Now, to sort of knock one of my favorite blogs. I hate having to do so, but The Pink Flamingo kinda leaves me no choice here.
The sources cited are Dana Milbank, who was not known for even-handed reporting when he covered the George W. Bush Administration; and Salon magazine, which has the likes of Glenn Greenwald (who got in trouble for using "sock puppets" on his blog).
There's no real argument against Beck's ideas. There is justified criticism for treating the GOP and the Dems as the same - and if SJ stopped there, it'd be OK. I share that criticism - particularly in the case of Mitt Romney's action vis-a-vis health care in Massachusetts (Romney was dealing with a veto-proof state legislature that DID override veteos of abortion coverage and tax increases in the legislation).
But it goes a bit further. The source she sites goes after Cleon Skousen, the author of The 5000-Year Leap, but doesn't even try to deal with the ideas.
For an elementary primer, The 5000-Year Leap esposues the belief that America was funded on 28 principles:
- The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law.
- A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong.
- The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally stable people is to elect virtuous leaders.
- Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained.
- All things were created by God, therefore upon Him all mankind are equally dependent, and to Him they are equally responsible.
- All men are created equal.
- The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things.
- Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.
- To protect man's rights, God has revealed certain principles of divine law.
- The God-given right to govern is vested in the sovereign authority of the whole people.
- The majority of the people may alter or abolish a government which has become tyrannical.
- The United States of America shall be a republic.
- A constitution should be structured to permanently protect the people from the human frailties of their rulers.
- Life and liberty are secure only so long as the right of property is secure.
- The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free-market economy and a minimum of government regulations.
- The government should be separated into three branches - legislative, executive, and judicial.
- A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power.
- The unalienable rights of the people are most likely to be preserved if the principles of government are set forth in a written constitution.
- Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to government, all others being retained in the people.
- Efficiency and dispatch require government to operate according to the will of the majority, but constitutional provisions must be made to protect the rights of the minority.
- Strong local self-government is the keystone to preserving human freedom.
- A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of men.
- A free society cannot survive as a republic without a broad program of general education.
- A free people will not survive unless they stay strong.
- "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations - entangling alliances with none."
- The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family; therefore, the government should foster and protect its integrity.
- The burden of debt is as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest.
- The United States has a manifest destiny to be an example and a blessing to the entire human race.
Now let's consider the Republican Creed that The Pink Flamingo posted:
I’m a Republican Because…
I BELIEVE the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person’s dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored.
I BELIEVE in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.
I BELIEVE free enterprise and encouraging individual initiative have brought this nation opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.
I BELIEVE government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn.
I BELIEVE the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations, and that the best government is that which governs least.
I BELIEVE the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people.
I BELIEVE Americans must retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new and innovative ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.
I BELIEVE Americans value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.
FINALLY, I believe the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government….”
THE REPUBLICAN CREED
I do not choose to be a common man.
It is my right to be uncommon.
If I can seek opportunity,
I want to take the calculated risk to dream
And build, to fail and to succeed.
I refused to barter incentive for dole.
I prefer the challenges of life to
the thrill of fulfillment
to the state of calm utopia.
I will not trade freedom for beneficence,
nor my dignity for a handout.
I will never cower before any master,
save my God.
It is my heritage to stand erect,
proud and unafraid.
To think and act for myself,
enjoy the benefit of my creations;
to face the whole world
boldly and say, “I am a free American.”
If she has a problem with the principles, I'd like to see what problems she has with them laid out for all to see. But Beck is only going to get stronger if all those who disagree with him only aim personal shots at him. Going third-party is a way he can blow it.
Me, I agree with most of the 28 principles (I have some issues with #25 - I think that the present situation is better addressed by the neoconservatives), and think that there is a large degree of overlap between the 28 principles in The 5000 Year Leap and the Republican Creed.
I will also point something else out: For all Skousen wrote in The 5000 Year Leap, I find it far less objectionable than some of the stuff from the likes of Jeremiah Wright. Anyone remember "God damn America?"