Conservative TV and radio host Glenn Beck didn't disappoint tonight with his remarks which closed the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference. Beck's message was one of warning and hope; a history lesson and sermon all rolled into one.
"People are losing the fundamental belief that things are going to be better tomorrow. But it is still morning in America... it just happens to be a kind of head-pounding, hungover morning," Beck told the massive audience gathered for the final event.
What's ailing America? Progressivism. "Progressivism is the cancer of America and it's eating away at our Constitution. It was designed to do that," Beck said. And to demonstrate this point as only Glenn Beck can, a blackboard was rolled in from offstage, greeted with a standing ovation and roaring applause. "It's sick when the chalkboard gets a standing ovation," he joked.
Beck also took time to criticize the Republican Party, saying today's GOP is offering many of the same options as progressives. "Progressivism is not our founders idea of America--big govt, a socialist utopia... We need to address it like it is a cancer--you don't cure cancer by accepting small bits of it--you must eradicate it."
In a surprise CPAC appearance earlier this week, former Vice President Dick Cheney predicted this year would be a good one for conservative ideas. Beck said Cheney's assumptions were probably true, "but it's not enough just to not suck as much as the other side."
Beck recalled his time in Alcoholics Anonymous for a remedy for the GOP: "The first step in getting redemption is admitting you've got a problem," he said. "They've got to recognize they have a problem."
"Hello, my name is the Republican Party and I have a problem. I'm addicted to spending and big government."
Beck also talked about the importance of free enterprise in America--a cornerstone of the conservative movement. "We have a right to fail. this is a God-given right. Without failure there is no growth." Every time the size of government grows, he said, "they raise the price of the American dream. We are destroying our childrens' future. We are pricing ourselves out of the American dream."
On Obama's and progressives' affinity for European ideals, Beck noted: "Americans don't need to be taught how to give, how to take care of each other. Americans per capita give [to charity] 10 times the amount per capita as France--don't tell me we need to be more like Europe. Europe needs to be more like America!"
This unabashed pride in our country continues to be the defining theme of CPAC and the conservative movement in America. As Glenn Beck stressed today, one of the most important aspects of conservatism is a health appreciation for America's exceptional history. It's America's history that provides us with lessons from our past and promise for our future.