Customer Reviews for

Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

69 out of 97 people found this review helpful.

Shocking, But Incredibly Enlightening

I picked up an advance copy from a friend of a friend. I have already read Beck's "Common Sense", so I thought I was ready for "Arguing WIth Idiots." I was wrong! I give a lot of credit to Beck for saying what's on his mind and I do agree with many of the things he beli...
I picked up an advance copy from a friend of a friend. I have already read Beck's "Common Sense", so I thought I was ready for "Arguing WIth Idiots." I was wrong! I give a lot of credit to Beck for saying what's on his mind and I do agree with many of the things he believes (i.e. the right to bear arms, big government is crazy and a colossal waste of money, etc.). I think that many people try to push Beck into the Republican camp, but he is not a Republican; he is pragmatic. He is being honest. He is being at times, frightening. Frightening in a good way as I believe he is trying to be the Paul Revere of Common Sense and people are starting to listen. While this book will certainly get many peole's blood boiling, it would be both foolish and dangerous to not hear the man out. This is a worthwhile read. Give it a shot; you won't be disappointed.

posted by Vinny325 on September 22, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

63 out of 219 people found this review helpful.

Who's the idiot?

After listening to the preview and reading the excerpt I can see that Beck is a master at arguing with straw men he constructs. I love the idea of a domino effect mindset of people who argue that the Second Amendment is out dated; as though these people want to nefario...
After listening to the preview and reading the excerpt I can see that Beck is a master at arguing with straw men he constructs. I love the idea of a domino effect mindset of people who argue that the Second Amendment is out dated; as though these people want to nefariously end free speech and jury trials. I would like him to produce one serious critic of the NRA who has this in mind. The better argument against the NRA's interpretation of the Second Amendment is that the founders always believed in a state's power to regulate guns. The arguments that surrounded the inclusion of the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights were centered on the power of states to maintain and train virtuous male citizens for their militia to provide for the "common defense" of a young untested republic against the manifold threats extant. One of those perceived threats was the standing army of the National Government. In those days (and I suppose Beck would consider me an idiot for understanding this) "the people" feared a regular army in the hands of the national government; they wanted a small force if any. Today I would suggest that Americans want a well trained regular army to defend our nation. Therefore, in a very real sense, the idea of the Second Amendment is outdated. Now, that doesn't necessarily call for massive gun control, but it does lend to the understanding that states should, and always did, retain the power to regulate gun ownership according to their unique circumstances. In other words, a guy living in Wyoming has very different needs and concerns surrounding gun ownership than a family living in an apartment building in Philadelphia. The family in Philadelphia would like to go to bed at night knowing that the persons living on either side of them isn't going to accidently discharge their AK-47 and kill their child sleeping in its crib.

Here's an idiotic use of evidence: In 1831 the state of Missouri limited the right of citizens to carry concealed weapons. This was a factor in the case State v Mitchell. The statute, a state regulation of gun ownership, was found to be constitutional. That shows that states had the power to regulate gun ownership. Wow, what an idiot I am.

Hey, but Beck is dressed up as a soldier for Halloween this year. I'm convinced. At least he didn't try to dress up as a scholar.

posted by DylanVoltaire on September 22, 2009

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  • Posted September 22, 2009

    Shocking, But Incredibly Enlightening

    I picked up an advance copy from a friend of a friend. I have already read Beck's "Common Sense", so I thought I was ready for "Arguing WIth Idiots." I was wrong! I give a lot of credit to Beck for saying what's on his mind and I do agree with many of the things he believes (i.e. the right to bear arms, big government is crazy and a colossal waste of money, etc.). I think that many people try to push Beck into the Republican camp, but he is not a Republican; he is pragmatic. He is being honest. He is being at times, frightening. Frightening in a good way as I believe he is trying to be the Paul Revere of Common Sense and people are starting to listen. While this book will certainly get many peole's blood boiling, it would be both foolish and dangerous to not hear the man out. This is a worthwhile read. Give it a shot; you won't be disappointed.

    69 out of 97 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 22, 2009

    Who's the idiot?

    After listening to the preview and reading the excerpt I can see that Beck is a master at arguing with straw men he constructs. I love the idea of a domino effect mindset of people who argue that the Second Amendment is out dated; as though these people want to nefariously end free speech and jury trials. I would like him to produce one serious critic of the NRA who has this in mind. The better argument against the NRA's interpretation of the Second Amendment is that the founders always believed in a state's power to regulate guns. The arguments that surrounded the inclusion of the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights were centered on the power of states to maintain and train virtuous male citizens for their militia to provide for the "common defense" of a young untested republic against the manifold threats extant. One of those perceived threats was the standing army of the National Government. In those days (and I suppose Beck would consider me an idiot for understanding this) "the people" feared a regular army in the hands of the national government; they wanted a small force if any. Today I would suggest that Americans want a well trained regular army to defend our nation. Therefore, in a very real sense, the idea of the Second Amendment is outdated. Now, that doesn't necessarily call for massive gun control, but it does lend to the understanding that states should, and always did, retain the power to regulate gun ownership according to their unique circumstances. In other words, a guy living in Wyoming has very different needs and concerns surrounding gun ownership than a family living in an apartment building in Philadelphia. The family in Philadelphia would like to go to bed at night knowing that the persons living on either side of them isn't going to accidently discharge their AK-47 and kill their child sleeping in its crib.

    Here's an idiotic use of evidence: In 1831 the state of Missouri limited the right of citizens to carry concealed weapons. This was a factor in the case State v Mitchell. The statute, a state regulation of gun ownership, was found to be constitutional. That shows that states had the power to regulate gun ownership. Wow, what an idiot I am.

    Hey, but Beck is dressed up as a soldier for Halloween this year. I'm convinced. At least he didn't try to dress up as a scholar.

    63 out of 219 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book For The Open-Minded Reader.

    This book is good for all Americans who are open to learning the philosophy, thoughts, and facts beyond the rhetoric and emotional pandering. Regardless of your beliefs, this book delves beyond the 30 second sound bites and into the heart and soul of the issues that will shape History.

    49 out of 75 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    changing minds and winning arguments

    "arguing with idiots" is a wonderful bestseller for showing your friends neibors and others what the right way is on the issues. this book has health care and gun control and many other issues of the day and if you dont have the right information with you you can lose your argument with neibor or friend or family member but if you have this exellent publication you will have some very special documentation and research that will prove your point of view and this book will be helpful at election time and whean you get ready to write a letter to your elected lawmaker or whean you get ready to attend a town hall meeting cause it has lots of facts in it that can help you present and whean your point of view. great gift idea. glenn view has done a remarkable job in putting this together and I feel it will make a big difference in the up coming elections

    49 out of 76 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2009

    makes us non liberals look bad

    I actually got the advanced reader's copy of this book. wow... he definitely ratchets up the crazy fear mongering talk. We all want to protect America, but sheesh, please base your arguments on practical thought, and give both sides of the argument a fair hearing. We'll go nowhere but down if we stop thinking like adults and just start running around screaming at each other. It's terrible that this guy is basically there to take advantage of all our fears at a time of such crisis. please don't support this hogwash of a book.

    40 out of 145 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Should Be Amazing

    I have read many of Glenn Becks books, and they are very refreshing and truthful. They dont drown you in the love affair that the media has with this "President". They tell what is really going on. What Congress and the Whitehouse doesnt want you to know. Im sure this book is going to be another best seller for him. To the other reviewer that said that he doesnt know what he's talking about..If he didnt, his books wouldnt have stayed on the NY Times Best Seller list for an emormous amount of time. I dont see any authors from "your side" making books that stay #1 ..or even get to #1.

    39 out of 64 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2009

    Read the book!

    My only comment at this juncture is this: before anyone reviews this or any book, s/he should read it! I love Glenn Beck's energy. I sometimes agree and other times disagree with him. But, before I write a review of this or any book, I'll do more than "listening to the preview and reading the excerpt" as one negative reviewer did.

    38 out of 49 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I CAN'T WAIT TO READ THIS BOOK!!

    I am almost done "An Inconvenient Book" which is fantastic, and I can't wait to read "Arguing With Idiots"! We need more people like Glenn Beck who are willing to stand up for what is right, regardless of whether you are Democrat or Republican, Liberal or Conservative. This is about standing up for your rights, your freedoms, and reminding the government who they work for!!

    38 out of 64 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    READ IT, PASS IT ON, TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT IT !!!

    With all the research, and documentation of the facts, no big government supporter can deny the facts and truth in this book. I finally feel like I can answer anything, including attacks that just put down the laswt administration, as they were part of the problem too...come on people, take off the partisian hat, read the book, and open your eyes and wake up...it's ALL of them in Washington...overreaching and causing all this mess we've gotten ourselves into to. Wonderful book, read it, pass it on to your kids, parents, co-workers, and you will be doing your part to save our country. Before it's too late!

    33 out of 52 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    HE DID IT AGAIN

    I HAVE READ ALL OF BECKS BOOKS, AND YES YOU HAVE TO BE VERY OPEN MINDED TO READ POLITICAL BOOKS OF ANY KIND AND NOT OPENLY COMMENT ON THE CONTENT IT HOLDS RATHER THAN THE JOB THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK DID TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT AND GRAB YOUR ATTENTION FOR OR AGAINST. DID THEY MAKE YOU RESEARCH OF ASK QUESTIONS YOURSELF? DID YOU HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH OTHERS ON THEIR CONTENT. WITH THIS BOOK AND HIS OTHERS I DID,,,, HE HAD ME AT HELLO.

    33 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Part fact, Part fiction, a walking contradiction...

    I too was lured in by Beck's easy going 'We're all Americans here' banter a few years ago, as some of the other reviews here have said. However, the more I've listened to and watched Beck, the more I've felt incredibly duped. In Beck's last book, he made some valid points on the state of our nation and why we should be careful about the possible pitfalls in our future. But of late, he's turned into a flame throwing fear monger hell bent on scaring the pants off our citizens with crack-pot predictions and conspiracy theories. It seems the more he's increased his fan base, the more he rachets up the crazy machine to keep selling books and add time. Not only has he become much more popular through these actions, he's become far more dangerous. He's said many times that he's just an entertainer, but few of his fans seem to view him that way. They see him as a beacon of truth and righteousness. But his ramblings of the oncoming Socialist tidal wave in our nation are completely half-baked at best. And posing in that uniform on the cover of this book is in remarkably poor taste. His rhetoric has grown into something more akin to that of Joe McCarthy these days, preying on an underlying fear of any kind of change that lurks below the surface of his perfect idea of America. Do yourself a favor and purchase a history book instead of Beck's new collection of misleading diatribes against a boogeyman that doesn't exist.

    28 out of 108 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

    Great Book - Entertaining Engaging, A Great dose of reality in a world dominated by a slated media.

    We are drowning in the media that is in Prez BO and Miz Shelly Obama's pockets. This book is a refreshing look at events. Love the book. It's honest, real and truthful. I have only seen his show once or twice but will watch it more after reading the book.

    26 out of 48 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2009

    ...

    I actually gave this guy a chance and was very disappointed. It's not a good thing when I'm cringing at things that are supposed to be facts from him. Sorry Glenn Beck, I found you to be nothing more than a showman grabbing at ratings and sales - at least with what you preach, I have found no true substance. I have no problem with people liking your show or books, but I do hope they see past your words to see only entertainment, not true guidance. On goes the search for a decent pundit...

    21 out of 88 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2009

    Entertaining!

    This book throws out an easy approach to principles and rules. It provides detailed examples of how past situations have been handled and what took place. One can learn much from past experiences and when to implore them and when not to. The visual aids were a nice touch.

    16 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2009

    as long as we don't have to read...

    ...the entire book to write a review let me suggest that the long winded negative review of this other person is flawed. In the reviewer's own words he (or she) acknowledged that the second amendment debate revolved around a states right to regulate a MILITIA. The text of the amendment is clear. It gives the state the prerogative of regulating the MILITIA and guarantees the PEOPLE the right to bear arms uninfringed. Maybe this reviewer confused regulating a militia with regulating arms on accident... but I doubt it. Agenda. As for this reviewer's belief that the people of the United States want a strong standing military, I say speak for yourself. Jefferson argued for a standing navy, that's it. I'll take Jefferson's ideas over those of contemporary office. Or for that matter those that spent the last century using the military to "spread democracy". I often hear people who would like to shrink the military... many who are left leaning would like to spend the money on education instead. They'll quote Eisenhower's fair well paragraph concerning the industrial military complex only to conveniently ignore the very next paragraph concerning the government endowed scientific elite. They are selective in their interpretation, just as this other reviewer was. Perhaps we should be reluctant to over endow either. I have listened to Beck on the radio twice so I am as qualified to review as this other person, I suppose. Anyway, I hope that I cancel out his review.

    14 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Funny and informative

    I found this book to be funny and full of information that is easily understood, and more importantly, easily fact-checked. I will re-read this regularly while we are working our way through the corruption going on in our government.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2010

    Great Book!

    For one of my high school classes, we had to pick a book that delt with political issues. So I picked this book and started reading it, thinking that it was going to be very boring. But was I ever wrong, this book combined all the things I look for in a book. It had humor, information, and most importantly, pictures! This was by far the best political issue book that I have read in a long time.

    12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2009

    Great book

    Bravo. Let's take our country back!

    12 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2009

    Great read. Invaluable information, great history lesson too.

    As always Glenn presents the information in an easy-to-read and understandable format. Love his comics in the margins. You get a great lesson of history and how some decisions, made by past administrations, caused many of the current problems. Even when past administrations had good intentions in helping those less fortunate, they made the problems worse by getting too involved, growing government too large and trying to solve everyone's problems. Too much government involvement is the problem. Have faith in the America people. Americans can do great things, as they have proven, and take care of those less fortunate, without govenment getting involved. Capitalism is not the problem, greed and corruption are (in Corporations and the govenment). The role of government is to protect the people, not run their lives (R. Reagan). Glenn does a great job in laying out the issues and explaining why Capitalism and adherence to the Constitution is the right path for our great country.

    10 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Shift from Impressions to Facts! Defend your position with true FACTS!!!

    Great Job Glenn! You managed to take real and scary issues and provide some hard facts and examples upon which your readers can base their discussions with the under informed/read, short memory and sound bite populus.

    Thank You!!

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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