There was another time in American history where we loved superhero movies - when was it?

I want to have a frank conversation with you today on the things that we are facing as a nation, the things that are really…these suck. And I want to talk to you a little bit about how you feel about them.

ISIS, and when I say ISIS, I mean about we all feel something is coming. We have global terrorists. We have anti-Semitism on the rise. We have Russia trying to assert themselves again. So you have ISIS. You have the rule of law. Do you feel like being a law-abiding citizen matters anymore?

Unity, civil unrest, how are we doing on that? Your economy, the economy…? When I give you all of these, as I go through them, I want you to ask yourself what, who, when, how can we solve these things?

Let’s start at the top, ISIS. Let’s just look at that one thing. As ISIS continues to fight and demolish the towns in Iraq and Syria, airstrikes haven’t stopped them at all. Regular citizens, dads and sons, they’re left with no choice but to, you know, pick up arms and defend their towns. You want to stop them…how? Who? What? When? When? How?

Go to the rule of law. Illegal immigration, the president went around Congress, abused executive power. Here he is.

VIDEO

President Obama: There are actions I have the legal authority to take that will help make our immigration system more fair and more just, and I took them last week.

Okay, he said earlier that he didn’t have that legal authority, so do you really feel as a person that if you obey the law, it works out to your advantage? Millions of people now likely going to gain some form of amnesty, and despite promising to fight this, the GOP is backing down from that fight. How is the rule of law doing?

Which brings us to division and civil unrest. In Ferguson, riots after the grand jury decision shows how deeply divided and close to boiling over we are. We are a nation divided against itself. You don’t even have to go to this. You can just go to Black Friday and see how we’re fighting over underpants. It’s ridiculous.

And then there’s the economy. America’s national debt, it just surpassed $18 trillion with a yawn. The feds are celebrating our recovery, but historic comparison isn’t really so joyful. According to the economists, this is the worst employment recovery of any postwar American bounce-back in postwar history. GDP recovery is the second worst. Real GDP per capita, barely above where it was when Bush was in office, and real median household income is worse. Are you better off than you were under George Bush? The answer is no.

So when you look at all of these things, and I’m just touching the surface here, you look at all of these things, what is going to solve these? Who is going to solve them? How are we going to solve them? When are we going to solve them? How can any of these be solved?

See, what they have in common is they are all powerfully overwhelming, and there is no end in sight. No matter how many terrorists we kill, it’s like fire ants, they just keep coming back. No matter how much we protest or vote, our government continues to grow, sends us deeper into debt. They ignore the lie, and they divide us.

These problems are so huge that we feel helpless. I keep saying that people instinctively know something is coming. We see it in TV news. The economy is better, but no, it’s not. You can keep your healthcare. No, it’s not. The script doesn’t even come close to matching the reality on the ground, and we know that. There is such a huge disconnect.

So what, who, when, how are we going to solve these things? Well, I’m going to say something I don’t think I’ve ever said before. Let’s look to Hollywood for the answer. Yeah, yeah, I just want to do that for about two minutes here, because even though they miss the mark so often, they are in the business of trying to connect with the mood of the American people.

And I want you to notice something, a trend in the movies. There are now two types of movies that are very, very popular, and I’m going to show you the two trends. The first trend is this. You have Son of God. You have Noah, Heaven is for Real, Exodus, Mary Mother of Christ, God’s Not Dead, A.D., all of these things.

Now, Hollywood, granted, screws a lot of these up, like Noah. I mean, the giant rock people, that wasn’t really a biblical thing, and who knows what Exodus is going to have. Maybe Al Gore is going to come out and part the sea. I don’t know, but the point is there is a mood for this. There is a mood for this, and so they’re trying their best to come up with faith-based movies.

Now, what’s the other big trend in Hollywood right now? Superheroes, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Amazing Spiderman, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Transformers, Guardians of the Galaxy, all superheroes. They’re making a ton of money. These things, blockbusters. Faith-based movies, blockbusters, and this is coming from an industry that ignores that market.

So why is it happening? May I try and answer that question with another question: when? When was the last time we saw something like this happen before? Do you know? Same decade the characters like these were created, Green Hornet, Tonto, the Lone Ranger, the Green Arrow, which is a TV show again, Superman, all of them from the 1930s. And the first team of superheroes, the Justice Society of America, came out in 1940. What was happening during that time period?

Was our economy good? Was our economy good? No, Great Depression. Was there a buildup to war that we saw villains beyond our wildest imaginations? Yeah. Everything back then seemed insurmountable. Everything was too big to handle, and so American needed two things. They needed a superhero or they needed something that revolved around faith to embolden us, to show us that God is here, we’re going to make it, or there’s going to be a Superman.

Now, both times, in the Great Depression and now, we have tried to elect a savior. Now, how has that worked out as we tried to elect a savior? FDR was elected for four terms in office, four terms, and what did we do? We looked to a guy who could manage all of this. In his case, not a savior, we looked for like a dad or a grandfather. We looked for somebody who could just take all these problems and just solve them. We look to an Ivy League graduate to be president.

We think their big brilliant brain is going to somehow or another solve the riddle, fix all of these problems, because our little brain can’t figure all those things out. We can’t wrap our mind around $18 trillion in debt. That’s why we need either a savior or a superhero. They’ll solve it. It’s a lie. One person can’t.

People today laugh at the idea of a common sense farmer in the White House, but isn’t that exactly what we really need to return to? I think somebody like Charles Barkley is more fit to be in the White House than most of the polished brilliant politicians and Ivy League scholars that we have today. We need an actual leader that’s unafraid to speak common sense truth, unafraid of the mob mentality in public.

I get the feeling that, you know, I’m not going to agree very much with Charles Barkley. He’s been in the news lately, but he is unafraid to speak the truth. Whatever side that puts him on, he’s going to tell you. He speaks the truth, and it’s common sense, which brings me back to Rudyard Kipling, that poem that I like so much, The Gods of the Copybook Headings.

“As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man, There are only four things certain since Social Progress began, That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire, And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire; And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins, When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins, As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn, The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!”

The Gods of the Copybook Headings, truth, universal principles, common sense things—water will wet, fire will burn. We can deny it all we want, but once there is a fire and there’s nothing you can do about it, oh, all of a sudden you’re like okay, yes, fire will burn, a return to common sense, and you either come back to that gently or with terror and slaughter. And I contend those times are now upon us, common sense waiting to be tapped, but too many refuse to bow down to it.

As an alcoholic, I can tell you this, if you don’t bow down to common sense, it will take you out, with terror and slaughter return. So we’re searching. We’re searching. This is a good thing, recognize that history repeats itself. We’re searching for a superhero, a saint, religion. We tried the superhero thing back in 2008. It didn’t work out. The other option is religion, but is that going to work out?

May I suggest it’s faith that we should be looking for? It’s popular to bash people of faith or religion today. I mean, at this time of the year especially, atheists are putting up billboards throughout the Bible belt. One of them reads, “Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is to skip church. I’m too old for fairy tales!” How is that bringing us together? How is that helping their cause? Is that one of those things, like quite honestly, some faith movies, I think, are like this. They’re like ah, gotcha! Does that bring us together at all?

Recently, prominent scientists have likened the teaching of creation and intelligent design to child abuse. Now, at least for now, these are harmless and sad jabs, but where will they be in five, ten, twenty years of that ideology, that teaching God is equal to child abuse? Climate alarmists are already calling for jail time for deniers. Is it really that far out of reach to suggest that this could extend to creation?

Let’s look at the trends. The trends are that we are a nation looking for answers, and Hollywood is just a leading indicator of that. Some of us are saying it’s God. Some of us are just escaping into the world of superheroes. They’ll solve the NSA. That’s what The Winter Soldier was about. He’ll solve the NSA problem for us.

He doesn’t exist, guys. It’s up to us. But as we bash religion because that’s always…as it starts to grow, so does the darkness. The light gets stronger. So does the darkness. So let me just spend a few minutes here on those who bash religion. What would the world be like without religion, without Christians and Jews in particular?

Do you know how many Christian churches there are in the United States of America? Christian churches, there are about 300,000 Christian churches in America. In synagogues, there is about 3,700. So, now what does that mean in total here in the United States? That makes about 56 million Christians and 6 million Jews. That’s a lot of people.

But what do those people do? Those people, the 56 million Christians, have donated $100 billion, $100 billion. Now, this is far and away the highest amount donated by any other group. You take out Christians, and you don’t have $100 billion for charity. This accounts, by the way, for 30% of all charity. So without Christians, you lose that.

By the way, 75% believe in God, so 75% say yeah, there is a God. This makes us the number one most charitable nation on the planet and the strongest Christian nation on the planet. The money part only tells a little bit of the story. Most churches, and there are bad apples, strive to positively impact the community, and the same thing with synagogues.

Three quarters of Americans believe that a church near you, a church in your area, is actually good for your area. What was the percentage I just said, Tiffany? Okay, they know it’s a positive thing, because they know that church is going to help the needy, provide support to addicts, struggling marriages, the disabled, the poor. And that’s just locally.

What are churches doing and synagogues? What are we doing? Hundreds of thousands of Americans give up their lives to become missionaries. Countless children and families in Africa alone have had Americans to thank, not in a military uniform, but people who come from churches that have given them access to clean water, malaria, food, school supplies, schools themselves, healthcare.

This is who we are. This is what made us great. We’re good. We are not the people who wait around for somebody to save us. We lead. This is why the world looks to America first when there’s a problem. They’re not really looking to America and the soldiers. They are looking for the ones who give relief first, and it is that Christian, Judeo-Christian value that makes our soldiers so great.

We have to stop looking for a superhero and return to the principles and the values that make us strong. There is no one person. There isn’t. E pluribus unum, out of many, one. Okay, so we have to have unity, right? May I suggest e pluribus unum means and they gathered themselves together and became of one accord? When we’re of one accord, we will find the solution. The solution is when we worship and serve one God.

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.