‘I will stand proudly with Glenn Beck’: Liberal educator defends her friendship with Glenn

Glenn’s new book CONFORM: Exposing the Truth About Common Core and Public Education seeks to offer parents, teachers, and students the facts they need to take back the debate and help usher in a new era of education built around the common sense principles of choice, freedom, and accountability.

As Glenn has discussed, Common Core and the problems with the American education system is an issue that has united those on the left and right. Last month, Glenn welcomed former Florida educator and founder of ConversationED.com Kathleen Jasper to the program to discuss her experience in the public education system and the work she is now doing to fight back.

Jasper is a former high school teacher and assistant principle, who began to grow disenfranchised under the George W. Bush Administration because of the volume of testing programs like No Child Left Behind required. The implementation of the Common Core standards further exacerbated the problem, and though Jasper identifies herself as a liberal, she appreciates the solutions Glenn’s book CONFORM offers parents and teachers.

Glenn has since invited Jasper to join him, Michelle Malkin, David Barton, and others in Dallas on July 22 for the We Will Not Conform live Fathom event that seeks to offer clear, tangible solutions to some of the problems facing the education system today.

Learn more about We Will Not Conform HERE.

Over the weekend, Jasper penned a blog post for her website entitled “The Two Things Sarah Palin and I Agree On” announcing the invitation she received from Glenn and explaining why, “regardless of his views,” she will forever consider Glenn a friend.

“I want to start with a positive today… That is from a website called Conversation Ed, and it's by Kathleen Jasper… She is one of the real leaders on the anti-Common Core front in Florida and now around the country,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “She's somebody I think who has tremendous credibility and tremendous honor and courage, even though, again, we disagree with each other on very fundamental things.”

Below is an excerpt from the article:

In 2010 I saw an article in TIME Magazine by Sarah Palin about Glenn Beck. I grimaced, “This should be good.”

As I read, she gushed over Mr. Beck, “Glenn’s like the high school government teacher so many wish they’d had, charting and connecting ideas with chalk-dusted fingers — kicking it old school — instead of becoming just another talking-heads show host.”

[…]

4 years after I read Ms. Palin’s article, I received a call from Glenn Beck’s producer to do an interview with Mr. Beck on his show. I always knew I would be on a national news program talking about education. I just assumed it would be Rachel Maddow or Morning Joe – a safe haven for liberals like me. Not on a conservative network like the BLAZE.

But I’m open-minded and willing to talk to just about anyone who wants to help me push this education movement forward.

[…]

When I finally met Mr. Beck, right before we shot the TV segment, he was quiet and kind – holding both of my hands while he gave me a thoughtful handshake. He was not at all the crazy personality I thought he would be from the FOX News Network.

As we went live on his show, he gave me a microphone and a camera knowing I disagreed with him on most issues. He let me talk about what I wanted for over 15 minutes on two separate shows. After it was all over, he complemented me and gave me a hug. He told me we would work together again soon.

[…]

As soon as I could, without being rude, I checked Facebook and twitter. Messages were coming in like crazy. Then I checked the website and saw people were making donations to our cause. Right-winged, Tea-Party Christians, who knew I disagreed with them ideologically, were sending ConversationED money. I received email after email of kind words and even prayers.

[…]

Even more exciting, Glenn Beck has invited me back to Dallas to participate in a Fathom event on July 22 called We Will Not Conform. It is an event about solutions and how we can get people motivated and inspired to move this revolution forward. More importantly it’s about action. In fact, there will be a plan for people to access so they can immediately start taking the necessary steps to stop Common Core and high-stakes testing.

[…]

So I will stand proudly with Glenn Beck on this issue and be grateful he gave me the opportunity to have my voice and message heard. This man treated me with respect and dignity on his set and provided me the platform necessary to have my voice heard. I am a loyal girl; so regardless of his views I will forever be his friend.

Read the full post HERE.

While both Jasper and Glenn are quick to recognize their ideological differences, they are willing to overlook those things because the cause that unites them is greater than those that could divide them. It is this willingness to come together that Glenn believes is the future.

“This is where I think we're headed… I was thinking about the border and it really kind of fits into this story as well,” Glenn said. “We're not even talking about our citizenship in the United States. We're talking about our party affiliation. We don't even get up to our citizenship. We feel that our party is more important than our country, which is such a lie. I don't even know how we got there.”

“But we have two citizenships,” he continued. “One is for the United States of America. And the other one is an eternal citizenship. It's a citizenship that gives us access to the eternal. And too many times we're looking at our citizenship here in the country and we forget about our other citizenship.”

As we have moved away from a national identity to a more political, party-based identity, Glenn believes we have lost sight of the duty we have to one another. If we can begin to move past party and politics again, however, there is a chance to get back on track.

“The reason why I say this relates to Kathleen – and maybe Kathleen doesn't speak this kind of language at all. I don't know if she believes in God or not. If you don't believe in God, I guess you can say you have a citizenship in mankind, in the human race,” Glenn said. “But her friends, the people on ‘her side’… are the ones who are saying, ‘Don't even look at your citizenship as a country.’ That's the problem we have.”

“What do the parties mean in comparison to what's happening in the world? What loyalty do we have to the Democrats or the Republicans? What loyalty do they have to us? Tell me,” he continued. “African-Americans, what loyalty does the Democratic Party have to you… Detroit, is your life better because you've been under Democratic rule… All of these giant cities that are decaying and rotting and have no hope in the future because of their institutions that they have trusted and empowered. Is your life better because of that?”

The themes of healing and redemption appear throughout the Bible.

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. — 1 Corinthians 15:43
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. — Mark 2:17.

So, for many Christians, it's no surprise to hear that people of faith live longer lives.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. — Jeremiah 17:14.

But it is certainly lovely to hear, and a recent study by a doctoral student at Ohio State University is just one more example of empirical evidence confirming the healing benefits of faith and religious belief.

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Moreover, the study finds that religious belief can lengthen a person's life.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! — Isaiah 38:16

The study analyzed over 1,000 obituaries nationwide and found that people of faith lived longer than people who were not religious. Laura Wallace, lead author of the study, noted that "religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life."

The study notes that, "people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not, which shrunk to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered."

And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. — Matthew 10:1

"The researchers found that part of the reason for the boost in longevity came from the fact that many religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previous research has linked to living longer. The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives," said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

In addition, the study showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live, Way said.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. — Luke 5:17
Heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you. — Luke 10:9.

In early June, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual report on the fiscal health of these programs, and the situation looks dire. Medicare is scheduled to run out of money in 2026 (three years sooner than anticipated), while Social Security is expected to run out in 2034. The rising national debt is only one of the well-known financial struggles the millennial generation faces. The burdens of student loan debt, high housing prices (thanks to zoning restrictions), stagnant wage growth, the rising cost of healthcare and lingering aftershocks of the Great Recession are among the biggest sources of economic anxiety millennials feel.

Progressive politicians have been very successful at courting the youth vote, partly because they actually promote policy ideas that address many of these concerns. As unrealistic or counterproductive as Senator Bernie Sanders' proposals for single-payer health care or a $15 an hour minimum wage might be, they feel in theory like they would provide the economic stability and prosperity millennials want.

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Republicans, on the other hand, have struggled to craft a message to address these concerns. Fiscal conservatives recognize, correctly, that the burden of the $20 trillion national debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities will fall on millennials. Some conservatives have even written books about that fact. But the need to reform entitlements hasn't exactly caught millennials' attention. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, in her book The Selfie Vote, notes that millennials generally view protecting the safety net as more important than reducing the deficit.

Clearly, Republicans have a problem. They need to craft solutions that address the millennial generation's struggles, but they can't seem to sell entitlement reform, their biggest policy preference that addresses those problems. The Republican approach to wooing millennials on policy is failing because talking about stopping the debt from reaching an unsustainable level is long-term and abstract, and offers few immediate tangible benefits. A new approach to both pave the way for entitlement reform and give millennials an immediate financial boost is to first reform not entitlement spending, but the payroll tax: specifically, by partially (or wholly) replacing it with a value-added tax.

Under the current Social Security model, workers pay for the benefits of current retirees through the payroll tax. This system creates the illusion of a pension program, in which what you put in is what you get out, but in reality Social Security is a universal safety net program for the elderly paid for by taxes. The payroll tax falls on workers and is a tax on labor, while the value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on consumption imposed at every part of the production process. Assuming that this policy change is revenue-neutral, switching to a VAT will shift the responsibility for funding Social Security and Medicare away from workers, disproportionately poorer and younger, and onto everyone participating in the economy as a whole. Furthermore, uncoupling Social Security funding from payroll taxes would pave the way for fiscal reforms to transform the program from a universal benefit program to one geared specifically to eliminating old-age poverty, such as means-testing benefits for high-income beneficiaries, indexing benefits to prices rather than wages or changing the retirement age.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences. As the Tax Policy Center notes, the change would actually make the tax system more progressive. The current payroll tax is regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes tend to pay a higher effective tax rate than people with higher incomes. On the other hand, the value-added tax is much closer to proportional than the payroll tax, meaning that each income group pays closer to the same effective tax rate.

For Republicans, such a change would fit conservative economic ideas about the long-run causes of economic growth. A value-added tax has a much broader base than the payroll tax, and therefore would allow for much lower marginal tax rates, and lower marginal tax rates mean smaller disincentives to economic activity. According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of a value-added tax, the VAT would be a more economically efficient revenue source than most other taxes currently in the tax code.

Not only would replacing part or all of the payroll tax provide an immediate benefit to millennial taxpayers, it would also open the door for the much-needed entitlement reforms that have been so politically elusive. Furthermore, it would make the tax code both more pro-growth and less regressive. In order to even begin to address the entitlement crisis, win millennial support and stimulate the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, Republicans must propose moving from the payroll tax to the VAT.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate. His writing has appeared in Townhall and The Federalist. He is a federal policy intern at the Tax Foundation. Opinions expressed here are his only and not the views of the Tax Foundation. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Glenn was joined by Alanna Sarabia from "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios on Thursday for an exclusive look at Mercury Museum's new "Rights & Responsibilities" exhibit. Open through Father's Day, the temporary museum features artifacts from pop culture, America's founding, World Ward II and more, focusing on the rights and responsibilities America's citizens.

Get tickets and more information here.

Watch as Glenn gives a sneak peek at some of the unique artifacts on display below.

History at the Mercury Museum

Alanna Sarabia interviews Glenn Beck for "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios.

Several months ago, at the Miss Universe competition, two women took a selfie, then posted it on Instagram. The caption read, "Peace and love." As a result of that selfie, both women faced death threats, and one of the women, along with her entire family, had to flee her home country. The occasion was the 2017 Miss Universe competition, and the women were Miss Iraq and Miss Israel. Miss Iraq is no longer welcome in her own country. The government threatened to strip her of her crown. Of course, she was also badgered for wearing a bikini during the competition.

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In an interview, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, said:

When I posted the picture I didn't think for a second there would be blowback. I woke up to calls from my family and the Miss Iraq Organization going insane. The death threats I got online were so scary. The director of the Miss Iraq Organization called me and said they're getting heat from the ministry. He said I have to take the picture down or they will strip me of my title.

Yesterday, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posted another selfie with Miss Israel, during a visit to Jerusalem.

In an interview, she said that:

I don't think Iraq and Israel are enemies; I think maybe the governments are enemies with each other. There's a lot of Iraqi people that don't have a problem with Israelis.

This is, of course, quite an understatement: Iraq, home to roughly 15,000 Palestinians, refuses to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate country, as it is technically at war with Israel. The adages says that a picture is worth a thousand words. What are we to do when many of those words are hateful or deadly? And how can we find the goodness in such bad situations?