Common Sense – Chapter 1: The Reshaping and Redefining of America
Glenn Beck’s Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-Of-Control Government
I – The Reshaping and Redefining Of America
We did not vote to change the Republic, we voted to change Washington.We wanted the lies, corruption, and childish “but they started it” games to end.Instead we now see that things have only gotten worse and that the “change” the political elite think we wanted was the transition to a system based on entitlements and handouts.It is insult upon injury and a testament to just how out of touch with the common man our two parties have become.
To some, this may feel like a sudden hostile takeover.It is not.This has been coming for a long time and has been moved down the field by both parties—the only real question was which one would put us into the end zone first.
Most Americans remain convinced that the country is on the wrong track.They know that SOMETHING JUST DOESN’T FEEL RIGHT but they don’t know how to describe it or, more importantly, how to stop it.But just because you may not know exactly what your gut is saying, doesn’t mean what you’re feeling is wrong.It’s not.Something hasn’t been right for a very long time.
America has been slowly pulled off the course charted for us in Philadelphia more than two centuries ago.Through legitimate “emergencies” involving war, terror, and economic crises, politicians on BOTH sides have gathered illegitimate new powers—playing on our fears and desire for security and economic stability—at the expense of our freedoms.And now, after supposedly massive change, not only are we still on the wrong track, but it feels as though our new conductor has just increased the speed at which our misdirected train is traveling.
Is common sense completely dead in America today?Did intellectual honesty have a moonlight clause?We don’t have a shortage of capital or liquidity in this country; we have a shortage of honesty and trust.Where are the Americans who will stop talking about the President or the parties and instead start talking about right and wrong?Where are those who will stand up and say, “Common sense still lives at my house and it’s about time it is applied again in Washington!”?
America has let thieves into her home and that nagging in your gut is a final warning that our country is about to be stolen.Our Founding Fathers understood our rights and liberties are gifts from God.They also understand that WE are an intuitive people.If all of that is true, then it only makes sense that He would alert us to our impending loss.
And now He is—shame on us of ignoring Him for so long.
Through blood and sacrifice we have been given the precious gift of self-rule and freedom.But because this gift was simply handed to use, we esteem it far too lightly.Many an erstwhile patriot has sold his birthright for the perceived security of “free government housing,” corporate or personal welfare dependency, or by failing to remember the delicate balance between master and minion.
After the signing of the Constitution, Benjamin Franklin was asked by a woman on the street, “What have you given us, sir?”Franklin responded, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
A critical moment in the history has come: our Republic is in jeopardy.Can we keep it?
If the answer to that question , as I fear, is “no,” then we have no one to blame but ourselves.For too long we have ignored, enabled, or embraced the flawed character of those we’ve selected to protect and defend our Constitution.By lowering our standards for them, we’ve lowered the standards for ourselves.We wanted a life of ease, a life of little consequence, and high reward.To get it, we repeatedly empowered thieves, liars, and con men, simply because they promise us ease.Now, because we’ve trained them that repeated injury has no consequence, they’ve grown bold and fearless.When we speak up, they ease our pain with pork, a steady stream of entitlements, and financial candy, and back to sleep we go.
We have so little trust in the character of the people we elected that most of us wouldn’t invite them into our homes for dinner, let alone leave our children alone in their care.Yet we leave our country and our children’s financial future alone in their care.Why?
Common sense tells us that this is national suicide.
Open your eyes!These people are robbing us blind while turning our children against the principles and values we cherish through indoctrination masked as education.
They have set our house on fire and blocked the exits, all the while convincing us that there is nothing to fear because they are the fire department.When will someone cry out with the truth?They’re not our saviors; they’re the arsonists.They’re not rescuing our country; they’re destroying it!
To save ourselves from political and economic slavery, we must first admit what we already know: America has serious problems that transcend this economic crisis.We must have recognized and admit our critical role in helping create the problems.Finally, we must choose to live by our founding principles and rid ourselves of the poison of those who are proven to have broken the law—no one is above it.
In 1776, Common Sense woke up Americans to the fact that an oppressive English government was out of step with the Laws of Nature.Paine asked simple questions and encouraged his fellow citizens to look at America’s problems and its future with fresh eyes and a healthy dose of simple logic.
I humbly suggest that our government is once again out of step with the Laws of Nature.The government by, of, and for the people has been turned on its head.It is now a government by the government, of the government, and for the government—the people be damned.
It is clear that the so-called political experts in Washington, the business experts on Wall Street, and the self-anointed experts of education and society have gotten it wrong for a very long time.They rely on their Ivy League educations, family connections, and misplaced egos instead of listening to the cabdrivers, mothers, or plumbers.They pay us lip service while stuffing their pockets with our money—content in their belief that average Americans are too dumb to ever notice.
Thomas Paine wrote, “The cause of America is in great measure the cause of all mankind.”Those words are as true today as they were then.America is a unique and special place that is a beacon of freedom for the entire world.Do you still believe that?If not—why not?If so, then do you truly think that freedom from tyranny, “the cause of all mankind,” is secure?
HISTORY DEMANDS A CLEAR ANSWER.One response leads us to transnationalism and the end of American sovereignty, while the other leads us to a restoration of our liberty.But time is running out.We must answer the question and face the consequences, or our reckless apathy will answer it for us.
THIS IS NOT A QUESTION TO BE LEFT TO THOSE IN WASHINGTON.Most Americans don’t know what they believe, or, worse, they don’t have any idea how to decide if Washington’s “solutions” are the right ones.We cry out “Don’t just stand there—do something!” but then we bemoan the result.Instead, common sense should compel us to ask, “Wait, is there a bigger principle at risk by acting so quickly?”In most cases, the answer is a resounding “yes”.Inaction is often the best course of action.
“Just doing something” for political expediency may imperil the causes of liberty, capitalism, inventiveness, and the progressive principle of natural selection.Instead, let’s do something, but let’s make it the right thing.
But that’s the catch, isn’t it?There’s no one on television offering the “right thing” to do whose advice you can accept unconditionally—and that includes me.That is why you’ve got to empower yourself, find your own voice, and rediscover our common principles and values.
If you’re like me, you’ve screwed up many things in your life, but all of that is a prologue to this moment.Those experiences give us wisdom, humility, and a deep sense of the one emotion that many people try so hard to avoid: Failure.But those of us who have failed understand that it is a necessary step in achieving success—a step that safety nets and bailouts attempt to take a shortcut around.
What the experts and elitists don’t realize is that shortcuts have consequences.The results of preventing failure in a country rooted in freedom is a country that is no longer logic.Laws of economics or nature no longer seem to apply, because they simply change the rules of the game when they don’t like the outcome.
Unfortunately, it is all catching up to us.The laws of common sense do not change according to scale.If it doesn’t work in your own checkbook, it won’t work in theirs.If it doesn’t work at your house, it won’t work in the White House.
Let’s apply some common sense to the lie that “debt isn’t bad.”There is truth to the idea that some debt is fine.You can have a reasonable mortgage on a reasonable house.But what most people ignore is that debt works only in the context of an otherwise financially responsible lifestyle.
“We will grow our way out of debt” is the answer they give in response.Well, that might be true if you are healthy, young, and at the beginning of your career.But America is not healthy, our population is aging, and our companies are either being taxed to death or run by Washington politicians—most of whom have never run a business or held a job outside of a law firm.
The sad part is that most of us work hard, play by the rules, and just want a fair shake—but we’re tired.We’re tired of being angry, tired of being lied to, and, quite frankly, tired of being tired.But we are the current guardians of freedom and, because others have let us down, it is now our duty to face the hard truths and do the right thing—no matter the personal cost.The twenty generations who’ve fought and died to secure our God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness expect no more and demand no less.
But are we even capable of maintaining a Republic anymore?Are there enough citizens willing to do the hard work that self-rule requires, or have we become a people who would rather be cared for, fed, clothed, housed, and told what’s best for us by our parent-like state?Unfortunately, the evidence suggests the latter.
It was bad enough that our leaders sold out our nation’s soul in order to print more money—but when we abandoned our post and started following the same path by switching from the gold standard to the debt standard in our own lives.Americans have changed.Our parents and grandparents relied on debt only to buy a home or a car or put someone through college, but we rely on it to live the lives we think we have earned.We’ve bought the false promise made by enterprising politicians that we all deserve the best right now—no matter the cost.Suddenly, our summer vacations, flat-screen televisions, boats, clothes, and dinners out at fancy restaurants were all “purchased” with debt.
Meanwhile, our politicians, global corporations, and money-changers, have redefined the American Dream.Many of us grew up not even knowing that we were considered “poor”, but now it seems that no one can stand the thought of not being rich.Politicians and the media told us that America is about having the most stuff, the nicest cars, and the biggest homes.Almost everyone, it seemed, was in it for themselves.Compassion, we were told, was a victim of capitalism.
We should now see that for the lie it is.Compassion and capitalism go hand in hand, but compassion does not go with what these people were really promoting:greed.Of course, not everyone fell for their lies—some banks and mortgage companies refused to play the “home giveaway” game.To them, things like debt, income, and character still mattered and they prudently denied unqualified borrowers.And what was their reward?They were labeled racist, greedy, and out of touch with the new reality.
In short, politicians promised us a new, easier way to success and happiness—and too many of us eagerly embraced and promoted it.How did we not see?How did we forget what our parents and grandparents took for granted?There are no shortcuts in achieving and living the American Dream.It takes hard work, relentless dedication to your core principles and values, and above all, patience.Nothing comes easy; noting happens fast.
But that kind of sense is just not so common anymore.
The same politicians who promised us the easy shortcut to the good life are now making another false promise.They’re going on television and radio each day repeatedly assuring us that if we throw enough money at the problems they created then we can stop our toxic debt spiral without any more pain.People believe them because they want to think that there is still an easy way out of this and that our misguided beliefs about what our lives should be like is still within reach.
That lie is now finally coming undone, exposed by time, marketplace realities, and those Laws of Nature that our leaders have tried so hard to break.Yet politicians still insist that no hard choices need to be made and that hardship and pain—which have always been part of the American experience—are somehow no longer necessary (unless, of course, you are wealthy).When asked to explain why hardship and pain should not be borne by all, they simply shout louder: “The wealthiest one percent”; “George W. Bush”; “Pay your fair share.”
Incendiary class warfare is not a solution, it’s a diversion.But nothing can divert us from the reality that our government has proven to be an unreliable and untrustworthy partner in safeguarding the promise of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
If you understand the threat to the Republic, it is your duty to wake up your neighbors by asking them to consider some simple questions:
1.Do you trust those in power to always tell you the hard truth—especially if it would hurt them at election time?
2.How is it possible that every president since Jimmy Carter has promised to lower our dependence on foreign oil, but now we import more oil than ever from countries that do us harm?
3.Are we to honestly believe that the country that took the idea of a man walking on the moon and turned it into a reality within eight years, or the country that built a transcontinental railroad in seven years (without power tools or machines) doesn’t have the ability to completely build the 670-mile fence along our southern border that was promised to us in 2005?
4.Why are the same politicians who insist America is a “melting pot” the first ones to insist that different races, nationalities, and ethnicities retain their distinct languages, identities, and practices?
5.Why are those who respectfully question the science behind global warming mocked and condemned?
6.Do you believe that your elected representatives view themselves as truly being “public servants” who place your well-being above their own?
7.Do you believe that those in Washington see your face when they make decisions or, instead, the faces of those who richly contribute to their campaigns?
8.Do you believe that our “public servants” have your best interests at heart and will defend your life, liberty, and property?
You know where you stand on these issues.You believe in the promise and future of America.You must heed the call of generations past and commit yourself to becoming part of America’s solution.This will not be an easy or popular journey, but by now we’ve seen that the allured of the “easy” journey is wrong since it often means having to take an even more treacherous road home.
The next time an “emergency” comes along that Washington feels it “shouldn’t waste” there will be many voices on all sides shouting directions.Many of those voices will be wrong—and some will even knowingly be wrong.Do not jump in either direction, just stay calm as others panic.It is in no citizen’s best interest to follow politicians who use panic, confusion and hastily crafted legislation to enact emergency powers that they themselves barely understand.Panic will not lead this ship to a safer port, only farther out to sea, into far deeper and more dangerous waters.
You cannot take away freedom to protect it, you cannot destroy the free market to save it, and you cannot uphold freedom of speech by silencing those with whom you disagree.To take rights away to defend them or to spend your way out of debt defies common sense.
I sincerely believe that no discussion or debate is un-American.I agree with the Founding Fathers that it is only on the battlefield of ideas that the best ones can be recognized and ultimately prevail.Only those afraid of the truth seek to silence debate, intimidate those with whom they disagree, or slander their ideological counterparts.Those who know they are right have no reason to stifle debate because they realize that all opposing arguments will ultimately be overcome by fact.Yet those who champion massive taxes and spending to fight climate change, for example, do not seem to understand that.If science is on their side, then why should they care who’s against them?“The debate is over” is a line that’s used only by those who realize they would never win a debate.
In the end, it is not the debate itself, but those preventing it that are truly un-American.Honest listening and, more important, honest questioning is the foundation of the American experiment.We must listen to each other with renewed ears and speak out with passion, while also recognizing the difference between anger and truth.
Unfortunately, there are many in Washington who understand that honest debates will pull back the curtain on the scam they’ve been perpetrating.They promise transparency but instead deliver ten-thousand-page legislative bills that must be passed before being read or fully understood.They promise openness, but then move quickly under cover of darkness, to further their agendas.
In March 2008, President George W. Bush told us that Bear Stearns was too big to fail.If we didn’t act to save it before the end of the week, very bad things would happen.So we acted.Since then, the list of banks that are “too big to fail” has grown in excess of five hundred and tax payer exposure from government bailouts now exceeds $12,000,000,000,000.
Worse, those who are in charge of managing all that exposure have already proven their incompetence.
Perhaps you’ve forgotten that House members once bounced more than 8,331 checks at their own personal bank, the House Bank—forcing it to close due to their own incompetence and greed.Does it strike anyone else as arrogant that the same politicians who couldn’t run their own bank are now vested in more than five hundred banks, including some of the largest ones in the country?
Have you already forgotten how our leaders looked us in the eye and pledged to fix their House Bank problem, only to promptly bounce an additional 4,325 checks?
Have you forgotten how no bounced check or overdraft fees were ever charged, because the House Bank didn’t impose those pesky and expensive fees that you and I would have to pay given the exact same circumstances?
Does anyone seriously doubt that if it had been a private bank and not members of Congress who’d written twelve thousand bad checks, there would have been never-ending televised hearings, perp walks, and prison sentences?Would it surprise you to learn that not one of the “public servants” who dishonored their office was ever sent to jail but that the House Sergeant-at-Arms, who took the blame for them, was sentenced to twenty-four months?
Of course not—because we’ve learned that politicians aren’t like you and me.They are like some alien life form who believes they are of higher intelligence, don’t have to live by the same rules, and have no personal shame.
The same politicians who couldn’t operate their own bank now regularly appear on television to tell you and me that they can solve the economic crisis.More lies from politicians who don’t think twice about telling them.
Politicians try to frame the ongoing debate as one about increasing regulation on Wall Street and taming out-of-control bankers—but so much more than your 401(k) is at stake.This isn’t a debate about money, it’s a life-and-death struggle for personal freedom and national liberty.The economy may be the vessel, but it’s sailing us towards a complete reshaping of America.Wake up!The chains of economic slavery have been forged by both parties and many presidents, but they are about to snap shut around the necks of our children and grandchildren.
We cannot let our politicians’ actions continue to defy sanity, or our collective inaction continue to define insanity any longer.We must try something new: peaceful yet pointed action.Our country’s circumstances are too grave and the stake too high for us to sit silently with the hope that somehow whose who have fought for so long against our founding ideals will somehow realize the error of their ways.And if you think that things would be different if your party was in power, or that things will be different now because your side won, think again.Both parties have betrayed our founding principles and we have lost sight of the fact that the only side that matters is the one in step with the principles of the Republic.
I am convinced that the source of our collective silence in the face of growing tyranny is not a failure to appreciate the importance of the fight or the threat we’re facing.It’s not a result of laziness or lack of patriotism, either.Our silence is due to our failure to see any problem or solution beyond partisan politics.
No longer!The light of common sense belongs to all of us from every party—let us use it to uncover the challenges, treachery, and truth.