Chalkboard in tow, Glenn Beck gave an inspiring speech to close out the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference.
He started off a bit nervously, stumbling over his own words a couple of times. He excused himself, explaining "I don't use teleprompters, I just speak from here," as he pointed to his heart.
Beginning with a complimentary reference to Ronald Reagan's famous "Morning in America" advertisement, Beck said "It is still morning in America, it just happens to be kind of a head-pounding, hung-over, vomiting for four hours kind of morning in America. And it's shaping up to be kind of a nasty day, but it's still morning in America."
The chalkboard got a standing ovation as he asked "May I bring a friend up?" "It's sick when a chalkboard gets a standing ovation," Beck said, offering a bit of his trademark self-deprecating humor. "You have no idea what it's like to travel with one of these," he said. "A palm pilot is the way to go."
Beck discussed Progressivism as the disease that has afflicted both parties, describing it as a cancer designed to eat away at The Constitution. He called out Progressive politicians in both parties, including one Republican who claims Teddy Roosevelt as a hero, and then described how Teddy Roosevelt is essentially the father of the modern Progressive movement.
He used Tiger Woods' recent mea culpa as an example of what America needs - an admission of guilt, followed by visible actions of redemption. He blasted America's "entitlement" society, and said that if he heard either political party admit that they must follow the same rules as everyone else and felt he could believe them, he would campaign for them with a sign in his yard and would be happy to vote for them.
With references to his personal battles with addiction, Glenn called out both parties for their excesses, stating that he is waiting to see anyone in government have a "Come to Jesus" moment.
"It's not enough just to not suck as much as the other side," he said. "The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. I have not heard people in the Republican Party admit they have a problem and when I did hear them say they have a problem, I don't know if I believed them."
The Republicans' problem, he said, is the same as Democrats' problem; an addiction to spending, a willingness to place the judgment of the government ahead of the rights of individuals, and an interest in picking winners and losers, with the winners being big banks and irresponsible corporations, and the losers being small businesses and individuals.
"As I read the Constitution, the only job the U.S. government has is to save us from bad guys," he said. "And right now it seems to me the government looks at us as the bad guy."
Beck said that the country can avoid calamity if it returns to its roots as a republic that embraces individual freedoms, allows people to succeed and fail on their own, and finds a way to live within its means.
"It is a hard road. I know I've walked it myself," he said. "But we will make it. And when we put our head down on our pillow at night, we can be happy, because we know tomorrow it will be morning in America again."