We all have a story that we tell ourselves. The problem with our country right now is we don’t have a common story anymore. Our common story is the founding of our country and the Civil War and the civil rights and going to the moon and we can do anything. And after the second World War, we had the Berlin airdrop. We helped people, we were the most charitable. That’s our story. That’s what we tell ourselves.
That story has been broken by another story. We’re nothing, but oppressors. We’re oppressors that came and stole the land, killed people, never had any good intentions, enslaved a whole race of people. Even when we had the Civil War, there were no good guys. Abraham Lincoln was even an oppressor. We’ve only ever done anything for money. We’re warmongers. We steal everything that we have.
That’s the story that now half of America is telling itself every day, and it is being reinforced every single day.
Stories are really important.
The story in the first half of my life was, I’m a kid who nobody ever understood. And my mom was an alcoholic who committed suicide. My dad and mom got a divorce, nobody understands me. And yet, I have this talent, and I’m going to make it big. I’ll show everybody. That was my story in my twenties, coupled with my family suffers with depression and alcoholism. I’m going to kill myself in the end, and I’m going to be an alcoholic. And what happened? By the time I was 30, there I was. Because stories are powerful.
When it comes to politics, who is better at telling stories? The left or the right?
The story that I tell myself every day now is the Jesus story. A guy who grew up with nothing, who taught people during three years of his life just to be honest with yourself, to be humble, to listen, to serve, to search for truth. That you’re going to screw up and you should ask for forgiveness. Live those principles and die on those principles, if you have to.
So now that you know my story, what I’ve tried to base my life on, look what happens: In the last election, I saw a guy running for president who I didn’t think lived any of the principles from that story that gets me up every morning. That’s the story that I tell myself, that you don’t even have to believe in redemption. You don’t have to believe in Jesus. You don’t have to believe any of it. I do. It’s the story that keeps me from drinking and keeps me from imploding. I saw our country going towards a guy who I didn’t think lived any of those principles. I was certain of what was going to happen, and tried to warn people and what happened? I imposed, if I may speak to my friends and the left, the tyranny of certainty. I stopped living my principles, mainly humility, because I was certain I didn’t have to be humble. I knew the truth.
So people say to me, Glenn, you’ve got to stop apologizing. No, I don’t. That’s part of my story. If you make a mistake, as quickly as you discover it, go and ask forgiveness, try to make amends. If they accept it, they accept it. If they don’t, they don’t. I’ve done my part. I behaved the exact opposite of my story, which caused cognitive dissonance in me. And if cognitive dissonance lives in me, I know myself well enough, I’ll start drinking, because I can’t live that way as a split personality. I can’t live two lives. I don’t know how people compartmentalize their lives. I cannot.
Now we’re telling ourselves another story. What I heard from a caller today is exactly what she doesn’t like in me and doesn’t like in the left. And that is, the tyranny of certainty. “How dare you tell me you’re right.” I’m working on that. It’s really hard to do the job, where the leader of the industry is “on loan from God,” and I’m supposed to have the answers, to share those, and remain humble. It’s really hard. But you notice she said that the problem is, they think they know the answers — and we’re right.
I think I’ve been right on a lot of stuff. I just have to realize that my opinion is my opinion. But I also am wrong on a lot of stuff. I believe in eternal truth. I believe in truth from God. A lot of people don’t believe that. Okay, then what’s the other way of finding truth? Either scientifically proving it, doing a case study and actually proving it in a laboratory, or when it comes to living, you have to have a case study. Well, I don’t really want to experiment with people. So we have to go back and look at history and ask: How did it turn out the last time? How did this turn out the last time it happened? What did the people choose?
Do you really believe that the politicians are going to solve health care? Does anybody really in the sound of my voice believe that they can solve health care? First of all, was health care better or worse before Obamacare? It sucked. It had its problems. It’s like the United States of America. It is the worst best country on the planet. They all suck, but we’re the best.
If you could show me a way to live, really show me a way to live and say, Glenn, here’s proof, this is a better system, it makes people more free, it helps people be better. You’re able to be yourself and be your better self. I’d do it in a heartbeat. I would surrender my citizenship today. I am not loyal to the flag. I am loyal to the idea of America, that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain rights, and nobody can take those rights.
My story that I tell myself is the greatest blessing of my life. Because it gives my troubles — I don’t want to say suffering, but use that word perhaps in your life or in the life of others — meaning. It gives my pain, be it emotional or be it physical pain, meaning. No matter what has happened to me, no matter what the situation is, I can walk away from it and say, “Okay. Why did that happen?” Instead of saying, “I can’t believe this person. I can’t believe everything in my life sucks.”
Everything in my life might suck right now, but what gives that suffering meaning? What gives that trouble meaning? Are we even looking for that anymore?
That’s what I tried to say with Elon Musk or with George Washington Carver, most of the great inventions of the world came from hardship. You think somebody would have invented the car if we all had flying carpets? No. We had an ox and a cart. We had to shovel the crap from behind them all the time. I mean, you want to talk about gases, okay. Live around some cows for a while. Plow your field with a cow or an ox or a horse. Not fun. So somebody invented a tractor. It’s not like the fields were plowing themselves. You know what we should invent? Something I can sit on and plow this field. There’s meaning to what’s happening in your life. And you can either grab it and figure it out and use it to make your life better, or we can use it to be angry. We can use it to be depressed. We can use it to lose all hope and let somebody else fix it for us. Or we can do it ourselves.
When I say let’s come together, I don’t mean with the extreme right or the extreme left. I have nothing in common with them. I really don’t, besides my humanity. I don’t have much in common or much to talk to with people who want to shut everyone else up. But I don’t know when this country has ever decided we don’t need two wings of our eagle, both the left and the right. I don’t know when the eagle said, “I can fly with just one wing.”
There’s balance to that eagle. Just as much as there is — and I hate to say this, what an oppressor I am — there is importance for both a man and a woman. We don’t speak the same language. Women, at times, drive me nuts. I’m sure I drive my wife and my daughters crazy. My son and I, we understand each other. It’s the women. And the women, they understand each other. Two wings of an eagle, you need both. How stupid would it be for me to say, “You know what we need, you know what would make this planet better? No women.” And yet, there are women and progressive groups that say men are useless. It is a lie. It is a lie just as much as I don’t need my liberal friends or they don’t need their conservative friends.
Together, we can fix this. Together, we will find our way out. But only if you have an honest, open and willing mind and heart.