‘You may disagree with me…’ Glenn explains his personal journey as of late

Over the last few months, Glenn has heard from supporters and detractors about the position he has taken on a number of issues. On radio this morning, Glenn sought to further clarify where he is headed both personally and professionally as he laid out the values and principles that inform his life. While he understands not everyone will agree with his logic, he felt it was necessary to explain his journey.

Below is an edited transcript of the monologue:

I want to take you on a journey with me today. If you've been listening to me for a while, you're not going to be surprised by this journey at all. But I think we started something last week.

When I first learned about the Bundy ranch, we were looking into it. And it was a Saturday when it was all coming to a head. I got up in the morning, and I was watching it, and I heard in my head, ‘So it begins.’ And I don't know what it means to you. I don't even know what it means to me right now. But I've been avoiding some things for about five years that I don't want to do. And, honestly, it's not that I don't want to do them as much as I don't know how to do them.

I'm not a perfect guy by any stretch of the imagination. I'm not a preacher. I am barely even a man of God. I'm just not that guy. And I'm not a guy who leads things. I mean we started the 9/12 Project, and I said, 'It's yours.' It's just not me.

But something has begun. And what has begun is the things that I have seen coming for a long time. The anti-Semitism, the hatred, the split between us that is The Coming Insurrection, and I have not had a solution for you. I've had little solutions, but I have not had a solution for you. And I've been telling you, ‘We're passing all the exits,’ and that has made me more and more withdrawn, mainly because I know the answer and it's: I don't want to do it. I don't want to do it.

But nobody else is. And I've come to a place where it doesn't matter if anybody else does it. It's where I have to be. You may not join me on this journey, and you may disagree with me. That's fine. There's no condemnation. There might be anger on my part, but it's only because I'm a flawed human being. And I say ‘anger.’ I mean, occasionally I'll fly off the handle and can't understand why people might not see it. And that's okay. In the end, I might be wrong. I don't know. But I know it's where I'm supposed to stand.

We cannot build the future that I see and that I think you believe in. And when I say that, I don't mean I have some vision of some utopia. It's just the future where our kids play together, where people do judge our kids by the content of their character, not the color of their skin, not if they're conservative or liberal or Christian or atheist or Jewish anything else – just, what is their character? We have not accomplished that, and we cannot accomplish building that future if we are constantly looking behind at the past and blaming everything on people.

Look, there's lots of blame to go around. I had this conversation with somebody. They were like, ‘I'm not going to be blamed for this.’ Why are we talking about blame? Let's fix the problem. How are we going to do anything if we keep looking back and saying, ‘Hey, it's not me. You got to get that guy.’ Stop it.

There was never a rally sign. There was never a single rally that changed the world, that won a revolution. And, quite honestly, no revolution really is ever won. No revolution is ever won by guns. Revolutions that are won by guns are like the French Revolution or the Cultural Revolution in China. You don't want to be a part of any of those. The revolution in Russia, you don't want to be a part of that. That's not a revolution you want anyone to fight or win. A revolution that wins and the one that you want to be a part of, is the one that ends like the American Revolution – and that one didn't start with guns. That one started with ideas. The idea that we're all created equal. What does that mean? That you judge a man on the content of his character, that we're all coming to the table, we're all the same. They had flaws. They had slaves. We don't have slaves. We can do it this time.

And there are millions of Americans who believe that all men are created equal. I don't care what other people say. I don't care about the Klan. I don't care about the anti-Semites. I don't care about them. They will find themselves in the dustbin of history if we can stop giving them so much time in power. Let's empower the people that actually believe all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain rights. Life. You cannot take my life from me. Liberty. You can't throw me in jail without a just court. And the pursuit of happiness. I get to keep the fruits of my labors. I do the things that I have inside of me. And if you don't like it, you don't want to go along with it, it's okay.

Those were the ideas, but they're only won when they're forwarded by men and women of integrity. How many of us have integrity? It's really hard to have. They're only won when they're forwarded by people of compassion. How many of us have compassion? Compassion really counts when you don't want to do it. And courage. How many of us are even afraid to say anything now because of a label? Justice and mercy. Justice falls apart when there is no mercy. Justice falls apart when a society goes so cold they no longer pay any attention, when the people fall into iniquity. The people in power know they don't have to do justice anymore because nobody is keeping them in check. So they don't care about mercy. Mercy does not come from a government. Mercy comes from the human heart. It must come from us.

It's what made America great. We were good. We were merciful. We tried to do the right thing. And doing the right thing really only matters when it goes against what you want to do, what you like to do, goes against your best interests. That's when it really counts. Doing good when somebody is watching, doing good when it's in your best interest, that's nice and everything, but doing good when it's against what you want to do, that's when it matters. That's when there's a man of integrity behind it.

As JFK said, we don't do the things because they're easy; we do them because they are hard. We have to look forward, not back. We have to do the things that are not for us, but for others. And when I say that – not for your particular group. If it's for your group, then you're getting a benefit out of it. You have to be doing the things and I have to be doing the things and I trust God will take care of my group.

My group is taken care of because I'm concentrating on others. And if we can get the Jews to worry about the Christians and the Christians to worry about the Jews and the atheists to worry about the Christians and Christians and the Jews to worry about the atheists, and we're protecting those inalienable rights for all men, and we look at our rights last and look at our responsibilities first – we win. We win. And the world changes. Period.

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?