A note to Glenn Beck: I reserve my rights
By J.J. Jackson
Ready. Set. Navel-gaze!
At at one point not too long ago I called Glenn Beck possibly "the great conservative hope". But I will freely admit that the man drives me bonkers when he goes off into his own little world of self-reflection. Not only am I certain that he knows the location of each and every piece of lint in the crevasses of his bellybutton, but I am also convinced he has given each of them names and converses with them regularly.
Beck's hard edges have softened at times over the past several years. His blunt spoken talk has been replaced regularly by a cautious self-skepticism and contemplation as his popularity has grown. It has gotten to the point where he goes out of his way, annoyingly so, to distance himself preemptively from everything that may potentially happen that could be even remotely seen as negative and also be attached to him through only the most intense spin of the liberal media. To that end he has obnoxiously and incessantly adopted and quoted the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi which is non-violent resistance to tyranny as the means to overcome all wrongs.
It seems to be a defensive reflex from a man who, I am certain, knows better. However he has been hit so many times by the Brownshirts in the liberal media. They have attempted to link him to so many heinous acts. So maybe you cannot blame him for being a little self-protective and rushing immediately to the nearest platform to denounce whatever the current left wing lie is about him and his beliefs. Witness the latest incident with Jared Loughner in Tucson, Arizona. We saw how within no time at all liberal media elites and hacks rushed to link to Sarah Palin, the Tea Party and even Glenn Beck to the shooting of a sitting U.S. Congresswoman, a Federal Judge, a nine year old girl and many others.
Loughner, a lunatic who listed among his "favorite" reads as The Communist Manifesto as well as Hitler's Mein Kampf, was within minutes, and long before his name was even known, tied to the conservative movement. Even as his associations, reading material and the descriptions of people who knew him painted him more and more as a left winger, if anything, the drumbeat from those that carry the water for leftist ideologies continued to try in vain to make the false association, previously established, become true.
Then on Monday night, after two days of being beat up, Glenn Beck used his television show to put forth, once again, his tunnel vision ideology. Late in the show he proposed a challenge to all Americans. As though all Americans needed challenged?
The first line of that challenge was to "denounce violence, regardless of ideological motivation." The second line was to "denounce anyone, from the Left, the Right or middle, who believes physical violence is the answer to whatever they feel is wrong with our country." There was more, but this is enough.
I will be blunt with everyone. This is an asinine pledge. And, at the risk of offending people who might think that Beck is imbued with tongues of fire and that his words are golden and without question, anyone who signs on to it is also asinine.
You might ask, "What are you saying J.J.? That you believe in violence?" Hmm. How do I make this clear? Yes I do; when it is necessary.
Violence is defined in several different ways. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary it is 1 (a) an "exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse". Definition 1 (b) is "an instance of violent treatment or procedure". Definition 3 (a) is "intense, turbulent, or furious and often destructive action or force". Note that nowhere is violence defined as being necessarily bad however.
Jared Loughner, the lunatic that he is, committed an act of violence when he shot Congresswoman Giffords, Judge John Roll and others. But those that tackled and subdued Mr. Loughner also, by plain and simple definition, committed acts of violence against him. One person hit him over the head with a chair and then restrained him in "an instance of violent treatment". Oh, you think that their treatment of this nut job was not violent? Think again. Violent: definition (3) "caused by force", definition (1) "marked by extreme force or sudden intense activity".
So please, spare me the spin in defense of Beck's asininities. To condemn all violence regardless of "ideological motivation" would mean that Glenn Beck denounces those that subdued Mr. Loughner right along side of Mr. Loughner. These people are heroes. Their "ideological motivation" lead them to act in defense of others. It was good violence that they engaged in. I will not condemn it and I will not swear off my own right to defend my person and others from acts of violence with acts of violence on my own part.
Or how about Patrick Henry who, when faced with unjust government boldly said on the matter, "Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace - but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" – March 23rd, 1775 Speech at the Second Virginia Convention at St. John's Church in Richmond.
President George Washington would be also on Beck's list of people to condemn. For our first President would not have signed his silly pledge. In his first annual address to Congress on January 8th, 1790 he reiterated the thoughts of Vegetius who said, "Qui desiderat pacem præparet bellum." Or, as President Washington put it, "To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." Yes, such violent rhetoric would not sit well with Glenn Beck it seems.
Glenn Beck is so focused on the "Faith", "Hope" and "Charity" of our Founding Fathers and promoting those aspects of their lives but he neglects the full facts of the matter apparently at will. Of course, he could always rely on the ever dovish nature of Benjamin Franklin if that is the crutch he would like to rest on in his opposition to all violence. Wow. One out of many.
To group those that would act with violence for good reason against others along with those who would act with violence to oppress and remove from others their inalienable rights is the height of folly. This fact cannot be stressed enough. It is childish and immature to denounce a tool which may, God forbid, at some time be necessary to confront other violence perpetrated by those with wicked motives.
There are indeed times for passive and nonviolent resistance. I do not dispute this fact. This tactic will succeed at times. The pursuit of full Constitutional rights for blacks in the mid twentieth century showed that there is power at times in this strategy. But I say that that power rests with such strategy only when an overwhelming majority of people are united against some injustice.
But it was not, as history shows, this sort of cringing from violence when necessary that accomplished other great and necessary changes in America and around the world when that sort of consensus was not available. The American Revolution, the American Civil War, World War II versus the Nazis of Germany, the Fascists of Italy and Imperial Japan are all examples where violence was necessary to confront the wicked who had already set themselves off down the path of violence. Had we been at those points in history a wussified people, as Glenn Beck wants us to pledge to be now, where would that have left the world? It would have left the world in the hands of vicious tyrants who loot and murder as their whims dictated and who ignore the laws of God and the inalienable rights of all.
No, I will never lay down my rights. And one of those rights is to violently defend liberty from violent attempts to usurp it and erase it from the face of the Earth. And that puts me at odds with Glenn Beck and legions who blindly, and stupidly, sign his pledge and who will no doubt attack me for pointing out the truth? Then so be it. But unlike Glenn Beck, I do not fear the attacks of the ignorant and I will not navel-gaze to the point of coming up with some sort of silly justification to renounce my rights.
J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com. He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at http://www.libertyreborn.com.