Glenn Beck and Lincoln

I know we all have mixed feelings on Glenn Beck here, but I couldn’t help myself when I came across an informative article at the other day by Thomas DiLorenzo, the guy who writes all the taboo-smashing books about Lincoln, and found his outlook on Glenn Beck interesting.  For one, he seemed to agree with Beck’s usual chalkboard analyses of Obama’s friends and friends’ friend’s and friends’ friends’ friends. I really don’t care too much for those things:  I think they’re just a type of fear mongering that doesn’t really accomplish anything; knowing that Obama’s staff is full of socialist sympathizers doesn’t explain why socialism is bad and not compatible with freedom, it just says Obama likes socialism…duh.  He should, instead, stick to the Founding Fathers episodes, libertarian-based roots of America stuff, maybe plug another Hayek book or two, etc.

However, as DiLorenzo goes into the problems he has with Beck, I can’t help but be in total agreement, not just about Beck, but about the Republican party — if not the majority of contemporary America.  I speak, of course, of the idolatry of Lincoln in America.  Lincoln was the original neocon, and his “preservation of the union” and “freeing of the slaves” (regardless of Lincoln’s expressed defense of the Corwin Amendment, that would have put slavery as irrevecobal in the Constitution) allows his historical character to be untarnishable.  Many advocating or trying to excuse the removal of habeus corpus or free press simply have to say, “Lincoln did it.”  Speak of the massive war machine and they direct you no further than the militaristic Lincoln (and sing praise for things like Sherman’s march and it’s effects on places like Randolph, Tennessee).  For the Neocon stalwarts, Lincoln is political gold. 

And Beck is no different.  Of all of his various contradictions, his continuous promotion of the Constitution comes directly at odds with his promotion of America’s premier distorter and destroyer of it.

Beck getting called out, as he needed to be, when he said he read the Confederate constitution is a nice little gem as well.  Beck claimed the second line said “the slaveholder’s constitution” and the rest of it was “all about slavery.”  Of course, with the glorious capabilities of the Internet, one click and you can read a copy of the document in numerous places.  It’s basically the US constitution verbatim, with a few alterations, as DiLorenzo points out:

The Confederate president had a line-item veto; served for one six-year term; protectionist tariffs are outlawed; government subsidies for corporations are outlawed; and the “General Welfare Clause” of the U.S. Constitution was deleted.

(Is it just me, or does the prohibition of government subsidies to corporations sound, well, awesome?)

Beck also gets a little lesson on the nature of state sovereignity and the compact nature of our government, something Lincoln was absolutely opposed to, believing instead in the Nationalist origin ideology (something that Tom Woods has spoken on various times and absolutely shatters in his new book Nullification).

However, the article taught me a little something too, and that was the prevelance (or at least existence) of “collective salvation” in the North by a new type of Protestantism that believed that Government must cleanse the sins of America, one of which was slavery (quote is from Rothbard):

The North, in particular the North’s driving force, the “Yankees” – that ethnocultural group who either lived in New England or migrated from there to upstate New York, northern and eastern Ohio, northern Indiana, and northern Illinois – had been swept by a new form of Protestantism. This was a fanatical and emotional neo-Puritanism driven by a fervent “postmillennialism” which held that, as a precondition for the Second Advent of Jesus Christ, man must set up a thousand-year Kingdom of God on Earth…The Northern war against slavery partook of fanatical millennialist fervor, of a cheerful willingness to uproot institutions, to commit mayhem and mass murder, to plunder and loot and destroy, all in the name of high moral principle and the birth of a perfect world. The Yankee fanatics were veritable Pattersonian humanitarians with the guillotine: the Anabaptists, the Jacobins, the Bolsheviks, of their era.

Wasn’t it Beck that dedicated almosty an entire episode about exposing the oppressive nature of collective salvation?

Alas, with discrepencies such as these, ignorance of the facts (willful or otherwise), and outright lies, my reluctance to support Glenn Beck continues.  I still applaud his attempts to promote and educate viewers on people such as the Founding Fathers (including black founders), Hayek, and other heroes of freedom, but I can’t say I believe his show will stay the same if Republicans regain control of Congress.

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