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.

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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.

Christmas is the gift that keeps on giving for radical leftists. This charade goes on year after year, where decent folks across America try to enjoy and celebrate Christmas, and a few militant progressives disapprove. It's exhausting. We get it, you don't like Christmas. And that's totally fine. But entire communities of people who do like to celebrate Christmas are tired of their celebration being held hostage by an extreme minority—sometimes just one person—getting offended.

This year, a self-described “Unintentional Grinch who stole Christmas" is in the lead to win Scrooge of the Year. The principal at Manchester Elementary in Omaha, Nebraska sent her teachers a memo this week outlining all the Christmas-related items and activities that will not be allowed in their classrooms.

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The banned list includes:

  • Santa
  • Christmas trees
  • Elf on the Shelf
  • Singing Christmas carols
  • Playing Christmas music
  • Making an ornament as a gift
  • Any red and green items
  • Reindeer
  • And, of course, candy canes. Not because the sugar will make the children hyper, but because, as the principal explains, the candy cane is shaped like a “J" for Jesus.

She writes, “the red is for the blood of Christ, and the white is a symbol of his resurrection." In case you try to cheat, different-colored candy canes are not allowed either.

Why is this principal going out of her way to delete any trace of Christmas in her school? She explains:

“I come from a place that Christmas and the like are not allowed in schools…"

Her list, “aligns with my interpretation of our expectations as a public school who seeks to be inclusive and culturally sensitive to all of our students."

What about being culturally sensitive toward students who do celebrate Christmas?

Kids will survive if they're accidentally exposed to a Santa.

The irony here, for this principal and others who hate Christmas and the Christianity that undergirds it, is that Christmas has long existed on two parallel tracks. You've got the Christian celebration of the birth of Christ on one, and you've got the Santa Claus, secular mythology on the other. That means there is more than enough about the Christmas season that has nothing to do with Jesus if that's your thing.

You don't need a totalitarian list of forbidden things to protect the children from a 2,000-year-old holiday. Kids will survive if they're accidentally exposed to a Santa, or a Christmas carol, or—heaven forbid—a manger scene.

Avenatti bails on 2020 presidential run, leaving Biden as 'most qualified' — really?

Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Politicon

Well, that de-escalated quickly. Michael Avenatti, lawyer of Stormy Daniels, announced he will not run for president in 2020 after all. That takes the number of Democrats planning to challenge Trump down to around 724.

In a statement, Avenatti said he would still run, but he decided not to out of respect for his family's “concerns." He didn't list their concerns, but said:

“We will not prevail in 2020 without a fighter. I remain hopeful the party finds one."

Speaking of — if you've been wondering who's the most qualified person in America to be president, wonder no more. It's former vice president Joe Biden.

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How do we know? Because ol' Joe told us so, at a book tour stop in Montana. The 76-year-old says he'll make a decision about a 2020 bid within the next two months, which is campaign-speak for “I'm definitely running, so get out your checkbooks."

Biden admitted:

“I am a gaffe machine, but my God what a wonderful thing compared to a guy who can't tell the truth."

Yeah, about that… the first time Biden ran for president, in 1987, he was actually pulling ahead of the Democratic pack until his campaign got snagged on plagiarism. He got caught lifting entire sections of a speech by Neil Kinnock, a British Labor Party candidate who ran for Prime Minister and lost to Margaret Thatcher. It wasn't just the fact that Biden copied exact sections of Kinnock's speech, he also stole biographical facts from Kinnock's life and tried to pass them off as his own — like saying his ancestors were coal miners.

The most qualified person in the country to be president? Maybe in the mind of Joe Biden.

Perhaps in the pre-Internet era, Biden thought he could get away with it. But he didn't. An adviser for Michael Dukakis' campaign saw a tape of Kinnock's speech and put together a side-by-side comparison video of Biden's plagiarizing, then sent the tape to the New York Times. As reporters dug further into the story, they found that Biden had also lifted large portions of speeches by Robert Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey.

Those revelations led Biden to admit he got an “F" for a course in law school after he plagiarized five pages for a term paper. Biden was caught in more lies about his academic credentials and enough embarrassments mounted that he finally withdrew from the race.

The most qualified person in the country to be president? Maybe in the mind of Joe Biden.

Saturday Night Live writer Nimesh Patel, an Emmy-nominated comedian, is the latest victim in campus culture's wacky game. Patel is the first Indian-American writer for SNL, so by the usual standards of identity politics, he should be safe. Not the case. All of the rules went out the window when he was performing a stand-up comedy set for an event called "cultureSHOCK: Reclaim" at Columbia University hosted by the Asian American Alliance.

He joked that being gay cannot be a choice because “no one looks in the mirror and thinks, 'this black thing is too easy, let me just add another thing to it.'"

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For one, that's less of a joke and more of a statement. It's exactly the kind of safe, pro-LGBT statement that you would think campus feminists and trans activists would squeal with glee to hear.

According to Columbia's school paper, student organizers, offended by Patel's joke, rushed the stage 30 minutes into the set and told Patel that he needed to finish his set and say a few closing remarks.

Patel argued that his jokes were not offensive, and that they were actually much-needed insights into the real world. He also made it clear that he stands in solidarity with the Asian American Alliance.

They still cut his microphone off and booted him off stage.

Patel hasn't commented on the uproar, but here are a few comments from people who were in the audience:

The Columbia Spectator quoted three students who were in the audience. One of them said:

“The message they were trying to send with the event was opposite to the jokes he was making, and using people's ethnicity as the crux of his jokes could be funny but still offensive... He definitely wasn't the most crass comedian I've ever heard but for the event it was inappropriate."

Another student said:

“I really dislike when people who are older say that our generation needs to be exposed to the real world. Obviously the world is not a safe space but just accepting that it's not and continuing to perpetuate the un-safeness of it… is saying that it can't be changed," said Jao. “When older generations say you need to stop being so sensitive, it's like undermining what our generation is trying to do in accepting others and making it safer."

The radical version of leftism that has overtaken college campuses... will eat their own without thinking twice.

The third student wasn't bothered by the jokes:

“While what some of the things that he said might have been a bit provoking to some of the audience, as someone who watches comedy a lot, none of them were jokes that I hadn't heard before and none of them were jokes that elicited such a response in my experience."

The third student is a little ray of hope in all of this, but I'm afraid that people like her are increasingly outnumbered and unwilling to speak up.

The jokes were clearly not racist or homophobic. If anything, they seem to have been designed to pander to overly sensitive campus activists who all too often cry “racist" and “homophobic" and all their other insults.

It just goes to show that the left, particularly the radical version of leftism that has overtaken college campuses, will stop at nothing to push its postmodern narrative. They'll spare nobody. And they will eat their own without thinking twice.

Forbes recently described student loan debt as the $1.5 trillion crisis, adding that "Student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category - behind only mortgage debt - and higher than both credit cards and auto loans," which is affecting 44 million borrowers in the U.S.

There's also the cultural effect that college is having, the indoctrination that young people are being subjected to. More and more powerful people are recognizing that college as an institution is a problem.

Last Friday, Peter Thiel gave a keynote speech at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute's Collegiate Network editors' conference. He told a roomful of 100 students:

Universities today are as corrupt as the Catholic Church of 500 years ago. At some point, if it's 100 to zero, you start to suspect you're in North Korea. Does the unanimity mean you've gotten to the truth, or does it mean you're in a totalitarian state. We have this illusion that all sorts of important decisions have been decided.

He added:

We are not on the losing side of history. The other side is on the losing side. The reformation is going to happen, and it won't come from within, but from the outside.

Thiel has worked actively to bring about the change that he's talking about here. The lawsuit he led against Gawker helped topple their empire of filth and lowest-level journalism. He has also created The Thiel Fellowship, which "gives $100,000 to young people who want to build new things instead of sitting in a classroom. The idea that we are on the losing side is a form of psychological warfare."

We're not on the losing side. Not in the slightest.

And he's right. We're not on the losing side. Not in the slightest. We're on the up-and-up. Things are only going to get better from here.