But Beck does not make a single case against immoral government behavior. In fact, he agrees with the principle. And this is the third, and biggest, problem that I have with him.
He started and ended his show with the same scenario, saying that America is facing a choice, a choice between socialism and freedom. And that while there are some that support socialism, there are more of us who support freedom, and books like Nudge are implicitly supporting socialism without actually saying so, and therefore depriving the American people of the debate. Let's just have it out in the open, he says, and let the people decide.
And that's where he is most wrong. Some things are absolutely not up to the people to decide. If a majority voted to execute an innocent person without due process, that is wrong. If they voted for genocide, that is wrong. Morality and majority vote are not the same thing.
But Beck thinks they are. And that's where he reveals his statism and his socialism. Majority vote is the very basis of socialism. But true libertarians know that even 95 percent of a county can be wrong. And the important fight is to win the war in the hearts and minds of people with truth and actual engagement of the details, not sweeping things under the rug, arguing about slippery slopes, or playing clips of a handful of people.
Update: Here's an excerpt from an e-mail I received from Phil Maymin this morning. Congratulations, commenters.
Most of the comments on your blog post are excellent. In retrospect I probably should have used populist/majoritarian, even though I do think they, and socialism, communism, fascism, etc., are all just different varieties of the same species. At the very least I should have made that clearer in the article.