For many years, I've thought that government, when competently run, could provide basic safeguards. Not just against enemies both foreign and domestic, but also against other forces that might seek to exploit the less powerful.

For many years, I've thought that government, when competently run, could provide basic safeguards. Not just against enemies both foreign and domestic, but also against other forces that might seek to exploit the less powerful.

I thought, as perhaps Teddy Roosevelt did, that some basic protections backed by the legal authority of the United States government could enhance the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness for everyone.

What I didn't know is that to even entertain that thought makes me a progressive. And that's not good.

"Progressives think they know better than you do. They want to control every aspect of your life," explained Fox News' Glenn Beck.

I didn't know that's what I wanted, but I guess Beck could be right. I guess I do want to control every aspect of your life.

As a progressive, I might say I think it's a good idea for an agency to monitor pollution. But what I really mean is it's in the state's interest that we put a chip in your head that tells you when you can masturbate. In America, nobody tells people when they can masturbate.

I looked approvingly on child labor laws, women voting and the inspection of meats, poultry and other foodstuffs. I thought it was progress, but I didn't realize how sick it was making me, making all of us.

"Progressivism - it's the cancer that is destroying our founding values ... and it is eating our Constitution," said Beck.

America, I have cancer. We all in this country have cancer - values- and document-eating cancer.

Why are progressives so dangerous? Because they can't stop!

"The roots of progressivism lead to fascism," Beck explained. "One had the hammer and sickle, the other was a swastika. But on each banner read the words social justice."

So, believing there should be a minimum standard for how much lead can be in our paint might logically lead to giving the government the right to sterilize and kill Jews. Even though you didn't realize it, that's been the progressives' goal the whole time.

So, Glenn Beck, how do we get our country back? How do we stop the cancer from progressing?

"Rights come from God. They're given to the people," Beck said. "I'm a conservative libertarian."

It's that simple. Be a conservative libertarian who follows the rules of God.

But couldn't that just lead in the opposite direction, to theocracy? Can't we draw similarly outlandish conclusions away from the center, to the right, to a theocracy?

We do have to play by Beck's rules, which state that if you subscribe to an idea, you also subscribe to that idea's ideology. And to every possible negative consequence that ideology remotely implies when you carry it to absurd extremes.

So if progressives believe in a minimum safety net for our nation's neediest, they actually believe in total and absolute government control. And if conservatives believe that faith provides a strong moral tent-post for a nation's foundation, that could only lead to totalitarian theocracy.

But that's insane, you say. You're absolutely, positively right!