UPDATED: ‘It is a horrifying place to be’: Glenn reflects on his visit to the Rio Grande River with Louie Gohmert

Update: On Glenn's TV show Monday night, he played video from his visit with Rep. Gohmert:

Original Story:

Before the sun had even risen on Saturday, Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) took Glenn to the border in McAllen, Texas. Met by a pungent stench and piles of discarded clothing and personal items, Glenn toured the scorpions and rattlesnake-ridden bank of the Rio Grande River. It took just a few moments for Glenn to realize anyone – politician or otherwise – claiming the border is secure is telling “the biggest lie.” On radio this morning, Glenn recounted the life changing impact of this 4am trip.

Below is an edited transcript of the monologue and some pictures from the border:

It was a powerful weekend for those of us here at Mercury and those who volunteered their time and went down to the border. We went down with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). It was pretty shocking. And I want to take you through a few things.

I want to take you through, first, what we did when we first got there at 4 o’clock in the morning. We went to the border. Anything about anybody telling you that the border is secure is the biggest lie you've ever heard in your life. It is so far out of control. It's incomprehensible.

1407016_01_137Photo Credit: George Lange/Lange Studio 

Two hours before we got there, there were .50 caliber machine gun rounds were lobbed on to the American side by the drug cartels. .50 caliber machine gun. I don't know. Does that sound like a secure border? The reason why that was happening is they were laying down suppressing fire while they smuggled illegals in. And I want to ask you one question that I think will change your view of what's happening on the border.

Right now we all think about is what's happening with these illegals coming across and swimming across the Rio Grande. And we think about these people who have traveled 30 days on foot. And then they pay $7,000 for a family to go across the Rio Grande. Have we thought about that $7,000 and where that $7,000 is going? The things that our government is now encouraging through their lack of enforcement is reprehensible. So these families go across the river. How do they afford $7,000? They can't. So then how do they get across? They pay the drug lords $3,000 and the drug lords say, ‘Don't worry about it. You know what? You just get over and then we'll work it out.’ Now, what does that mean? I mean, it is Al Capone stuff. You owe us a favor, and so I'm going to call on you and you're going to do these things or I'll kill your whole family. Or they come in and they are doing the drug lords' business here in the United States. Those are two options. I'm sure there are more. But those are two options.

So how do we stop this? Well, we have to be clear on the border. We have to be clear that you don't stay here. But that's not happening anytime soon. Nobody in Washington has any interest. I shouldn't say nobody. The guys I was with, they have interest. But very few people have interest in actually stopping this, because there's a lot of money to be made. And there's a lot of political votes to be had before you just stop what's going on.

Here's the question that I asked. I haven't received an answer on this. We were driving underneath the International Bridge at 4 o’clock in the morning. We are in the woods. We're right at the river. We are looking over the river to Mexico. We're hearing the sounds of coyotes and chickens. I mean actual coyotes, not human coyotes, and chickens in the morning. We're hearing the wild dogs running through this area. It's hot. It's humid. It's 4am. We're seeing the rafts. We're seeing the little teeny children's life jackets that have been discarded all over, piles of them, all over the border. One of them had a scorpion on top of it. There are tarantulas and rattlesnakes. We were told, ‘Make sure you're wearing boots. Make sure you wear long sleeves and you button up your collars.’ It's horrible. It is a horrifying place to be.

1407016_01_089Photo Credit: George Lange/Lange Studio 

The border guards have to go and clean this area up all the time. They haven't had the time to go pick up the sacks of clothes that have been left by them after they cleaned it up. It is a mess. As we're in this area, there is this mile-long international bridge. And it goes from the Mexican side to the American side. And at the end of this bridge is the I.N.S., the border security. Now, we have been told the whole time, ‘All you have to do is come over and turn yourself in. They are seeking out our border patrol.’ Now, two hours before we got to the border, at 2:00am or midnight, somewhere in this area, there was suppressing fire fired into the American side with .50 caliber machine gun. Now, why is that happening? Hang on. Come back to the bridge for a second. They're smuggling people across the water, and those people are looking for the border patrol to turn themselves in and say, ‘I'm here because I'm escaping oppression.’ That's what we're told, right?

1407016_01_123Photo Credit: George Lange/Lange Studio 

Why are they going across the river when there's a bridge right there that is free? You don't have to pay anybody to smuggle you across the bridge, all you have to do is take your family and walk across the bridge and go to the same exact people and say, ‘I'm escaping oppression. I need help.’ And they let you in. Why are they coming across the river? They're coming across the river because the drug cartels benefit from it. The drug cartels will never hear any message except the message from the government of the United States of America. I said, ‘How can we tell the people to stop?’ And the border patrol laughed at me. You're not going to be able to. ‘Do you have the resources that the United States government or the drug cartels have?’ Well, of course not. You're not going to be able to beat the drug cartels with a message. The message the drug cartels want is, ‘Come to us. We will get you across.’ They're making money on this.

More importantly, why are they hitting us with .50 caliber machine gun rounds? Why are they doing it? Why are they on boats? They'll take the weakest swimmer, the one who cannot swim, and when they're coming across the boat with all of these people who paid them, they take the weakest swimmer and throw them out of the boat. They do it so the border agents have to swarm. They only throw that person down into the river so they'll die, so the border patrol – out of compassion – have to come. But then they have their people on the other side. It's called rocking. And what they do is they stand around with stones. And they start pelting our border agents with stones as they're trying to save that individual. They're trying to drive all the border patrol into that one area – misdirection – so people elsewhere can smuggle God only knows what across our border.

1407016_01_114Photo Credit: George Lange/Lange Studio 

So if you don't care about the border because of the people coming across, somebody on the left has got to care about the border because of what else is coming across. And if you don't care about securing our border, let me tell you two stories. Let me tell you about the 15-year-old boy that was found on the shores of the Rio Grande. The 15-year-old boy that was found dumped on the side of the river. Our side. Where was his parents? I don't know. Where was his family? I don't know. How did he get across? I don't know. He was strapped to a wheelchair, and he's a quadriplegic. He couldn't move anything but his head. Luckily, the border patrol found him, dumped off on the American side of the river. Everybody else had left. But the cartels or smugglers completed their contract. They dumped him and his wheelchair face down on the side of the river. The kid would have died had it not been for the border patrol that actually found him. It was 110 heat index when we were there. It's one of the hottest places I've ever been. You don't have water. You die.

Ask yourself: Why aren't people just coming over the bridge? Once you answer that question, you realize what's really going on. I'm going to give you another question: Why is it the president of the United States wants you to know there's a humanitarian crisis? He's the first one to declare it. ‘There's a humanitarian crisis on the border.’ Correct? We've all heard that. We've all heard the left making a very big deal out of it. Why is it no one in the press is allowed to see it? It has been something that has bothered me until I went down.

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.