I am not the first person to jump to the defense of Glenn Beck but when someone writes drivel like this, I couldn’t help myself.
I encourge you to read the full blog post at blog.newsweek.com but with the warning that if you have any intelligence you will be offended by the blatant spin of this Obama PR writer. When will America stop buying “news” magazines and papers that employ such biased writers?
Here are some of the high lights [I will comment in brackets]:
“So let’s look at what would happen if the “cancer” had been cut out when it first appeared, as Beck recommends. A world without the Progressive Era would be a world with:
- Only men voting: The 19th amendment giving women the right to vote was the product of progressivisim. Beck thinks women are second-class citizens. [This movement was influenced by William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson, both conservative Christians in England. In the US it was the Liberty Party, a precursor of the modern Republican party, that first made Women’s rights a part of their platform along side the abolition of slaves.]
- No cell phone or low-cost long distance telephone service: It was the break-up of AT&T in the 1970s under the progressive anti-trust laws that allowed for today tele-communications (and computer) systems. Beck thinks corporations should have no restraints at all. [This is a narrow minded view of history. Progress is not progressivism. America would have continued to develop new tech without Government intervention.]
- State legislatures electing U.S. Senators: The 17th amendment, part of the progressive movement, allowed for the direct election of senators. If you think the Senate is bad now, imagine what it was like when state legislators were the only voters. (They defeated Abraham Lincoln in Illinois 1858 even though he won the popular vote for Senate). Beck likes hacks. [Got me there. I think it would be a good thing if the states elected our Senators. We elected our Representatives in the house to be our voice in Washington, if states assign the Senators they would be more inclined to listen to the heads of the state, the same heads we elect.]
- No recourse for the people against corrupt politicians: State laws allowing recall and ballots initiatives and referenda were the product of the Progressive Era. Beck hates citizen power. [Actually these actions are given power by the constitution and has nothing to do with progressives, try and high-jack another accomplishment.]
- Any food and drugs sold legally even if they killed you: The Progessive Era brought the Food and Drug Administration, as well as USDA inspection of meat. Beck likes snake oil and rancid meat. [Like we are much safer with USDA approval. Fen-Phen, Paxil and Ephendren where all USDA approved drugs that killed people. Ya, that works]
- No high-tech economy: A big part of progressivism was Robert LaFollette’s “Wisconsin Idea,” whereby the ideas and expertise of universities was put in the service of society. Without it, there would be no high-tech or medical technology sector. Beck doesn’t believe in economic growth. [Universities sell there findings into an open market, it is just that under progressivism the government became the highest bidder for those products. The open market would have gotten all of the advances, but at a cheaper price.]
- A global depression: The Progressive Era produced the Federal Reserve system, which Beck despises. But without the trillions in guarantees provided by the Fed in 2008 and 2009, the world would be in a depression right now. Beck likes destitution. [Your defending the Federal Reserve? The Fed caused the largest depressions in history.]
- Social Security and Medicare: Both ideas grew out of the Progressive Era. They were first raised by Teddy Roosevelt in the Progressive Party (Bull Moose) platform of 1912. Beck thinks old people should eat cat food and die if they get sick and that TR was a bad president. [Both are destroying the future of this country.]
The Progressive Era brought a few dumb ideas [more than just a few, and you tried to defend them], especially Prohibition. But to say it was a “cancer” is simply pathetic. I look forward to how Beck and the Fox Puppets defend it.”
It is people like Jonathan Alter that are destroying journalism in America. If you noticed I did nto address any of the ad hominem attacks that he plugged at the end of each of his statements, those are the Democrat bumper stickers that he is regurgitating. If he had an original thought, I could not find it in this article.
There is no defense of the progressives in American history and any “journalist” who tries should be run out on a rail.