Tue, 05 May 2009 17:03:42 +0000 – By Glenn BeckHost, "Glenn Beck"
Hello America. I really like pizza. OK--let's be clear here: however much you think I like pizza, I like it waymore than that. I really, reallylike pizza. Now before we get into this...if you think I'm going to take your time and use the valuable online resources of a major television network to talk about my love of cheese covered dough, well...you're right. (You have to believe me--when I think of this stuff, it always makes sense in my head. Let's see how it looks after I type for a while.)
I work in New York City, and there are plentyof things to not like about spending time here: traffic, congestion, noise...wandering crazy people who make me seem like Mr. Rogers on a sedative. But if there's one thing that New York doeshave going for it, it's pizza--New York pizza has a great reputation, and it deserves it. And the thing I especially like is that you can walk into any pizza place in the city (and there's one about every block...kind of like what it must be like in Heaven), and get yourpizza exactly the way youwant it. Pizza in New York is by the slice, and I think there's a lesson in that idea for the dopes in Washington.
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 toa lotof Michael Buble. That's just how I roll. And if I want myslice 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 onpizza and reward him accordingly). And even if youdisagree...if youthink 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 agroup. 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 2ndAmendment 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 MMs...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 notall 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 wasthat the idea, it still isthe 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 individuallydecide 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. Individualscan 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 isAmerica.