Glenn reacts to the op-ed ‘every American should see’

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal published a letter from billionaire venture capitalist Tom Perkins in which he compares the progressive war on the one percent in America today to Nazi Germany’s singling out of Jews in the 1930s. Perkins’ comments have gained so much attention, the venture capital firm he founded has actually denounced his remarks. But on radio this morning, Glenn explained why he agrees with Perkins' sentiment.

“There is an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that came out over the weekend that every American should see,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “I think Tom is right… He is a hero. He is a hero. Somebody needs to say it. It is the same seed.”

The letter, titled “Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?” reads:

Regarding your editorial "Censors on Campus" (Jan. 18): Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its "one percent," namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the "rich."

From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these "techno geeks" can pay. We have, for example, libelous and cruel attacks in the Chronicle on our number-one celebrity, the author Danielle Steel, alleging that she is a "snob" despite the millions she has spent on our city's homeless and mentally ill over the past decades.

This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent "progressive" radicalism unthinkable now?

Tom Perkins

San Francisco

Mr. Perkins is a founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

After the letter was met with ire on various social media platforms, Kleiner Perkins tweeted: ”Tom Perkins has not been involved in KPCB in years. We were shocked by his views expressed today in the WSJ and do not agree.”

Glenn found himself agreeing with Perkins assertion that that ‘truth’ is often difficult to see in the moment, but history ends up telling a very different story. In fact, Glenn did a lesson with his Sunday school class that centered on universal truths and how those truths can be distorted.

When did human beings first realize the earth was round?

Two of the teenagers in Glenn’s class were able to answer that question correctly. It was the ancient Egyptians that first discovered the earth’s circumference, and yet the maps were never updated with that information. Why? Because it didn’t fit the narrative.

“Now, how is it we didn't know that the world is round? How is it that the maps never changed? How is it that in 1492, they were actually saying we could fall off the edge of the earth? Because it didn't fit the narrative of those who were in power,” Glenn said. “So how do you lose truth? Truth is discovered and rediscovered over and over and over and over again… There are three factors I think that makes truths disappear.”

Glenn believes those three factors are fear, ignorance, and greed. And he outlined the danger of each:

1. Force and fear

“How is [truth] lost… One, force and fear. Use force. I will take you and shut you up and lock you in the tower. You can ask anyone from Galileo to Tyndale,” Glenn said. “The king says, the power says: Be quiet or fear… It doesn't have to be the government. It can to be any mob-like mentality that has force over you, can put pressure on you. Step one: Force and fear. That's the way you lose it. “

2. Ignorance and apathy

“We talked about this last week. The National Crimes… Why are they national crimes? They're national crimes because you turn the other way; you stop looking at the truth,” Glenn said. “Kristallnacht was absolutely horrific. Would have never been considered in 1930. But nobody warned… because there were thugs up at the top. They shut people up…

Don't you see? Ignorance, apathy. I don't know. I don't care. National crimes.”

3. Greed and envy

“The first part of this is greed… Greed is not necessarily bad unless it makes you do things that are immoral. Wanting to have more, wanting to be more… that's not bad. But if it makes you do whatever you have to do, even those things are illegal or immoral, then it becomes bad,” Glenn explained. “Then you couple greed with envy because that's the other side of the greed coin. If everybody else is greedy… then envy sets in. Well, they have it and I don't. How come I don't have it? I should take it from them. And then the whole thing burns down.

So how do you avoid the trap of having to consistently rediscover the universal truths? You must ensure you have an engaged and educated population.

“If they don't want it, they won't do it. If they want it, they'll do it,” Glenn said. “When I first started educating myself, I could afford one class at a university. That's all I needed. And then I started using the library. Then I went to the bookstore – when bookstores actually had books in them. And I educated myself. I'm a self-educated man. A lot of people will look down on that. So be it. I'm proud of it.”

“You have everything you need,” he concluded. “We win. Man does not lose those self-evident truths. The moment… people understand they have all they need… we win.”

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

For one night only at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, on December 7th, join internationally-acclaimed radio host and storyteller Glenn Beck as he walks you through tales of Christmas in the way that only he can. There will be laughs, and there might be a few tears. But at the end of the night, you'll leave with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.

Reconnect to the true spirit of Christmas with Glenn Beck, in a storytelling tour de force that you won't soon forget.

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