Glenn: Stop being against stuff. Let's start being for things

It is easy to be against something. It is easy to complain. It is harder to stand with conviction. It is harder to stand for something. On radio this morning, Glenn explained the importance of looking at the other side of conflict and turmoil to find what we stand for instead of what we stand against. That simple change of rhetoric can make all the difference.

Below is an edited transcript of the monologue:

Stop looking at this as a win or lose because it's not a win or lose. It's reconciliation – win or lose. If we are trying to win, someone is a loser. We're trying to reconcile the country and bring the country back to common sense. The founders may have won the war, but that wasn't the end of the revolution. The revolution is still going on today. It is constantly being renewed. It is constantly having to be taught and grown. There is never an end to this. There's never an end to this, you know, and that's the problem.

Look at Common Core or anything else. So many times people say, ‘Oh, good we won.’ No, you didn't. You might have stopped something, but what are you for? And to be for something, it requires us to continually teach it and grow it and strive to be better so there's no real win or lose. And when we have that win or lose mentality that's when we give up.’ I'm just tired of losing.’ I'm telling you, the seeds we are planting right now will start to sprout in 10 to 20 years.

My grandfather, his seeds are really just truly taking root in me now. I'm beginning to understand what my grandfather taught me and beginning to understand the value of those things that he taught me. Well, jeez, he's been dead since 1982. He stopped teaching me a long time ago, but not really.

Is it really a coincidence that my family tried to save our little town of Mount Vernon, Washington which was being destroyed by the big mall and everything else? Everybody said, ‘We got to stop the mall. We got to stop the mall. Stop the mall.’ My folks said, ‘You'll never stop the mall. The mall is coming.’ They tried to pass ordinances of save our farmland and everything else, but it's coming. Instead why don't we take our little town of Mount Vernon and redesign it and make it something entirely different and new and cool? It was right around the bicentennial, they tried to make it into Mount Vernon, as in Mount Vernon, Virginia and make it this cool little brick streets kind of gas lamp kind of area. That's what they were for. Everyone else was against the mall.

In the end, because nobody would see the vision of being for something and they were so beaten down on being against the mall, and the mall was coming in. And then the mall came in, and everybody said, ‘The mall is great.’ And what happened? Mount Vernon still struggles today. And I don't think it's a coincidence that I was raised by a family that was for something magical, something great, something different. And here I am fighting the same battle, except on a national scale.

Stop being against stuff. Let's start being for things.

That is where we need to be. We need to start talking about it. You know, we have to talk about Israel and Hamas. We have to point out with Hamas: What is in their charter is evil? What they stand for is evil. They are standing for genocide. It is in their charter. That's the argument. Somebody on television should be ringing on the hour everybody hour.

Let's think about what we think could be: A strong Jewish state that is secure and allows people to live their religion and live their race for the love of Pete. Live who they are. Living side by side with another state that gets to celebrate who they are. Instead of getting down and arguing about how many missiles and who bombed the hospital and everything else – you'll never settle any of that because that's a distraction.

We have to be rooted in the facts. And we have to stand for those facts. We have to stand hard on those facts. It doesn't mean we're not going to fight for the things we believe in. It just means we got to change the way we're fighting because what we're doing is not working. It's not working. You're going to lose.

If we're not kind and generous and decent and God-fearing and know the best way to serve God is to serve our fellow man, it doesn't work. It all falls apart. Anybody who is calling for an uprising or an end, you're part of the problem, man. You're just giving up. ‘You're just trying to spread love and everything else.’ Yeah, you are darn right. And if in the end I'm judged as a bad man because I believe in decency, love, honor, charity, then, you know what, I'll live in hell If those things are the things that get you sent to hell, then I welcome the days I spend in hell because I'm not going to change who I am.

I have already made too many mistakes in my life. I had promised when I turn my life around, I would do my best. It is not your best. It's not the pope's best. It's not Mother Teresa's best. It's my best. And, unfortunately, my best is not as good as everybody else's, but I've done my best, and in doing my best. I've still made huge mistakes.

Do you want to make a difference? Do you see the road we're on is unsustainable? If you see that this road that we're on is unsustainable, then what are you going to do to change it?

I say let's start looking for a bigger vision. Let's start looking for a vision where we all belong, where we all feel heard. We don't agree with each other. There's no blacklist. There's no list that says you can't be my friend because you agree with me. If someone says you shouldn't be friends with somebody because they don't agree with you, you should question your friendship. If your business is being hurt because you do business with me or I do business with them, you should question, ‘Do you want to do business with those people?’

I learned this as an alcoholic. I lost a lot of ‘friends’ when I sobered up. I didn't lose in the end one friend when I sobered up. Anybody who thought, ‘Oh, Glenn, he's going all goody two shoes’ was no friend of mine. Because right is right.

We don't have to agree on things. We do to have look and say, ‘These things are worth standing for. These things are worth living for.’ I'm not going to say ever again, some things are worth dying for. All the things should be worth living for. Worth dying for is the mentality of Hamas. Worth living for, that's the American principles. Those are the Judean Christian principles. You're going to kill me for it, so be it. But I'm going to live every second. Dietrich Bonheoffer lived as they put the rope around his neck. He said thank you to that man. He lived every second of his life. He didn't die for anything he lived for it all. That's the difference. That's where we need to be.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

For one night only at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, on December 7th, join internationally-acclaimed radio host and storyteller Glenn Beck as he walks you through tales of Christmas in the way that only he can. There will be laughs, and there might be a few tears. But at the end of the night, you'll leave with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.

Reconnect to the true spirit of Christmas with Glenn Beck, in a storytelling tour de force that you won't soon forget.

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