Glenn Beck gave the keynote speech to conclude this weekend's CPAC meeting Saturday, and the Fox News host did not disappoint.
The rising conservative star touched on familiar themes saying that progessivism "is the disease in America."
"It is a cancer," he said. "It must be cut out of the system because it cannot co-exist. And you cannot cure cancer by saying, ‘I'm just going to give you a little bit of cancer. You must eradicate it."
But Beck wasn't striking a strictly partisan tone, as he scolded Republicans, "It's not enough just to not suck as much as the other side" (video embedded below the fold with more transcribed highlights, readers strongly encouraged to watch the spectacular crescendo beginning at 54:00):
GLENN BECK: Because of Ronald Reagan, my grandfather, my father, I have hope for America. I remember when Ronald Reagan talked about morning in America. I have always believed that, I have always wanted to believe that, that tomorrow is going to be better than it is today. If you ask people now all across the country, if you say, "Do you think your children are going to be better off than they are today," the answer will be a resounding "No," and it's not just from Republicans or conservatives...It's the entire spectrum saying that. [...]
People are losing a fundamental belief that it's going to be better tomorrow. Let me tell you now: it is still morning in America. It just happens to be kind of a head-pounding, hung-over, vomiting for four hours kind of morning in America. And it's shaping up to be kind of a nasty day, but it's still morning in America. Now, the question is what made us sit there at the John vomiting for four hours. What is it that has taken us on this path? What are we suffering from? What is it that has caused the problem? And if you say Obama, it's too simple of an answer, because it's not Barack Obama. [...]
(After writing the word "Progressivism" on the blackboard) This is the disease in America. It's not just spending. It's not just taxes. It's not just corruption. It is progressivism. And it is in both Parties. It is in the Republicans and the Democrats...Progressivism is the cancer in America, and it is eating our Constitution. And it was designed to eat the Constitution. To progress past the Constitution. [...]
You should ask members of the Republican Party, because this is not our Founders' idea of America. And this is the cancer that's eating America. It is big government, it's a socialist utopia. And we need to address it as if it is a cancer. It must be cut out of the system because they cannot co-exist. And you don't cure cancer by, "Well, we're just going to give you a little bit of cancer." You must eradicate it. [...]
Dick Cheney was here a couple of days ago, and he says it going to be a good year for conservative ideas. That's true. That's very true...It's going to be a very good year. But it's not enough just to not suck as much as the other side. [...]
America is an idea. America is an idea that sets people free. I'm tired. I am tired, and I know you are. I'm tired of common sense not applying anymore. We all know what the problems are. It's tax and spend. One Party will tax AND spend, the other Party won't tax but WILL spend. It's both of them. Both of them together. [...]
Conservatives believe that we are guaranteed the right to pursue happiness. We're not guaranteed happiness. Who can guarantee you happiness? Tiger Woods wasn't happy. No one is guaranteed happiness. You can pursue it. But if you happen to find success along the way on that road to happiness, conservatives believe you shouldn't be demonized or penalized for it. We believe in the right of the individual...What we don't have a right to is healthcare, housing, or handouts. We don't have those rights. [...]
Every time the government grows, we lose more of who we are. When did it become something of shame or ridicule to be a self-made man in America? When did it become a problem to be a small businessman and become successful? [...]
As I read the Constitution, as I read the words of the Founders, really the only job of the United States government is to save us from bad guys. Protect us from bad guys. And right now, it seems to me that our government looks at the American people as the bad guy. We're not the bad guy. Stop penalizing us.
Americans also don't need to be taught how to give. We don't need to be taught how to take care of each other or how to be charitable. We're charitable automatically. Why? We're Americans. In 2008, the American people gave $307 billion to charity. It was the second year in a row, this is the last statistic that we have. 2008, second year in a row that it was over $300 billion. Per capita, that's ten times the giving power of the people of France. Ten times the amount. Don't tell me we need to be more like Europe. Europe should be looking over here.
At minute 54 of the above video, Beck began an amazing crescendo. It started with a discussion about why the French gave us the Statue of Liberty, and how people have for years misinterpreted the meaning of the poem written at its base.
After explaining the history of the poem, Beck rolled to a fabulous conclusion:
That is the message. Even the people that you reject can make it here. They will give it all to be successful here. You can make it HERE.
I have been saying the worst is coming. I have been saying it for a while. But you will find the answers in history. It's the same story over and over again. We just need to learn our own history. Learn from our own mistakes. Admit that we have a problem. Grow a spine, stand for the right things. Our future is not cast in stone. It does not have to be this way. It does not have to be that the greatest American generation is behind us. It does not have to be that our children will have a lower standard of living. It will be that way if we choose to believe that. I choose not to believe that.