Glenn Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine

Glenn Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine

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by Glenn Beck

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#1 New York Times bestselling author and popular radio and television host Glenn Beck revisits Thomas Paine's Common Sense.

In any era, great Americans inspire us to reach our full potential. They know with conviction what they believe within themselves. They understand that all actions have consequences. And they find commonsense solutions to the

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#1 New York Times bestselling author and popular radio and television host Glenn Beck revisits Thomas Paine's Common Sense.

In any era, great Americans inspire us to reach our full potential. They know with conviction what they believe within themselves. They understand that all actions have consequences. And they find commonsense solutions to the nation’s problems.

One such American, Thomas Paine, was an ordinary man who changed the course of history by penning Common Sense, the concise 1776 masterpiece in which, through extraordinarily straightforward and indisputable arguments, he encouraged his fellow citizens to take control of America’s future—and, ultimately, her freedom.

Nearly two and a half centuries later, those very freedoms once again hang in the balance. And now, Glenn Beck revisits Paine’s powerful treatise with one purpose: to galvanize Americans to see past government’s easy solutions, two-party monopoly, and illogical methods and take back our great country.

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I think I know who you are.

After September 11, 2001, you thought our country had changed for the better. But the months that followed proved otherwise. We began to divide ourselves and the partisan bickering that had been absent from blood donor lines and church services started all over again.

You sometimes argue with friends about politics, not because you are a political activist, but because you think the issues are actually important. You have strong beliefs, but you also have an open mind and a warm heart.

You try to do the right thing every day. You work hard, you always try to do your best, and you play by the rules.

You have credit cards, but you can make the payments. You have a home, but with a loan you can afford. Maybe you bought a flat-screen television that wasn't exactly a necessity, but you've never been reckless.

You don't have much in savings and your retirement plans have lost a significant amount of money.

You may go to church, but most weekends, you don't really want to — you'd rather sleep in or play with your kids. Besides, it bothers you that people cut each other off in the parking lot right after the service.

You have children and, like all families, you also have your share of problems — but you're making it. You constantly hope that your kids don't notice you're bluffing as a parent most of the time.

You feel like there's not enough time in the day anymore to just be a family. Everyone is always going in six different directions. You know material things don't matter, but you wonder why it makes you feel like a bad parent if your kids don't have certain shoes, the newest video games, or aren't signed up for five different sports teams.

You didn't have anywhere near the kind of stuff that today's kids have and yet you look back on your childhood with a sense of nostalgia and pride. If your family was poor, you didn't know it.

You turn on the television at the end of a long, tiring day and watch as endless analysts in left/right boxes argue about things done by bankers that, in retrospect, now seem implausible. You're worried about what's happening to our economy, but you're more worried about what it means for your family — and you're not sure what to do.

You try to tune out the bickering by watching an entertainment show — but there are times when you're uncomfortable watching them with your kids. You're not a prude, but you happen to think that a three-year-old shouldn't be watching shows that treat sex lightly and mock mothers and fathers. But what can you do? The other shows are worse.

You've taught your children the difference between right and wrong, yet they come home with language and habits that they didn't learn from you. You're shocked to hear what they're learning in school — but you don't make a fuss because they're the "professionals" and you don't want to be one of "those people" anyway. You don't cherish conflict; you just want everyone to get along.

You don't hate people who are different than you, but you stopped expressing opinions on sensitive issues a long time ago because you don't want to be called a racist, bigot, or homophobe if you stand by your values and principles.

You believe in treating people justly and honestly but there is a difference between right and wrong.

You go to bed exhausted almost every night, knowing you have to get up the next day and do it all over again.

You thought that the politicians you supported and defended cared about the issues you do. Then you began to realize that you were wrong — they only care about themselves and their careers. You feel used and betrayed.

You don't think it's right that while you worked hard, lived prudently, and spent wisely, those who did the opposite are now being bailed out at your expense. You realize now that self-serving politicians and bankers built our financial system on a house of cards that, despite the cheery promises and rosy forecasts, is now collapsing.

Now our government, the instigator of our problems, is telling everyone that they have to start sacrificing. Don't they understand that I already have been, you think. You weren't the one spending too much or living on money you didn't have. You made decisions rooted in logic while others made decisions rooted in greed — yet now everyone must pay equally?

Yet, despite all of that, you're still willing to sacrifice more because you want America to succeed. But you demand a plan that's based on common sense and that actually has a chance to work.

You've called your congressman a few times in the past, but they don't listen. Now you just scream at the television. It's about as effective as the phone calls.

The light from the television flickers on the darkened room walls — people at tea parties across the nation fill the screen. You don't know how to feel. You want to do something, but that isn't you. You're not an activist. You don't make signs or chant: "U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" So, you turn off your light and go to sleep.

Every night it seems you are faced with a choice: Do you unplug or do you speak out? Both of those options make you uncomfortable so you do neither...and your frustration continues to grow.

The First Step out of Our Comfort Zone

The fastest way to be branded a danger, a militia member, or just plain crazy is to quote the words of our Founding Fathers. I imagine that this is because words have consequences and the words and ideas that those men shared were revolutionary:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

It is not time to dissolve the bands that connect us to one another, but it is time to dissolve the "political" bands that separate us from one another. Even if we disagree on politics, the phrase "I am an American" is not just a collection of words, it is the embodiment of an idea, one that has power only because "We the People" give it power. But somewhere along the way we've forgotten that, so we feel small and helpless as our country drifts away.

Perhaps what we need is a reminder. A reminder of who we are, who is really in control, and, most important, a reminder of how we got to a place that bears less and less resemblance to the America we remember from our childhoods. Let us start by doing what we've been trained for so long not to: let us declare the causes that unite us. Supplementary materials copyright © 2009 by Mercury Radio Arts, Inc.

A Note from the Author

Two hundred and thirty-five years ago, a British citizen with only a basic education set off to make a new life for himself in the British colonies. For two years he worked hard and watched as his fellow colonists grew tired of British oppression. Then he decided to act. Using his contacts in the publishing industry, Thomas Paine anonymously released a pamphlet that made the case for revolution using extraordinarily logical, straightforward, indisputable arguments.

He called it Common Sense.

Once Paine put his feelings into words, he realized that he wasn't alone. Only seven months passed between the release of Common Sense in January 1776 and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Seven months — a pinpoint in the history of time, but a moment that put the colonies on an irreversible track toward revolution and, ultimately, freedom.

Seven months that changed the world, forever.

Today we find ourselves back in 1776 — but this time our path forward isn't so clear-cut. The abuses being perpetrated by our government are just as obvious now as they were then, but instead of rising up with a collective voice, we sit idly by and watch as our hard-won freedoms slowly dissolve into a puddle of apathy, political correctness, and outright corruption.

We feel helpless and alone as we hear confusing debates over obscure issues play out on the airwaves daily. But that's the lie. The infighting and the purposeful division promoted by our political parties is a simple ploy to keep us from uniting. After all, a citizenry that fights among itself over petty differences is too busy to notice the real cause of its problems.

As you read the details of the immense harm that both parties have done to our country, you might find yourself wondering what can be done to change our course. I lay out several options, but I want to be clear that none of them includes violence. Thomas Paine and his fellow revolutionaries shed their blood so that future generations would have access to weapons immeasurably stronger than muskets or bayonets: the weapons of democracy. Those are the tools that we will use to usher in a second American revolution, a revolution that won't be fought on battlefields, but in the hearts and minds of the three hundred million people lucky enough to call America home.

Over the years, many revolutionaries have used sharp tongues instead of sharp knives — and the results have been extraordinary. Martin Luther King, Jr., for instance, once said to his supporters: "The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be...The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists."

It was inflammatory language, but he meant that it is much easier to simply die for a cause than it is to find inventive, effective means to fight for it. Violence is the easy way out — but it's also a sure path to discrediting everything you stand for, something that those opposed to him found out the hard way.

"Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time," King said while accepting the Nobel Prize. He continued, "...[man must] overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."

History has proven that King was right — and so our new revolution of thought begins right now...with you.

Thomas Paine was an unremarkable man living in a remarkable time. He proved that it doesn't take celebrity, stature, or wealth to make a difference — it only takes someone willing to say the things that need to be said. Well, I am no Thomas Paine — he was an extraordinary writer, a renowned motivator, and a heroic patriot — but the words that follow also need to be said, if for no other reason than to ease my own conscience.

If you believe that it's time to put principles above parties, character above campaign promises, and Common Sense above all — then I ask you to read this book, declare yourself a creative extremist, and then pass these words along to others who may agree with something else that Martin Luther King, Jr., once said:

The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.

Do not remain neutral. Do not sit idly by. Do not let others speak for you. Silence has gotten us nowhere so it's once again time for our collective voice to make a simple yet powerful demand...

Don't Tread on Me.

Supplementary materials copyright © 2009 by Mercury Radio Arts, Inc.

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Glenn Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 447 reviews.
rnoncology More than 1 year ago
No matter your politics this book will make you think...too much of free thought has been squashed lately so this book is important. I challenge those on both the left and right (and those like me in the middle) to read this book with an open mind.
IloveAmerica More than 1 year ago
I HAVE read this book; and unlike the entry from 6/6/09 (how dare he), I find the book extremely honest and invaluable in understanding the contrast to what the current administration's path vs. our founding fathers. Shame on "how dare he". That entry is a complete illustration of the statist's agenda. This book is a must read, which will open your heart and mind to clear thinking.
NormalNinja More than 1 year ago
I would like to address the last part of the review labeled "Yawn". If you had actually read the book you would know that it contains Thomas Paine's Common Sense. It is a very well done book that warns against the problems of both parties. We must use Common Sense if we want to get out of the troubles our nation is in.
Steve58 More than 1 year ago
Glenn did a great job with this book, showing what has happened to our country,and how to get it back.He tells it from both party sides and how they both have messed up,fair and balanced.The book is hard to put down ,easy reading,and keeps your attention.All it takes is COMMON SENSE,thanks to Glenn.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Inspirational book and great read that will inspire you to take back our country from the duopoly and overthrow both parties. Let the new American revolution begin!
edwardsc More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book! It's amazing that so many facts fit in such a small book - FYI the references are all listed in the back. It includes Thomas Paine's version in the back. Many critics have bashed this book without reading it. To their surprise, Glenn did an excellent job of criticizing both republicans and democrats EQUALLY! I encourage everyone to read this book - but with an open mind. When people stop fighting for government parties and start fighting for our country, we will begin reversing the insanity in Washington. Stop standing up for politicians - They are all bring the same madness to our great country!!
cyby More than 1 year ago
It is interesting to see negative reviews from people that try to make you believe they have read the book when they clearly have not. It seems that they would like to dissuade others from considering concepts contrary to their view. Typical... Read it. Enjoyed it. Engenders contempt for those who would try to mislead others for their own agenda. I will buy 15 copies to give to others in protest of Yawn's dishonesty. Resist liberal tyranny!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is filled with common sense. It is also filled with stories that have no common sense whatsoever. Most of these are from our government and the vast majority of them are from the far left. He does attack the right when they act foolishly as well. Most the negative reviews are laughable. They clearly did not read it and were judging it based solely on the fact that they don't like Beck because he is a conservative. Beck has no qualms attacking both sides if they are moronic in their actions. The problem is the left has a stranglehold on that market and they are in power.
alltunedj More than 1 year ago
When I see the negative reviews from people that try to make you think they actually read the book when they surely have not, I want to vomit. I thoroughly enjoyed it, although it scared the daylights out of me. More people need to read it and be scared as well, because the truth hurts sometimes. I have bought several copies to give to others to educate them, as well as in protest of the dishonesty of some of the poor ratings. Resist liberal tyranny NOW!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The premise is simple: the federal government has gone collectively INSANE and we taxpayers and constituents are passively sitting on the sidelines watching them take the ship into massive socialist icebergs. In other words, we've completely ignored common sense. Beck says that we've gotten away from our founding principles, as he says in the book: "The fastest way to be branded a danger, a militia man, or just plain crazy is to quote the words of the Founding Fathers." That should be the first indication that we're not operating on common sense. Beck goes over other indications like the fact that all income tax from every American taxpayer over 10 years wouldn't even cover the debt--not to mention the interest on the debt. Also, Beck highlights absolutely illogical gerrymandering to produce Congressional districts that look a lot like a squirrel after it's been run over by an 18-wheeler (that's my clever analogy). It's not just the Democrats; it's not just the Republicans- they're both in on it. The critics of this book that deride Beck's partisanship are way off base. I guess they haven't read the book! As one of his headers reads, "Political Parties: Dividing the People but taking us to the same place" (that place is evidently debtor's prison.) This is a must-read along with other recent books on the calamity that has befallen us as we are being lead down the road to totalitarian fascism as these puppets fulfill the oligarchy new world order agenda.
WarriorDude More than 1 year ago
Book is excellent, from an excellent patriot!!
BCre8f2 More than 1 year ago
I wish everybody would read and follow what is contained in this book. We have become such a dumbed-down society and if we all just stopped and thought - without influence from media or politicians - we would probably come to these same conclusions. But that's just me...
SamHouston More than 1 year ago
Glenn Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine by Glenn Beck Edition: Paperback Price: $7.19 Availability: In Stock 91 used & new from $5.50 Common Sense vs. Politics, October 20, 2009 Considering today's political enviornment, I feel it necessary to emphasize that this is only a review of "Glenn Beck's Common Sense." It is not a review of Glenn Beck, the man. It is not a review of Fox News Channel or the program that Mr. Beck has on that network. It is a book review - period - and that is all it is meant to be. That said, there is a whole lot of common sense in "Glenn Beck's Common Sense" (including a copy of the Thomas Paine work that inspired Beck's book). Simply put, Beck does not trust those who have been elected to represent us in Washington D.C. and he has not trusted them for a long time. He does not trust Democrats, and he does not trust Republicans, to represent properly the wishes of the people who give them their jobs and who pay their salaries. And based on the mood of this country, particularly as expressed since early this summer, Glenn Beck has a lot of company. According to Beck, it is impossible to trust a President and members of Congress when: * They will not tell us any hard truth that would hurt them at the time of their next election * Every President since Carter has promised to lower the country's dependence on foreign oil but we import more oil than ever from our political enemies * They promise a protective fence on our southern border, appropriate the funds, and never intend to build it * They use racial and ethnic politics to keep themselves in office * They see themselves less as public servants than as an entitled political class all their own * They vote as directed by those who contribute the most to their campaign war chests rather than as would be best for those they actually represent * So many of them have one set of tax rules for themselves and another set of rules for the rest of us Make no mistake about it. Glenn Beck believes that we are living in dangerous times and that personal freedoms have never been more under threat in this country than they are today. According to him, these truly are desperate times - but he is not ready to surrender because he believes there is still enough time to fashion a return to the core values that made this country so unique in the world. He is convinced that our best days are not behind us, that we are already on the way back, and that public dissent and debate is what will finally get us there. Rather than waiting for others to express their unease with what is happening in Washington, Beck argues that our newfound sense of urgency should encourage each of us to express, loudly and clearly, our personal misgivings about what we see happening. The country can no longer afford our silence and apathy. Beck believes that the average American has enough common sense to know when something does not pass the smell test. He is betting there are enough Independents to save us from those who have lost touch with their own common sense - Democrats, Republicans and Progressives, alike.
Sambonita More than 1 year ago
This book is a great read! It really opens your eyes and everyone should read it!!!!!!!!!!
nogenre More than 1 year ago
"We may not agree on everything, but we both know that what is now happening does not feel right."-Glenn Beck. It is a well known fact that many people do not agree with Glenn Beck but it is an enjoyable fact that even more people do. I have to admit while reading the facts revealed in this book I have been angry, depressed and felt hopeless. Even so, I did not stop reading and continued to learn something on every page (especially about these people who like to call them selves Progressives). Beck calls for a second revolution fought with minds not muskets. For those of you who need that extra push to get motivated, PLEASE READ THIS BOOK! To quote Beck's Common Sense, ".the cause of freedom is too important to let those who are incapable of self-sufficiency destroy it. Remember, to us, slavery and tyranny are far-fetched concepts that history has righted - but to history, the far-fetched concept is the idea that men should be free." If that does not light a fire under you, I don't know what will.
MTUCivil04 More than 1 year ago
Great book-a note from the get-go-if you plan on reading Thomas Paine's Common Sense first, don't bother purchasing or trying to get this book, it's the second half of this book! I think if you are an avid listener of Glenn Beck, a lot of what is stated in this book is already regularly communicated in his TV and radio shows. The book is really informative, and gives a bunch of "ammo" to argue against those who defend the government and their careless actions. I would strongly recommend this, regardless of your views. If you are pro-spending, pro-progressive, pro-liberal, pro-democrat, this book offers the main opposing point of view. I am a strong believer that you should see both sides of the story before judging. This book does that.
Flea More than 1 year ago
It really makes you have serious dobts about the government and the "Common Sense" it takes to run it. Our congresstional leaders have lost sight of why they are where they are. What happened to the voice of the people, by the people and for the people? Glenn Beck tells it like it it or not....sad, isn't it?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
had attended the glenn Beck tour, the book contains a lots of the same information. If this book doesn't make you stand up and take notice of a goverment that needs to be reeled in nothing will.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These words of Thomas Paine and Glenn Beck are the impetus of what is needed in America.Common Sense is needed in what our government devoid of where you stand on the political grapevine.
CinciGator More than 1 year ago
Great Book chock full of informative facts. I am not the most avid reader but it held my interest and opened my eyes. I would recommend it to just about anyone. Was glad to see all of the source information was documented
Shorttopp More than 1 year ago
Glenn Beck has taken the foundation that was laid by Thomas Paine and made it relevant to our times. He is concise and makes his points with research-backed examples.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some (haters/deniers AKA Progressives) have written that this book is not factual, but rather, "good story telling." This is far from the truth. One commenter based his/her conclusions on one thing: whether or not the US was the only country to grant citizenship at birth. At least if you are going to try and torpedo a book (or person) come up with something more substantive that that. There is A LOT going on in our great country! Read the book and judge for yourself. I guarantee (if nothing else) it will wake you up.
American-outrage More than 1 year ago
Mr Beck's "Common Sense" book is a well written easily read piece of literature. Following in the footsteps of the writings of Thomas Paine, it makes a good comparison of what is happening in America today and what caused us to rise up in revolt against England. Our Government is out of control right now and reaching out in all directions to steal away many of our basic rights of freedom. America must awaken and stop this downward slide; a Socialistic power grab by an elite few. We are a nation made up of many different groups and races of people. We are held together by the central belief that we can earn and achieve anything that we truly aspire to obtain. As a nation, we have always attracted more immigrants than any other nation in the free world. Why? Because of the hope and the freedoms that we truly stand for. America is the realization of their very dreams. It is founded on a promise of freedom written into our Government's very Constitution. Today, however, some people in our Government want to take away our basic freedoms and to change our Republic into a new socialistic society. The free enterprise system of Capitalism is under attack and those leaders advocating a stronger all encompassing central leadership are power hungry. They want to control and reshape our very lives. They want to take away our independence and to make us all dependants upon our Government. This book clearly demonstrates their ultimate goal with clear examples of fact and well-written supporting arguments. This book is a must read for all concerned citizens of America who value our hard fought and won freedoms that this great nation was founded on. We obtained our rights from God and we loaned some of them to our Government. The Government did not give them to us. Freedom lies with the people and our Government serves us and not the other way around. When a Government attempts to usurp our basic freedoms, then it must be restrained by its citizenry. The founders of America realized this and placed safeguards in our Constitution. Our Republic is the envy of the free world. Do not allow anyone to remold it into a Socialistic form of Government run by a powerful and often secretive leadership.
Cricket16 More than 1 year ago
engaging, stimulating, and extremely well put together. Though he rehashes some ideas that I have seen on his talk show and heard on his radio show, this is a great quick read that will bring you up to date on our political crisis. To those who have noting but negative comments on this book- you obviously did not read this book carefully, have a very left-wing view and wish our nations fabric to be fundamentally changed. If you stand anywhere near the middle road on the issues like me, please do not hesitate to pick up or borrow Beck's Common Sense. It really is one of the most common sense things you could do for yourself right now! A+ on easy, simple facts.
joegizmo More than 1 year ago
Powerful book to listen to and I also bought the book as well to act as companion to the audio book. While I am somewhat biased (listen to Glenn almost every day) I found the book compelling and insightful. If I was not a regular listener I may have said this can't be true, but to check the facts (Glenn always wants you to check his and everyone else's facts) one would be very afraid of what is coming if it is not stopped. To give you some background I am a Veteran of the USAF and a Life Member of the VFW, North American Hunting Club, Buckmasters and an annual member of the NRA, Wildlife Forever and the Knights of Columbus. So you can see I have felt for some time that our country was slipping further and further from what our Founding Fathers intended when they risked their lives to establish this great country. America! It is time to stand up for what we believe this country is all about, and it is not just baseball, hot dogs and apple pie. It is about liberty, freedom and natural law the rights given to us at birth that we lend to the government. It is time to let them know that they work for US! And that WE HAVE HAD - ENOUGH!