The Oval ep. 3: A nation divided

This is an even-numbered year, and so it is the season of elections.

Every candidate, and every party, is seeking to make its case to the voters.

So you are going to hear a lot of things from a lot of people -- and as voters, you will get to decide whom you trust… and who will receive your vote.

That's democracy. Even when elections are hard-fought, they are peaceful. And that is something we should be proud of.

But I am seeing a disturbing trend in our politics.

I am seeing the politics of what I call "50 plus 1." Politicians aren't trying to make the best case to the broadest number of people.

They are only looking for 50% of the vote, plus one. A bare majority. Enough to win - and that's it.

And so they pursue a campaign strategy of building half a house, divided against itself.

We are seeing it in the claims that there is a "war against women." We are seeing it in race-based identity politics.

We are seeing it in attacks on the successful and the prosperous. We are seeing it in the casual attacks on minority faiths… and minority viewpoints.

It's always "us" against "them." A war that must be won. A fight that must be joined. A group that must be destroyed.

Candidates say these things, hoping that their side will be motivated enough to get to 50-plus-one. Maybe it's the right strategy for a short-term victory.

But it's bad for America. And it will leave us with only half a house.

I am not naive. I know that elections are never going to be polite debates. I know that American politics can be nasty and personal.

You should have seen the debates between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. Jefferson called Adams a hermaphrodite who didnt have the gentleness of a woman or the firmness of a man.

Adams responded, if the country elected Jefferson, they were electing a man who was a half breed whose mother was an inidian-squaw raised on hoe cakes. your women would be raped and you would see your children's head on pikes.

But when politicians say: "Vote for me, I'll crush the supporters of the other guy."… well, that's not an attack on the other candidate. It's an attack on Americans.

It is bad for America when a candidate for office says "vote for me, so rich people don't get richer." It is bad for America when someone says "vote for me, or else the entire country will look like San Francisco."

It is bad, not only because it is untrue.

It is bad, because it attacks Americans for who they are.

It turns Americans against each other. As if to support one candidate is the best way to tear down a fellow citizen.

That's not how America works. Not at its best.

We are not a zero-sum country. We don't have a limit to our wealth and potential prosperity. We don't have a ceiling on justice. We don't have a set amount of civil rights and privileges.

We are not trying to build half a house. We are not trying to limit what Americans can achieve.

And so we don't have to believe - as the politicians want us to believe - that what one of us gets, the rest of us won't have.

Our system works best when Americans all believe that their destiny is tied up in the future of the country.

All of us. Not women at the expense of men. Not African-Americans at the expense of Latinos. Not the well-to-do at the expense of the struggling.

Come November, we will have votes and we will have winning candidates.

But it would be good if after the confetti and balloons are swept away, we can still be united.

We should know that our elected leaders will represent the entire country. And we should work to build a house that doesn't need to press down on another to stand on its own.

Thank you, and may god keep the republic

Christians are conflicted when it comes to President Donald Trump. Some proudly support him and his policies, while others just can't accept the man behind the boorish language.

Ruth Graham, daughter of the late evangelist Billy Graham, joined Glenn Beck on "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week to make a case for the president from a Christian's point-of-view.

Watch a the clip from the podcast below:

Watch the full interview below:

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WATCH: Dem goes to Trump rally and realizes Dems are screwed in 2020

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On Thursday's radio program ,Glenn interviewed Dr. Karlyn Borysenko, who described what it was like attending a President Trump rally as a Democrat. She told Glenn Beck that crossing party lines is nearly forbidden in liberal circles but she branched out anyway — and learned quite a bit about the other side.

Watch the video below for more on this story.

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Ryan: Bernie at the airport Holiday Inn

Photo by Sean Ryan

(Part One) . (Part Two). (Part Three).

Some poor guy booked a hotel at the Holiday Inn Airport Conference Center in Des Moines on February 3, 2020, assuming it would be a harmless Monday night. Only to find himself in the middle of an overflowing Bernie rally on the night of the caucuses.

For the record, the man was not a Bernie Sanders supporter. Far from it. He popped his head backward when I told him where I work, smiling. Well, grinning, to be precise.


After her speech, Klobuchar wandered into the crowd, immediately submerged. Selfies. Everybody wanted them. A minute later, the other candidates began to appear on screen, giving speeches.

"Bernie," asked Justin Robert Young, host of Politics Politics Politics.

"Bernie," I said, and we paced to the car and lurked out onto the depopulated streets and the trenchant cold. But we were both bright with excitement, a couple of detectives. The valet attendants in their satin outfits saw two oddities, and they were right.

Justin Young and I had just left the Des Moines Marriott Downtown for Amy Klobuchar's "Amy for America caucus night party." She gave her speech, in a brilliant maneuver. I skated the Nissan down empty streets, quietly listening to Bernie's speech on the Iowa Public Radio station.

"I love this, what we're about to do," I said, gripping the wheel, words hurried, leaning forward, tapping my left boot. "We're going to hear Bernie talking, then we'll park, then walk through some doors and we will stroll into that very room as Bernie is giving the speech that's being broadcast to millions of people."

It was like how in the game Mario Bros., Mario can jump into giant green storm drains, occasionally. Like leaping into the television and joining the cast.

"There's nobody out on the roads," one of us said. "Holiday Inn, right up there." As broad-winged commercial airplanes floated overhead. We scoured for a parking spot and each second felt wasted. Urgent. We needed to be inside that hotel. But there was nowhere to park. Even the illegal spots were taken. Cars had creviced every inch of parking lot and curb and all that, had even jammed into dark pyramids of sludge.


Rita Dove wrote, "I prefer to explore the most intimate moments, the smaller, crystallized details we all hinge our lives on."


There were so many more journalists press at Bernie's event that the only media spots left were in the overflow room, which itself seemed at capacity. Dank, too. With a heavy vibe, like a sinister library.

The entire hotel exuded gloom. A quietness you hear in locker rooms after a game that should have ended differently.

Bernie supporters, dazed, stomped out into the snow, or to the bathrooms, or just in need of a bit of stomping.


Back to Beechwood Lounge, where we watched the Super Bowl a day earlier. Although it felt like a week had passed since then.

Approaching midnight, by that point.

Because Justin consumes politics with an all-encompassing urgency. As if it's a duty. He's clearly studied history and politics for years. Part historian, part political scientist, but also part reporter and part comedian. On one hand, he's guided by the old school approach to journalism. Objectivity. Solemnity. Accuracy.

An American has the right to tell nobody who they voted for. Or maybe it's a cultural thing.

Snow everywhere you look, piles of it full of gas and oil, and rubbish as well. That day was unseasonably warm. The next would plummet us into literal freezing. The kind of day that slows everyone down. With all that ice, you have to be cautious about every step.

Shame is for the uninitiated.

Thanks for reading. New stories come out every Monday and Thursday. Next week, a look at Socrates' sarcasm and Cardi B's political aspirations. Check out my Twitter. Send all notes, tips, corrections to

In 1990 Michael Bloomberg's employees created a short book full of crude, sexist, and shocking quotes he allegedly said at work, including one story that has him telling a female employee to "kill it" after she announced she was pregnant. Sadly, that story has him fitting right in with the Democratic party in 2020.

The booklet, titled, 'Wit & Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg,' has resurfaced to haunt the Democratic presidential candidate after "The Washington Post" published the full text on Saturday.

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Monday, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere (filling in for Glenn) shared some of the less colorful (many were too lewd to be repeated on radio,) but no less disgusting quotes.

Watch the video below:

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