‘This is really dangerous’: Prominent commentator calls for the return of McCarthy-style Loyalty Oaths

On Wednesday, Glenn referred to the push for so-called “economic patriotism” as a “virtual Berlin Wall.” In an effort to thwart corporate inversions (i.e. when companies that conduct at least 20% of their business overseas incorporate in another country to avoid the U.S. tax burden), Senate Democrats like Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) would like President Obama to act unilaterally to toughen the threshold.

Earlier this week, commentator Jonathan Alter published an article on the Daily Beast in which he took this concept a step further. In a piece entitled, “The United States Needs Corporate ‘Loyalty Oaths,’” Alter argues for a “scheme” that would have companies “sign non-desertion agreements” and – in turn – “embed a tiny American flag or some other Good Housekeeping-type seal in their corporate insignia for all to see.”

While Alter seeks to evoke the image of a Depression-era America, in which businesses that agreed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s recovery plan placed an emblem in their shop window, Glenn found the plan to be more in line with McCarthy-era loyalty oaths.

On radio this morning, Glenn explained he appreciates Alter’s candidness and proceeded to break down the argument and why it represents “dangerous thinking.”

“Honestly, I thought [this] was like a parody,” Glenn said of that article. “I thought it had to be Jon Stewart – no one could seriously be considering this. But it's serious.”

In the article, Alter refers to companies like Walgreens and Chiquita that have recently renounced citizenship as “unpatriotic,” and he suggests the media adopt a new phrase. Instead of “corporate inversion,” Alter would like to see the media “routinely” refer to the practice as “corporate desertion.”

“If 47 companies have now left and renounced their citizenship, that should tell you something,” Glenn said. “We're doing something wrong. People have always come and wanted to set their businesses up in America. If American companies are saying, ‘I can't do business here,’ we're doing something wrong… We can't build walls to keep people out. But they are building walls now figurative walls to keep American citizens in.”

After blaming Republicans in Congress for their unwillingness to deal with this issue, Alter makes this bold declaration:

So it’s time for red-blooded Americans to take matters into our own hands. My answer is to make every corporation sign something.

So what does Alter propose these businesses sign?

Because oaths and pledges are a little creepy, this effort needs something else—something that comes out of the legal and business worlds: a contract. More specifically, an NDA.

Non-disclosure agreements are common in corporate America, where tens of thousands of senior managers and employees sign contracts promising to keep all sorts of information confidential. It’s often a condition of employment.

Now it’s time to change the “D” and expect the same from boards of directors—a “non-desertion agreement” with the John Hancock of every board member and CEO in the United States.

[…]

Companies that fail to sign non-desertion agreements would face the kind of public shaming that has gone out of fashion but could come back with a vengeance: boycotts, petitions, angry shareholder meetings full of the language of patriotism.

Read the entire article HERE.

“What a dangerous statement that is,” Glenn said. “He is making the case for a loyalty oath, but what he's saying is, ‘Yeah, we look at those dark days, but let's not forget they were really, really effective.’”

Ultimately, Alter believes the power of the Internet will allow the American people to put pressure on corporations, which will lead to widespread compliance.

“With viral online organizing, the idea of non-desertion agreements could spread quickly,” he writes. “Then American corporations will learn that if they want to enjoy this country’s bounty, they’ll have to be good citizens and pay taxes like the rest of us.”

Much like the way he responded to the alleged blacklists in Hollywood, Glenn is glad to see Alter being upfront with his intentions, but that does not make his thinking any less “dangerous” in Glenn’s eyes.

“America, run for your lives. This is really dangerous. You have people who are openly saying that they want redistribution of wealth. That is socialism,” Glenn concluded. “When a country is so mishandled and misrun that they have to build walls – be them virtual or literal walls – to keep… people from going out that is a sign a country is about to go very dark.”

Front page image courtesy of the AP

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

For one night only at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, on December 7th, join internationally-acclaimed radio host and storyteller Glenn Beck as he walks you through tales of Christmas in the way that only he can. There will be laughs, and there might be a few tears. But at the end of the night, you'll leave with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.

Reconnect to the true spirit of Christmas with Glenn Beck, in a storytelling tour de force that you won't soon forget.

Get tickets and learn more about the event here.

The general sale period will be Friday, August 16 at 10:00 AM MDT. Stay tuned to for updates. We look forward to sharing in the Christmas spirit with you!