The Go-Giver: A new way to do business

Glenn interviewed a fascinating author this week who has come up with a way of doing business that turns conventional wisdom squarely on its head. This decidedly unconventional approach will seem completely ludicrous, but it’s so effective Glenn bought every member on staff a copy to read.

Glenn: Okay, we were just talking in the break as I’m watching some of the staff. I just told Bob that I can’t tell you the number of people that wrote to me after I gave it to everybody on the staff and just said thank you. And it wasn’t about giving them the book. It was about, “Thank you. This is the direction we’re going.” I think people really want, in all walks of life, this is who they want to be, but society or whatever, cronyism, has convinced them you can’t be that way and be successful. So go through the five laws.

Bob: Okay, first, thank you for the great complement. I think a lot of times people see on TV, and they see in the movies, you know, the greedy, moneygrubbing capitalist. Nobody wants to be like that, so if that’s what capitalism is, I don’t want… right?

Glenn: Right.

Bob: And so we look at five laws. The basic premise is that shifting your focus, and this is the real key, shifting your focus from getting to giving, and when we say giving in this context, we simply mean constantly and consistently providing value to others. We look at five laws. The first one is the law of value. This one says your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.

Now, this sounds a little counterproductive at first. How do you give more in value than you take in payment and survive, never mind thrive in business? You’ve got to make a profit, right? And that’s fine. We just need to understand the difference between price and value. Price is a dollar figure. It’s a dollar amount. It’s finite. It is what it is. Value, on the other hand, is the relative worth or desirability of something to the end-user or beholder. In other words, what is it about this thing, this product, service, concept, opportunity, idea, that brings with it so much worth that someone will willingly, again, free market, willingly exchange their money for this and feel great that they did while you make a healthy profit?

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In the book, we talk about Ernesto, the restauranteur, who provides a great dining experience. You go in that restaurant, and not only is the food fantastic, but you feel like a million bucks. They treat you so well, and the atmosphere, and you come out of it, you feel you got more in value than what you paid, but of course his costs for the food and the staff, overhead, is less than what he’s charging, so everybody makes a profit, because the buyer also makes a profit because they come away ahead. But the key is the focus, you can’t be focused on the money. You must be focused on bringing value, because that’s what turns into money.

Glenn: You know, I read this, and I know you’re libertarian. Are you a big Ayn Rand fan?

Bob: I am a big fan of her works without necessarily agreeing with every—

Glenn: Got it. I had a feeling you and I are the same. She’s great, but where she goes wrong for me is she just doesn’t understand the connection to the heart. It’s all very internal. It’s all me, me, me, me, me, so it becomes very selfish. You’re saying the same thing that she is saying about…she’s unashamed of being a capitalist, because she’s saying there is value here. I am creating something that no one else can create. I’m creating it. They want it, so it’s a fair exchange.

Bob: It’s what her heroes did—

Glenn: Correct, but you’ve…I don’t know, I don’t want to use cloaked it, because that’s not the right word, but you’ve wrapped around this service, and to me, that is the big difference between this and Ayn Rand, and it’s very subtle, I think, if you take the bone structure down. It is your intent. Her intent is I want to be me. This intent is I want to be me, but I want to serve the people with what I have. I’m going to go find the people that need what I have, and we’re going to exchange, and it’s going to be great. It’s less of, “That’s who I am, and I’m Howard Roark, and I’m going to design this building. If you don’t like, it screw you.” It’s, “This is great, isn’t it?” And so it’s an exchange.

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Bob: Thank you. I appreciate that. So, that’s really what the law of value is all about. It’s focusing on bringing value. This is why we say that money is an echo of value. It’s the thunder to value’s lightning, which simply means the value, the focus on the value must come first. The value, you’re providing. The money is simply a very direct and natural result of the value you’ve provided. That’s the foundational principle.

The second law is the law of compensation. This one is much simpler. This simply says your income is determined by how many people you serve as well as how well you serve them. So, where law number one says give more in value than you take in payment, law number two tells us the more people whose lives you add this kind of exceptional value to, the more money with which you’ll be rewarded.

Glenn: Here’s why I love this, because you can explain to everybody who says, “Oh, you know, it’s not right that, you know, so-and-so is making all that money.” Really? Look at your average football player. How many people is he affecting? You might be doing something that is more important, but you, you’re not affecting that many people. You know what I mean? That value of that game on Sunday, millions are watching, and so they are attaching just a little bit of value, just a few pennies, all of those people, where you might be doing something really important that yes, it is worth more than a stupid football game, but it’s not, because you’re not affecting millions of people. And so that whole class warfare of well, what you do, you’re making all this money, that all just disappears with this.

Bob: Well, thank you. That’s why we had Nicole Martin, the CEO, who was the schoolteacher who was very frustrated with the fact that, you know, she loved the students, they loved her, the parents loved her, but she could only reach so many people. Plus the government school bureaucracy kind of wasn’t really…so she went out on her own, and she was entrepreneurial, and she found a way to expand her value, to leverage that, and she was able to touch the lives of a whole lot more people and make a lot more money as a result.

Glenn: It’s scalability.

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Bob: Exactly. Now, law number three is the law of influence, and the law of influence says your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first. Again, counterintuitive at best, Pollyanna-ish at worst, right? And yet, the top leaders, the great influencers, the most successfully profitable sales people, this is how they conduct their businesses. This is how they run their lives. They’re always looking for ways, as Sam told the protégé, Joe, in the book, to make their win about the other person’s win, but it’s very important to qualify this by saying when we say place other people’s interests first, we don’t mean you should be anybody’s doormat, that you should be a martyr, that you should be self-sacrificial in any way. It should always be congruent with both sides coming out ahead.

[break]

Glenn: Okay, so let’s go back to where we were. Give me an example.

Bob: Okay, this example of placing the other person’s interests first happens every single day just in the sales process. A professional salesperson understands, and Glenn, I often will start out when I speak at sales conventions with this. I’ll say nobody is going to buy from you because you have a quota to meet. They’re not going to buy from you because you need the sale. They’re not going to buy from you because you think it’s a great product. They’re going to buy from you because they see value in doing it.

They see it’s of much greater advantage to them to have your product or service than to not have it, so as a professional salesperson, what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to focus on them. You’ve got to ask them the questions that help identify their need, their want, their desire, and to the degree you do that, you’re going to be successful.

Glenn: Can I tell you, one of the things that we have always done, and at first it drove the salespeople, the professional salespeople, crazy. They were like…the first time I did it before I owned everything, and I was kind of working for another company, I’d come in with the salespeople for a sales call, and I’d be right there. It was a big, you know, a big sale, and I’d say, “I don’t think this is right for you. I don’t think I can do the job for you, because I don’t think my audience will connect with what you’re selling.” And you’d see the salespeople just went white. They were like, “He’s drunk. You should sign.”

And we turned down a lot of business, and what we found is it’s really amazing. (A) You keep your clients because it works, but (B) and I wish I was doing it for unscrupulous reasons, kind of, because we would’ve made more money, because those people always come back, and they want it more. And you’re like, “No, I’m not negotiating with you. I’m just telling you it won’t work.” “No, it’s gotta work. It’s gotta work.” They’re selling you all of a sudden. It’s crazy.

Bob: Glenn, here’s what it comes down to, and in the story, Sam told this to Joe. He called it the golden rule of business, of sales, if you will, but it’s of anything. It’s leadership, influence, and that is all things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like, and trust. There’s no faster, more powerful, more genuinely effective way of eliciting those feelings toward you than by placing their interest first, just like you did.

Glenn: The secret, I think, is not to just hire a bunch of people that people like, because there are people who, you know, you walk in, they might be really smart, but you just don’t like them. They have to actually connect with you. I mean, they have to be doing the right thing for you. That’s where the trust comes in.

Bob: Yeah, absolutely. Stephen M.R. Covey, the son of Dr. Stephen Covey of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen M.R. Covey wrote a book called The Speed of Trust, where he quantified…he also wrote a book called Smart Trust. They’re both wonderful books, and he really quantified trust. He showed that when there’s high trust, things happen quicker. Things happen faster. People understand what you mean. They trust you. But when there’s no trust, low trust, lack of trust, that’s when bureaucracy, that’s where things…right?

Glenn: Right.

Bob: And so that trust is just so important.

Glenn: Okay, so the next habit.

Bob: The next one is law of authenticity, and this one simply says the most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself. In the story, Deborah Davenport shared a lesson she learned early in her career that all the skills in the world, the sales skills, technical skills, people skills, as important as they are, and they are important, they’re also all for not if you don’t come at it from your true, authentic core.

Now, when you do, when you show up as yourself, day after day, week after week, month after month, people feel good about you. They feel comfortable. They know you. They like you. They trust you. But when someone shows up as they do as a…I think the Latin term is Phonus Bolognus or something…right? You know, people don’t feel comfortable with them.

And you say well, why don’t they show up as themselves? Are they, you know, crooked or trying to…? No, I think usually it’s because they don’t have the confidence in themselves to know that they have something of value to offer, and it’s hard to show up authentically when you don’t feel you have anything worthwhile to offer.

Glenn: This one is going to be really important in the future, because you’re going to be stripped down to your authentic self because everything is going to be taken from you. There’s no privacy. There’s no privacy, so the only way you can get…the only way I got to my authentic self was being down on the ground as an alcoholic and realizing I’ve got nothing left. There’s nowhere to go, and so that’s when you find out who you really, truly are.

That’s going to happen to all of us. In some way or another, you’re going to be stripped down naked to the essence of who you are. The faster you strip it down, the faster you gladly say, “Yep, I’ve got it all out, it doesn’t matter, I want to go there because I want to find who I really, truly am,” the more you’ll be a leader in what’s to come. Okay, next.

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Bob: The law of receptivity, and this one kind of ties it together. The law of receptivity says the key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving. Late in the story, Pindar, the main mentor, tells Joe, the protégé, to breathe out and hold that breath to the count of 30. Joe tries, but in about ten seconds or so, he’s gasping for air, and Pindar says, “What’s the matter, Joe, can’t do it?” Joe says, “No, I can’t just breathe out. I’ve got to breathe in as well.” And Pindar says, “But, Joe,” and he says this jokingly, “what if I was to tell you it’s actually healthier to breathe, it’s been medically proven that it’s healthier to breathe out than it is to breathe in?” And Joe said, “That’s silly. You can’t do one or the other. You’ve got to do both.”

Absolutely, we breathe out, we breathe in. We breathe out carbon dioxide. We breathe in oxygen. We breathe out, which is giving. We breathe in, which is receiving. Society, with its very lack messages, and we see this everywhere, we see it on TV, we see it in movies. They pit the rich against the…so we tend to believe it’s one or the other, you know? You’re either a giver or a receiver. No, you’re both.

Glenn : Okay, the name of the book is The Go-Giver, can’t recommend it highly enough, available everywhere. It’s been on the number one New York Times list for years now. Get it, The Go-Giver, and be a part of the change to come.

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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.