Glenn: The world has real problems, but we can solve them if we are honest about what really matters

We have a lot of problems in the world, and as I'm watching them spiral out of control this weekend, I thought if we want to solve them, as an alcoholic, first step is you’ve got to admit you have a problem.

And if we’re going to work together, we have to admit that one of our problems is this partisan bickering, and we have to be willing to then say the tough thing, we have to stop this bickering and be honest with one another and acknowledge a few simple truths, that we are not that different, that our neighbors aren’t. There are those fringes, especially in Washington. There’s maybe 10% on each side that is crazy and out-of-control, but our neighbors generally are not.

And we have to be able to discern which issues are really, truly critical and which ones are not, which ones are just political games. And that’s what I want to try to do today because the globe is in a critical condition, and the country is in critical condition. We have Hamas waging war against Israel, and it’s tearing our cities apart. From London to LA, there is rising anti-Semitism in our streets.

The global economy is dismal. Civil unrest is becoming increasingly prevalent all around the country, and here in America it’s almost as though some of these problems don’t even exist. The 44 million Americans who now follow the president on Twitter must feel like things are amazing. Is there anybody that is following the president on Twitter saying, “Gosh, he seems a little out of touch”?

First of all, it was all about his birthday. This weekend’s tweets were all promoting his birthday, nine tweets. And then on the other side, in Hollywood, which prides itself on being relevant and speaking to the critical issues of the day, they’re not concerned with the anti-Semitic protests that were happening right in their backyard. Instead, they seem to be most concerned about who is the next black star? I don’t understand this.

I see some of the headlines from both sides of the aisle, from everybody, and I think really, this is what we’re working on? If we want real progress, if we want real solutions, we have to begin to identify and agree on which issues are critical and which ones are political. I would say most people feel that the border is a very important issue, all Americans across the board, and the economy, jobs. Those are the two things that everybody cares about, but that’s not what we’re hearing about.

Let’s look at the issues now that are being pushed as critical and put them to the test, what’s really important? Right now, the president is campaigning around the country fighting what he calls the defining challenge of our time, and that is battling income inequality.

Okay, I believe these things. I believe that we have to be able to not just feel like, we actually have to be able to work hard and get ahead. If you have a problem with the rich being too rich, well, that’s not a problem that we can ever solve because the government is going to do that. Is it perhaps that one of the basic problems that we have here in America on income inequality is that we don’t understand greed anymore?

If you think that greed is the answer, that the rich just keep getting richer, not because they’ve invented…nobody has a problem with Bill Gates being rich. Look what he’s done. Nobody has a problem with Steve Jobs being rich. Who are you having a problem with? The banks, right? The people on Wall Street, right? Why? Because it’s all about greed, it’s all about the money. It’s not about actually making something, it’s about the money.

And then when they fail, we have to bail them out, so the problem is greed. And is that a problem that the government can solve? Another pressing issue for this administration is workplace fairness. I love this quote, “You shouldn’t be fired because of who you love.” Is there anyone who disagrees with this? Is there anyone that thinks that you should be fired because you’re gay or straight? I don’t know anybody who thinks that way.

I don’t know a single soul that thinks that’s right, and if it’s happening, are people being fired because of who they love at such a clip that the president needs to make this one of our defining issues of the age? That’s not the pressing issue, and if it is, I want to see the stories on it because we can all unite on this one and stop that one this fast. And then there of course is the war on women, “I want my daughters paid the same as your sons for doing the same jobs.” That’s the president.

Well, Mister President, if my daughter was working in the White House, she would not be paid the same as my son for doing the same jobs at the White House. There is income inequality in the White House when it comes to gender. The White House doesn’t even uphold those standards, and there’s a reason for it. And we’re not going to get into all of it, but there’s a reason for it, and he knows. This is a political stunt, political stunt, because nobody disagrees with that.

We somehow or another, we have our daughters, and we don’t think that our daughters should be paid? Of course, every father thinks that. The political parties, both left and right, are using people to forward their political interests, not our national values. When you have people claiming that it’s a war on women because Hobby Lobby covers 16 out of 20 kinds of birth control, and the four that they don’t are related to abortion, that’s not political interest. I mean, that is political interest. That’s not our national values, and it’s certainly not a war on women by Hobby Lobby. It’s a political stunt.

And all that happens is, I mean, the reason why the president is going from place to place, and he’s not going to meet on these big issues, because he’s always busy. Where is he? He’s busy at fundraisers. This is all about money. That’s all this is about money and power. And you get more money and you get more power by driving the wedge further and deeper down.

I love the people that had come out this week because I was on CNN this weekend, and they were talking about how Glenn Beck is now, he’s only doing this for money; he’s only trying to unite people because it’s in his best interests for ratings and money. Oh my gosh, if that were true, the president would be uniting people on every stop. It is division that makes people race under the banner. It’s somebody saying, “I’m being attacked” that makes somebody, you’re being attacked, we’re all going to lose all of this.

I’m telling you we don’t have to lose all of this. I am telling you we all justice. We all want mercy. We have these problems, but we can solve them. We all want reconciliation. We want people to be respected. We want people to love who they want to love without fear of harassment or execution. We want people to have freedom of speech and to be heard so they can differ with one another but do so with respect.

We all want to know that we’re all in it together, and we’re working toward something much greater, and that we’ve been heard along the way, even though people will disagree with us, doesn’t mean we get our way, but we’ve been heard, and that we have control over our own lives. That is something that we all want, we all want. And if we can agree on that, then we can start looking at the real war on women.

Let’s compare the war on women in America where you can’t have an abortion to the war on women in China where you must have an abortion, even though you want to keep the baby, you must have an abortion, or the war on women living in the Middle East and in Africa who are forced to undergo genital mutilation. The locals call it Sunat. It means duty. You want to talk about reproductive rights, I’d say having, you know, you being forced to have yours cut up and partially or totally removed would be pretty high on the list of offenses on a war on women, and it happens to 130 million women worldwide. That is a problem.

In Egypt, harassment is practically a given. The UN reports that 99.3% of women experience sexual harassment. In Syria, thousands of women have been targeted by both the government forces and the rebel groups, and they’re being raped, they’re being used as human shields, they’re being arrested without cause, they’re tortured, they’re kidnapped, they’re murdered. In the past two years, honor killings have claimed the lives of 25 women that live under the Palestinian Authority.

How about all the women that were kidnapped? Remember, return our girls, return our daughters? That’s a war on women, and that’s one we can unite on, both left and right. Which one, Hobby Lobby or the rape and murder of women, 130 million mutilations? Which one is critical? Which one is political? Which one would actually move us forward as a people, as a species?

Gay marriage is defined as a civil rights, that’s an issue now here in America, and there are those who oppose changing the definition of America. And if you oppose, you’re immediately equated to a hatemonger, and you are immediately compared to the racists of the 1960s. Yet, coming out today here in America practically comes with a tickertape parade and a friendly round of media interviews. It’s not exactly courageous.

Look at the guy at the NFL, look what happened to him. That didn’t take a lot of courage. He had a special on Oprah. Courage is coming out in places like Iran where gays are routinely tortured. To be homosexual is against the law. You’re sent to prison or you’re executed in public for being gay.

In Nigeria, being married if you’re gay lands you in prison for 14 years. Homophobia in Russia is on the rise as well with one celebrity going as far as calling for gays to be sent to the gas chambers, and that’s not a nobody celebrity like me, that’s a somebody celebrity. This is a big guy.

Now, let me ask you, you’re talking about gays being sent to gas chambers, you’re talking about the stoning to death in Iran or in Egypt, isn’t this something that the staunchest DOMA supporter and the staunchest GLAAD supporter can link arms on? And wouldn’t it change the world if we actually did that as Americans?

This weekend, I’ve heard nothing but how Israelis are committing genocide, they’re committing genocide of the Palestinian people. They are now worse than Hitler. I love this, they’ve surpassed Hitler in barbarism. That’s saying something. If that’s true, we all can unite and say that’s got to stop. But if they’re engaging in genocide, they’re really, really bad at it.

Gaza is a tiny area of Israel, and Israel has all the firepower. This conflict has been going on forever, and yet the population of Gaza is increasing. Can you tell me how many concentration camps under Hitler had the population increase that weren’t imported in? Meanwhile, in Darfur, 480,000 people have been slaughtered in the last decade, and it continues today, Darfur, an actual ethnic cleansing that the world has turned away from.

As I said, I talked to CNN on Israel this week, and they didn’t air this part, and I wish they would have. I think it would have been a shock for people on the left to hear me talk about it, because what I said in that interview is we don’t hate the Palestinian people, we can’t hate the Palestinian people, just like we didn’t hate the Germans in World War II. Thirty percent of the Germans elected Hitler. Thirty percent of the Palestinians elected Hamas.

Both the Nazis and Hamas were calling for genocide of the same people. But what happened? We fought the Germans until we defeated the Nazi machine, and then we helped the Germans. We weren’t against the Germans. We love the German people.

We have to stand united on just a really simple principle, no genocide for any people, no genocide. But let’s stop throwing around the word genocide if it doesn’t apply because it’s not happening there. This is a war, and it’s awful, it’s awful, but by crying genocide in war stops people from actually listening to the cry of genocide when it’s real.

Why can’t we work together to end the genocide in places like Darfur? I mean, hasn’t that gone on long enough? Left and right, why can’t we stand together? Why won’t somebody like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie or George Clooney stand with somebody like me and say enough is enough on Darfur, can’t we stop this, enough is enough?

And at the same time, are we not big enough to give aid and comfort, not to the terrorists, but once the terrorists stop using the poor Palestinians, and the bombing stops, aren’t we big enough to extend aid to all people that want peace and to live in harmony?

We all want to move forward. We all want to fix the country. We all want the same things, pretty much the same things, not the fringe crazy people on the edges. Can’t we start looking at our strategy? Are we really attacking the things that matter? Are we attacking critical issues or political ones?

What’s usually on the news in the routine news cycle? First Lady continues to crackdown on America’s school lunch menu. A Nebraska school just banned a bake sale. Really, is that really what’s important? Time for Congress to help the middle class – okay, how? How? Diversity day, drag queens are performing at our military bases. Is that our priority with our military?

The EPA is arresting people for illegally transporting milk, milk, across state lines. That’s your priority? Have you seen what’s happening in Chicago? And meanwhile, we have a $17 trillion debt, and the world is blaming us for it. Chicago, one of the most deadly places in the country to live. Ranchers along the border are continually finding the dead bodies on their property. Did you see that story?

And then we have Ebola on the loose. God help this poor doctor that came in, and God help us all if the CDC is putting our national interests above our national values. When we put our values before our interests, when we put our values before our political interests, we’ll be okay, and we’ll be able to come together. And I suggest that we are the people to begin that march towards real justice, real mercy, and real reconciliation.

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.