We have a lot of problems in the world, and as I’m watching them spiral out of control this weekend, I thought if we want to solve them, as an alcoholic, first step is you’ve got to admit you have a problem.
And if we’re going to work together, we have to admit that one of our problems is this partisan bickering, and we have to be willing to then say the tough thing, we have to stop this bickering and be honest with one another and acknowledge a few simple truths, that we are not that different, that our neighbors aren’t. There are those fringes, especially in Washington. There’s maybe 10% on each side that is crazy and out-of-control, but our neighbors generally are not.
And we have to be able to discern which issues are really, truly critical and which ones are not, which ones are just political games. And that’s what I want to try to do today because the globe is in a critical condition, and the country is in critical condition. We have Hamas waging war against Israel, and it’s tearing our cities apart. From London to LA, there is rising anti-Semitism in our streets.
The global economy is dismal. Civil unrest is becoming increasingly prevalent all around the country, and here in America it’s almost as though some of these problems don’t even exist. The 44 million Americans who now follow the president on Twitter must feel like things are amazing. Is there anybody that is following the president on Twitter saying, “Gosh, he seems a little out of touch”?
First of all, it was all about his birthday. This weekend’s tweets were all promoting his birthday, nine tweets. And then on the other side, in Hollywood, which prides itself on being relevant and speaking to the critical issues of the day, they’re not concerned with the anti-Semitic protests that were happening right in their backyard. Instead, they seem to be most concerned about who is the next black star? I don’t understand this.
I see some of the headlines from both sides of the aisle, from everybody, and I think really, this is what we’re working on? If we want real progress, if we want real solutions, we have to begin to identify and agree on which issues are critical and which ones are political. I would say most people feel that the border is a very important issue, all Americans across the board, and the economy, jobs. Those are the two things that everybody cares about, but that’s not what we’re hearing about.
Let’s look at the issues now that are being pushed as critical and put them to the test, what’s really important? Right now, the president is campaigning around the country fighting what he calls the defining challenge of our time, and that is battling income inequality.
Okay, I believe these things. I believe that we have to be able to not just feel like, we actually have to be able to work hard and get ahead. If you have a problem with the rich being too rich, well, that’s not a problem that we can ever solve because the government is going to do that. Is it perhaps that one of the basic problems that we have here in America on income inequality is that we don’t understand greed anymore?
If you think that greed is the answer, that the rich just keep getting richer, not because they’ve invented…nobody has a problem with Bill Gates being rich. Look what he’s done. Nobody has a problem with Steve Jobs being rich. Who are you having a problem with? The banks, right? The people on Wall Street, right? Why? Because it’s all about greed, it’s all about the money. It’s not about actually making something, it’s about the money.
And then when they fail, we have to bail them out, so the problem is greed. And is that a problem that the government can solve? Another pressing issue for this administration is workplace fairness. I love this quote, “You shouldn’t be fired because of who you love.” Is there anyone who disagrees with this? Is there anyone that thinks that you should be fired because you’re gay or straight? I don’t know anybody who thinks that way.
I don’t know a single soul that thinks that’s right, and if it’s happening, are people being fired because of who they love at such a clip that the president needs to make this one of our defining issues of the age? That’s not the pressing issue, and if it is, I want to see the stories on it because we can all unite on this one and stop that one this fast. And then there of course is the war on women, “I want my daughters paid the same as your sons for doing the same jobs.” That’s the president.
Well, Mister President, if my daughter was working in the White House, she would not be paid the same as my son for doing the same jobs at the White House. There is income inequality in the White House when it comes to gender. The White House doesn’t even uphold those standards, and there’s a reason for it. And we’re not going to get into all of it, but there’s a reason for it, and he knows. This is a political stunt, political stunt, because nobody disagrees with that.
We somehow or another, we have our daughters, and we don’t think that our daughters should be paid? Of course, every father thinks that. The political parties, both left and right, are using people to forward their political interests, not our national values. When you have people claiming that it’s a war on women because Hobby Lobby covers 16 out of 20 kinds of birth control, and the four that they don’t are related to abortion, that’s not political interest. I mean, that is political interest. That’s not our national values, and it’s certainly not a war on women by Hobby Lobby. It’s a political stunt.
And all that happens is, I mean, the reason why the president is going from place to place, and he’s not going to meet on these big issues, because he’s always busy. Where is he? He’s busy at fundraisers. This is all about money. That’s all this is about money and power. And you get more money and you get more power by driving the wedge further and deeper down.
I love the people that had come out this week because I was on CNN this weekend, and they were talking about how Glenn Beck is now, he’s only doing this for money; he’s only trying to unite people because it’s in his best interests for ratings and money. Oh my gosh, if that were true, the president would be uniting people on every stop. It is division that makes people race under the banner. It’s somebody saying, “I’m being attacked” that makes somebody, you’re being attacked, we’re all going to lose all of this.
I’m telling you we don’t have to lose all of this. I am telling you we all justice. We all want mercy. We have these problems, but we can solve them. We all want reconciliation. We want people to be respected. We want people to love who they want to love without fear of harassment or execution. We want people to have freedom of speech and to be heard so they can differ with one another but do so with respect.
We all want to know that we’re all in it together, and we’re working toward something much greater, and that we’ve been heard along the way, even though people will disagree with us, doesn’t mean we get our way, but we’ve been heard, and that we have control over our own lives. That is something that we all want, we all want. And if we can agree on that, then we can start looking at the real war on women.
Let’s compare the war on women in America where you can’t have an abortion to the war on women in China where you must have an abortion, even though you want to keep the baby, you must have an abortion, or the war on women living in the Middle East and in Africa who are forced to undergo genital mutilation. The locals call it Sunat. It means duty. You want to talk about reproductive rights, I’d say having, you know, you being forced to have yours cut up and partially or totally removed would be pretty high on the list of offenses on a war on women, and it happens to 130 million women worldwide. That is a problem.
In Egypt, harassment is practically a given. The UN reports that 99.3% of women experience sexual harassment. In Syria, thousands of women have been targeted by both the government forces and the rebel groups, and they’re being raped, they’re being used as human shields, they’re being arrested without cause, they’re tortured, they’re kidnapped, they’re murdered. In the past two years, honor killings have claimed the lives of 25 women that live under the Palestinian Authority.
How about all the women that were kidnapped? Remember, return our girls, return our daughters? That’s a war on women, and that’s one we can unite on, both left and right. Which one, Hobby Lobby or the rape and murder of women, 130 million mutilations? Which one is critical? Which one is political? Which one would actually move us forward as a people, as a species?
Gay marriage is defined as a civil rights, that’s an issue now here in America, and there are those who oppose changing the definition of America. And if you oppose, you’re immediately equated to a hatemonger, and you are immediately compared to the racists of the 1960s. Yet, coming out today here in America practically comes with a tickertape parade and a friendly round of media interviews. It’s not exactly courageous.
Look at the guy at the NFL, look what happened to him. That didn’t take a lot of courage. He had a special on Oprah. Courage is coming out in places like Iran where gays are routinely tortured. To be homosexual is against the law. You’re sent to prison or you’re executed in public for being gay.
In Nigeria, being married if you’re gay lands you in prison for 14 years. Homophobia in Russia is on the rise as well with one celebrity going as far as calling for gays to be sent to the gas chambers, and that’s not a nobody celebrity like me, that’s a somebody celebrity. This is a big guy.
Now, let me ask you, you’re talking about gays being sent to gas chambers, you’re talking about the stoning to death in Iran or in Egypt, isn’t this something that the staunchest DOMA supporter and the staunchest GLAAD supporter can link arms on? And wouldn’t it change the world if we actually did that as Americans?
This weekend, I’ve heard nothing but how Israelis are committing genocide, they’re committing genocide of the Palestinian people. They are now worse than Hitler. I love this, they’ve surpassed Hitler in barbarism. That’s saying something. If that’s true, we all can unite and say that’s got to stop. But if they’re engaging in genocide, they’re really, really bad at it.
Gaza is a tiny area of Israel, and Israel has all the firepower. This conflict has been going on forever, and yet the population of Gaza is increasing. Can you tell me how many concentration camps under Hitler had the population increase that weren’t imported in? Meanwhile, in Darfur, 480,000 people have been slaughtered in the last decade, and it continues today, Darfur, an actual ethnic cleansing that the world has turned away from.
As I said, I talked to CNN on Israel this week, and they didn’t air this part, and I wish they would have. I think it would have been a shock for people on the left to hear me talk about it, because what I said in that interview is we don’t hate the Palestinian people, we can’t hate the Palestinian people, just like we didn’t hate the Germans in World War II. Thirty percent of the Germans elected Hitler. Thirty percent of the Palestinians elected Hamas.
Both the Nazis and Hamas were calling for genocide of the same people. But what happened? We fought the Germans until we defeated the Nazi machine, and then we helped the Germans. We weren’t against the Germans. We love the German people.
We have to stand united on just a really simple principle, no genocide for any people, no genocide. But let’s stop throwing around the word genocide if it doesn’t apply because it’s not happening there. This is a war, and it’s awful, it’s awful, but by crying genocide in war stops people from actually listening to the cry of genocide when it’s real.
Why can’t we work together to end the genocide in places like Darfur? I mean, hasn’t that gone on long enough? Left and right, why can’t we stand together? Why won’t somebody like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie or George Clooney stand with somebody like me and say enough is enough on Darfur, can’t we stop this, enough is enough?
And at the same time, are we not big enough to give aid and comfort, not to the terrorists, but once the terrorists stop using the poor Palestinians, and the bombing stops, aren’t we big enough to extend aid to all people that want peace and to live in harmony?
We all want to move forward. We all want to fix the country. We all want the same things, pretty much the same things, not the fringe crazy people on the edges. Can’t we start looking at our strategy? Are we really attacking the things that matter? Are we attacking critical issues or political ones?
What’s usually on the news in the routine news cycle? First Lady continues to crackdown on America’s school lunch menu. A Nebraska school just banned a bake sale. Really, is that really what’s important? Time for Congress to help the middle class – okay, how? How? Diversity day, drag queens are performing at our military bases. Is that our priority with our military?
The EPA is arresting people for illegally transporting milk, milk, across state lines. That’s your priority? Have you seen what’s happening in Chicago? And meanwhile, we have a $17 trillion debt, and the world is blaming us for it. Chicago, one of the most deadly places in the country to live. Ranchers along the border are continually finding the dead bodies on their property. Did you see that story?
And then we have Ebola on the loose. God help this poor doctor that came in, and God help us all if the CDC is putting our national interests above our national values. When we put our values before our interests, when we put our values before our political interests, we’ll be okay, and we’ll be able to come together. And I suggest that we are the people to begin that march towards real justice, real mercy, and real reconciliation.