Yesterday, the Thoughts on Liberty Facebook page posted Andrew Kirell’s open letter to Glenn Beck on Mediaite, headlined “Dear Glenn Beck, Please Don’t Call Yourself A ‘Libertarian’.”
In it, Kirell writes directly to Beck: “You’re free to call yourself whatever you want. But that doesn’t mean we should accept you.”
I understand the irony in having someone who just posted a video challenging a prominent libertarian vlogger about what libertarianism is and isn’t challenging a libertarian writer on his challenge of another recently libertarian writer/speaker/radio host, etc.
But I think saying “We don’t want you,” is much different than saying “This view doesn’t represent all of us.” And to me, friendliness even when arguing finer points is the difference between groups that win people over (ahem, liberals and conservatives) and groups that spend more time excluding people than trying to figure out how to appeal to them (ahem, libertarians).
Glenn Beck has a huge, devoted audience. Much, much bigger than Kirell’s. This means two things. First, there is something libertarians like Kirell can learn from Beck about how to get attention and win people over. Second, it means that Glenn Beck can be extremely useful to libertarians, in that he can expose his huge audience to libertarian ideas.
So here’s my own open letter to Glenn Beck, headlined: Dear Glenn Beck, Welcome to Libertarianism!
Dear Mr. Beck,
I am so excited to hear about your recent decision to reconfigure and rebrand The Blaze as a libertarian news outlet. I can’t wait to see your massive, active following introduced to libertarian ideas and reporting.
You and I don’t agree on everything. But that doesn’t mean we can’t work together to help sell people on the benefits of a smaller, less-active government.
I want to apologize for certain other libertarians who like to push people out of their sandboxes and simultaneously wonder why more people aren’t trying to get in. They don’t recognize the value in what you’ve accomplished in producing content that many people love and cultivating an image that many people trust. They don’t understand what an opportunity this is for libertarianism.
But I do. So, welcome, Mr. Beck. And if you ever need a writer or on-air personality for The Blaze with libertarian bonafides, a great style and a winning smile, I’m your girl.
P.S. I thought An Inconvenient Book was hilarious.