What does the rest of the world look like? Glenn reflects on his Mexican vacation

Last week, Glenn and his family headed south of the border for a week on the beach in Mexico. Staying at a friend’s home in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta, Glenn could not help but notice the abject poverty that existed in a major metropolis not all that far from the U.S. border. On radio this morning, Glenn explained that he returned to the United States fearful he had just witnessed our country’s future. The thing that has always made America different, the thing that has always made America great is our Constitution. But if we continue further down the road we are on, the U.S. will be no different than any other failed socialist country in the world.

I spent my vacation in Mexico, and I haven't been to Mexico in I don't know how long. I think it's been at least 10 years... But my wife planned a 50th birthday party for me, so we went down to a friend who had a vacation place down there… It was an eye-opening experience. Mexico has changed.

I was down to Puerto Vallarta. The situation there is nothing short of tragic. It's really truly amazing the abject poverty. It is mind-boggling. I talked to the guy who was driving us from the airport, and we had quite a conversation between the two of us. He made $12 a day… We looked at the buildings and, not kidding you, the machine gun turrets on top of some of the buildings, the shanties that were around and the people begging in the middle of the street. Going from car to car…

But I couldn't help but think: Southern California is just right up the coast. It's not very far at all. What happens at the border? What is the difference between our two countries? And it is certainly not the people. I asked the driver… what's going on here and not in the United States or vice versa. What's the difference between that border? He thought for a while. And I was shocked. He said: Resources. You know, [the U.S. has] oil and good land. It's our good land and it's our oil? Really… The growing season mostly tropical Mexico is nearly year-round. Are they really hampered by a lack of resources or is there something else at play here?

The answer, of course, is something I've been thinking about all week… It's not our oil resources. We have been greatly blessed with those things. But there are many nations who have great natural resources. So what is it? What is it that sets us apart? You know the answer. I know the answer. It's the Constitution of the United States. That's what it is. That's what spread this throughout the world: The Constitution.

[…]

Now, I was going to the WalMart about three days in, and I happened to talk to another driver. And I said, ‘What is it about your country versus our country?’ He said, ‘Our country, our government, keeps you down. Our government doesn't allow you to be able to be who you are.’ He said this to me as we were driving by a vegetable stand that the government owns. And forces all of the farmers to sell all of their vegetables at this particular government-owned vegetable stand. They don't allow you to be who you are… Everybody in Mexico experiences income inequality, yet they're a socialized country. And everybody seems to be doing equally bad except for those few, the tiniest fraction of elitists… Same can be said for the Soviet Union before it collapsed, China before their capitalism hybrid, North Korea, Cuba, and every other socialist equality preaching nation.

Socialists in America today always, always point to Finland and Sweden or Norway. Well, that's where socialism is working, right? Is it? Is it really? Do they have the freedom that we enjoy? Do they have the lifestyle that we enjoy? In Norway, for example, the average monthly income is just over $7,000. Well, that's fantastic. Until you look at their taxes. Their take home pay is just over $3,300. $7,000, their take home pay is $3,300. So the average Norwegian pays 53% in income tax. But wait, there's more. Norwegians also have the privilege of routinely paying between $9 and $10 a gallon for gas. Oh, and there's a 14% VAT tax on food. Cars are nearly unobtainably expensive, so at least that makes the gas tax a little best relevant. Housing is so ridiculously expensive and so is entertainment. But I mean, really, who cares? I mean they're spreading the wealth out, right? II mean somebody has to pay for all of the service that Norway offers. And it is those services paid for on the backs of every Norwegian that the U.N. Development Program loves so much, that they continually list Norway as the number one place in the world to live…

When I went over these stats with my kids yesterday as we were getting ready to leave Mexico. And I told them a little bit about Norway. And my son-in-law said, ‘Why would anybody work? What's the incentive?’ And I said, ‘Work is one thing. But why risk anything? Why risk? Why roll the dice? Why even think about inventing something, making a better toothbrush, doing anything?’ There is no substitute for the foundation laid by our Founders. Yet from inside our own borders, we hear a constraint refrain of income inequality and collectivism, which is just another word for socialism. Income equal. Equal outcomes for all. Just another way to promote communism and communism is just socialism on steroids.

All Americans should fight against socialism and communism with all their might. It is soul crushing. It is economy busting. It is freedom robbing. Socialistic, communistic ideology. Quite honestly, it is the greatest enemy to mankind. It is the greatest evil we face in the world today, and somebody has to start saying it because somehow or another in our own country it has been laundered. It has been white washed. It has been sugarcoated…

Today's American progressives, who are no more or less than communists with patience… That's the progressive movement: Communists with patience. They can't allow the American people to know their true designs of what they really have in mind for our nation. If the American people ever came to understanding of where progressives well want to take us, they would see them as an enemy to the Constitution of the United States, which they are…

But if they can keep you focused on what they can do for you with somebody else's tax dollars, they can keep you distracted from the truth that they're pursuing… Has there ever been in world history a socialist or communist nation that provided more freedom than was provided by our Founding Fathers… We have to ask ourselves, what did God intend for this country? Should we even ask that question? What is it that He intended? How is it that our neighbor across the border can be in such darkness? Is it really just our resources? How can we get it back to what He intended? Maybe the only way to do that is to actually read what he says about it. And then whether you like it or not, do those things and stand against those who are desperately trying to tear us down… We will become more like the rest of the world. You want to know what the rest of the world looks like? Take a gander at Mexico.

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.

Get tickets and learn more about the event here.

The general sale period will be Friday, August 16 at 10:00 AM MDT. Stay tuned to for updates. We look forward to sharing in the Christmas spirit with you!