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Cowards: What Politicians, Radicals, and the Media Refuse to Say Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Threshold Editions (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451693478
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451693478
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 3.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (311 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Glenn Beck, the nationally syndicated radio host and founder of TheBlaze television network, is an eleven-time #1 bestselling author and is one of the few authors in history to have had #1 national bestsellers in the fiction, nonfiction, self-help, and children’s picture book genres. His recent fiction works include the thrillers Agenda 21, The Overton Window, and its sequel, The Eye of Moloch; his many nonfiction titles include Miracles and Massacres, Control, and Being George Washington. For more information about Glenn Beck, his books, and TheBlaze TV network, visit and

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

“ I am impatient with those Republicans who after the last election rushed into print saying, ‘We must broaden the base of our party’—when what they meant was to fuzz up and blur even more the differences between ourselves and our opponents.”

—Ronald Reagan, 1975

I’M SURE you’ve noticed how little choice there seems to be in politics. I hear it over and over again from people who call in to my radio show and tell me that they don’t see any point in voting since both candidates are equally terrible.

They’re often right. In 2008, our choice for president was between a Republican who wanted to spend billions to “combat” global warming and a Democrat who wanted to spend hundreds of billions to do the same thing. In 2004, it was between the incumbent George W. Bush, whose embarrassing conservative record we’ll cover later, and John Kerry—a man who, by some accounts, had been the most liberal member of the Senate for multiple years.

If it seems like no “real” conservative or libertarian candidate for president ever makes it very far it’s because they don’t. They are derided and marginalized by the establishment and mainstream media until their names become toxic. By the time the power base is done with a candidate who might pose a threat, he’s become the punch line to a joke, the plot of a Saturday Night Live skit, or the first thing that pops up on Google when you search for “homophobia” or “racist” or “idiot.”

None of this is happening by chance. It’s a shell game, and the progressives who run our political parties, our universities, and our media treat the rest of us like tourists in Times Square. It may occasionally look as if libertarians and small-government candidates have a chance to win the prize—but that’s just the way they set up the con. The illusion of victory is omnipresent, but it’s just that—an illusion. A con can’t ever really be beaten.


The Big Con started right around 1912. America was given a “choice”: Woodrow Wilson or Theodore Roosevelt. The New Freedom or the New Nationalism. Progressive or Progressive.

That was the year that Republican became Democrat and Democrat became progressive. Later, after progressives finally had their hands on our wallets, they stopped calling themselves progressives and took the name “liberal” instead. When people caught on to that, the left changed the names to protect the guilty once again.

The Con, Revealed

Hillary Clinton actually described these bait-and-switch word games pretty well during a 2007 debate after she was asked if she would define herself as “liberal.”

You know, it is a word that originally meant that you were for freedom, that you were for the freedom to achieve, that you were willing to stand against big power and on behalf of the individual.

Unfortunately, in the last 30, 40 years, it has been turned up on its head and it’s been made to seem as though it is a word that describes big government, totally contrary to what its meaning was in the 19th and early 20th century.

I prefer the word “progressive,” which has a real American meaning, going back to the progressive era at the beginning of the 20th century.

Progressives realized long ago that if you rig the game of politics against the small-government option, then you end up with a series of candidates who increasingly blur the line between the parties. Eventually the parties themselves become meaningless—empty vessels that simply serve to funnel money and power through the system. With very few exceptions, our elections are really no longer about whether to grow or cut government’s size and power, but rather by how much they should grow. We debate double-digit increases in social program spending versus single-digit increases. We debate how many new billion-dollar entitlements we should add instead of whether these programs should even exist in the first place. We debate whether teachers unions and the U.S. Department of Education should have more or less power, rather than whether the federal government should have any role in local education at all. All of this is part of the con, and it’s worked to absolute perfection. With very few exceptions even the “boldest” of conservative politicians submit budgets and bills that, a hundred years ago, would’ve been too far left for even a Democrat to propose.

Whenever candidates or groups raise their hand and question these debates, invoke the Constitution, or propose “radical” ideas like a balanced budget amendment, shutting down overreaching and ineffective federal agencies, or adhering to the Tenth Amendment, they are ostracized. Why do you think the Tea Party was immediately branded as a bunch of racists and birthers? It’s because they posed a real threat of waking voters up to the fact that Americans are being presented with a never-ending series of false choices. The progressive establishment can’t allow real diversity to stand.

The only hope we have of changing this is by first educating people as to how this happened and who’s behind it—and then by presenting a better way forward. That’s what the first two chapters of this book are all about: the virus—progressivism; and the antibiotic—commonsense libertarianism. Yes, we have plenty of other issues to solve, and many of them are covered in this book, but if we don’t start by treating the underlying disease then none of that will matter.

So, let’s take a giant step back, get out of the weeds of the twenty-four-hour news cycle and cable channels and Twitter attacks, and ask ourselves this simple but important question: How did we ever get to the point where the conservative/libertarian point of view does not even get a seat at the table?


It’s pretty easy to spot the people who don’t really fit into the Republican Party. A lot of times these are the same people who frequent the Sunday morning talk shows or are media darlings. I’m talking about people like Arlen Specter, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham. But these types of Republicans are nothing new.

Theodore Roosevelt was one of the first RINOs (Republican in Name Only) in American history. Yes, I know, Roosevelt was brave and strong. He explored the world. He strung up rustlers in the Wild West. He wrote more history books than most people ever read. He edited a magazine. (Even if Newt Gingrich were around back then, Teddy Roosevelt would still have been the smartest guy in the room.)

All of this made Roosevelt incredibly dangerous when he decided to get on board the Progressive train. And the longer he rode those rails, the more radical he got. His “Square Deal” was one thing. It started the ball rolling. It got the nose of big government under the Constitution’s tent by regulating business and the banks. But then Roosevelt’s progressivism got increasingly more toxic. After he left the White House, he unveiled something he called the “New Nationalism.”

They Really Said It

You know, my hero is a guy named Teddy Roosevelt.


And for government to not leave guarantees that you don’t have the ability to change, no private corporation has the purchasing power or the ability to reshape the health system, and in this sense I guess I’m a Theodore Roosevelt Republican. In fact, if I [was] going to characterize my—on health where I come from, I’m a Theodore Roosevelt Republican and I believe government can lean in the regulatory leaning is okay.


There’s a reason Barack Obama took time out in December 2011 from pretending he was FDR or JFK or Harry Truman or Lincoln (and from golf, too, come to think of it) to channel Roosevelt at Osawatomie, Kansas. Osawatomie is where, in 1910, Roosevelt gave a speech that would sound right at home in today’s Democratic Party. “We should permit [wealth] to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community,” Roosevelt told a crowd of thirty thousand listeners. “This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had, but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary. . . .”

Two years later, Roosevelt doubled down, turning from rogue elephant to Bull Moose and running for president on his own Progressive Party ticket. The New York Times explained that Roosevelt’s 1912 Progressive Party convention was at best a gathering of “a convention of fanatics.” How bad was Roosevelt’s 1912 campaign? It made people think that Woodrow Wilson was conservative. That’s bad, but what’s far worse is that Roosevelt is the president who some prominent modern-day Republicans, like John McCain and Newt Gingrich, still look up to.

Roosevelt certainly wasn’t alone in being a progressive Republican; the GOP was infested with these guys. In 1912, Roosevelt’s Progressive running mate was California governor Hiram Johnson, a big-time Progressive who hated Japanese immigrants. You know who worshipped Johnson? Earl Warren—the same guy who, as the Republican governor of California during World War II, helped FDR ship the Japanese in his state to internment camps.

Sometimes the Truth Slips Out

I am keenly aware that there are not a few men who claim to be leaders in the progressive movement who bear unpleasant resemblanc...

More About the Author

Glenn Beck, a nationally syndicated radio host and founder of TheBlaze, is the author of eleven #1 bestselling books: An Inconvenient Book, Glenn Beck's Common Sense, Arguing with Idiots, The Christmas Sweater and The Christmas Sweater: A Picture Book, The Overton Window, Broke, The 7, The Original Argument, Cowards and Control. His other bestselling books include Miracles and Massacres, Agenda 21, The Real America, The Snow Angel and Being George Washington. Beck is also the publisher of Mercury Ink, a publishing imprint ( that, in conjunction with Simon & Schuster, released the #1 bestselling young adult series Michael Vey.

Glenn can be found on the web at and

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#93 in Books > History
#93 in Books > History

Customer Reviews

This book was very informative.
Mrs. maddox
My husband ordered this book and read through it very quickly.
M. Fischer
I hope it will help to wake America up.
Jeanne Minert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

265 of 322 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Freed on June 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
And he's got good reason. No matter what you think about Glenn Beck's politics, you have to admit that he has a point. The premise of this book is simple: we've gotten to a point in our society where diverging from the status quo is uncouth, socially detrimental, and even dangerous. There is a standard in our culture today, built by politicians, academics, media, and business leaders, and anyone who steps out of line will be instantly questioned, denounced, and perhaps even censored. As a result, we are living in a strict ideological tyranny that allows only the status quo to proliferate, a condition that will end up bringing us to our self-destruction.

Beck would know--he has been defying the status quo for his entire career, and, from personal and tertiary experience, he has seen exactly how detrimental that can be. Just by challenging the standing beliefs of what is necessary in government, he is trashed, called insane, and belittled.

As Beck argues, this is in every way anti-American. Not only is dissent subdued, but the lie that stands as the standard is explicitly opposed to the American ideals of freedom, industry, diversity of thought, and moral duty.

In this scathing diatribe, Beck identifies thirteen major issues that have not been treated justly in the modern debate, and will probably be shunned in the coming election cycle as well. In order to help provide an alternative to this Orwellian dystopia, Beck surveys each of these issues and offers the contra to popular culture's status quo.

Focusing on the issues as he does, Beck does not offer a grand examination of how we got into this mess or even how to get out.
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235 of 292 people found the following review helpful By Kevin D. Freeman on June 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This may be Glenn Beck's best book yet. He tackles the truth that so many of our leaders have chosen to ignore. It has been my experience that too many politicians fit the sad stereotype. All they want is to be reelected. They consider the people to be too ignorant or lazy to notice. Cowards calls them out.

Maybe the best part of the book is that it breaks critical topics into executive level briefings. This means that the reader can not only understand the issue in plain English but also grasp its significance.

After reading this book, you will be better versed on critical subjects than most so-called experts. Get the book and have everyone you know read it.

Knowledge is our Secret Weapon.
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Format: Hardcover
This observation from author Glenn Beck on page 81 of his important new book "Cowards: What Politicians, Radicals, and the Media Refuse to Say" sounds perfectly reasonable to me. And yet the "progressive" leaders of both political parties in the administration and in the Congress steadfastly refuse to acknowledge that many of our most pressing problems even exist. The situation is further exacerbated by the mainstream media whose total lack of journalistic ethics continue to aid and abet our government in keeping the American people largely ignorant of the monumental problems this country is facing. For those who have been following Glenn Beck's heroic attempts on radio, TV and in books to inform the American people of what is really happening in this country much of what is contained in "Cowards" really comes as no great surprise. But for the vast majority of Americans the case laid out by Beck and Kevin Balfe in this book should prove to be a real game-changer. It is all here, beautifully laid out, written in easy-to-understand language and fully documented. If you think of yourself as a reasonable person with a fairly open mind then you really should consider reading this book.

Let's not mince words here. Much of what you learn in "Cowards" is bound to frighten you. It should. Take Kevin Freeman, an economic analyst commissioned by the Pentagon to evaluate the fallout from the 2008 economic crisis. What Freeman has to say about it is chilling. Mr. Freeman concluded that terrorist organizations could indeed wreak havoc on our economy in myriad ways. You sure won't hear about this from Rachel Maddow or Wolf Blitzer. Their complete lack of intellectual curiosity is astonishing!
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153 of 194 people found the following review helpful By Greg8812 on June 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Beck nails it again!! With over 50 pages of footnotes he left no stone unturned and left no major issue untouched regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum. This book is sure to make the Liberal-progressive establishment( Both LEFT and RIGHT) see red! You would have to be a complete idiot, closed minded ideologue, a political heck or just lying to yourself not to see the truth, reality and facts that has been expertly laid out in this sure to be New York Times #1 best seller. You may not like him but the man sure knows how to present a pretty air tight case. Don't believe him? Just try and refute the documented foot notes. Do your own homework. Are you afraid of having your PC world shattered and your beliefs challenged?A great book for the whole family. A must read and a must to pass on to your friends.
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