May 5th, 2009 1:03 PM Eastern
It’s Time to Stand Up for INDIVIDUAL Rights!
by Glenn Beck
I like to consider myself a rugged individualist. OK, maybe not the “rugged” part, but definitely an individual. I am unique, with a personal point of view like nobody else. I like to wear suits with sneakers, and I listen to a lot of Michael Buble. That’s just how I roll. And if I want my slice of pizza with pepperoni or sausage or baked ziti on top, I can have it. (I don’t know if they give out a Nobel Prize for “Snacks,” but I think someone should take a look at the guy who thought of putting baked ziti on pizza and reward him accordingly). And even if you disagree…if you think that baked ziti on pizza would be terrible and the only way to eat it is with pineapple (which should be a criminal offense), it doesn’t matter. My pizza rights are individual, and so are yours: A baked ziti slice for me, and a pineapple one for you. Everyone is a winner.
These days there’s too much talk about “the collective,” as though the rights that the Founding Fathers guaranteed us were done so to Americans as a group. That wasn’t the case then, and it sure as heck ain’t the case now (no matter how flowery a speech President Obama makes to get you to think differently).
Your rights as an American are individual rights. We may all share the same rights as American citizens, but those rights apply to you specifically and individually. I feel like I need to keep saying that word so it stays in the front of your and everybody’s mind—individual, individual, individual!
When the 2nd Amendment says that you have a right to bear arms, it means you, right there, sitting in front of your computer—YOU have the right to own a gun. YOU there in the green shirt eating M&Ms…YOU have the right to free speech. YOU…the woman wearing the slippers your grandkids bought you last Christmas—YOU have the right to a speedy trial with a jury of your peers (not that you did anything wrong—I’m just making a point).
YOU have the right to the pursuit of happiness, and YOU get to define that happiness however you like. It doesn’t matter if the government thinks that you should spend your weekend fixing that squeaky door to the guest room—if you want to take a nap in the backyard and drink root beer instead…YOU WIN!
If the government thinks that some businesses are “too important to fail” or that some irresponsible borrowers need a handout to pay their mortgage, THEY DON’T WIN! They’re spending your money, and it doesn’t, shouldn’t and can’t matter how “virtuous” the government’s intentions—sometimes, we’re not all in this together. I’m a businessman, and if my business does well, I get to individually enjoy the fruits of that success. But if my business does badly, I also get to individually take my lumps, suck it up, and try again. The truly American thing isn’t getting bailed out—it’s the fact that in this country, you get to try again.
I recently spoke with Harry Binswanger from the Ayn Rand Institute. We got to talking about the national shift we’re feeling from the power of the individual to working for the collective good–as defined by the government—and here’s what he thought would be necessary to change that:HARRY BINSWANGER: You need a philosophical revolution. That’s why I’m in philosophy. I want to teach the principles of individual rights and egoism.
GLENN BECK: You know, I was just talking about this…how neither party is standing up for the individual and individual rights. Neither side.
HARRY BINSWANGER: You’re absolutely right.
GLENN BECK: Nobody is teaching this. That’s the biggest problem we have.
HARRY BINSWANGER: That is. Yes. Ayn Rand was a big–the biggest advocate–of individualism. That’s what made this country great. All the other countries are collectivists - the group, the royal court, the tribe. Those are the people to whom you owe your life, and you’re just the serf. But in America, you’re born free.
GLENN BECK: Yes. But not anymore -
HARRY BINSWANGER: Well, that was the idea.
I disagree with Harry in only one way—not only was that the idea, it still is the idea.
I’m a big fan of Ayn Rand and I think there’s a lot that can be learned from her writings. Too many of our leaders are preaching a “what’s best for the state” message, and it’s got to stop. It’s coming from both parties, and there’s lots of blame to spread around. America is a tightly knit group of individuals, and it’s our independent spirit that has pulled us out of tougher jams than the one we’re in now. It’s worked before, and it will work again.
Don’t get me wrong—if you and a bunch of your buddies individually decide to pool all your money and go buy some land together in Vermont…beat on drums, eat brown rice and express your love of communal living through interpretive dance…while that may sound like Hell on Earth to me, I wish you all the best. Individuals can decide to do things together. Actually, we have a great tradition of that in the country, started by guys like Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Ben Franklin…
See—I knew this would al make sense in the end. Man, all this writing has really worked up my appetite. I’m gonna’ see if some of the guys want to go out and grab a bite for lunch…maybe some of that delicious cheese covered dough I was talking about? And even though ordering a whole pizza may be easier to make than a bunch of individual slices, it just doesn’t matter. They don’t get to choose, we do. I’ll get mine just the way I like it, and so can everybody else. After all, this is America.
Beck says he is an Ayn Rand fan. Does he know Ayn Rand hated Christianity? Oh well. All conservatives love Ayn Rand lately.