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GLENN: 888-727-BECK. Welcome to news radio 750 KXL in Portland, Oregon. Thanks for joining the family of Glenn Beck program. Glad you’re here. Let me go to Ken in Philadelphia. Hello, Ken thanks for listening to WPHT. What’s up?
CALLER: Hi, Glenn. I’ve been listening to your program on and off for years and I’m not sure anymore what it means to be a conservative. I was wondering if you would actually have a dialogue with me about what that means.
CALLER: Okay. Because, like, for instance I don’t — I hear talk about a lot, like I guess soon that it means like being conservative financially. You know, I understand that it means pro business, so you don’t want to limit business maybe. Does it mean being religious? What does it mean?
GLENN: Well, let me ask you, Ken. Are we having an honest dialogue here or do you have an agenda?
CALLER: No, an honest dialogue because like, for instance, one of the things I can’t understand is it seems like religion is associated with conservatism and yet like a lot of the business that you do is judging and throwing first stones and I don’t see that as a religious value as Jesus taught it. And so I don’t understand that as a basis for your program. But I also don’t understand the dividing of the country as a basis for it. So in order for me to understand what conservatism is and its use of the word is used a lot. And a lot of times if somebody disagrees with you on the station or with any of the hosts, it seems like if somebody disagrees, you are automatically branded a liberal and even if you are not, and you are thrown off the station and then talked over. So I don’t really have an agenda. I just want to know what it means because it makes it difficult for me to understand and have a conversation with somebody when I don’t know what the words mean and what people are talking about.
GLENN: Sure, okay. So now we understand your agenda, that you do have an axe to grind. And that’s fine. I don’t know what your political background is. I’m not going to call you a liberal. I have no idea if you’re a liberal. So I have no idea, but I appreciate you being honest and telling me where you’re coming from and showing me that we’re not having an honest dialogue.
So instead of operating under the cloak of, gee, Glenn, what is a conservative, why don’t we just take these issues that you have that is really the reason for your phone call and take them one by one. Let’s start with the religion thing. What is your question again on the religion issue and how it revolves — I cannot answer for any other show. I can answer for my actions. So let’s be specific on my actions, Ken.
CALLER: Okay. So you’re — you’re letting me talk now. That’s nice. It’s not like I — you think I have an axe to grind. Maybe you can just tell me what your belief is on conservatives and I won’t even — I won’t grind my axe. Just tell me what it is and then let me talk about it.
GLENN: Ken, you don’t set the rules for the program. And first of all, nobody is shutting you down. I let you talk for three minutes. So I’m not here to play a game with you. It is a total waste of time. If you’d like to have a real dialogue and make progress on something, we can. You’re not really interested in what a conservative means. You have problems and issues with what I do on the air. So let’s deal with those. Why play a game?
CALLER: Okay. So you’re thinking that this is an agenda thing. I just honestly think that it feels like a lot of your work divides the country. It sets people against each other. And like, for instance your —
GLENN: Give me the examples. Let’s deal in specifics here.
CALLER: Well, for example, you were just talking about some woman with — previously to me coming on here and you were talking about her situation and yet without actually knowing the person, knowing their actual — the depth of their situation when you speak sort of glossing over the information just based on maybe some information that’s been filtered through the liberal media as it were.
GLENN: Right. No, I — here’s —
CALLER: Under the circumstance it seems hard to really understand what their situation is.
CALLER: So in judging that person, in judging the situation, you are really not being fair to that individual or the story.
GLENN: Sure. I’m not judging anybody in the article. What I was quoting is a story that ran in the Washington Post. Now, I’m sorry if you think I’m being divisive by reading verbatim a story that ran in the Washington Post, but I don’t know how I can be accused of being divisive by, again, reading the story verbatim.
CALLER: Well, it’s your tone, what you choose to read and how you say it in such a way where you’re casting, obviously you are opining and setting the judgment on that person.
GLENN: No, I’m not setting a judgment on any person. I don’t even know who wrote that story. I know it ran in the Washington Post. I am making a comment by reading that story, I’m making a comment on how is it the media would like to paint Americans as racist. Yesterday, if you listened to yesterday’s show, the story yesterday in the media was how all of the white people in West Virginia are racist because Hillary is winning by such an overwhelming number there. The story on Friday in the media was how, by Hillary Clinton saying that she has the white vote, he has the black vote, that she somehow or another is a racist for pointing out that fact. Today is just the third day in a very, very long cycle to come, about anybody who is against Barack Obama. Again, the stories — the story’s facts were little, a little thin to be able to paint anybody who’s against Barack Obama as a racist. Even the campaign will not do that and yet the media needs to paint people against Barack Obama as a racist.
CALLER: Well, I understand your point about that the story and unfortunately I didn’t hear it yesterday. And I’m actually not calling to grind an axe about racism. My actual intention here was literally to find out what it means to be a conservative so when I’m listening to you, I can understand —
GLENN: Yeah, I don’t believe that.
CALLER: — I can understand what it means.
GLENN: I wish I believed you on that, but I don’t.
CALLER: I wish you did.
GLENN: I do, too, and we can all sing Kumbayah. Ken, here is the question. So let’s go back to where you said I was being divisive. Again, how was I being divisive by reading the story and trying to make the point that the media is saying that we are — that if you’re against Barack Obama, you’re a racist, when that is not true.
CALLER: You are absolutely right. If I had been calling about that comment and I was talking about that —
GLENN: Well, that was the comment that you used. Would you like to try another one and maybe we could take that one away.
CALLER: Well, no, no, no, no, no.
GLENN: No, no, no. Let’s — I mean, if you are going to say that I’m divisive and that was just a bad example but it was the one that you brought up, let’s go with another example of yours. Because if I’m divisive, then let’s go with another example because maybe you’ve just misunderstood. You said there were a lot of things that I do that are divisive. So just give me another one and let’s take that one on.
CALLER: Well, I think, like, for instance when you said that you’d like to believe that I didn’t have an agenda and stuff like that. You say I’m being Kumbayah, you are sort of implying —
GLENN: That would happen after your phone call. So how would that be a motivation of something that bothers you when that happened after you made the phone call?
CALLER: Well, you are sort of making it an implication here that I’m a liberal by being —
GLENN: No, I never said you were a liberal. I have no idea. I plainly said that to you. I don’t know if you are a liberal or not. I don’t really care if you’re a liberal or not.
CALLER: Aren’t you trying to by saying the Kumbayah thing and making people think that I’m —
GLENN: No, sir. Look, you are not disagreeing with me? I’m having a hard time following this conversation. So are you not disagreeing with me?
CALLER: Actually all I asked you in the original, you know, question was what is it to be a conservative.
GLENN: And you know what, Ken, I wanted to take your phone call because when I saw it said, "What is the definition of a conservative, what does it mean anymore," I took your phone call first because I would love to talk about that. But I will only discuss that with an honest broker. You are not an honest broker. You are immediately coming and saying, "But a lot of people tie religion in, and I see you do things that don’t coincide with what I believe is religion." Well, give me one of those examples. Because what I want to do is have the conversation of what a conservative is, but you don’t want to really have that. You’d like to try to pin me in a corner. So that’s fine. Now that we know what your intent is, let’s just have an honest conversation and tell me what your problem is on the show because — or on me because maybe, like we’ve seen in the only example that you’ve given me so far, you were wrong.
CALLER: Well, that’s an interesting way of dealing with it, but you are still not answering my question. What is it to be a conservative? There it is. You ask me what it is. Go for it.
GLENN: Ken, here it is. To be a conservative is, in my definition, is somebody that believes in the power of the individual, somebody that believes, please let me make my decisions, that I have a right to succeed and not be penalized for it. I have a right to fail and have no one run to me if I don’t want them to run to me. A conservative believes I have a right to manage my family, I have a right to discipline my family in the way I see fit, as long as it is not criminal. A conservative believes I have the right to worship God, I have a right to worship the God of my understanding, and I do not have the right to jam my version of God down anybody else’s throat or my version of no God down anybody’s throat. A conservative believes live and let live. That’s what a conservative believes. A conservative believes in the smallest amount of government, the smallest government you can get without anarchy. That’s what a conservative believes.
CALLER: Then I’m a conservative. Nice talking to you. Thank you very much for —
GLENN: You bet, Ken. See? And who thought he was a liberal? Not me. He just ended it, "I guess I’m a conservative." Well, good. Then we agree.