Montel Williams makes heartfelt plea to free veteran imprisoned in Iran

Amir Hekmati, a former Marine, has been imprisoned in Iran for over three and a half years, longer than any American citizen held captive by the country. In 2011, he was taken prisoner while visiting his sick grandmother. The Iranian government charged him with "espionage, waging war against God, and corrupting the earth" and sentenced him to die. While the verdict was overturned, he was sentenced during a new secret trial to ten years in prison. Amir and his lawyers didn't know until after the trial took place. Now, veterans like Montel Williams are trying to raise awareness for Amir's plight and see an opportunity for U.S. leaders to take action as the Obama administration looks to improve relations with Iran. Montel joined Glenn on TV to discuss this story.

Glenn: I want to talk to you now about really making a difference and reaching out to one another and helping each other and recognizing who’s making a difference. I’m going to introduce you to a man in a second that you know but is truly making a difference, but I want to tell you a story about a US Marine that was arrested in August 2011. He was arrested on allegations of spying for the CIA while he was visiting relatives in Iran. Over the past four years, he has been in an Iranian prison. He has been drugged. He has been whipped. He was told that his mother had died in a car accident, which is not true, and there’s one guy who has been fighting for him and fighting to bring him home. He joins me now. It’s Montel Williams. Hello, Montel.

Montel: Glenn, thank you so much for doing this yet again because one of the things you didn’t just say to your audience is remember, you and I about three weeks before we were able to get Sgt. Tahmooressi out of Mexico, did this same thing, had a conversation with your viewers to say please, we’ve got to make a difference. So, thank you again for having me on tonight.

Glenn: I have an awful lot of respect for you, Montel. The world is really going to hell, and it’s melting down, and history is beginning to repeat itself. You’re one of the few guys that has put differences aside, and you’re looking at bigger principles, and you’re trying to do what Americans have always done, and that is roll up your sleeves and just do the right thing. So, tell me the story about Hekmati.

Montel: You know, this is really crazy. You summarized it well, but let me just see if I can make sure your viewers understand. This is a young man who grew up in Arizona, went to high school in this country, enlisted in the Marine Corps, went and fought with our troops in Iraq and fought with honor, was honorably discharged. Every soldier near him will tell you the bravery he exemplified and who he is as a person.

Now, he went to Iran to visit his grandmother who at the time was extremely ill. He went through the entire process here in the United States. Now, let’s just say this, his parents are of Iranian descent. He was born in the United States. He is an American citizen. He has done everything he can do for our country and decided to serve in the military for the United States to show his support for this country.

So, he had to go to another embassy to get a visa to go to Iran. While he did so, he told them everything about his service, good, trusting, honest Marine that he is. He told them, I was in the Marine Corps. He told them I served in Iraq. They said yeah, come on over, yes, come see your grandmother. Yeah, come on over, it’s fine. Gets there, less than three days later, they arrest him, and they arrest him for spying for the United States.

Now, first off, he’s not an Iranian citizen. They arrest him for being a Marine. They sentenced him to death, Glenn. They held him in a deathwatch for about three or four months, and then in absentia go back into court, overturn a death sentence, and sentence him to ten years in prison for cooperating with a foreign government.

Now, let’s explain this completely. He has been in prison now almost four years. This is close to 1241, 1242 days now that he has been in prison. He has been tortured. Not just drugged, they kept him for about nine months in a three-by-three cell where he couldn’t even move. They have beaten him—three and a half years.

They addicted him to drugs, lithium, and then they take him on and off the addiction to torture him more. About three weeks ago, when the president held the press dinner in DC, he named and mentioned by name one of the other hostages, one that’s being held over, their prisoner being held, and he’s the Washington Post reporter. He mentioned his name. The president has also gone to see another prisoner there, his family, not the prisoner, the family of the minister that’s there. He’s seen him.

No one at this point had reached out to the Marine’s family, Amir Hekmati’s family, from our administration, though we had some underlying people but nobody up above. So, two weeks ago when the president said the other name, they went in and tried to emotionally torture Amir a little bit more, saying look, your country doesn’t care about you. They’re telling everybody else’s name and not yours.

Now, fortunately, last week, I, Amir’s sister, Sarah, and her brother-in-law, went down to DC, and we were able to meet—let me tell you, Glenn, this was unbelievable, because when you hear about what’s going on in Washington, we can’t get politicians to even talk to each other, we met from everybody with everybody from Trey Gowdy to Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy to Raul Labrador. We went in and literally stood in the Rayburn Room and spoke to every one of them coming in and out.

The Speaker, Speaker Boehner, even retweeted Congressman Kildee, who is the Congressman who is Amir’s Congressman, retweeted his message. So, what’s been going on? Since then, this past weekend, Vice President Biden was in it was Detroit or near where the Hekmatis are from. He was there in town. He went and spent a couple hours with the family and is finally now starting to talk to them. So, our efforts to raise the bar and raise the noise is starting to do something. Now, we need to raise the bar even more, and that’s get Iran to number one, stop even the question of including this Marine and the other hostages in any conversation about any deal.

And because of that, what’s happened is Congressman Kildee and a group of congressmen bipartisan now have put forth House Resolution 233. I’ve got to beg your viewers today to call their congressmen, call their senator, tell them we need to come behind this House bill. We need to let Iran know today that one, this man wore our uniform. There’s no law that he broke by doing so, by being an American citizen. Two, all of us listening right, now believe me, our freedom rides on the back of Marines like Amir to hold back Iran if they attempt to send any weapons anywhere within that region that could be used against us.

We have soldiers, sailors, airmen, Air Force men, Coast Guard men, Marines, that are out there waiting right now to put their lives on the line for us, and their payback will be you wear our uniform, if somebody else arrests you and throws you in jail, we’re not going to do anything to come and get you. We’re going to leave you there to rot. Remember, less than 0.6% of this nation’s population has skin in this game when it comes to a uniform on their back dodging bullets to protect this democracy.

We keep turning our backs on those who have done so, wait and see what happens when the next volley of fire starts to come. So, I’ve got to demand, I’m asking, begging, please, Glenn, thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to say this. If all of your viewers will go up right now #FreeAmirNow, and then you can also #HouseResolution233, and we could raise the ire here and make people understand that the democracy that we are trying to shove down everybody else’s throat needs to have people in uniforms to defend.

Glenn: Okay, I want to see if we can get this trending tonight, and then I’d like to see if I can get you on the radio tomorrow, and we’ll unleash the radio audience as well.

Montel: I’m on. You got me.

Glenn: What this resolution says is basically that Iran is holding three United States citizens. They’ve been held captive for multiple years. They’ve been disappeared, and Rouhani says that the government wishes to engage in construction interaction in the world. Therefore, be it resolved that it is the sense of House representatives that Iran should release all detained United States citizens immediately and provide any information it possesses against United States citizens that have been disappeared within its borders. This is really easy for everybody to get on board with, really easy.

Montel: How can we make it any harder?

Glenn: I know. I want to correct one thing that you said, and it’s possibly the saddest part of your rant. That is you said if we keep deserting them, watch what happens when the next volley comes. I’d like to tell you, and I know you know this to be true, that’s what should happen, but what the people who serve our nation will do is go out anyway and protect us anyway. We are not worthy of their protection.

Montel: You’re right, but I’m talking about the ones that are going to sign up. I should say this, Glenn, you know, recently a study just came back that stated unequivocally our service members are right now at the lowest level of motivation, and they have the lowest opinion of their future in the military. And we let them know every day that I’m going to turn my back on you? Come on.

Glenn: Montel, I have to tell you, I really, truly believe that when history is written about this time period, you will at least be a footnote on what you have done for the military. You are passionate about it, and you are a guy who’s making a difference. This is not your job. And I enjoy having you on because you’re a great example to all of us on what we should be doing.

Montel: Thank you so much, sir.

Glenn: Thank you. We’ll talk to you tomorrow on the radio. Go ahead.

Montel: I’ll catch you on the radio tomorrow, and thank you again, Glenn. Well, last thing, the family needs you to know this is that Amir’s father, two years ago, two and a half years ago, got diagnosed with a brain tumor. The man doesn’t have a lot of time left. This family is paying hospital bills, legal bills. They need some help also, and if I could just please ask and say this, if you want to help the family financially, you can go to giveforward.com/freeAmir. Please, the family needs your help. A couple months ago, you guys were able to raise a lot of money for some other issues. If you could just help them out right now.

You know, we hope we get Amir home in time to see his father before he passes. You know, the thank you to me, let me say this, it’s my honor and my responsibility to the soldiers who follow me and those before me to do this every day, period.

Glenn: I respect the man who believes something so deeply that he weeps when he talks about it. Montel, God bless you. We’ll talk to you tomorrow on the radio.

Today is the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the largest amphibious invasion in history.

The Allied invasion force included 5,000 ships and landing craft, 11,000 planes, and almost three million allied soldiers, airmen and sailors. Despite such numbers, the location and timing of the invasion was still an enormous gamble. The Nazis fully expected such an invasion, they just didn't know precisely when or where it would be.

Despite the enormous logistics involved, the gamble worked and by the end of June 6, 1944, 156,000 Allied troops were ashore in Normandy. The human cost was also enormous – over 4,900 American troops died on D-Day. That number doubled over the next month as they fought to establish a foothold in northern France.

There were five beach landing zones on the coast of northwestern France, divided among the Allies. They gave each landing zone a name. Canada was responsible for "Juno." Britain was responsible for "Gold" and "Sword." And the U.S. had "Utah" and "Omaha."

The Nazis were dug in with bunkers, machine guns, artillery, mines, barbed wire, and other obstacles to tangle any attempt to come ashore. Of the five beaches, Omaha was by far the most heavily defended. Over 2,500 U.S. soldiers were killed at Omaha – the beach so famously depicted in the opening battle sequence of the 1998 movie, Saving Private Ryan. The real-life assault on Omaha Beach included 34 men in that first wave of attack who came from the same small town of Bedford, Virginia. The first Americans to die on Omaha Beach were the men from Bedford.

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America has a national D-Day Memorial, but many people don't know about it.

America has a national D-Day Memorial, but many people don't know about it. Maybe that's because it wasn't a government project and it's not in Washington DC. It was initiated and financed by veterans and private citizens. It's tucked away in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the small town of Bedford, Virginia. Why is the memorial for one of the most famous days in modern world history in such a tiny town? Because, as a proportion of its population of just 3,200 at the time, no community in the U.S. sacrificed more men on D-Day than Bedford.

There were 34 men in Company A from Bedford. Of those thirty-four, 23 died in the first wave of attacks. Six weeks after D-Day, the town's young telegraph operator was overwhelmed when news of many of the first deaths clattered across the Western Union line on the same day. Name after name of men and families that she knew well. There were so many at once that she had to enlist the help of customers in the pharmacy's soda shop to help deliver them all.

Among those killed in action were brothers Bedford and Raymond Hoback. Bedford was the rambunctious older brother with a fiancée back home that he couldn't wait to return to. Raymond was the quieter, more disciplined younger brother who could often be found reading his Bible. He fell in love with a British woman during his two years in England training for D-Day. Like in that opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan, Bedford and Raymond barely made it down the ramp of their Higgins Boat in the swarm of bullets and hot steel before they were cut down in the wet sand.

Bedford and Raymond Hoback's mother, Macie, learned of both their deaths from two separate telegrams, the first on a Sunday morning, the second the following day. Their younger sister, Lucille, remembered her mother's devastation, and her father walking out to the barn to cry.

The day after D-Day, the killing field of Omaha Beach was already transforming into the massive supply port that would help fuel the American drive all the way to Berlin over the next year. A soldier from West Virginia was walking along the beach when he saw something jutting out of the sand. He reached down and pulled it out. He was surprised to find it was a Bible. The inside cover was inscribed with: "Raymond S. Hoback, from mother, Christmas, 1938." The soldier wrote a letter and mailed it with the Bible to Raymond's mother. That Bible, which likely tumbled from Raymond's pack when he fell on D-Day, became Macie Hoback's most cherished possession – the only personal belonging of her son that was ever returned.

Of the 23 Bedford men who died on Omaha Beach, eleven were laid to rest in the American cemetery in Normandy.

These men, many of them barely out of their teens, didn't sign up to march to the slaughter of course. They had hopes and dreams just like you and I. Many of them signed up for adventure, or because of peer pressure, and yes, a sense of honor and duty. Many of the Bedford Boys first signed up for the National Guard just to make a few extra bucks per month, get to hang out with their buddies, and enjoy target practice. But someone had to be first at Omaha Beach and that responsibility fell to the men from Bedford.

Over the last several years, the D-Day anniversary gets increasingly sad. Because each year, there are fewer and fewer men alive who were actually in Normandy on June 6, 1944. The last of the surviving Bedford Boys died in 2009. Most of the remaining D-Day veterans who are still with us are too frail to make the pilgrimage to France for the anniversary ceremonies like they used to.

It's difficult to think about losing these World War II veterans, because once they're all gone, we'll lose that tether to a time when the nation figured out how to be a better version of itself.

Not that they were saints and did everything right. They were as human as we are, with all the fallibility that entails. But in some respects, they were better. Because they went, and they toughed it out, and they accomplished an incredibly daunting mission, with sickening hardship, heartbreak, and terror along the way.

So, what does the anniversary of D-Day mean in 2019?

In one sense, this anniversary is a reprimand that we've failed to tell our own story well enough.

In one sense, this anniversary is a reprimand that we've failed to tell our own story well enough. You can't learn about the logistics of the operation and above all, the human cost, and not be humbled. But as a society, we have not emphasized well enough the story of D-Day and all that it represents. How can I say that? Because of an example just last weekend, when common sense got booed by Democratic Socialists at the California Democrats' State Convention. When Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper said during his speech that "socialism is not the answer," the crowd booed loudly. When did telling the truth about socialism become controversial?

Sure, socialists, and communists and other anti-American factions have always been around. America certainly had socialists in 1944. But the current socialists trying to take over the Democratic Party like a virus don't believe in the D-Day sacrifices to preserve America, because they don't believe America is worth preserving. They are agitating to reform America using the authoritarian playbook that has only ended in death and destruction everywhere it is followed.

Ask a Venezuelan citizen, or an Iraqi Christian, or a North Korean peasant why D-Day still matters in 2019.

The further we move away from caring about pivotal events like June 6, 1944, the less chance of survival we have as a nation.

At the same time, the D-Day anniversary is a reminder that we're not done yet. It's an opportunity for us to remember and let that inform how we live.

Near the end of Saving Private Ryan, the fictional Captain Miller lays dying, and he gives one last instruction to Private Ryan, the young man that he and his unit have sacrificed their lives to rescue in Normandy. He says, "Earn it."

In other words, don't waste the sacrifices that were made so that your life could be saved. Live it well. The message to "earn it" extends to the viewer and the nation as well – can we say we're earning the sacrifices that were made by Americans on D-Day? I cringe to think how our few remaining World War II veterans might answer that.

Honor. Duty. Sacrifice. Gratitude. Personal responsibility. These used to mean a lot more.

Honor. Duty. Sacrifice. Gratitude. Personal responsibility. These used to mean a lot more. I don't want to believe it's too late for us to rediscover those traits as a nation. I want to believe we can still earn it.

The challenge to "earn it" is a lot of pressure. Frankly, it's impossible. We can't fully earn the liberty that we inherited. But we can certainly try to earn it. Not trying is arrogant and immoral. And to tout socialism as the catch-all solution is naïve, and insulting to the men like those from Bedford who volunteered to go defend freedom. In truly striving to earn it, we help keep the flame of liberty aglow for future generations. It is necessary, honorable work if freedom is to survive.

The end of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is remarkably relevant for every anniversary of June 6, 1944. This is what D-Day still means in 2019:

"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Letter from Corporal H.W. Crayton to Mr. and Mrs. Hoback – parents of Bedford and Raymond Hoback who were both killed in action on June 6, 1944

Álvaro Serrano/Unsplash

July 9, 1944 Somewhere in France

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Hoback:

I really don't know how to start this letter to you folks, but will attempt to do something in words of writing. I will try to explain in the letter what this is all about.

While walking along the Beach D-day Plus One, I came upon this Bible and as most any person would do I picked it up from the sand to keep it from being destroyed. I knew that most all Bibles have names & addresses within the cover so I made it my business to thumb through the pages until I came upon the name above. Knowing that you no doubt would want the Book returned I am sending it knowing that most Bibles are a book to be cherished. I would have sent it sooner but have been quite busy and thought it best if a short period of time elapsed before returning it.

You have by now received a letter from your son saying he is well. I sincerely hope so.

I imagine what has happened is that your son dropped the Book without any notice. Most everybody who landed on the Beach D-Day lost something. I for one as others did lost most of my personal belongings, so you see how easy it was to have dropped the book and not know about it.

Everything was in such a turmoil that we didn't have a chance until a day or so later to try and locate our belongings.

Since I have arrived here in France I have had occasion to see a little of the country and find it quite like parts of the U.S.A. It is a very beautiful country, more so in peace time. War does change everything as it has this country. One would hardly think there was a war going on today. Everything is peaceful & quiet. The birds have begun their daily practice, all the flowers and trees are in bloom, especially the poppies & tulips which are very beautiful at this time of the year.

Time goes by so quickly as it has today. I must close hoping to hear that you receive the Bible in good shape.

Yours very truly,

Cpl. H.W. Crayton

It's not as easy as it used to be for billion-dollar entertainment empires like The Walt Disney Company. It would be more streamlined for Disney to produce its major motion pictures in its own backyard. After all, abortion in California is readily available, as well as a protected, cherished right. And since abortion access is critical for movie production, right up there with lighting equipment and craft services, you would think California would be the common-sense choice for location shooting. Alas, even billion-dollar studios must pinch pennies these days. So, in recent years, Disney, among other major Hollywood studios, has been farming out production to backwater Southern lands like Georgia, and even Louisiana. Those states offer more generous tax breaks than Disney's native California. As a result, Georgia for example, played host to much of the shooting for the recent worldwide box office smash Avengers: Endgame.

But now it looks like it's Georgia's endgame. The state recently passed what is known as a "heartbeat" bill – a vicious, anti-woman law that would try to make pregnant women allow their babies to be born and actually live. It's a bridge too far for a major studio like Disney, which was largely built on creating family entertainment. How can Disney possibly go about making quality movies, often aimed at children, without access to unfettered abortion? It's unconscionable. Lack of abortion access makes it nearly impossible to shoot movies. So, what's a major studio to do? Disney might have considered migrating its business to Louisiana, but that state too has now signed a heartbeat bill into law. It's utter madness.

These monstrous anti-abortion bills, coupled with having to live under President Trump, has led Disney to seek a new home for its legendary movie magic. Last week, Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, announced that all future Disney movies will now be filmed on location in the Sub-Saharan African nation of Wakanda.

"Disney and Wakanda are a match made in heaven," Iger told reporters. "Wakanda was, until recently, a secret kingdom, much like our own Magic Kingdom. With this new partnership, we'll not only get to continue our legacy of making movies that parents and children everywhere enjoy together, but we'll get to do so in a safe space that reveres abortion as much as we do."

Wakanda is one of only four African countries (out of 55) that allow unrestricted abortion.

As home to the most advanced technology in the world – and with the planet's highest per-capita concentration of wokeness – Wakanda offers women painless, hassle-free abortion on demand. As the Wakandan health ministry website explains, the complete absence of any white-patriarchal-Judeo-Christian influence allows women in Wakanda to have complete control of their own bodies (with the exception of females who are still fetuses). As winner of the U.N.'s 2018 Golden Forceps award (the U.N.'s highest abortion honor) Wakanda continues its glowing record on abortion. That makes it an ideal location for Disney's next round of live-action remakes of its own animated movies in which the company plans to remove all male characters.

Iger says he hopes to convince Wakandan leadership to share their top-secret vibranium-based abortion procedure technology so that American women can enjoy the same convenient, spa-like abortion treatment that Wakandan women have enjoyed for years.

Wakanda is one of only four African countries (out of 55) that allow unrestricted abortion. Disney plans to boycott and/or retaliate against the other 51 African nations, as well as any U.S. states, that restrict abortion. Specific plans are being kept under wraps, but sources say Disney's potential retaliation may include beaming Beverly Hills Chihuahua into the offending territories on a continuous, indefinite loop.

When asked how Wakanda's futuristic capital city and distinctly African landscape would be able to double for American movie locations, Iger said, "I guess America will just have to look more like Wakanda from now on."

One potential wrinkle for the Left-leaning studio is the fact that Wakanda has an impenetrable border wall-shield-thing designed to keep out foreign invaders as well as illegal immigrants. Iger said he understands Wakanda's policy of exclusivity, adding, "After all, not everyone gets into Disneyland. You have to have a ticket to get in. Anyone is welcome, but you have to go through the process of getting a ticket." When one reporter pointed out that Iger's answer sounded like the conservative argument for legal immigration under the rule of law, Iger insisted that the reporter was "a moronic fascist."

What if the unthinkable happens and Florida also enacts its own "heartbeat" law? That would be problematic since Walt Disney World is located in Florida. Iger responded that Disney would "cross that bridge if we get to it" but that the most likely scenario would entail "dismantling Disney World piece-by-piece and relocating it to the actual happiest place on earth – Wakanda." As for whether Disney would ever open character-themed abortion clinics inside its theme parks, Iger remained coy, but said, "Well, it is the place where dreams come true."

With the Wakanda solution, Disney may have found a place where Minnie Mouse can finally follow her heart and have true freedom of choice.

When pressed about the cost of ramping up production in a secretive African kingdom that has no existing moviemaking infrastructure (which could easily end up being much more expensive than simply shooting in California) Iger said, "You can't put a price tag on abortion freedom. Wakanda Forever and Abortion Forever!"

With the Wakanda solution, Disney may have found a place where Minnie Mouse can finally follow her heart and have true freedom of choice. And that will be welcome relief to traditional families all over the world who keep the Walt Disney Company in business.

*Disclaimer: The preceding story is a parody. Bob Iger did not actually say any of the quotes in the story. Neither is Wakanda an actual nation on planet Earth.

"Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris," is a podcast featuring conversations about how faith has guided newsmakers and celebrities through their best and worst times. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a much maligned religion so Glenn joined the podcast and took the time to explain what it means to him and how it changed his life.

From his suicidal days and his battle with drugs and alcohol, it was his wife Tania and his faith that saved him. All his ups and downs have given him the gift of empathy and he says he now understands the "cry for mercy" — something he wishes he'd given out more of over the years.

You can catch the whole podcast on any of the platforms listed below.

- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
- TuneIn
- Spotify
- Stitcher
- ABC News app

One of these times I'm going to go on vacation, and I'm just not going to come back. I learn so much on a farm.

You want to know how things work, go spend a summer on a farm. You're having problems with your son or daughter, go spend a summer on a farm.

My son changed. Over two weeks.

Getting him out of bed, getting him to do anything, is like insane. He's a 15-year-old kid. Going all through the normal 15-year-old boy stuff. Getting him on the farm, where he was getting up and actually accomplishing stuff, having to build or mend fences, was amazing. And it changed him.

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Our society does not allow our kids to grow up, ever. I am convinced that our 15-year-olds could be fixing all kinds of stuff. Could be actually really making an impact in a positive way in our society. And what's wrong with our society is, we have gotten away from how things actually work. We're living in this theoretical world. When you're out on a farm, there's no theory here. If it rains, the crops will grow. If it rains too much, the crops won't grow.

If there's no sun, they won't grow. If there's too much sun, they'll shrivel up and die. There's no theory. We were out mending fences. Now, when I say the phrase to you, mending fences, what does that mean? When you think of mending fences, you think of, what?

Coming together. Bringing people together. Repairing arguments.

I've never mended a fence before until I started stringing a fence and I was like, "I ain't doing this anymore! Where is it broken? Can't we just tie a piece of barbed wire together?"

Let's stop talking about building a wall. Because that has all kinds of negative imagery. Mending fences is what we need to do.

That's called mending fences.

And why do you mend fences? So your animals don't get out and start to graze on somebody else's land. When your fence goes down, your cow is now on somebody else's land. And your cow is now eating their food.

We look at the phrase, mending fences as saying, hey. You know, we were both wrong. Mending fences has nothing to do with that.

Mending fences means build a wall. My neighbors and I, we're going to get along fine, as long as my cows don't go and steal their food, or their cows don't come over and steal my cow's food.

We're perfectly neighborly with each other, until one of us needs to mend a fence, because, dude, you got to mend that, because your cows keep coming over and eating my food.

You know what we need to do with Mexico? Mend fences.

Now, that's a phrase. You hear build a wall. That's horrible.

No, no, no. We need to mend fences.

In a farming community, that means putting up an electric fence. That means putting up barbed wire.

So the cows — because the cows will — they'll stick their head through barbed wire. And they'll eat the grass close to the road. Or eat the grass close to the other side of the fence. And they'll get their heads in between those fences. And they can't get out sometimes. Because the grass is always greener on the other side. You look at these damn cows and say turn around, cow — there's plenty of stuff over here.

No. They want the grass on the other side of the fence.

So you mend it.

And if it's really bad, you do what we do. We had to put an electric fence up. Now, imagine putting an electric fence up. That seems pretty radical and expensive.

Does it really work? Does it shock them? What does that feel like to a cow?

The cows hit it once, and then they don't hit it again. They can actually hear the buzz of the electric fence. There's a warning. Don't do it. Don't do it. They hear the current and they hit it once and they're like, "I'm not going to do that again."

So you mend fences, which means, keep your stuff on your side. I like you. We're good neighbors. You keep your stuff on your side and I'll keep my stuff on my side and we'll get together at the town hall and we'll see each other at the grocery store. Because we're good neighbors. But what stops us from fighting is knowing that there is a fence there.

This is my stuff. That's your stuff. But we can still trade and we'll help each other. But let's stop talking about building a wall. Because that has all kinds of negative imagery. Mending fences is what we need to do.

You can have a tough fence. It could be a giant wall. It could be an electric fence. But you need one. And that's how you come together.

The side that's having the problem, mends the fence.