"Ready… set…"

Last night on TV Glenn recapped everything happening around the globe and most of it isn’t good. Glenn says the perfect storm that’s been brewing for years may finally be coming ashore. Look at all of the unrest and ugly hatreds rising in Europe and elsewhere right now - and this before a real economic depression hits. What happens when the economy takes a deep dive? It’s go time.

Below is a transcript of this segment

I’ve told you for the last year that I kept hearing in my prayers that I would hear every time I’d pick up the newspaper and so it begins. And so it begins…that was last year. This year I am getting a different call. In fact, I’m starting to understand and so it begins a little bit more. This, I think, is the beginning of all of the things. These are the beginnings of sorrows.

These are the labor pangs, if you will, of the things yet to come, and they have begun. The water has broken. But today I was talking in a meeting, and I really think that a better way to explain this is you’re at a starting line, and when you’re at a starting line, they always say three things. What are they? Everybody knows—ready, set, go. Why do they say that, instead of just go? Because you’re not ready. Ready, set, go.

Anybody who is standing at the starting line…you’re in the Olympics, and you want to win. If they say ready, set, and you’re just standing around, and then they say go, you’re going to lose. I believe last year when I told you and so it begins, that was ready. I believe what happened in France was set, and we’re about to hear go.

I don’t know what’s coming our way, but it is trouble, and so there are things that we have to discuss and things that we have to do, because I really, truly believe, and I’ve always said this, I believe for some strange reason, and maybe I’m completely wrong, maybe I’m nuts, but I really truly believe that this audience will help pull the world away from the brink of insanity, and insanity is coming in spades as you will see tonight.

16263422506_13949f8828_k

There are four things that I believe that are true about all of us, and it doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich, you’re poor, you’re black, white. It just doesn’t matter, liberal or conservative. We all want to belong to something bigger than us, and that is our nation. That is our family. That is our job. Who wants to go to work every day, and you’re just time to make the donuts, man?

If you’re making the donuts and you know that people are coming in, and it really enhances people’s day, well, then you’ve got meaning in your job, but we all want to believe that we belong to something bigger than us and better than us.

Two, we all want to be heard. We don’t necessarily all expect to get our own way all the time, but we want someone to listen to us. Three, we all want control of our lives. We know that sometimes our lives will get out of control, but we want that system and that sense that yes, I can affect the outcome of my life, not my neighbors, not anybody else, but my life. And four, we generally all want to live in peace, I think. I know I do.

I know, everybody I know, we’re going to have arguments. We’re going to have strife. We’re not going to get together as family or neighbors all the time, but generally we all just at the end of the day are like look, we’re going to agree to disagree, let’s just move on. Can we just agree to disagree? Yes, if we have something to unite on. So, what is that that unites us?

We used to be a melting pot. I remember my family used to say that to me all the time, America is a melting pot. We’re not a melting pot anymore. Nobody comes here and melts into us. You were supposed to come here and bring what was great, the best part. Leave all the crap behind. Bring the best part and melt in and be an American.

We used to say that America was truth, justice, and the American way, but what is that? Does anybody know? Is it truth? Is it justice? Our culture has gradually disintegrated since the dawn of the progressive era to the point to where it’s in our national interest, violates our principles, and that’s what I want to talk to about, national interest over national principles.

This is the root of our problem in our decision making. We know, for instance, that it is in our national interest to have cheap oil, right? Everybody wants cheap oil. I don’t want to pay a lot for gas. It helps me get to work. It helps us build things. If we have cheap energy, it’s in our national interest, but it is not our national principle to have cheap oil. It’s in our national interest. There is a huge difference, but we no longer talk about our principles anymore.

Because of our principles, we know yes, our interests tell us we want cheap oil, but our principles tell us we don’t have the right to kill people or take over a country and just steal their oil. No war for oil reflects our national principle—principles over interest.

Is it in our national interest now to be in a war in the Middle East? Is it? Why? What core American principle is compelling us now to remain in a war with unclear goals that is sapping the creativity of a nation, killing its own citizens, killing citizens elsewhere, leading to the loss of perhaps an entire generation? I can’t think of one, and here’s why I can’t, because I can tell you it’s in our national interest not to be killed and slaughtered by Islamic jihad people, but we won’t even admit that. We won’t even admit that, and that’s an interest, not a principle.

I’m kind of focused on this because last night I saw American Sniper, and I sat next to Taya Kyle, Chris Kyle’s wife. I watched Lone Survivor sitting next to Marcus Luttrell, and I watched this sitting next to Taya Kyle, and my daughter was with me. And my daughter, God bless her, walked out of the theater together and composed, and the minute we walked out, we got into the back of the theater and we went out by the screen, so we were in the back alley. She took three steps, the door closed, and she turned to me, and she buried her head in my chest, and she just started to cry.

She said, “Dad, what do we do now? We see this now, what do we do?” We know what’s happening. I’ll give you my review of the movie later on in the hour, but we have to solve this. Most of all the problems we face, if not all of them, can be traced back to interests over principles, and the loss of our principles is what’s led to the loss of our culture, the loss of our guiding principles and values.

Try this, are we a Judeo-Christian nation, yes or no? It’s a yes-or-no question. No, “Well, I don’t know…” No, yes or no, are we a Judeo-Christian nation? The answer is very clear. Historically it is very clear. Look at the artwork. Go to the Supreme Court, see what is sitting behind the justice. The bench, what’s sitting there? Moses, Moses. We are clearly a Judeo-Christian nation.

Now, here’s why this matters. If you say no, okay, all right, then what are we basing our laws on? What is the basis of our society? Because out of that Judeo-Christian value comes our charity and our kindness and our basic rules—don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal. And by avoiding this conversation, what happens is we coddle those who disagree with Judeo-Christian values, and that has led to confusion at best, because now what one generation tolerates, the next generation embraces, and that’s what’s coming our way.

We’re not just coddling those who disagree now. We are becoming openly hostile to our own foundation, the principles that set us up. We have tolerated and excused and embraced the ideals that are in direct opposition to our founding principles.

Let me ask you this, if I woke you up in the dead of night, and I said to you, “Hey, which one do you choose, which one do you want, is it God or is it Satan,” which one? I would be surprised…I mean, I could imagine that the atheists, what 2%, 3%, 10%, they would say well, I don’t know, but I don’t want either one of them. I select science. Fine. Everybody else, 99.9993 would say, “Uh…God. Now, can I go back to sleep?” Right?

Satan, we know that’s a bad concept. It’s evil. Schools in Orange County, Florida, have now banned Bibles, going against our principles, Judeo-Christian values, because Satanists have threatened to pass out information pamphlets to the students, so we tolerate it because we’re afraid. There’s not even enough spine left to stand up to Satanists, and we lie to ourselves, and we say well, it’s our principles. We believe in free speech. It’s not our principles of free speech. This is national suicide.

You cannot violate your principles over and over and over again. Now, it’s not too late to turn it around, but I warn you, ready, set, go is coming. Meanwhile, as the willingness to defend Christianity rides off into the sunset, Duke University has planned to start a weekly campus-wide Muslim call-to-prayer from the tower of their church chapel. How many towns in America don’t allow the bells to ring anymore because it’s a nuisance?

But now a Muslim call-to-prayer from the Duke University church chapel. So you know, just before the show, they scrapped that plan. The university said Muslims will instead gather on the quad before heading into the chapel for their weekly prayer service, but without principle, decisions are based on what’s going to make this problem go away or what do I need today? And I warn you, what you need today is not what you’re going to need tomorrow.

15669477253_a01b6cdd5a_k

If I got everything I ever prayed for, I would have married a very stupid supermodel at about 18. Would that be a celebration of my principles today? No, that would have been my in my 18-year-old interests, not necessarily something that lasts a long time. We do things now to make people happy, to make people shut up, to take the path of least resistance, make problems go away, and we’re doing it without standing up for our own principles, and without principle, no individual, no nation will stand for long. Look what happens to a nation without principles.

There was another homegrown terrorist busted in America, Ohio, yesterday, inspired by ISIS. He wanted to set off a series of bombs and kill a bunch of lawmakers. His plan was to detonate pipe bombs at the U.S. Capitol building and start gunning down anyone who fled the building. Officials were quick to call this, of course, say it with me, a lone wolf attack. Why? Because it’s in their interests.

Public pressure, political correctness, they want to admit that they are in control, that they were not wrong. They want you to believe that things are okay, you’re safe. Many of them don’t actually believe in actual evil, I think. I think there are some people who are so blinded by their hatred of our original principles, and they don’t even know their own that they embrace anything and everything that goes against our founding principles, even if it doesn’t make sense.

Think of this, think of the people who are embracing…the homosexual community that is standing up for the people like ISIS or the people over in the Middle East, Hamas, that will kill homosexuals that fast. That doesn’t make any sense. Why? Because they’re playing what’s in their interest, and their interest in many ways to some is to destroy the principles and the values of America and the West.

They want you now to believe that it’s just one crazy guy and nothing to worry about, but you know that’s not true. Truth, justice, and the American way, the truth is there have been so many lone wolf attacks around the globe, commentators are now calling it a wolf pack, a wolf pack of lone wolves. It’s either a lone wolf for a pack. Which one is it?

Europe tried the nothing-to-see-here approach. They embraced multiculturalism. They allowed their founding principles and their values which weren’t very strong in the first place to be eroded into meaninglessness, and their lack of meaning is going to lead them back to the same Fascism and the same Communism that we saw occupy Europe in the 20th century.

People are now being pushed into extremism. It’s not that hard to figure out. It’s not a justification of it. It’s just stating a fact. Europe has been crumbling. The basic comforts of life are being ripped from underneath them, and it is the natural reaction because everybody wants to belong to something, and I don’t want to belong to the EU. I don’t even know what the EU stands for. What’s the EU’s principle? Money, the European economic system. That’s not strong enough.

People want their homeland. They want their family. They want to believe in something that is rooted in tradition. So, people like Golden Dawn and other extremists are there ready to give you that tradition. They’re ready to give you that answer, and that answer will always be it’s them, it’s the Jew, it’s the immigrant, it’s the person different than you. A German plan now has…there’s a town in Germany that has a bunch of refugees coming in.

Now, in your wildest dreams, if you know who you are as Germans, in your wildest dream and you’ve learned your lesson, when you have a bunch of unwanted refugees, does anybody suggest hey, why don’t we put them up in the old concentration camp? No, but they just did. They’re now heading down the same path.

France—listen to these stats—France has 6 million Muslims. If you believe in the lone wolf and say it’s not the majority of Muslims, which I subscribe to, it’s not the majority of Muslims, but if you say the radical-to-moderate Muslim ratio around the globe is true in France, and I’m going to take the lowest estimate. Some people say it’s as high as 10%. Some people say it’s as high as 40% in the Middle East, but let’s just say some people say it’s 10. I’m going to say it’s 1%, 1%. In France, that leaves you with 60,000 jihadists in that one country alone, 60,000 lone wolves.

Germany has 5 million Muslims. One percent, that’s on the uber low side of radicalized Muslims, that’s 50,000 jihadists in Germany minimum. You get the idea. There are hundreds of thousands of radical jihadists roaming Western Europe alone, and they are here. They’re in Canada. They’re in Australia. They’re everywhere, and we won’t even recognize it. Wake up! It is not in our national interest. It’s a national priority to reconnect with our principles so we can stand against evil.

What we saw in France and other “lone wolf” attacks ignores the problem if we don’t address it, if we don’t say it out loud. It would be like looking at a concentration camp in Buchenwald and say well, that’s just an isolated incident. Buchenwald, okay, sure, you know, that’s run by Wilhelm, Buchenwald, but Auschwitz, Auschwitz, that’s in Poland. I mean, you know, you can’t connect all of these concentration camps together. These are lone wolves, isolated incidents, nothing to see here. Excuse me? They’re united in their hatred, and by letting the problem fester, it only gets worse.

History is repeating itself, and I don’t think Americans…I don’t think most Americans have a problem with immigrants. I really don’t. We all are immigrants, but it has to be somebody who’s coming in here the right way, doing the right thing, melting into us. We welcome those people. That’s the second part of it. You have to be willing to embrace our culture.

I look at that list of those four things—we all want to live in peace. That means I can disagree with you, but I can say you know what, Bob, we’re neighbors, we all want the same basic thing, let’s just agree to disagree. It’s why I decided to visit the border. I have relatives and friends whose parents came from places like Italy or Korea, and their parents speak the native tongue. They also speak English, but they speak the native tongue.

But their kids, none of my friends whose parents are first-generation, none of them speak a lick of the language of the country they came from, not one. They all speak English. Why? Because as my Uncle Leo would say, you’re in America now. You adapt. You came here to live. You become part of the culture, just like you would if you went to live in Germany or Mexico or France or England. But you have to have a culture. What is our culture? Truth, justice, American way.

Who stands for truth? Business? Citibank is willing to put taxpayers on the hook for a bailout because it was in their self interest. What happened to the principle of personal responsibility? That was a principle. Churches, synagogues, are they standing up? Are they willing to take on their own tax exempt status? Are they willing to say you know what, I don’t care, I’ll lose this mega-church. I’ll got out in the street and preach poor if I have to because this is right?

Is anybody standing up for our military after 14 years of war? You know, World War II, World War II, think of all the documentaries and all the films and all the things that happened. That was four years, four, count ’em. We’re in year 14 of this never-ending war. Why? And why am I the guy on the television asking that question? Where are the protesters now? Where is the media with their daily death counts? Remember?

Every single month, 65 soldiers died over in Iraq today, 55 last month, 47 last month. It’s getting worse. Where are they? People, women, men, still dying. I haven’t seen a death count since Bush left office. Why? Why? Because it’s no longer in their interest. It was never about principles. International answer, it was never about principles. It was about politics. CNN and their death count, the New York Times and their death count, it’s not about principles.

The massive debt obligation that we are heaping on an entire generation of children who will be forced to reap what we have sown, who is going to pay for our generation’s recklessness? Hey, I’ve got an idea. You know what, I’ll tell you what, why don’t you and I, let’s go to the Bugatti store today, you and I. We’ll both go buy a Bugatti, and I’m going to take a loan out on my children’s life so my children will pay for it when they turn 30. They’ll pay for the Bugatti now, but we’ll have a Bugatti. It’ll be great—greed and lies.

I’ve been reading the Torah lately. The best thing in the Torah is this so far, the very beginning. I know, I’m running out of time. The best thing about the Torah that I’m reading right now is it says “in the beginning of God’s creating.” It’s not in the beginning God, created the heavens. In the beginning of God’s creating…how fantastic is that? He’s been around for a while.

Now, let me show you, here’s the beginning of His creating. But the word God, if you read it in the King James Version or anything else, we just get one word. Jews really have it going. They’ve got all kinds of words for God. This one is justice, meaning that when God created the heavens and the earth, He created it with justice, which means warning: The events will always bend back towards justice, because the entire system was built for justice.

Race riots, anti-cop violence, extremists that are rising, the Fascists, the anti-Semitism, all of this stuff is happening. It’s going to be wiped out because the whole universe is bending towards justice. It might take a while. We might have to go to hell, but real economic strife hasn’t even come ashore yet. What happens when it really gets ugly? All this stuff that is happening now, it hasn’t even started.

People still have their frickin’ iPhone. What happens to that person who hasn’t been paying attention to the news, all of a sudden their livelihood is taken away? All of a sudden they’re like wait a minute, what do you mean I can’t have my iPhone? Wait a minute, what do you mean? Somebody’s going to be willing to say, “It’s those guys over there.” It’s the immigrants, they took your job. It’s the Jews. It’s the conservatives. It’s the liberals. It’s whoever. It’s the blacks. It’s the whites. It’s the rich. It’s the poor.

You think you’re tough, really? We’re the most coddled generation possibly in the history of the planet. People think they’re so tough. They go over from France to go over to Syria and participate in jihad. They are literally crying themselves to sleep at night because they can no longer use their Wi-Fi on their phone. You’re going to behead people, and you can’t handle losing your iPhone?

We can’t handle a day without bread and milk on the shelves, our 4G being down for ten minutes. We all freak out. What happens when real strife comes, when we lose jobs, when we lose food, when we lose safety, and we can’t depend on our neighbor because we don’t know what they even believe in?

What’s coming? You’ve heard it all before. You’ve seen it all before. You want to know what’s coming? Go watch a video. Go watch some documentary on World War II. It’s coming again. Ready, set…God help us when the starter says go.

On Wednesday's TV show, Glenn Beck sat down with radio show host, author, political commentator, and film critic, Michael Medved.

Michael had an interesting prediction for the 2020 election outcome: a brokered convention by the DNC will usher in former First Lady Michelle Obama to run against President Donald Trump.

Watch the video below to hear why he's making this surprising forecast:

Use code BECK to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

On Thursday's "Glenn Beck Radio Program," BlazeTV's White House correspondent Jon Miller described the current situation in Virginia after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and banned people carrying guns at Capitol Square just days before a pro-Second-Amendment rally scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jon told Glenn that Gov. Northam and the Virginia Legislature are "trying to deprive the people of their Second Amendment rights" but the citizens of Virginia are "rising up" to defend their constitutional rights.

"I do think this is the flashpoint," Jon said. "They [Virginia lawmakers] are saying, 'You cannot exercise your rights ... and instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, we are putting pressure. We're trying to escalate it and we're trying to enrage the citizenry even more'."

Glenn noted how Gov. Northam initially blamed the threat of violence from Antifa for his decision to ban weapons but quickly changed his narrative to blame "white supremacists" to vilify the people who are standing up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.

"What he's doing is, he's making all all the law-abiding citizens of Virginia into white supremacists," Glenn said.

"Sadly, that's exactly right," Jon replied. "And I think he knows exactly what he's doing."

Watch the video to catch more of the conversation below:

Use code BECK to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Ryan: Trump Louisiana Finale

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

At the end of Trump rallies, I would throw on my Carhartt jacket, sneak out of the press area, then blend in with everyone as they left, filing out through swinging doors.

Often, someone held the door open for me. Just 30 minutes earlier, the same person had most likely had most likely hissed at me for being a journalist. And now they were Sunday smiles and "Oh, yes, thank you, sir" like some redneck concierge.

People flooded out of the arena with the stupidity of a fire drill mishap, desperate to survive.

The air smacked you as soon as you crossed the threshold, back into Louisiana. And the lawn was a wasteland of camping chairs and coolers and shopping bags and to-go containers and soda cans and articles of clothing and even a few tents.

In Monroe, in the dark, the Trump supporters bobbled over mounds of waste like elephants trying to tiptoe. And the trash was as neutral to them as concrete or grass. They plodded over it because it, an object, had somehow gotten in their way.

It did not matter that they were responsible for this wreckage.Out in the sharp-edged moonlight, rally-goers hooted and yapped and boogied and danced, and the bbq food truck was all smoke and paper plates.

They were even more pumped than they had been before the rally, like 6,000 eight year olds who'd been chugging Mountain Dew for hours. Which made Donald Trump the father, the trooper, God of the Underworld, Mr. Elite, Sheriff on high horse, the AR-15 sticker of the family.

Ritualistic mayhem, all at once. And, there in Louisiana, Trump's supporters had gotten a taste of it. They were all so happy. It bordered on rage.

Still, I could not imagine their view of America. Worse, after a day of strange hostilities, I did not care.

My highest priority, my job as a reporter, was to care. To understand them and the world that they inhabit. But I did not give a damn and I never wanted to come back.

Worst of all, I would be back. In less than a week.

Was this how dogs felt on the 4th of July? Hunched in a corner while everyone else gets drunk and launches wailing light into the sky? configurations of blue and red and white.

It was 10:00 p.m. and we'd been traveling since 11:00 a.m., and we still had 5 hours to go and all I wanted was a home, my home, any home, just not here, in the cold sweat of this nowhere. Grey-mangled sky. No evidence of planes or satellites or any proof of modern-day. Just century-old bridges that trains shuffled over one clack at a time.

And casinos, all spangles and neon like the 1960s in Las Vegas. Kitchy and dumb, too tacky for lighthearted gambling. And only in the nicer cities, like Shreveport, which is not nice at all.

And swamp. Black water that rarely shimmered. Inhabited by gadflies and leeches and not one single fish that was pretty.

Full of alligators, and other killing types. The storks gnawing on frogs, the vultures never hungry. The coyotes with nobody to stop them and so much land to themselves. The roaches in the wild, like tiny wildebeests.

Then, the occasional deer carcass on the side of the road, eyes splayed as if distracted, tongue out, relaxed but empty. The diseased willows like skeletons in hairnets. The owls that never quit staring. A million facets of wilderness that would outlive us all.

Because Nature has poise. It thrives and is original.

Because silence is impossible. Even in an anechoic chamber, perfectly soundproofed, you can hear your own heartbeat, steady as a drum. A never-ending war.

I put "Headache" by Grouper on repeat as we glided west. We were deadlocked to asphalt, rubber over tarface.

And I thought about lines from a Rita Dove poem titled "I have been a stranger in a strange land"

He was off cataloging the universe, probably,
pretending he could organize
what was clearly someone else's chaos.

Wasn't that exactly what I was doing? Looking for an impossible answer, examining every single accident, eager for meaning? telling myself, "If it happens and matters the next year, in America, I want to be there, or to know what it means. I owe it to whoever cares to listen."

Humans are collectors and I had gone overboard.

Because maybe this wasn't even my home. These landmarks, what did they mean? Was I obvious here? When I smiled, did I trick them into believing that I felt some vague sense of approval? Or did my expressions betray me?

Out in all that garbage-streaked emptiness — despite the occasional burst of passing halogen — I couldn't tell if everything we encountered was haunted or just old, derelict, broken, useless. One never-ending landfill.

Around those parts, they'd made everything into junk. Homes. Roads. Glass. Nature. Life itself, they made into junk.

I cringed as we passed yet another deer carcass mounded on the side of the road.

As written in Job 35:11,

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?

Nobody. Look at nature and you feel something powerful. Look at an animal, in all of its untamable majesty, and you capture a deep love, all swept up in the power of creation. But, here, all I saw were poor creatures who people had slammed into and kept driving. Driving to where? For what reason? What exactly was so important that they left a trail of dead animals behind them?

So I crossed myself dolorously and said an "Our Father" and recited a stanza from Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart"

you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

Out here, nothing but darkness. Needing some light, by God. Give me something better than a Moon that hides like an underfed coward.

Jade told me about some of the more traumatic things she'd seen while working at the State Fair.

"Bro, they pull roaches out of the iced lemonade jugs and act like nothing happened."

"All right but what about the corn dogs?"

"You do not want to know, little bro."

She looked around in the quiet. "Back in the day, the Louisiana Congress refused to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21," she said. "They didn't want to lose all that drunk gambler money. So the federal government cut off funding to highways."

We glided through moon-pale landscape for an hour before I realized what she had meant. That there weren't any light poles or billboards along the road. Nothing to guide us or distract us. Just us, alone. And it felt like outer space had collapsed, swallowed us like jellybeans.

Like two teenagers playing a prank on the universe.

In the cozy Subaru Crosstrek, in the old wild night, brimming with the uncertainty of life and the nonchalance of failure, we paraded ourselves back to Dallas. Alive in the river silence that follows us everywhere.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Next, the Iowa caucuses. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

The Iowa primary is just around the corner, and concerns of election interference from the last presidential election still loom. Back in 2016, The Associated Press found that a majority of U.S. elections systems still use Windows 7 as an operating system, making them highly susceptible to bugs and errors. And last year, a Mississippi voter tried multiple times to vote for the candidate of his choice, but the system continuously switched his vote to the other candidate. It's pretty clear: America's voting systems desperately need an update.

That's where blockchain voting comes in.

Blockchain voting is a record-keeping system that's 100% verifiable and nearly impossible to hack. Blockchain, the newest innovation in cybersecurity, is set to grow into a $20 billion industry by 2025. Its genius is in its decentralized nature, distributing information throughout a network of computers, requiring would-be hackers to infiltrate a much larger system. Infiltrating multiple access points spread across many computers requires a significant amount of computing power, which often costs more than hackers expect to get in return.

Blockchain voting wouldn't allow for many weak spots. For instance, Voatz, arguably the leading mobile voting platform, requires a person to take a picture of their government-issued ID and a picture of themselves before voting (a feature, of course, not present in vote-by-mail, where the only form of identity verification is a handwritten signature, which is easily forgeable). Voters select their choices and hit submit. They then receive an immediate receipt of their choices via email, another security feature not present in vote-by-mail, or even in-person voting. And because the system operates on blockchain technology, it's nearly impossible to tamper with.

Votes are then tabulated, and the election results are published, providing a paper trail, which is a top priority for elections security experts.

The benefits of blockchain voting can't be dismissed. Folks can cast their vote from the comfort of their homes, offices, etc., vastly increasing the number of people who can participate in the electoral process. Two to three-hour lines at polling places, which often deter voters, would become significantly diminished.

Even outside of the voting increase, the upsides are manifold. Thanks to the photo identification requirements, voter fraud—whether real or merely suspected—would be eliminated. The environment would win, too, since we'd no longer be wasting paper on mail-in ballots. Moreover, the financial burden on election offices would be alleviated, because there's decreased staff time spent on the election, saving the taxpayer money.

From Oregon to West Virginia, elections offices have already implemented blockchain voting, and the results have been highly positive. For example, the city of Denver utilized mobile voting for overseas voters in their 2019 municipal elections. The system was secure and free of technical errors, and participants reported that it was very user-friendly. Utah County used the same system for their 2019 primary and general elections. An independent audit revealed that every vote that was cast on the app was counted and counted correctly. These successful test cases are laying the groundwork for even larger expansions of the program in 2020.

With this vital switch, our elections become significantly more secure, accurate, and efficient. But right now, our election infrastructure is a sitting duck for manipulation. Our current lack of election integrity undermines the results of both local and national elections, fans the flames of partisanship, and zaps voter confidence in the democratic system. While there's never a silver bullet or quick fix to those kinds of things, blockchain voting would push us much closer to a solution than anything else.

Chris Harelson is the Executive Director at Prosperity Council and a Young Voices contributor.