Glenn Beck says 'collective salvation' is anti-American. Tell that to the Founding Fathers.
Conservative punditry paints issues of social justice as Obama-led, communist agendas. But America's Founding Fathers made wise provisions for "the common good" and "general welfare." We need to abandon partisan battles and start working more as the United States.
Fox News television host Glenn Beck says the idea of “collective salvation” – that our fates are linked – is “dangerous to the Constitutional republic.” He argues that related notions of social justice, redistribution, and ending oppression are fundamentally anti-American, communist creeds. American’s Founding Fathers would disagree. They embraced collective redemption and the protection of the common good.Skip to next paragraph
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The Constitution made clear from its first lines the collectivist intent of the American enterprise:
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Our collective best interest
A union. For the common defense. General welfare. Justice. Though our unity has endured serious trials, America was not by accident called the United States of America. In a letter to James Madison, George Washington wrote, “We are either a united people, or we are not. If the former, let us, in all matters of general concern act as a nation, which have national objects to promote, and a national character to support. If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending to it.”
The message remains clear today. We cannot just say we are a nation and cling to an inflated sense of nationalism while, in practice, ignoring the needs and humanity of our fellow Americans. We have to act like a nation – working together as a nation for our collective best interest.
In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson said that we must "unite in common efforts for the common good.” Chief among those “common efforts” was America itself.
Hard-earned lessons in cooperation
Yes, the colonists fled the tyranny of the British crown, but the choice they made was democracy over monarchy, not extreme individualism over statehood. Certainly, their spirit of independence still undergirds the American character today, but our history is also a testament to hard-earned lessons in cooperation.
The American Revolution and subsequent founding of the United States of America were definitive acts of collective salvation, deciding that we could be more as a nation than as individuals alone.
Why equality matters
Within this context, the Founding Fathers saw the importance of ensuring a level playing field within the new republic – that the common good of equality could never be achieved by people on unequal footing. John Adams wrote, “Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.”