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Glenn Beck’s Common Sense: A review

What I love most about this book, Glenn Beck’s Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine, is how easy it is to read. This, in my opinion, is crucial to Beck’s goal in writing it. He’s trying to get a very serious (in his opinion, and strongly felt throughout the book) message across to his readers, one that is immeasurably easier to feel and infer because of Beck’s diction and syntax. Plain and simple, his words are, well, plain and simple. To get an idea of what I mean, take for instance these few excerpts, which you can find like phrases to throughout the book, “Wake up America!” and “Open your eyes!” I simply find Beck’s simplicity perfectly fitting and ingeniously devised, and that’s not to mention the large print and the fact that the book’s fewer than 200 pages in length.

His introduction is another item on the list of things I admire about this book. Beck is brilliant with his ability to conjure strong feelings within his readers by going back in time to the Revolutionary period – as he does several times throughout the book – in an attempt to paint a picture of what it was like for our forefathers more than 200 years ago and our ancestral countrymen in a time when freedom was just an idea, a concept, something hundreds of thousands of men fought and spilled their blood in just the hope of attaining. No other country before had fought for a freedom so free. Of course, stirring these types of feelings – pride, strength, belief in oneself and one’s own beginnings – only makes Beck’s arguments stronger. Beck strengthens his words further by including several quotes in his book that also stir feelings, such as one by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that particularly affected me in reading, “The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”

These quotes, these words help move people, and they only make more of an impact knowing the magnitude of the affect the people, like M.L.K. Jr., had, not only on the United States, but on the world.

These examples simply illustrate Beck’s excellent argumentative ability, as, essentially, this book is one giant argument against what Beck calls an “out-of-control government,” also known as our American government.

Something else that happily surprised me about the book, especially since I watch Beck’s show regularly and from that I previously had a very biased, right-wing picture of him, was the fact of how objective he was in writing this book. He truly gives both sides equal time, if you will. I honestly thought the book would be very pro-conservative and anti-liberal, but I was completely wrong. Beck really did his homework and put a great deal of effort into making the words within the pages of this work appeal to a large group of people, non-partisan. Instead of focusing on political ideology, he targeted Americans and looked at how Americans are becoming increasingly frustrated with the government and made sure that every person, every group, was held accountable.

After I finished reading the book, I thought a great deal about the message behind the words. I truly felt Beck hit several nails on the head with this one. I agree with him and feel that many Americans are angry and tired of the feeling of being taken advantage of by others and, really, the government. I took a course recently in political science and trying to look at what’s been going on in our country as of late in an objective a manner as possible, I very much agree with Beck’s analysis.

Over the course of the past six months, it’s undeniable to say that the government hasn’t grown at a substantial rate. Private companies are receiving bailouts right and left, taxpayers are basically buying and supporting car companies, energy taxes are being proposed on all Americans and we’re all on the edge of having our government, which is more than $11 trillion in debt, take over our health care system. Granted, some people prefer “big government,” big brother type things, but I honestly believe that the greater majority of Americans do not.

Beck’s book demonstrates that people in this country really do care about their jobs, their homes and their families, and makes a strong point to say that government expansion and corruption is thoroughly unwanted.

Most liberals will automatically dismiss Beck as a biased, partisan, loud, right-wing face on TV. I’m the first person to say that these people are fully entitled to this opinion. I myself firmly believe in what this country was founded on – freedom – and intend to make sure that my attitude and demeanor represent my person that way, but this book has nothing to do, really, with partisan politics.

On that same token, I have a strong feeling that if one was to approach several liberal people on the street and read a few passages of this book to them, they would immediately agree with what was said, just as long as I didn’t let them in on the fact that Glenn Beck, the huge conservative, wrote it. I simply cannot see how anyone in this country could disagree with Beck in this strong piece of what I felt was truly a plea, a cry for people to wake up, slap your neighbor and let’s get this country back on its feet again, back to where we were (not in all respects, obviously) 50 or 100 years ago.

I know I myself have not been pleased with the way things have been going with the American government lately, making this book strike me that much harder. As the book points out, most of the blame lies with our elected officials “sitting pretty” in Washington, officials who somehow forget who they work for: us, the people. Yet, as the book also points out, that blame also lies with us, the people, because we elected them in the first place.

Overall, “Common Sense” is a wake up call to America, asking her people not to sit idly by any longer and to get up and take a stand. After reading this book, I have no doubt that I will be much more active and vocal on issues I both agree and disagree with. I can only hope that more people will read this book, take a stand, and join the fight.