but he does expose a large audience to some form of libertarian/conservative ideas. Some of this audience would never hear some of what Beck presents if they only had their usual diet of Hannity and O'Reilly (both I cannot stomach). My friend put it best, "He has my granny listening to and agreeing with libertarian views."

    So I will take the good he offers, but that doesn't mean I like everything about him.

  3. I think both commenters' measured and carefully-qualified endorsement of Beck as a good introduction to libertarian ideas for many people who haven't really been exposed to them yet, is appropriate and correct.

  4. Problem is, if you want an intro to libertarianism, you should be reading Rothbard's "For a New Liberty", the Tannehill's "Market for Liberty", or perhaps Ron Paul. Why go for an inferior product (i.e. Beck's work) when there's so much better stuff out there?

    I'm neutral on Beck, I don't really care but I'm glad that some people may find out about libertarianism because of his antics. Meh. ;-)

  5. I think that's fair enough, Norman. Though you know- he keeps growing on me. I don't know if it's his shtick or if he is a true believer, but he keeps heading in our direction and seems to be steering a number of neo-"conservative" Americans along with him.

  6. Norman, while I agree, there is one thing that needs to be noted. Granny might not pick up some Rothbard or Bastiat, but she'll watch TV.

  7. You wanna know something cool? My granny read Atlas Shrugged last year, voted for Ron Paul in the Republican Primary in 2008, and will be voting for Rand Paul in the Republican Primary this year (yes- I hail from the Bluegrass State, kinda sorta).