Darryl Strawberry had one of the greatest baseball careers of all time, but he hit rock bottom and almost lost it all

Glenn: Darryl and Tracy Strawberry, the authors of a book called The Imperfect Marriage, the founders of Strawberry Ministries, are with us. Hi guys, how are you?

Darryl: Great.

Tracy: Good. How are you, Glenn?

Glenn: Very good.

Tracy: Good.

Glenn: I was in Tampa when you were bottoming out, and you weren’t a good guy by any stretch of the imagination. What was it, ten years ago that you turned your life around?

Darryl: About 12 years ago.

Glenn: Twelve years ago?

Darryl: Yeah, 12 years ago.

Glenn How long have you guys been married?

Tracy: We’ve been married eight years.

Glenn: Eight years. I saw an interview with you guys, and at the end of the interview, they kind of joked about the book and said a couple of, you know, junkies, what are they going to know? And I thought to myself when I saw that, if the marriage is good, you know everything there is to know, because you came out of it. So let’s start at the bottom first and then how you guys got together and then how it turned around, because you were at the top, and what happened?

Darryl: Well, we all screwed up, you know, as people inside. I think we have so many different issues in our lives growing up, we never deal with them, and they start from childhood. Mine was affected in my childhood. My dad was raised an alcoholic, and, you know, he beat me and said I’d never amount to nothing.

So I became a great baseball player, so everybody thought well, just because you’ve become a great baseball player, you should be happy, but inside, you know, inside I was dying inside, you know? The issues inside were real, and I could never overcome and never could get it out of my head when I was running around the bases, you know, hitting home runs, and winning championships that I was nothing.

Glenn: Isn’t it amazing how…because I kind of felt the same way. I mean, I didn’t have your kind of success, but you think it’s the next mountain that you’re going to climb that’s going to give you that peace. At least I did. You feel like okay, well, I’m empty inside, I don’t feel like it, but if I can just get that next whatever it is, and eventually it becomes the next high, then I’ll be okay.

Darryl: Well, it’s the next way to escape, you know, to feel good, to cope with life, regardless of the circumstance. When you have low self-esteem, and you don’t believe in yourself as a man, not a baseball player. You know, I believed in myself as a baseball player, but who am I as a man?

Glenn: Explain the difference.

Darryl: I think being a baseball player, I knew because I could step on the field, I could be the best on the field. I had confidence in that, but I didn’t have the love and the compassion to understand what it is to be a man, how to raise your family, how to be a good father, how to be a good husband. That was never there for me.

I never got the pat on the back when I came home from Little League. It was just me. I came home, and my mom gave me the hugs and the love and support, but deep down inside I didn’t get that from a father, and it made it very difficult. It made it very empty inside, because I was accumulating a lot of great things in life, but I never was getting to the point of what it is to be a man to feel good about myself. I think that’s the part that a lot of us missed, the hugs.

Glenn: It’s really hard. My dad, I mean, I can’t say this. I don’t want to throw my dad under the bus, but I learned work from my dad, and so I don’t know how to be a good husband. Instinctively have to work at it…you know what I mean? Have to really, really work at it, don’t know how to be a good dad…I just have to really work at it. And most of it is just believing, just coming to a place to where you’re like you’re good.

I mean, I had an epiphany this weekend. I was cuddling with my son, and he’s ten now, and we were just joking. We were in church together, and he grabbed my hand, and he held my hand. And he was rubbing my hand. And I thought to myself, I don’t ever remember doing this to my dad. I don’t ever remember holding my dad’s hand. And I thought victory, victory. I am a good dad. You know what I mean?

Darryl: Right.

Glenn: I just crossed a hurdle that I hadn’t done before. Your lowest point, when you knew I can’t do this anymore?

Darryl: Well, I think my lowest point was when I stuck a needle in my arm to shoot heroin. I think that was the lowest point that I probably could ever get to.

Glenn: You knew it?

Darryl: I knew it. I knew from there that I crossed over onto the other side once I stuck a needle in my arm and shot heroin. I mean, I was always using crack, and I was always using cocaine, but I really stepped to that level, and I knew I was, you know, coming into the place of being a full junkie now. And I knew right then and there with Tracy in my life too at the time, and we’re boyfriend/girlfriend, I knew right there I had a serious problem. I knew for myself inside I wasn’t going to get better. I knew it was going to get worse before I got better.

Glenn: Tell me your story.

Tracy: Well, when I signed over custody of my children, that was my pivotal moment. That was my time. Who does that, you know? I’m this woman who’s raised in a home with love and wonderful parents. I have support. I have encouragement. I have love at home. I don’t have a story that I can grab hold of and say this is why I am the way I am. I don’t have an excuse, and I’m not…please don’t misunderstand me, because those things are very serious, but what is wrong with me? I must really be screwed up to have turned out like this in the midst of addiction. How does that happen?

Glenn: How far down did you go?

Tracy: I went down very far. I went down very far. I was in places I never thought I would go, just doing things I never thought I would do. These are things that I didn’t even know from this life. I didn’t see these things at home. I was not trained up in this way, if you will. I didn’t have a disposition for this lifestyle. I had a very deep emptiness inside. I’m lost. I don’t know what this life is about. I was chasing excitement, always had to be entertained on a very high level. Just wanted to see the world, I didn’t have any focus. I didn’t have any self-discipline within me. I didn’t embrace the way I was raised.

Glenn: How did you two meet? I mean, you’re a nightmare waiting to happen.

Tracy: We sure were.

Darryl: We’re a good nightmare. It was a great nightmare waiting to happen. It’s the strangest things of how people meet, and we met at a Narcotics Anonymous convention. Tracy had just had one year clean, and I just came back from a five-day binge smoking crack. And there we were talking about getting together, and how was this going to work? You know, there’s the sickness of a person that’s still inside which I had, and she had the wellness going on inside of her.

I told her from the beginning, I said you do not want to get involved with me. I am dangerous. I clearly told her that from the beginning. I said I am very dangerous, because I went through two marriages and kids and a family like a tornado because I was selfish, self-centered, and it was about me. I want what I want, and that’s just the way it was.

Glenn: Did you tell her that kind of as a hey, you were warned?

Darryl: Yes. She said I didn’t give her the details.

Tracy: Yeah, he left out the details. But I knew because I came from that lifestyle. When Darryl and I came together, when people, I believe, hopeless people like us come together, there is this fear of judgment. There is this fear of nonacceptance.

You so desperately want to be loved and want to be accepted, especially living the life that you’ve lived and the grand mistakes that we have made, so we had this component where we could relate. We could relate so much to one another that we fell in love with this nonjudgmental relational component, but we were very toxic. We had a strong desire to want to love, but we were not equipped to love. We could not love each other no matter how much we wanted to love each other.

Glenn: So what happened?

Darryl: A lot.

Tracy We had to get well.

Darryl: It was a lot of things that happened. Tracy was coming, kicking down drug houses’ doors, pulling me out of them.

Glenn: You [Tracy] maintained your sobriety?

Darryl: Yes.

Tracy: I did, and one day I came to that realization, I can’t do this anymore. I’m losing myself in the midst of this and being so codependent. I’m trying to save him. When you are working harder at someone’s life and someone else’s faith and someone else’s responsibility and their sobriety, and you are working at their responsibilities more than they are, it’s not working.

Glenn: Right. Being an alcoholic, and I’m sure you guys are the same way, the minute some celebrity dies from an overdose or something, that’s when my phone rings, and everybody’s like hey, can you get on and talk about…? And the question is always the same thing, what could we have done to save them? Nothing.

Darryl: Nothing.

Tracy: If they don’t want to be saved—

Glenn: You can’t save them, and that’s really hard for people to understand and families to understand. There’s nothing you can do.

Tracy: Right.

Glenn: Nothing you can do. Okay, back in just a second with more of the climbing the way out now. Back in a minute.

[break]

Glenn: All right, so you get together. You are working hard to try to keep him sober. He’s not working hard.

Tracy: No.

Glenn: What happens?

Tracy: He’s not participating, so I let him go. I let him go. People cannot change people, and we can love, and we can lead, but I had to let him go, and I had to focus on myself, and I had to get myself grounded. I had enough issues of my own, and that’s what happens. If I’m running after him, I can’t deal with myself, and I am continuing not only to hurt myself…our decisions hurt so many people. The consequences blanket so many people. It does not just hurt ourselves.

Glenn: So let me go back here, because let’s say that people…because I know there are people who are watching, and, you know, their kids, their loved ones or somebody is involved in anything from just alcoholism to heroin, and they don’t know how to relate to that. They don’t know want to do, and they feel like I can’t abandon, you know? It’s my husband or it’s my wife or it’s my daughter. It’s somebody. I can’t just abandon them. Explain if you can…maybe I’ll start with you, Darryl. When she said…because it was actually, didn’t it start with sex, no more sex for you?

Tracy: Yes, that’s when I was getting strong in my faith and strong in the word of God, and I just had a conviction.

Glenn: And that’s the first time anybody had ever said no to you, isn’t it?

Darryl: That’s the first time, yeah. That’s the first time I ever really had been cut off and said no to.

Glenn: On anything.

Darryl: Yes. Most of the time, you know, especially people that live, you know, in the high-profile life, celebrity life, no one ever tells you no. They’ve got the buffers around everybody—yes, you can do this, you can go here, and knowing that they have all these problems and just enabling them and killing them inside. And before you know it, one of them OD’d, and they’re dead, you know, because no one has ever told you no.

So when Tracy told me no that we weren’t having sex anymore, I said I’m outta here, and she said I think that’s what you need to do. I didn’t know if we would get back together, but that was a defining moment in my life because then I knew I had a problem, you know? I knew it wasn’t her. I had to look at me, and so I had to go away, and I had to go away for the next six months. It was just me and God. I went and got with God, and I got serious, you know, about my relationship.

Glenn: What was it about that time or that event that made you? Because you had been in…both of you guys had been in much worse scenarios than hey, not hooking up. I mean, what was it about that time?

Darryl: That time was the time that I picked up the word of God, and I got into the Bible, and I wanted nothing else. I wanted nothing else to do with the world anymore. I had been there, seen that, rich, famous. I didn’t want anything else to do with that anymore. And from that point there, I got serious. I didn’t have anything, but I had the word, and all I did was study. And all I did was read, and all I did was cry. And I let God really do, you know, a purging inside of me, because it’s an inside job, Glenn. Everybody on the outside looks great, but the insides are dead inside, and the insides are empty. I filled my insides with women, money, homes, cars, drugs, alcohol. It was never enough. It brought me to an empty place. It brought me to my knees.

Until I got the transformation, which is being changed…there’s a heart change that has to come about, and there is a mindset change that has to come about for you to be transformed. People don’t change their heart. They don’t change their mindset. That’s why they can never walk into the abundance of life and understand the real purpose, and I didn’t do that until I studied the word of God.

Glenn: Did somebody teach you this or did you just pick up the Bible?

Darryl: I picked it up. I finally picked it up and read it for myself.

Glenn: First time?

Darryl: People tell you to read it. Yeah, you know, and you read it. If you read it, you’ll get the revelation. And I finally went there for myself, and I picked it up, and I go oh my God.

Glenn: Yeah, I’ll tell you, I think if that Bible was just called, you know, Steve’s book of helpful hints, everybody would read it, and they would all say this is the most incredible book, but because it’s the Bible, because it comes with all of the trappings of religion and everything else—forget about the religion. Just listen to the words. It truly is remarkable. You think you know it. You don’t know it.

Darryl: Incredible, I mean, it’s a deliverance in it. I think people don’t get to the point of reading and studying the Bible because they’re afraid. Because you know what it does, Glenn? It challenges you to change, and that’s what we need in America. We need change. People won’t change. They want to stay the same inside. It’s not what you look like on the outside. A lot of us walk around on the outside, and we look great as ever, but our insides are polluted, toxic, and we can never get to the point of understanding the purpose of—

Glenn: I said to somebody the other day, we were talking about politics, and I’ve had a big turning point in my life. I’ve had a couple of them. One is my alcoholism and sobering up and my baptism, but in the last two years I had a health scare, and for a while there I thought I had just a few years to live as a functioning human being. That changes you. That really changes you and focuses you on what it is.

And somebody said to me the other day Glenn, you’re going to start doing all these other things, you know, but you’re going to forget about politics. I said politics, there is no change in that. That is us drinking. That’s us saying they’re going to change it for us. The problems all come…all of society…you can’t blame it on Hollywood. We’re consuming it. You can’t blame it on Washington. We voted for them. It’s all in here. If we don’t change this, it doesn’t work.

Tracy: We have to become accountable as human beings. The nation is made up of people, and this nation will change. We are a godless society. We have lost our fear of the Lord. We want what we want. We chase after things. When we decide to stand for God and bring God back and faith back into this country, and we take responsibility for our lives, we take responsibility for our marriages, and we get this thing called marriage right…when a marriage breaks down, our children break down, an individual breaks down, a nation breaks down.

We have to take responsibility for our lives, our decisions, what we’re doing, and if each individual would take responsibility, would embrace faith, put God at the center and deal with their issues, this nation would change.

Glenn: In the book you guys talk about the differences between men and women, you know? I think this is true. You talked a little bit about Tracy didn’t want a diamond. She didn’t want roses, and you talk about how I got it. I finally get it. All he wants me to say is thank you for taking care of things. Explain that, because it’s a really simple thing that I think, you know, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, yada, yada, yada. This in one page tells the real important difference.

Darryl: Yeah, I think a lot of times people get caught up in the fact of stuff. Stuff is going to make me feel great, and it doesn’t, you know, because Glenn, I had everything that a man could want. What good does it do for a man to gain the whole world, but I was losing my soul? It was my soul that I really wanted. And Tracy never was the person that wanted stuff to complete her, you know?

Most women run around, and they want their husband to buy them this. They want to look like this and that and that. And she was so simple, you know? She was so simple. That’s what I loved about her because she took me shopping at Walmart, and I was like ah! I’d never been there before in my life. I said this is great, you know, finally a simple place.

Tracy: We lost everything. We were living in my parents’ basement.

Glenn: My kids took me to Target one time, and I was like—

Tracy: We have to learn how to budget. It’s called responsibility.

Glenn: It’s like this is the greatest store ever. That’s great.

Darryl: You know, that was part of what I loved about her, that, because it was real. It wasn’t the fancy…didn’t have to go to the fancy stores, the fancy restaurant, just really simple stuff. Let’s live the simple life and let’s live it for purpose, and let’s live it for loving God and not be consumed.

Glenn: That is the opposite of what the world teaches right now.

Tracy: That’s right. We have to look at the inner soul. This is a soul thing. This is a character issue. We need to learn to love people from the inside out, especially your partner. Talking about marriage, and I love it when they laugh, oh, these two crazy people came together. These two crazy people have done the work. We dive in deep, and we get into real stuff in this book. This isn’t a Cinderella fairytale, impossible thing to achieve. We’re talking about addiction and losing everything and adulteries and getting past deep betrayals and hurts that we bring into marriage.

There’s nothing wrong with marriage. God created marriage, and anything that He creates is great and wonderful when we do it His way. The people bring in the problems. The people bring in the issues, and when we don’t deal with those issues…that whole book is a journey of dealing with those things and how you overcome and how you can love God, put God in the center first, even if you’re a person like me who just did not want anything to do with God. I was so angry at God, and don’t talk to me about God. It’s a journey. It’s a journey.

Glenn: Last night, I had a guy who survived Auschwitz. He sat right there. He said the same thing. I was angry at God. Where was God? And then we finished the show, and he spent 20 minutes talking to me about how great God is and how He fills you, and He’s there the whole time, even in the absolute worst place.

Tracy: That’s right.

Glenn: All right, when we come back, I just want to talk to you a little bit about getting past anger, because I think that we are a country that is starting to now look for vengeance and give it to me and you owe it to me and all of these really bad things. I think there’s some people that say, you know, when I talk about reconciliation, that’s not going to work. None of that stuff is going to work. I don’t know if they really connect with the difference between reconciliation and winning. Winning is not a good thing. Maybe we can talk about anger when we come back in just a minute.

[break]

Glenn : So as the world goes more and more into an angry place, I believe that we need to find…kind of like Finding Nemo, find your happy place, find your happy place. You have to find a happy place, because that’s where the power comes from, and that’s where peace comes from.

Darryl: Yes.

Glenn: On a broad scale, this is what’s happening. Everybody is being ratcheted up. They’re more and more angry at political parties, at their boss, at whatever, whatever, the bank. They’re more and more disconnected from in here, and it’s happening in our…I mean, boy, you start to add real financial troubles. Our families and our marriages are so weak right now. We are headed for the Titanic as a society. Advice?

Darryl: Well yes, we are. There is no restoration. You have to have restoration and be restored inside to a whole person to be free from all of that, because that means when you become free inside, none of this exists anyway. It doesn’t matter, you know? We get too consumed with it, and we lose ourselves in it. And we think it’s all important, but in the end it really doesn’t matter. I think too many people are wrapped up in only knowing earthly things.

I think what happened, you know, for me is to be restored. My mind got changed. Then I became a person of principle and purpose, and I became Kingdom minded. I’m not earthly minded. I just live here. I’m just doing what I’m supposed to do here. I need to do what I need to do for God here, and I need to cross over to the other side. And there’s strength, and there’s power in that. There is greatness in that. There is love in that. There’s peace in that, and there’s no confusion in that. God is not of confusion. People are.

Tracy: We have to do it God’s way, and like I was saying before, we’ve lost our fear of the Lord. We don’t understand the consequences of our actions and our anger. The opposite of anger, like you were talking about, is peace, and in Christ, there is a peace that surpasses all understanding that is above and beyond this world. The way we treat one another creates this hostile…to be angry is to be a hostile, to be hostile from the inside out.

There is a cleansing that has to take place through forgiveness, which people don’t understand. It’s not saying that everything’s okay, and it’s not always reconciliation, but it’s a character issue. We have a character issue on the inside, and we have these character defects. We hear that word all the time, this hot button, which is any character that doesn’t align with Christ, which is peace, love, kindness, gentleness, discipline, self-control. We’ve lost that. And on the other side, there’s malice. There’s hostility. There’s a whole list of these things when we don’t have this power that comes in and changes us from the inside out.

I was taught to see character, not color. I was taught to see character, not culture. I was taught to see character. This is a character issue from the inside out. Anger spawns from that because vision can create, but character sustains. And we hurt each other.

Glenn: Society is not pushing character.

Tracy: They’re not. This is a character issue—color, culture.

Darryl: Color, success, you know? That’s what they push, you know, push you to be successful, and if you’re successful, then you’re somebody, you know? But it doesn’t change your character because you’re successful.

Glenn: You don’t have any memorabilia up at your house or very little, do you?

Darryl: No, because it’s not who I am. I’m not tied to that. That’s the problem in our society, identity. America, we need to wake up. We have the wrong identity. We have the identity of being successful and having the riches, and I have everything. I have the notoriety, and I’m free. You’re not free. That’s the wrong identity. You’re wearing the wrong identity here. Our identity needs to be in Christ and what our purpose is here for. Our purpose is here to serve God and to love others and help the lost and bring the lost to salvation.

Glenn: It depends on how we take it. We could tear each other apart or we could accept this as a really good thing, and I’m hoping that we accept it as a good thing. There’s a great humbling coming. There is a great humbling coming, because only when you’re humble can you actually do what you guys have done.

Darryl: Right. It becomes, Glenn, it becomes not about you. It becomes about Him. When He comes into your life, when Jesus comes into your life, it becomes about Him, His work, and doing His work only.

Glenn: Okay, the name of the book is The Imperfect Marriage, two unlikely people. I’m telling you, the Lord is the best at taking lemons and making lemonade. The alcoholics, we’re going to rule the world. But if you’re looking for some help, some understanding, and a place to start, this might be exactly the thing for you. Thank you guys, and the best of luck.

Darryl: Thanks. Thanks for having us.

Tracy: Thank you. Thanks for having us.

It's time for our April 29, 2019 edition of our Candidate Power Rankings. We get to add two new candidates, write about a bunch of people that have little to no chance of winning, and thank the heavens we are one day closer to the end of all of this.

In case you're new here, read our explainer about how all of this works:

The 2020 Democratic primary power rankings are an attempt to make sense out of the chaos of the largest field of candidates in global history.

Each candidate gets a unique score in at least thirty categories, measuring data like polling, prediction markets, fundraising, fundamentals, media coverage, and more. The result is a candidate score between 0-100. These numbers will change from week to week as the race changes.

The power rankings are less a prediction on who will win the nomination, and more a snapshot of the state of the race at any given time. However, early on, the model gives more weight to fundamentals and potentials, and later will begin to prioritize polling and realities on the ground.

These power rankings include only announced candidates. So, when you say "WAIT!! WHERE'S XXXXX????" Read the earlier sentence again.

If you're like me, when you read power rankings about sports, you've already skipped ahead to the list. So, here we go.

See previous editions here.

20. Wayne Messam: 13.4 (Last week: 18th / 13.4)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

A former staffer of Wayne Messam is accusing his wife of hoarding the campaign's money.

First, how does this guy have "former" staffers? He's been running for approximately twelve minutes.

Second, he finished dead last in the field in fundraising with $44,000 for the quarter. Perhaps hoarding whatever money the campaign has is not the worst idea.

His best shot at the nomination continues to be something out of the series "Designated Survivor."

Other headlines:

19. Marianne Williamson: 17.1 (Last week: 17th / 17.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Marianne Williamson would like you to pay for the sins of someone else's great, great, great grandparents. Lucky you!

Williamson is on the reparations train like most of the field, trying to separate herself from the pack by sheer monetary force.

How much of your cash does she want to spend? "Anything less than $100 billion is an insult." This is what I told the guy who showed up to buy my 1989 Ford Tempo. It didn't work then either.

Other headlines:

18. John Delaney: 19.7 (Last week: 15th / 20.3)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Good news: John Delaney brought in $12.1 million in the first quarter, enough for fifth in the entire Democratic field!

Bad news: 97% of the money came from his own bank account.

Other headlines:

17. Eric Swalwell: 20.2 (Last week: 16th / 20.2)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The Eric Swalwell formula:

  • Identify news cycle
  • Identify typical left-wing reaction
  • Add steroids

Democrats said there was obstruction in the Mueller report. Swalwell said there “certainly" was collusion.

Democrats said surveillance of the Trump campaign was no big deal. Swalwell said there was no need to apologize even if it was.

Democrats said William Barr mishandled the release of the Mueller report. Swalwell said he must resign.

Democrats say they want gun restrictions. Swalwell wants them all melted down and the liquid metal to be poured on the heads of NRA members. (Probably.)

16. Seth Moulton: 20.6 (NEW)

Who is Seth Moulton?

No, I'm asking.

Moulton falls into the category of congressman looking to raise his profile and make his future fundraising easier— not someone who is actually competing for the presidency.

He tried to block Nancy Pelosi as speaker, so whatever help he could get from the establishment is as dry as Pelosi's eyes when the Botox holds them open for too long.

Moulton is a veteran, and his military service alone is enough to tell you that he's done more with his life than I'll ever do with mine. But it's hard to see the road to the White House for a complete unknown in a large field of knowns.

Don't take my word for it, instead read this depressing story that he's actually telling people on purpose:

"I said, you know, part of my job is take tough questions," Moulton told the gathered business and political leaders. "You can ask even really difficult questions. And there was still silence. And then finally, someone in the way back of the room raised her hand, and she said, 'Who are you?' "

Yeah. Who are you?

15. Tim Ryan: 21.6 (Last week: 14th / 20.7)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

When you're talking to less than sixteen people in Iowa one week after your launch, you don't have too much to be excited about.

Ryan did get an interview on CNN, where he also talked to less than sixteen people.

He discussed his passion for the Dave Matthews Band, solidifying a key constituency in the year 1995.

Other headlines:

14. Tulsi Gabbard: 25.2 (Last week: 14th / 25.9)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Tulsi Gabbard torched Kamala Harris in fundraising!!!!! (Among Indian-American donors.)

No word on who won the coveted handi-capable gender-neutral sodium-sensitive sub-demographic.

She received a mostly false rating for her attack on the Trump administration regarding its new policy on pork inspections, a topic not exactly leading the news cycle. Being from Hawaii, the state which leads the nation in Spam consumption, she was probably surprised when this didn't go mega viral.

Other headlines:

13. Andrew Yang: 27.2 (Last week: 12th / 27.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Yang has a few go-to lines when he's on the campaign trail, such as: "The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math." Another is apparently the Jeb-esque "Chant my name! Chant my name!"

Yang continues to be one of the more interesting candidates in this race, essentially running a remix of the "One Tough Nerd" formula that worked for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

I highly recommend listening to his interview with Ben Shapiro, where Yang earns respect as the only Democratic presidential candidate in modern history to actually show up to a challenging and in-depth interview with a knowledgeable conservative.

But hidden in the Shapiro interview is the nasty little secret of the Yang campaign. His policy prescriptions, while still very liberal, come off as far too sane for him to compete in this Stalin look-alike contest.

Other headlines:

12. Jay Inslee: 30.4 (Last week: 11th / 30.4)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

If you read the Inslee candidate profile, I said he was running a one-issue climate campaign. This week, he called for a climate change-only debate, and blamed Donald Trump for flooding in Iowa.

He also may sign the nation's first "human composting" legalization bill. He can start by composting his presidential campaign.

Other headlines:

11. John Hickenlooper: 32.2 (Last week: 10th / 32.0)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

John Hickenlooper was sick of being asked if he would put a woman on the ticket, in the 0.032% chance he actually won the nomination.

So he wondered why the female candidates weren't being asked if they would name a male VP if they won?

Seems like a logical question, but only someone who is high on tailpipe fumes would think it was okay to ask in a Democratic primary. Hickenlooper would be better served by just transitioning to a female and demanding other candidates are asked why they don't have a transgendered VP.

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10. Julian Castro: 35.7 (Last week: 9th / 36.2)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Lowering expectations is a useful strategy when your wife asks you to put together an Ikea end table, or when you've successfully convinced Charlize Theron to come home with you. But is it a successful campaign strategy?

Julian Castro is about to find out. He thinks the fact that everyone thinks he's crashing and burning on the campaign trail so far is an "advantage." Perhaps he can take the rest of the field by surprise on Super Tuesday when they finally realize he's actually running.

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9. Kirsten Gillibrand: 38.1 (Last week: 8th / 37.8)

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Gillibrand wants you to know that the reason her campaign has been such a miserable failure so far, is because she called for a certain senator to step down. The problem might also be that another certain senator isn't a good presidential candidate.

She also spent the week arm wrestling, and dancing at a gay bar called Blazing Saddle. In this time of division, one thing we can all agree on: Blazing Saddle is a really solid name for a gay bar.

Other headlines:

8. Amy Klobuchar: 45.1 (Last week: 7th / 45.5)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Klobuchar is attempting a run in the moderate wing of the Democratic primary, which would be a better idea if such a wing existed.

She hasn't committed to impeaching Donald Trump and has actually voted to confirm over half of his judicial nominees. My guess is this will not be ignored by her primary opponents.

She also wants to resolve an ongoing TPS issue, which I assume means going by Peter Gibbons' desk every morning and making sure he got the memo about the new cover sheets.

Other headlines:

7. Elizabeth Warren: 45.3 (Last week: 6th / 46.0)

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Elizabeth Warren is bad at everything she does while she's campaigning. I don't really even watch Game of Thrones, and the idea that Warren would write a story about how the show proves we need more powerful women makes me cringe.

Of course, more powerful people of all the 39,343 genders are welcome, but it's such a transparent attempt at jumping on the back of a pop-culture event to pander to female voters, it's sickening.

We can only hope that when she's watching Game of Thrones, she's gonna grab her a beer.

Other headlines:

6. Cory Booker: 54.9 (Last week: 5th / 55.5)

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Booker is tied with Kamala Harris for the most missed Senate votes of the campaign so far. He gets criticized for this, but I think he should miss even more votes.

Booker is also pushing a national day off on Election Day—because the approximately six months of early voting allowed in every state just isn't enough.

Of course, making it easier to vote doesn't mean people are going to vote for Booker. So he's throwing trillions of dollars in bribes (my word, not his) to seal the deal.

Bookermania is in full effect, with 40 whole people showing up to his appearance in Nevada. Local press noted that the people were of "varying ages," an important distinction to most other crowds, which are entirely comprised of people with the same birthday.

Other headlines:

5. Robert Francis O’Rourke: 60.2 (Last week: 4th /62.6)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Kirsten Gillibrand gave less than 2% of her income to charity. The good news is that she gave about seven times as much as Beto O'Rourke. Robert Francis, or Bob Frank, also happens to be one of the wealthiest candidates in the race. His late seventies father-in-law has been estimated to be worth as much as $20 billion, though the number is more likely to be a paltry $500 million.

He's made millions from a family company investing in fossil fuels and pharmaceutical stocks, underpaid his taxes for multiple years, and is suing the government to lower property taxes on a family-owned shopping center.

He's also all but disappeared. It's a long race, and you don't win a nomination in April of the year before election day. If he's being frugal and figuring out what he believes, it might be a good move.

But it's notable that all the "pretty boy" hype that Bob Frank owned going into this race has been handed over to Mayor Pete. Perhaps Beto is spending his time working on curbing the sweating, the hand gestures, and the issues with jumping on counters like a feline.

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4. Pete Buttigieg: 62.9 (Last week: 3rd / 62.9)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

When we first put candidates in tiers earlier this year, we broke everyone into five categories from "Front Runners" to "Eh, no." In the middle is a category called "Maybe, if everything goes right," and that's where we put Pete Buttigieg.

Well, everything has gone right so far. But Mayor Pete will be interested to learn that the other 19 candidates in this race are not going to hand him this nomination. Eventually, they will start saying negative things about him (they've started the opposition research process already), and it will be interesting to see how Petey deals with the pressure. We've already seen how it has affected Beto in a similar situation.

The media has spoken endlessly about the sexual orientation of Buttigieg, but not every Democratic activist is impressed. Barney Frank thinks the main reason he's getting this amount of attention is because he is gay. And for some, being a gay man just means you're a man, which isn't good enough.

When you base your vote on a candidate's genitals, things can get confusing.

Other headlines:

3. Kamala Harris: 68.6 (Last week: 1st / 69.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

There are a couple of ways to view the Harris candidacy so far.

#1 - Harris launched with much fanfare and an adoring media. She has since lost her momentum. Mayor Pete and former Mayor Bernie have the hype, and Kamala is fading.

#2 - Harris is playing the long game. She showed she can make an impact with her launch, but realizes that a media "win" ten months before an important primary means nothing. She's working behind the scenes and cleaning up with donations, prominent supporters, and loads of celebrities to execute an Obama style onslaught.

I tend to be in category 2, but I admit that's somewhat speculative. Harris seems to be well positioned to make a serious run, locking up more than double the amount of big Clinton and Obama fundraisers than any other candidate.

One interesting policy development for Harris that may hurt her in the primary is her lack of utter disgust for the nation of Israel. There's basically one acceptable position in a Democratic primary when it comes to Israel, which is that it's a racist and terrorist state, existing only to torture innocent Palestinians.

Certainly no one is going to mistake Harris for Donald Trump, but a paragraph like this is poison to the modern Democratic primary voter:

"Her support for Israel is central to who she is," Harris' campaign communications director, Lily Adams, told McClatchy. "She is firm in her belief that Israel has a right to exist and defend itself, including against rocket attacks from Gaza."

Just portraying the rocket attacks as "attacks" is controversial these days for Democrats, and claiming they are responses to attacks indicates you think the Jeeeewwwwwwwws aren't the ones responsible for the start of every hostility. Heresy!

Someone get Kamala a copy of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' before she blows her chance to run the free world.

2. Bernie Sanders: 69.2 (Last week: 2nd / 68.3)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

If Bernie Sanders hates millionaires as much as he claims, he must hate the mirror. As a millionaire, it might surprise some that he donated only 1% to charity. But it shouldn't.

It's entirely consistent with Sandersism to avoid giving to private charity. Why would you? Sanders believes the government does everything better than the private sector. He should be giving his money to the government.

Of course, he doesn't. He takes the tax breaks from the evil Trump tax plan he derides. He spends his money on fabulous vacation homes. He believes in socialism for thee, not for me.

Yes, this is enough to convince the Cardi B's of the world, all but guaranteeing a lock on the rapper-and-former-stripper-that-drugged-and-stole-from-her-prostitution-clients demographic. But can that lack of consistency hold up in front of general election voters?

If Bernie reads this and would like a path to credibility, clear out your bank account and send it here:

Gifts to the United States
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Funds Management Branch
P.O. Box 1328
Parkersburg, WV 26106-1328


Other headlines:

1. Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.: 78.8 (NEW)

Joe has run for president 113 times during his illustrious career, successfully capturing the presidency in approximately zero of his campaigns.

However, when the eternally woke Barack Obama had a chance to elevate a person of color, woman, or anything from the rainbow colored QUILTBAG, he instead chose the oldest, straightest, whitest guy he could find, and our man Robinette was the beneficiary.

Biden has been through a lot, much of it of his own making. Forget about his plagiarism and propensity to get a nostril full of each passing females' hair, his dealings while vice president in both Ukraine and China are a major general election vulnerability— not to mention a legal vulnerability for his children. But hey, win the presidency and you can pardon everyone, right?

His supposed appeal to rust belt voters makes him, on paper, a great candidate to take on Trump. The Clinton loss hinged on about 40,000 voters changing their mind from Hillary to Donald in a few states—the exact areas where victory could possibly be secured by someone named "Middle Class Joe" (as he alone calls himself.)

No one loves Joe Biden more than Joe Biden, and there's a relatively convincing case for his candidacy. But we must remember this unquestionable truth: Joe Biden is not good at running for president.

He's a gaffe machine that churns out mistake after mistake, hoping only to have his flubs excused by his unending charisma. But, will that work without the use of his legendary groping abilities? Only time, and a few dozen unnamed women, will tell.

Also, yes. Robinette is really his middle name.

If only Karl Marx were alive today to see his wackiest ideas being completely paraded around. He would be so proud. I can see him now: Sprawled out on his hammock from REI, fiddling around for the last vegan potato chip in the bag as he binge-watches Academy Awards on his 70-inch smart TV. In between glances at his iPhone X (he's got a massive Twitter following), he sips Pepsi. In his Patagonia t-shirt and NIKE tennis shoes, he writes a line or two about "oppression" and "the have-nots" as part of his job for Google.

His house is loaded with fresh products from all the woke companies. In the fridge, he's got Starbucks, he loves their soy milk. He's got Ben & Jerry's in the freezer. He tells everyone that, if he shaved, he'd use Gillette, on account of the way they stand up for the Have-Nots. But, really, Marx uses Dollar Shave Club because it's cheaper, a higher quality. Secretly, he loves Chic-Fil-A. He buys all his comic books off Amazon. The truth is, he never thought people would actually try to make the whole "communism" thing work.

RELATED: SOCIALISM: This is the most important special we have done

Companies have adopted a form of socialism that is sometimes called woke capitalism. They use their status as corporations to spread a socialist message and encourage people to do their part in social justice. The idea of companies in America using socialism at all is as confusing and ridiculous as a donkey in a prom dress: How did this happen? Is it a joke? Why is nobody bursting out in laughter? How far is this actually going to go? Does someone actually believe that they can take a donkey to prom?

Companies have adopted a form of socialism that is sometimes called woke capitalism.

On the micro level, Netflix has made some socialist moves: The "like/dislike" voting system was replaced after a Netflix-sponsored stand-up special by Amy Schumer received as tidal wave of thumb-downs. This summer, Netflix will take it a step further in the name of squashing dissent by disabling user comments and reviews. And of course most of us share a Netflix account with any number of people. Beyond that, they're as capitalist as the next mega-company.

Except for one area: propaganda. Netflix has started making movie-length advertisements for socialism. They call them "documentaries," but we know better than that. The most recent example is "Knock Down the House," which comes out tomorrow. The 86-minute-long commercial for socialism follows four "progressive Democrat" women who ran in the 2018 midterms, including our favorite socialist AOC.

Here's a snippet from the movie so good that you'll have to fight the urge to wave your USSR flag around the room:

This is what the mainstream media wants you to believe. They want you to be moved. They want the soundtrack to inspire you to go out and do something.

Just look at how the mainstream media treated the recent high-gloss "documentary" about Ilhan Omar, "Time for Ilhan." It received overwhelmingly bad ratings on IMDb and other user-review platforms, but got a whopping 93% on the media aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

This is exactly what the media wants you to think of when you hear the word socialism. Change. Empowerment. Strength. Diversity. They spend so much energy trying to make socialism cool. They gloss right over the unbelievable death toll. BlazeTV's own Matt Kibbe made a great video on this exact topic.

Any notion of socialism in America is a luxury, made possible by capitalism. The woke companies aren't actually doing anything for socialism. If they're lucky, they might get a boost in sales, which is the only thing they want anyway.

We want to show you the truth. We want to tell you the stories you won't hear anywhere else, not on Netflix, not at some movie festival. We're going to tell you what mainstream media doesn't want you to know.

Look at how much history we've lost over the years. They changed it slowly. But they had to. Because textbooks were out. So people were watching textbooks. It was printed. You would bring the book home. Mom and dad might go through it and check it out. So you had to slowly do things.

Well, they're not anymore. There are no textbooks anymore. Now, you just change them overnight. And we are losing new history. History is being changed in realtime.

RELATED: 'Good Morning Texas' joins Glenn to get an inside look at Mercury Museum

You have to write down what actually is happening and keep a journal. Don't necessarily tell everybody. Just keep a journal for what is happening right now. At some point, our kids won't have any idea of the truth. They will not have any idea of what this country was, how it really happened. Who were the good guys. Who were the bad guys. Who did what.

As Michelle Obama said. Barack knows. We have to change our history. Well, that's exactly what's happening. But it's happening at a very rapid pace.

We have to preserve our history. It is being systematically erased.

I first said this fifteen years ago, people need clay plots. We have to preserve our history as people preserved histories in ancient days, with the dead see scrolls, by putting them in caves in a clay pot. We have to preserve our history. It is being systematically erased. And I don't mean just the history of the founding of our country. I mean the history that's happening right now.

And the history that's happening right now, you're a problem if you're a conservative or a Christian. You are now a problem on the left, if you disagree and fall out of line at all. This is becoming a fascistic party. And you know what a fascist is. It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican or an independent. If you believe it's my way or the highway, if you believe that people don't have a right to their opinion or don't have a right to their own life — you could do be a fascist.

Christianity might seem pretty well-protected in the U.S., but that's not the case in many parts of the globe.

On Easter Sunday, suicide bombers made the news for killing 290 innocent Christians in Sri Lanka and injuring another 500. On Tuesday, ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacre. Of course, the Western world mourned this tragic loss of life on a holy day of worship, but we forget that this isn't an isolated incident. Indeed, Christians are discriminated at extreme levels worldwide, and it needs to be brought to light. And whenever we do highlight brutal persecutions such as the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, we need to call them what they are — targeted attacks against Christians. Sadly, many of our politicians are deathly afraid to do so.

RELATED: Hey media, there is absolutely a war on Christians!

A 2018 Pew Research Center study found that Christians are harassed in 144 countries — the most of any other faith — slightly outnumbering Muslims for the top of the list. Additionally, Open Doors, a non-profit organization that works to serve persecuted Christians worldwide, found in their 2019 World Watch List that over 245 million Christians are seriously discriminated against for their religious beliefs. Sadly, this translates into 4,136 Christians killed and 2,625 either arrested, sentenced, imprisoned, or detained without trial over the year-long study period. And when it comes to churches, those in Sri Lanka were merely added to a long list of 1,266 Christian buildings attacked for their religion.

These breathtaking stats receive very little coverage in the Western world. And there seems to be a profound hesitation from politicians in discussing the issue of persecution against Christians. In the case of the Sri Lanka bombings, there's even a reluctance to use the word "Christian."

After the horrific Pittsburgh Synagogue and New Zealand Mosque shootings, Democrats rightfully acknowledged the disturbing trend of targeted attacks against Jews and Muslims. But some of these same politicians refer to the Sri Lanka bombings with careless ambiguity.

So why is it so hard for our leaders to acknowledge the persecutions Christians face?

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, for instance, certainly did — calling the incursions "attacks on Easter worshippers." Understandably, the term confused and frustrated many Christians. Although, supporters of these politicians argued the term was appropriate since a recent Associated Press report used it, and it was later picked up by a variety of media outlets, including Fox News. However, as more Democrats like 2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro and Rep. Dan Kildee continued to use the phrase "Easter worshippers," it became clear that these politicians were going out of their way to avoid calling a spade a spade.

So why is it so hard for our leaders to acknowledge the persecutions Christians face? For starters, Christianity in democratic countries like the U.S. is seen differently than in devastated countries like Somalia. According to Pew Research, over 70% of Americans are Christian, with 66% of those Christians being white and 35% baby boomers. So while diverse Christians from all over the world are persecuted for their faith—in the U.S., Christians are a dominant religion full of old white people. This places Christians at the bottom of progressives' absurd intersectional totem poll, therefore leaving little sympathy for their cause. However, the differing experiences of Christians worldwide doesn't take away from the fact that they are unified in their beliefs.

By refusing to name the faith of the Sri Lankan martyrs, politicians are sending a message that they have very little, if no, concern about the growing amount of persecution against Christians worldwide.

Martyrs don't deserve to be known as "Easter worshippers." They should be known by the Christian faith they gave their lives for. Decent politicians need to call the tragedy in Sri Lanka what it is — a vicious attack on the Christian faith.

Patrick Hauf (@PatrickHauf) is a writer for Young Voices and Vice President of Lone Conservative. His work can be found in the Washington Examiner, Townhall, FEE, and more.