Americans 'Beckoned' toward personal responsibility

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Let’s face it. Politicians don’t like to offend people. After the housing market crashed, a lot of political hopefuls were hesitant to tell Americans how nutty it is to buy a home on a maxed-out budget (e.g., Sarah Palin during the 2008 vice presidential debate).

The remarkable thing about Glenn Beck is that he’s not afraid to be bold; maybe it’s because he’s not running for office, but Beck tends to be uncompromisingly blunt. The keynote speech he gave at CPAC Saturday, February 20 was no exception.

Rather than mistake-proof the U.S., Beck makes a strong argument for giving individuals the liberty to learn from their missteps as opposed to spoon feeding them a foul-tasting government “remedy.”  

On an old-school chalkboard, Beck informed his audience of the ever-morphing movement that has slowly taken America down its current path. With a humorous allusion to Dan Quayle, Beck was sure to spell the name of the movement correctly: Progressivism. 

This movement has ushered in an attitude of government dependency and entitlement; instead of upholding the importance of personal responsibility, it has ushered in a system focused on the arbitrary redistribution of wealth; instead of appreciating success, it has punished it. Progressivism has created a flat, mediocre, boring way of life that doesn’t cause one to thrill in the joys of life’s ups and downs. 

However, if we are to revert to earlier days in our nation’s history and stoke the nation’s sense of personal responsibility, it’s time we stop blaming all our problems on President Obama. “[Progressivism] is in the Republicans and the Democrats,” said Beck. And who elects those people?

So, what does it mean to be a conservative? “It means to me ‘personal responsibility’—that, if I’ve done something wrong, it’s up to me to pay the price; it’s up to me to make it right,” said Beck.

The real remedy to our national problems is not allowing the government to hold on to the handlebars, but allowing it to let go of them. How much more satisfying it is for a child to finally ride a bike after he or she has fallen a few times, and how common it is for a spirited son or daughter to yell, “Let go!” when mom or dad holds on to the back of the bike. As Beck said, “Without failure, there is no sweetness in success.”

It’s time the American people cried “Let go!”—not to mom and dad—but 1) to a sphere of authority that has usurped its power in ways average parents never would have dreamed of and 2) to personal inhibitions that restrain individuals from enjoying the ride.

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Carolyn Bolton

Carolyn Bolton

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