Glenn Beck: Liberals Were Right

Glenn Beck: Liberals Were Right

I don’t want to make more of this than it is especially given the serious polarization that does exist in this country (see recent Pew study which I will be writing about next week) and the very uncomfortable blowback I received from my last post on Glenn Beck. But speaking on his radio show on Tuesday, Glenn Beck said something that I imagine you would never expect him to say. He delivered a rare admission saying the violent unraveling of Iraq is proof that liberals who opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003 were right.

While most liberals in the Senate and Congress, including Hillary Clinton and John Kerry as well as leading liberal journalists like Thomas Friedman and the late Christopher Hitchens were in favor of the invasion, Beck referring to liberal progressives who opposed the invasion said,

“Most people on the left thought waging war on Iraq was a bad idea from the beginning… Let me lead with my mistakes. You were right. Liberals, you were right; we shouldn’t have.”

This admission was so surprising that the Huffington Post, MSNBC, Politico, Salon, and The View covered it. You can listen to the whole segment here which talks about areas that perhaps both right and left can agree upon, with Beck’s comments about Iraq beginning at about the six-minute mark. I think it is worthwhile for those who have deep mistrust for Beck because of his contribution over the years to polarization in America to listen to this segment and note three things:

  1. How Beck articulates clearly and cogently the 2003 conservative position on the invasion of Iraq and then unequivocally admits he was wrong and “liberals were right”.
  2. How Beck surfaces that his own core listeners might well feel uncomfortable with his position.
  3. How he tries to rally his base to transcend politics on this issue and not make this about the President or Democrats.

I have no idea what tomorrow will bring regarding Beck’s claim and desire to mitigate the divisiveness and contribute to the coming together of Americans. I do believe Glenn, whose friendship I value and from whom, over the past two years I have learned much about conservative/libertarian values and beliefs, is indeed wrestling and reflecting more deeply on this issue than any public political and cultural commentator on either side of the nasty divide.

The polarization in this country is quite ferocious. And yes, I know the proof will be in the pudding. But I do know that admitting one is wrong and the other side is right and risking the wrath of one’s own constituency is very rare these days. I wonder what, over the past decade, we liberals (yes, I remain a liberal) would say we were wrong about; conservatives were right and thereby risk the anger of our team?


Image courtesy of BlazeTV video

Irwin Kula

Irwin Kula is the co-founder and co-executive editor of The Wisdom Daily. A rabbi, Irwin's writing has been featured in The Huffington Post and the Washington Post. He is the author of Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life and a co-editor of The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices. Irwin has appeared on NBC's The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The O'Reilly Factor and PBS Frontline. Irwin also serves as President of Clal, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, a leadership training institute, think tank and resource center in New York City.

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  1. Lifeisajourney : January 21, 2015 at 12:52 am


  2. Libertarians, such as Ron Paul and myself also opposed the invasion of Iraq. I predicted it would eventually lead to a groundswell of revolution against established government. Well, now we has ISIS.

  3. Michael Miller : April 11, 2015 at 12:36 am

    Isis was formed due to us pulling out of the country too early. Bush predicted this, now all the progress made over there is all lost and actually reversed.

  4. Jeremy Klondike : April 18, 2015 at 12:45 am

    That would be simply delaying the inevitable. How many more decades of military occupation would be required to ensure stability? Iraq is a fiction that would have fallen apart regardless of how long the American military kicked the can down the road.

  5. ISIS is not a rag tag group of British kid wannabees. Just like HAMAS has rich leaders in Qatar depending on war to stay rich, so does ISIS. Its rich leaders have to be found and executed.

  6. Pete Taggerez : August 11, 2015 at 12:44 am

    Sorry, Glen, but paleoconservatives like Pat Buchanan and libertarians like Lew Rockwell were also against the war. So the liberals were not the only opponents. In fact, I recall that many liberal Democrats actually supported the war. One of them was Hillary Clinton. Gee, I wonder whatever happened to her?

  7. “Just like HAMAS has rich leaders in Qatar depending on war to stay rich…” Excuse me, but how does that work?

  8. It was the only way Bush was going to get the war he lied us into and the better question is, was Beck against the Iraq war from the beginning, or has he simply realized it was a mistake now there is more information on it?

  9. Donnie Buchanan : January 10, 2016 at 1:52 am

    “Hindsight is 20/20” is the old but true adage. It is strange though that Hillary was one that opposed the war in Iraq yet she (and Obama) helped create ISIS.

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