Love, charity, and civil rights: Glenn lays out what the 9/12 movement is all about

I was at a NASCAR race this weekend, and I had a firefighter come up to me. And he said, "Glenn, I want to talk to you for a minute." I said, sure. He said, "I'm one of your founding members of Mercury One. He said, I was in one of your cities... and I'm ‑‑ I'm one of the first guys. I want to be the first on the scene to provide help. Which you've ‑‑ you know, what Mercury One was done has really been tremendous (but the country is) on fire. And people are becoming more and more angry, and I don't see what you're doing. You're asking us to what? Is there no time ever to stand up? I asked him a simple question: Why is America great? He paused for a moment. What is it? Is it our banks? Is it our ingenuity? Has it been our work ethic? What is it that made America great? He responded "her people," and he's right. The goodness of her people.

We have been led to a place to where we hate each other and despise each other's view. We can't even sit in the same room with each other anymore. We can't have a civilized conversation.

I talked to somebody just last week who said, I have a gun; my neighbor doesn't. And I'll tell ya if my neighbor ever asks for help, I don't think I'm going over to help him. I said, excuse me? Said, "It's his responsibility. And beyond that, I'm not sure that I wouldn't be arrested for something on his property. So I'm not going to be arrested on his property. So I'm not going to help him. " That's a bad sign.

The reason why I am asking you to be more charitable than any audience has ever been ‑‑ no audience has ever been this charitable. No audience. I was just in New York. We wrote another $400,000 check to another hospital in New York so they can repair some of the damages that happened at Sandy. No audience has ever done this. You are the best of America. Why? Why would I ask you to do that? Because we're in training, quite honestly. If you go back and you look at Martin Luther King and you see what Martin Luther King did, there was political apparatus around him, but he was not a political figure. He was not asking you to be political. He was asking the American people to be decent. When he went and he was speaking around the country, he said during the bus boycotts, while preaching to the black congregations all over the South, quote: We will never gain the respect of white people in the South or anywhere else if we're willing to trade our children's future for our own personal comfort and safety. We are in the same dilemma. We are facing the same things.

So how did he do it? Civil rights. But more than civil rights, they weren't just marching for civil rights. Every union can do that. They marched with love and charity, and they marched, they marched to and through the very gates of hell. If you look back at the pictures, you can see even Martin Luther King was frightened. But they held onto each other. And more importantly, they held onto God and their humanity. The world is going to spiral out of control, and if we do not practice "love thy neighbor," if we do not practice "love those that hate you," at this point if we can't do it now, we never will. And we lose. We lose in a spectacular fashion. We must not allow this to happen.

Our freedom was handed to us. It's not going to be handed to our children. We have to earn it. And they're going to have to earn it. 1783 the war had virtually ended in October of 1781. Cornwallis was defeated at Yorktown. But on March 10th, 1783, the Continental army under George Washington had a list of grievances, people who had been left to die, people who hadn't been paid. They didn't have any shoes. They had nothing. They were betrayed by their congress. No food. Congress had no action on trying to pay them. March 10th was the day that he was given a piece of paper. On it was a written call for a meeting of a general and the field officers the next day and among this call was an anonymous letter circulated among the officers in the camp, a fiery appeal, later known as the Newburgh Address, an unsigned document that urged the officers that unless their demands were met, they should refuse to disband when the war ended. And that if the war continued, they would retire to some unsettled country and leave congress without an army. The next day, the next day the general issued general orders denouncing the irregular invitation and the disorderly proceedings. He was saddened.

On the 15th he faced the prospect of a military coup. They had beaten the most fierce army on the planet: The British. The Navy. They had no chance of ever winning. They won. And now they were being treated like garbage by their own country.

It's my favorite story of George Washington. He walked into the proceedings where he wasn't invited. He was beloved, but everybody was angry with him. "You won't let us fight. We can fight. We should fight. They betrayed us."

Washington had just gotten back from congress where he had somebody just write anything on a piece of paper that said, "We're still working on it. Give us more time." As he walked into the room, he reached into his pocket where he had this letter. He fumbled over a few words and sentences, but he couldn't see because his eyes were growing weak. He put on his glasses and he said, gentlemen, quote, you must pardon me. I have grown gray in your service and now find myself growing blind.

He took the oxygen out of the room. No one had ever seen him in his glasses. No one had ever seen him as weak and old and tired. Nobody had really thought what he had given up for the country. He folded the paper back up unread, put it in his pocket, took off his glasses and walked out of the room without saying a word. The coup ended.

I wish I could tell you the rest of the story is everybody got what they deserved, but they didn't. Congress still behaved like congress. When the war officially ended, George Washington was pretty much alone. His troops were still angry at him, but he did the right thing.

It is our turn to do the right thing. I'm going to ask you to join me on a journey this week this is what I believe I have been working toward since we were in Washington and it is one that I have prayed that it would go away. And a few months ago I received a feeling in my prayers, "You're blowing it, dude." But that's okay. I will find someone else. I don't want to do it. But the idea of not honoring a commitment that, when asked, I will serve Him, is more than I can bear. And so I will serve.

There are political reasons to do a whole bunch of stuff, but what I am going to ask you to join me has nothing to do with politics. It simply has everything to do with what's right and what's wrong. It simply has to do with the rights that we all found self‑evident, that we were all endowed by our Creator. We were given them, and no one can take them away. Our children, our grandchildren will remember us if we stand and if we stand in peace. There will be others that will work the political process.

When I was in Israel, somebody said to me, "Now Glenn, how does this work on the political process?" And I told them, "I have no idea. That's not why I'm here." I have no idea how things work politically, but I do know this: If we lose the love for one another, the willingness to embrace one another, if we lose the principles and the values that we all knew they were part of us on 9/12, if we lose what makes us Americans and we already have, on my way to Oklahoma to serve people, the things that people wrote. We're Americans in a time of crisis, all of us, all colors, all creeds, all income levels, all of us. We're brothers and we're sisters, and God will not hold us guiltless. Not to stand is to stand. Not to speak is to speak. I will speak, and I would ask that you would join your voice or allow me to join my voice with yours.

On Wednesday's TV show, Glenn Beck sat down with radio show host, author, political commentator, and film critic, Michael Medved.

Michael had an interesting prediction for the 2020 election outcome: a brokered convention by the DNC will usher in former First Lady Michelle Obama to run against President Donald Trump.

Watch the video below to hear why he's making this surprising forecast:

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On Thursday's "Glenn Beck Radio Program," BlazeTV's White House correspondent Jon Miller described the current situation in Virginia after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and banned people carrying guns at Capitol Square just days before a pro-Second-Amendment rally scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jon told Glenn that Gov. Northam and the Virginia Legislature are "trying to deprive the people of their Second Amendment rights" but the citizens of Virginia are "rising up" to defend their constitutional rights.

"I do think this is the flashpoint," Jon said. "They [Virginia lawmakers] are saying, 'You cannot exercise your rights ... and instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, we are putting pressure. We're trying to escalate it and we're trying to enrage the citizenry even more'."

Glenn noted how Gov. Northam initially blamed the threat of violence from Antifa for his decision to ban weapons but quickly changed his narrative to blame "white supremacists" to vilify the people who are standing up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.

"What he's doing is, he's making all all the law-abiding citizens of Virginia into white supremacists," Glenn said.

"Sadly, that's exactly right," Jon replied. "And I think he knows exactly what he's doing."

Watch the video to catch more of the conversation below:

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Ryan: Trump Louisiana Finale

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

At the end of Trump rallies, I would throw on my Carhartt jacket, sneak out of the press area, then blend in with everyone as they left, filing out through swinging doors.

Often, someone held the door open for me. Just 30 minutes earlier, the same person had most likely had most likely hissed at me for being a journalist. And now they were Sunday smiles and "Oh, yes, thank you, sir" like some redneck concierge.

People flooded out of the arena with the stupidity of a fire drill mishap, desperate to survive.

The air smacked you as soon as you crossed the threshold, back into Louisiana. And the lawn was a wasteland of camping chairs and coolers and shopping bags and to-go containers and soda cans and articles of clothing and even a few tents.

In Monroe, in the dark, the Trump supporters bobbled over mounds of waste like elephants trying to tiptoe. And the trash was as neutral to them as concrete or grass. They plodded over it because it, an object, had somehow gotten in their way.

It did not matter that they were responsible for this wreckage.Out in the sharp-edged moonlight, rally-goers hooted and yapped and boogied and danced, and the bbq food truck was all smoke and paper plates.

They were even more pumped than they had been before the rally, like 6,000 eight year olds who'd been chugging Mountain Dew for hours. Which made Donald Trump the father, the trooper, God of the Underworld, Mr. Elite, Sheriff on high horse, the AR-15 sticker of the family.

Ritualistic mayhem, all at once. And, there in Louisiana, Trump's supporters had gotten a taste of it. They were all so happy. It bordered on rage.

Still, I could not imagine their view of America. Worse, after a day of strange hostilities, I did not care.

My highest priority, my job as a reporter, was to care. To understand them and the world that they inhabit. But I did not give a damn and I never wanted to come back.

Worst of all, I would be back. In less than a week.

Was this how dogs felt on the 4th of July? Hunched in a corner while everyone else gets drunk and launches wailing light into the sky? configurations of blue and red and white.

It was 10:00 p.m. and we'd been traveling since 11:00 a.m., and we still had 5 hours to go and all I wanted was a home, my home, any home, just not here, in the cold sweat of this nowhere. Grey-mangled sky. No evidence of planes or satellites or any proof of modern-day. Just century-old bridges that trains shuffled over one clack at a time.

And casinos, all spangles and neon like the 1960s in Las Vegas. Kitchy and dumb, too tacky for lighthearted gambling. And only in the nicer cities, like Shreveport, which is not nice at all.

And swamp. Black water that rarely shimmered. Inhabited by gadflies and leeches and not one single fish that was pretty.

Full of alligators, and other killing types. The storks gnawing on frogs, the vultures never hungry. The coyotes with nobody to stop them and so much land to themselves. The roaches in the wild, like tiny wildebeests.

Then, the occasional deer carcass on the side of the road, eyes splayed as if distracted, tongue out, relaxed but empty. The diseased willows like skeletons in hairnets. The owls that never quit staring. A million facets of wilderness that would outlive us all.

Because Nature has poise. It thrives and is original.

Because silence is impossible. Even in an anechoic chamber, perfectly soundproofed, you can hear your own heartbeat, steady as a drum. A never-ending war.

I put "Headache" by Grouper on repeat as we glided west. We were deadlocked to asphalt, rubber over tarface.

And I thought about lines from a Rita Dove poem titled "I have been a stranger in a strange land"

He was off cataloging the universe, probably,
pretending he could organize
what was clearly someone else's chaos.

Wasn't that exactly what I was doing? Looking for an impossible answer, examining every single accident, eager for meaning? telling myself, "If it happens and matters the next year, in America, I want to be there, or to know what it means. I owe it to whoever cares to listen."

Humans are collectors and I had gone overboard.

Because maybe this wasn't even my home. These landmarks, what did they mean? Was I obvious here? When I smiled, did I trick them into believing that I felt some vague sense of approval? Or did my expressions betray me?

Out in all that garbage-streaked emptiness — despite the occasional burst of passing halogen — I couldn't tell if everything we encountered was haunted or just old, derelict, broken, useless. One never-ending landfill.

Around those parts, they'd made everything into junk. Homes. Roads. Glass. Nature. Life itself, they made into junk.

I cringed as we passed yet another deer carcass mounded on the side of the road.

As written in Job 35:11,

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?

Nobody. Look at nature and you feel something powerful. Look at an animal, in all of its untamable majesty, and you capture a deep love, all swept up in the power of creation. But, here, all I saw were poor creatures who people had slammed into and kept driving. Driving to where? For what reason? What exactly was so important that they left a trail of dead animals behind them?

So I crossed myself dolorously and said an "Our Father" and recited a stanza from Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart"

you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

Out here, nothing but darkness. Needing some light, by God. Give me something better than a Moon that hides like an underfed coward.

Jade told me about some of the more traumatic things she'd seen while working at the State Fair.

"Bro, they pull roaches out of the iced lemonade jugs and act like nothing happened."

"All right but what about the corn dogs?"

"You do not want to know, little bro."

She looked around in the quiet. "Back in the day, the Louisiana Congress refused to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21," she said. "They didn't want to lose all that drunk gambler money. So the federal government cut off funding to highways."

We glided through moon-pale landscape for an hour before I realized what she had meant. That there weren't any light poles or billboards along the road. Nothing to guide us or distract us. Just us, alone. And it felt like outer space had collapsed, swallowed us like jellybeans.

Like two teenagers playing a prank on the universe.

In the cozy Subaru Crosstrek, in the old wild night, brimming with the uncertainty of life and the nonchalance of failure, we paraded ourselves back to Dallas. Alive in the river silence that follows us everywhere.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Next, the Iowa caucuses. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

The Iowa primary is just around the corner, and concerns of election interference from the last presidential election still loom. Back in 2016, The Associated Press found that a majority of U.S. elections systems still use Windows 7 as an operating system, making them highly susceptible to bugs and errors. And last year, a Mississippi voter tried multiple times to vote for the candidate of his choice, but the system continuously switched his vote to the other candidate. It's pretty clear: America's voting systems desperately need an update.

That's where blockchain voting comes in.

Blockchain voting is a record-keeping system that's 100% verifiable and nearly impossible to hack. Blockchain, the newest innovation in cybersecurity, is set to grow into a $20 billion industry by 2025. Its genius is in its decentralized nature, distributing information throughout a network of computers, requiring would-be hackers to infiltrate a much larger system. Infiltrating multiple access points spread across many computers requires a significant amount of computing power, which often costs more than hackers expect to get in return.

Blockchain voting wouldn't allow for many weak spots. For instance, Voatz, arguably the leading mobile voting platform, requires a person to take a picture of their government-issued ID and a picture of themselves before voting (a feature, of course, not present in vote-by-mail, where the only form of identity verification is a handwritten signature, which is easily forgeable). Voters select their choices and hit submit. They then receive an immediate receipt of their choices via email, another security feature not present in vote-by-mail, or even in-person voting. And because the system operates on blockchain technology, it's nearly impossible to tamper with.

Votes are then tabulated, and the election results are published, providing a paper trail, which is a top priority for elections security experts.

The benefits of blockchain voting can't be dismissed. Folks can cast their vote from the comfort of their homes, offices, etc., vastly increasing the number of people who can participate in the electoral process. Two to three-hour lines at polling places, which often deter voters, would become significantly diminished.

Even outside of the voting increase, the upsides are manifold. Thanks to the photo identification requirements, voter fraud—whether real or merely suspected—would be eliminated. The environment would win, too, since we'd no longer be wasting paper on mail-in ballots. Moreover, the financial burden on election offices would be alleviated, because there's decreased staff time spent on the election, saving the taxpayer money.

From Oregon to West Virginia, elections offices have already implemented blockchain voting, and the results have been highly positive. For example, the city of Denver utilized mobile voting for overseas voters in their 2019 municipal elections. The system was secure and free of technical errors, and participants reported that it was very user-friendly. Utah County used the same system for their 2019 primary and general elections. An independent audit revealed that every vote that was cast on the app was counted and counted correctly. These successful test cases are laying the groundwork for even larger expansions of the program in 2020.

With this vital switch, our elections become significantly more secure, accurate, and efficient. But right now, our election infrastructure is a sitting duck for manipulation. Our current lack of election integrity undermines the results of both local and national elections, fans the flames of partisanship, and zaps voter confidence in the democratic system. While there's never a silver bullet or quick fix to those kinds of things, blockchain voting would push us much closer to a solution than anything else.

Chris Harelson is the Executive Director at Prosperity Council and a Young Voices contributor.