Saturday, August 28, 2010

Comments on the Restoring Honor Rally

Throughout history America has seen many great leaders and noteworthy citizens change her course. It is through their personal virtues and by their example that we are able to live as a free people. On August 28, come celebrate America by honoring our heroes, our heritage and our future.

Join the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and many more for this non-political event that pays tribute to America’s service personnel and other upstanding citizens who embody our nation’s founding principles of integrity, truth and honor.

Our freedom is possible only if we remain virtuous. Help us restore the values that founded this great nation. On August, 28th, come join us in our pledge to restore honor at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

- glennbeck.com, description of the Restoring Honor Rally


I had heard about this rally early today, and got curious about it, so I started reading glennbeck.com to understand what the fuss was about.

There is some colorful language at work here. It sounds nearly as terrible to critique something called the ‘Restoring Honor Rally' as it would be to critique something called the ‘Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act' (Formal title of the Patriot Act).

I disagree with the suggestion that it will be a non-political event. I believe that this claim is at odds with the description's later claim that it will help restore honor and the values that founded America. The interpretation of heroism, honor and virtue are extremely variable. One's perception of whether these values are alive and well in America are inevitably political, and more so are the questions of what actions or policies America should adopt in order to restore those values, were they to have fallen.

This cannot not be a political event, even more so due to the presence of such polarizing figures as Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. I disagree with the event description's assumption that these individuals or the movements that they represent are the arbiters of what constitutes American virtue, honor and heroism.

Let's see what happens on Saturday.