Senator Jim Risch explains how America will be just fine with less spending in Washington, DC

Instead of looking at all of Washington and just declaring they stink, Glenn has decided to take a hard look at some of the strongest champions for liberty who are ready to stand together against the GOP Progressives. One Senator that has been highly ranked on "Most Conservative in the Senate" lists is Senator Jim Risch of Idaho. Glenn invited Senator Risch onto radio to discuss some of the issues facing the country today. What did he think?

Read the Rush Transcript below:

GLENN: Okay. We have a guy who I don't know much about and we are going to start making a list and checking it twice of who's naughty and nice. Instead of looking at all of Washington and saying they all stink, Ted Cruz is out and he is trying to ‑‑ he said yesterday, "You know it's time to have another party, maybe." I think it is. But I don't want to ‑‑ I mean, you know, you ‑‑ that's a long process. That's 20 years. We can make inroads if we can get a group of guys to stand together on liberty principles and really stand together and say, "I don't care what John Boehner says; we're not going to do it." And if they would really stand together, I think people in ‑‑ the American people would gather around them. They are going to be called names, they are going to be called everything under the sun, but if they would stand together. You know, Rand Paul, Cruz, Mike Lee, it would be great.

Now, there's a senator that I don't think I've ever spoken to, at least politically. I understand that we met one time up in Idaho when he was the governor and now he's the senator. And he was ‑‑ was he number one on one of the conservative lists of the most ‑‑

STU: Yeah, most conservative in the Senate on one list, yeah.

GLENN: And I said, we have to start ‑‑ let's start at the top and go down and meet these guys and introduce them to you. Senator Risch, how are you, sir?

RISCH: Good. Good to talk to you again, Glenn. It has been a while since we've talked.

GLENN: Yeah. Where was that? It was up in Idaho.

RISCH: Yeah, it was at Frank VanderSloot's home.

GLENN: That was years ago. Yeah, that was years and years ago.

RISCH: It was a while ago, yeah. A lot of water under the bridge.

GLENN: So Jim, you are ‑‑ tell us a little bit about yourself on where you stand on the Constitution and what is happening right now in our country.

RISCH: Well, I was ‑‑ I started my career as a prosecutor and I spent almost 30 years in the state Senate, then I was lieutenant governor, governor and now in the U.S. Senate but, you know, I guess people are ‑‑ I've had some people surprised about soliciting but, look, I cast 20,000 votes when I was in the state Senate and they're not any different than what I vote on here.

Look, there's two things that guide me. Number one, what's happened in this town and what shocked me since I got here going on my fifth year now is the lack, total lack of disregard for the sovereignty of the states. There is no ‑‑ there's absolutely no discussion about the rights that have been reserved to the states in the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and these things are ‑‑ you know, I was one of the senators that voted against the violence against women's act and brought a lot of heat on that in the media, but that ‑‑ I'm not soft on violence against women. I think it's terrible. When I was a prosecutor, I put people in prison for that. But the United States government has no business in that at all. It is the function of the states to do that and that's what's caused this government to grow is that these people come here and they see something that they would like to do and do good on and so they introduce a bill and away you go and then if you don't vote for it, then you're a bad guy because you support violence against women, which is absolutely insane.

GLENN: Okay. So ‑‑

RISCH: And that's what's happening in this town and that gets me. But the second thing that gets me, Glenn, and your listeners know this: As bad as they think it is in Washington D.C., it is much, much worse than that. They are borrowing 42 cents out of every dollar they spend. They spend between $10 and $11 billion a day, but they have to borrow over $4 billion every single day in order to pay their bills at night. This has got to stop.

GLENN: So how do you do that? When they are, right now they are saying that, you know, this 2 or 3% cut with sequester is going to shut everything down: The airports are going to stop, our children are going to be out in the streets without teachers and there's no firemen or no policemen?

RISCH: Glenn, that's crazy. You heard the FAA saying they are going to close down towers and what have you. They are going to have the same amount of money they had in 2009. They were operating the towers in 2009. Why would they have to close them down now? This president is going to do his best to make this as painful on the American people as possible. I think this one's going to come around and bite him. He's the CEO.

Look, when I was in Idaho, we had holdbacks from time to time because the money didn't come in, and we cut back, but we all got together and said how can we do this as painlessly as possible and still make the trains run on time? And we did it and we did it without punishing people. But that's what this president is trying to do. It's nonsense. It's crazy.

GLENN: Okay. So ‑‑

RISCH: And not only that, but on the sequester, this is de minimis compared to what's coming. Anybody who thinks we're going to get out of this thing without a substantial amount of pain is whistling Dixie. I mean, there ‑‑

GLENN: What kind of percentage, what kind of across‑the‑board percentage do you think in the end we're going to have to cut?

RISCH: Well, if you ‑‑ if you look at what we're borrowing, borrowing 42 ‑‑ just to get even, just to stop the hemorrhaging you've got to cut 42%. Well, of course, we all know that can't happen and you're going to have a collapse and chaos and everything else. But there's a simple way to do it. It will never happen in D.C., and I'll tell you why in a second. But the simple way to do this if we just spent 1% less every year for the next six or seven years, we could get back to a balanced budget. We'd still have a $20 trillion debt we'd have to deal with, but we could at least get back to a balanced budget.

And let me tell you why it's not going to happen. In Washington D.C. when you say we need to spend less than we spent last year, they look at you like you got three heads. The Republicans have compromised and compromised and compromised and got us up to $3.8 trillion spending, it's time for the other side to compromise and roll this thing backwards. Just a percent at a time and we can do it without bringing the house down around us.

GLENN: Do you think we could ever do that with the Republicans? I mean, John McCain, I mean, he's saying that Hagel is going to get confirmed. You know, you got the Lindsey Grahams and the John McCains in there and I mean, you're never going to get that?

RISCH: I'm already going to vote on cloture on that, I'm going to vote no. But I think there are enough people that are going to ‑‑

GLENN: So how do you make this happen, the tough things happen when you can't even get ‑‑ you can't even get Hagel, you can't even get enough Republicans to say absolutely not?

RISCH: Well, we got other problems besides that. You know, we got Brennan coming up who's a real problem also. But, you know, look, we can't give up. Yeah, we're in tougher times right now. We don't have the White House and when they have the White House and the national media on their side, you've got to ‑‑ you've got to get up every morning and get dressed and get ready to go down and fight because it's not going to be handed to you by any stretch of the imagination. When we do get the White House, we still have the national media against us, but I'm looking forward to that day. You know, we've got the days coming until this nightmare's over and we're going to get another shot at this. In a couple of years we're hoping that we're going to do better on the ‑‑ in the U.S. Senate and there's a real possibility on that.

GLENN: Well, I think there's a real possibility if the Karl Roves don't destroy everybody who could come in and back people like you and Mike Lee and everybody else up. But I mean, if the Karl Roves take this party, you're done.

RISCH: Well, you know, again like I said, this country's worth fighting for. I'm going to do it and I've got friends up here that are ‑‑ they are going to do it. And win, lose or draw, they are going to get a fight.

GLENN: Let me ‑‑ one other thing, I can't let you go: Where do you stand on ‑‑ I know this answer because of Idaho, but where do you stand on guns and what's coming?

RISCH: Nobody needs to take a stand on guns. It's already in the Constitution. It's black and white. It's written in plain English. And these people ‑‑ here in D.C. I get this question all the time: Well, why do you need an automatic weapon and a big clip to hunt for deer? Well, the answer to that is you don't, but the Second Amendment's got nothing to do with hunting. It was written by people who put it in place so that free Americans could defend themselves against people who wanted to take our rights away. It has nothing to do with hunting. Forget hunting. Take it ‑‑ take hunting out of the conversation. It's got nothing to do with that. But if ‑‑ I'll tell you what: Thank goodness we have the Second Amendment. Thank goodness when those guys sat down and they wrote the First Amendment and gave us all our God‑given rights in writing, they then said, "Okay, what are we going to have to do to keep these?" Somebody said, "I got an idea for number two," and number two is just crystal clear and black and white. Thank heaven we've got it.

GLENN: Thank you very much. Senator, great talking to you.

RISCH: Good talking to you, Glen.

GLENN: We'll talk again. So I think he goes up on the board. Do you agree?

STU: Yeah, I like him.

PAT: Definitely.

GLENN: So he goes up on the board as, let's get a ‑‑ let's get some magnets of all these guys ab we'll decide which one goes into the board. Which one goes into the GOP board and which one goes into the new GOP or the new ‑‑ the libertarian kind of constitutional kind of board.

STU: Kind of feels like our own creepy version of e‑harmony. Like we're just ‑‑ like we're going through, like, "What do we have in common with you?"

PAT: We've matched them on 28 dimensions of compatibility.

GLENN: But you know what? If we could get ‑‑

PAT: Found our soulmate.

GLENN: If we could get them and promote them as a group.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: We could say ‑‑ and they would start actually moving as a group, they would have some power.

PAT: Yep.

GLENN: You can't take all of them. I mean, you can, one at a time. But if they move together, you'll be okay. I mean, you at least have a shot. And at least then you start changing the dialogue. You don't talk about ‑‑ don't talk about all the crap that the GOP and the Democrats are talking about. Talk about principles. Make sure you base everything on principles. What do you say the Big 10, the Bill of Rights? Just base them all on that. No, you don't have a right to search without a warrant; no, you don't have a right to hold me without a trial. I have a right to a trial with a jury. I'm sorry, you can't just take my records of something. You can't snoop on me. You can't listen on my phone. You can't just take my stuff. You can't just tell the states what to do. It's not in the Constitution. It belongs to them. You can't take my gun, and I have a right to say that. If we can just get people to back the top ten, we'd be a lot farther than we are now.

 

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.