Only #BlackLivesMatter? Progressives shut down Democrat who tries to say “All Lives Matter”

Martin O’Malley spoke at the progressive Netroots Nation over the weekend and found himself under fire from Black Lives Matter activists. The activists interrupted the presidential hopeful as he tried to answer questions, was pressed to give specific examples of how he would end police brutality, and - most shockingly - was booed when he tried to say “All Lives Matter”.

TheBlaze reported:

In a raucous scene at the annual Netroots Nation convention of liberal activists, a large group of protesters streamed into the convention hall chanting, “Black lives matter!” as O’Malley was speaking to interviewer Jose Antonio Vargas. One of the group’s leaders took over the stage and addressed the audience as the largely female group of demonstrators railed against police-involved shootings, the treatment of immigrants and Arizona’s racial history.

Watch the video below:

While Pat and Stu enjoyed seeing liberals attack one another, they couldn't believe the vitriol directed at O'Malley for saying "all lives matter".

"Of course, all lives matter," Stu said. "That's the least controversial thing you should be able to say in society. And yet, it is met with with anger as if they came out and started joking about the Holocaust or something. Like it's, how dare you say they all matter! They don't all matter. I mean, that's an incredible moment. I mean, in a rational sane nation, isn't that an amazing moment in human history?"

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it may contain errors:

PAT: I've always loved it when liberals eat their own. It's fun to watch. And at the Netroots Convention. The Netroots Nation Convention. They were having this discussion with -- what's-his-face from Maryland.

STU: Martin O'Malley.

PAT: Martin O'Malley. Big discussion on all kinds of issues. Then they start hearing this chanting in the background. It gets louder. So they stop. And they wait. Then they invite them up on stage. Because what the heck. Let's find out what their social justice beef is too. Because you know it's some kind of social justice beef. And this black lives matter woman gets up on stage and starts explaining her beef.

VOICE: -- to work with immigrants of color from Africa, the Caribbean, and other countries, in order to advance a social and economic agenda to build a multiracial democracy. I want to welcome you to Arizona.

PAT: Yeah. Whatever that is. Yes.

STU: I love how this polite tone after they've just bowled themselves up on stage.

PAT: Yeah. After you've acted like children.

STU: You're screaming in the background. This is what kids do when they want something.

PAT: Yes. And, of course, they got it.

STU: When I'm in the middle of a conversation, and my son Zach wants me to fast-forward the commercials on Umizoomi, this is what he does. Daddy, daddy! That's what these protesters do. Unlike Zach, they get rewarded here. They get rewarded and they come on stage --

PAT: So Zach doesn't chant no justice, no peace? He doesn't do that.

STU: He says no justice, no peas. He doesn't like peas.

PAT: I don't blame him. I don't like peas either, unless they're fresh right out of the pot.

STU: Yeah, no. These are frozen.

PAT: Okay. That's not the same.

So she gets what she wants, and now all of a sudden she is super polite. What does this say to everybody who has some kind of issue that they want promoted? All they have to do is interrupt you in the middle of whatever you're doing. Get invited up on stage, and you can babble for however long you want to. And we'll just stand here and look at you while you do. The moderator was standing on one side. O'Malley was on the other. They were just both standing there, letting her do what she did. Really weird. I don't think I've ever seen it before.

VOICE: -- so much. So Netroots Nation being in Arizona is significant for several reasons, right?

PAT: So the Netroots Nation being in Arizona is significant for several reasons. She lists the reasons. You'll be excited.

VOICE: Arizona is indigenous land. We call this Phoenix, Arizona. But really the border was drawn, right, by white supremacists, Manifest Destiny.

JEFFY: Yes. Yes.

PAT: Thank you. It's about time someone finally said it.

STU: Yes.

PAT: They've said it before. But I'm glad she said it again, that the border was drawn by white supremacists.

STU: And there's some value to an idiotic the defense like this, that a supposedly mild serious presidential candidate is sitting here with what a lot of these people believe, when it comes to activists that, you know, the country is built on white supremacy and all this stuff. They have to treat it seriously and not just immediately dismiss it. Because they're right there.

PAT: Yeah.

STU: And they have to please the audience. But you would think they're also at the same time having to -- you know, extend some sort of rational thought. If they want to win the presidency, they can't win with this point, right? You can't say, hey, by the way, I also believe the borders were drawn by white supremacists and this is indigenous land.

PAT: I hope you can't win the presidency that way. I'm just not positive.

STU: Me either.

PAT: Listen to the response of this. She just said that the border was drawn by white supremacists, Manifest Destiny people. And listen to the response of this crowd.

(applauding)

PAT: Unbelievable.

VOICE: And without the innovations, right, of the indigenous people, right, building the canals, this would be an uninhabitable desert, correct?

PAT: Right? Right? Right?

STU: Right, Pat? Correct, Pat?

PAT: I'm looking for validation. Right? Right?

VOICE: I just want to give a little bit of context about what we're here to do today.

On Monday, that was the July 13th. It's the two-year anniversary of the black lives matter -- creation of the black lives matter hashtag. Right? Political projects.

STU: Wait. Are we celebrating anniversaries of the creation of hashtags? Is that a country that you want to live in?

PAT: No, it isn't. No, it isn't.

STU: Hey, we have now -- by the way, we have that retweet anniversary coming up. I mean, it's just -- it's really sad.

PAT: It's the retweet anniversary of, hey, listen to Pat & Stu. Yeah! It's the three-month anniversary of that, when we did a special show on Net Roots Nation. We'll be celebrating that three months from now.

STU: Wow.

PAT: Yeah. It's a celebration of the hashtag of black lives matter. Yeah!

VOICE: -- that has moved, right, from an online political project to an on-the-ground social justice initiative that has reignited the fight for racial justice, across the globe, right?

STU: Right?

PAT: Right?

VOICE: It's also the one-year anniversary marking the death of -- excuse me -- Eric Garner.

VOICE: Woo!

PAT: She gets a woo out of that.

STU: There's one KKK guy in the crowd. The death of Eric Garner.

PAT: We got that one done too. Yeah!

STU: That's a weird response to that.

PAT: The whole thing is so weird. So weird.

STU: This is the base, by the way. Let's not take this as here's this crazy woman on stage. This is the base of the party.

PAT: Listen to the response of her. They love her.

STU: They love her.

PAT: She's wearing a shirt that says black love or something like that. And she's representing black lives matter. And she's representing all these, I mean, just radical points of view. America hating radical points of view, we started as a white supremacist nation with Manifest Destiny. Which if Glenn were here, he would probably agree with some of these things. The Manifest Destiny thing, none of us are excited about.

And what Andrew Jackson did with the Native Americans and the number of times we lied to them. I mean, nobody is proud of that. But all of these issues for them to support her in them, it tells you a little something about where the Democrat and where the progressives are headed. The Democrat Party is heading down the same road as the progressives are. They're one and the same now. You can't discern between the two anymore.

STU: No. Remember, this is a conference that all the candidates went to -- it was part of the pilgrimage of the campaign.

PAT: They all must pay homage to Net Roots now.

STU: They all must go to the conference that not only apparently has people cheering the death of Eric Garner, which I find completely disturbing, but also celebrates hashtag anniversaries. It's sort of silly. But this woman is saying things that are -- you could find, until recently, only in the Peace and Freedom Party candidate, which is a socialist/communist party in the United States. Very small. You know, the Socialist Party USA. These sort of fringe parties. That's where you would find it. This is sort of the mainstream pilgrimage to the presidency. It's kind of an amazing turn.

PAT: The media never addresses it. It's always the Republicans. It's always the G.O.P. who are so far afield of mainstream America. But here you have Democrats, you know, making this pilgrimage to these radicals. It's never mentioned.

STU: Yeah. There's a Republican candidate who we spoke about a couple weeks ago, that was -- spoke at a conference in which cockfighting was promoted. So it wasn't -- his speech wasn't about cockfighting. There was no interaction about cockfighting. But there was a candidate who was there and spoke at a conference in which it was promoted and it was a big news story. Here we have every candidate from the Democrat side, going to a conference in which respectfully listen to the opinion that we're just a bunch of white supremacists and that Arizona really isn't the United States. And all of these opinions. And it's like, hmm, that's a very interesting intellectually point. By the way, the hashtag for black lives matter, it's the second anniversary coming up. It's a weird world. If there was any sort of media fairness, you would have people recognizing that this is nut world.

PAT: Yeah. It's nothing like the Democrat Party of the 1960s even, where JFK won the nomination and the presidency. JFK is pretty moderate. JFK was pretty much down the middle. He was not a left-wing guy. He was not a right-wing guy, necessarily. But he's a lot more conservative than any of these Democrats today, that's for sure.

STU: It's not even close.

PAT: When you have an avowed socialist, a Democratic socialist running for the Democrat nomination, that should tell you something. That would be like a Republican from the KKK running in the Republican Party. And everyone is fine with it. Yeah, whatever. They have a member from the KKK running for the party. It's almost that startling. It's almost that radical. It's someone perceived to be so far to the right and you have this socialist so far to the left. And no one is paying attention to it. The Democrats are still considered mainstream. How is that possible? To me, it's not.

STU: As much as we're mocking the one moment where they're saying, hey, it's been one year since the death of Eric Garner, and one person in the crowd went woo. That would be in every news story if it was at a Republican conference. If someone said, gosh, this is sad. You know, it's one year since the death of Eric Garner, and one person in the crowd went, woo!

PAT: The headline would all be G.O.P. cheers --

STU: As murdered black man is remembered.

PAT: Uh-huh.

STU: It would be the way that it would go down.

PAT: No doubt about it.

STU: We didn't even get to the best part of this Martin O'Malley thing. We didn't even get to the part where he says something really controversial and the crowd takes him down for that. We have to talk about that.

PAT: Yeah, we'll do that next. 877-727-BECK. More Pat and Stu for Glenn on the Glenn Beck Program coming up.

[BREAK]

PAT: With Pat and Stu. 877-727-BECK. We didn't even get to the most controversial part of -- after the uproar at the Netroots Nation Convention. And something like this happens every year, it seems like. Every year at this thing. It's a radical conference for radicals. And for some reason, the Democrats all play into the radical agenda. They all go. They all pay homage, and they really got caught up in it this time because the black lives matter people were chanting. So they allowed them up on stage. Go ahead. Say your piece. That didn't calm them down because then O'Malley starts talking again and they start yelling at him about black lives matter. Say it. They wanted him to say the names of the people who have been killed. They wanted him to say the name of the woman who had just died in police custody. No one even knows what happened to her yet. But they want him to say the name, as if -- I don't know what that does exactly. I guess it validates their point that the only people being killed by cops are black.

PAT: That's true. Only black people have been killed by police officers.

PAT: Except not. In fact, less black people have been killed by cops than white people.

STU: When you say less, you mean by half.

PAT: I mean less. By less, I mean less.

STU: You mean less than --

PAT: I mean less than half as many. So just -- you know, but that's beside the point.

STU: Okay.

PAT: So O'Malley starts speaking again. Here's what he said. I mean you tell me if you can say this in America today.

MARTIN: Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.

VOICE: No! Really? How many times people have killed police officers this year? How many?

VOICE: Exactly.

VOICE: How many? Stop saying that bull [bleep].

PAT: Listen -- listen to that. Black lives matter. White lives matter. The audience yells, no.

STU: No. They can't matter apparently.

PAT: No. White lives don't matter.

STU: Did you ever think that you'd be in a country where someone would say all lives matter, that would be disagreed with, with that passion? I mean, that is visceral anger. How dare you say that all lives matter! How dare you say it.

PAT: Yeah. And they don't even let him get to all lives matter before they start yelling at the white lives matter. How dare you say white lives matter. They don't I guess. In the scope of this movement --

JEFFY: Especially on the anniversary.

PAT: Oh, of the hashtag.

JEFFY: Of black lives matter.

STU: How is that controversial? It's the least controversial thing that's possible to say. All lives matter. It's not -- you know, we talk about it on the air. I think it's important to say apparently at this point and apparently we were on the mark with saying it because it's apparently important to point out. But in reality, it should just be the most meaningless, rainbow, sugar and spice thing you could say. Of course, all lives matter. That's the least controversial thing you should be able to say in society. And yet, it is met with --

PAT: Yes. That's what logic tells you.

STU: -- with anger as if they came out and started joking about the Holocaust or something. Like it's, how dare you say they all matter! They don't all matter. I mean, that's an incredible moment. I mean, in a rational sane nation, isn't that an amazing moment in human history?

PAT: It is. It is.

STU: Where you have people out there -- think of the times in history where that hasn't been true. There have been many cases where countries have decided that, you know what, not all lives matter. There have been many cases in history and we don't need to run through them. But have any of those turned out well?

PAT: No. I'm going to say no.

STU: I'll go with no. When you make a decision as a society that all life doesn't matter, you wind up really regretting that. It never turns out well. And to see visceral anger -- and you say, you know what, good for Martin O'Malley. Here's a guy that comes up. He's a Democrat. He takes a stand.

PAT: Hillary said it too. She was equally booed.

STU: Here's people taking a stand. But the update on Martin O'Malley, he apologized.

PAT: I'm so sorry I said white lives matter. I don't know what came over me. I got caught up in the moment. I shouldn't have said that. I know I'm white, and I was thinking for a second that maybe my own life matters. It doesn't. And neither do any of the whities I know. No whities. No crackers matter. Okay. I'm really sorry about that. He actually apologized for saying white lives matter. All lives matter.

STU: Uh-huh.

PAT: And black lives matter, by the way.

STU: That was the first one. He led with that.

PAT: And then, by the way, with this activist yelling and screaming at the end of this. Listen to it again.

MARTIN: Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.

VOICE: No! Really? How many times have people killed police officers this year? How many? Stop it. Stop saying that bull [bleep].

PAT: How many white people were killed by police officers this year? I thought so. Well, you didn't listen for the answer, hun.

STU: The actual answer to that, of course, 49 percent of people killed by police officers are white and 30 percent are black.

PAT: So it's not quite double. But it's close to double.

STU: Although, that is how I heard the question when we played the first time. Listen back, she actually asked another question, which was how many black people have killed police officers this year? As if a black person has never killed a police officer. I'll go out on a limb and say that's not true either.

PAT: Recently. It happened several times recently.

STU: We'll have to look at the numbers on that. But I guess they're not flattering.

PAT: Wow. Unbelievable.

STU: Of course, it will be more than zero. I can promise you that one.

PAT: More of the Glenn Beck Program with Pat and Stu coming up.

[BREAK]

PAT: With Pat and Stu. 877-727-BECK. 877-727-BECK.

Yeah. We mentioned that Martin O'Malley apologized for saying that black lives matter or white lives matter. All lives matter. And he got booed. As soon as he said white lives matter at the Net Roots Nation Convention. And he later apologized. I think it was the same day. He went over and -- but you -- and we mentioned he apologized. But you have to hear the apology. It's pretty amazing.

STU: Yeah. And the other thing too, as we're pulling that audio up. Not only did they -- they didn't boo when they said white lives matter, they said no.

PAT: That's true.

STU: It wasn't like, oh, come on. You're saying the wrong phrase. It was no! They don't matter! How dare you! And then he comes out and he has to apologize for it.

VOICE: But I want to ask something specifically. Because towards the end in your explanation, you said the phrase all lives matter. You said the phrase white lives matter.

PAT: Oh, no.

VOICE: But I want to ask you, do you understand the difference in responding in that conversation in that context with all lives matter or white lives matter, when we're specifically talking about black death? That is not all-inclusive.

MARTIN: I certainly do. In fact, I believe what I first said was black lives matter before those other two phrases.

STU: Stop. Stop.

PAT: Before those two other phrases which I can't even mention.

STU: He can't even say the phrases. He can't come out with the phrase. Even quoting himself, that all lives matter, first of all, I prioritize black people over white people. I want to be clear about that. I said black lives matter first. And then I did say those other phrases.

PAT: Then I did say ALM.

STU: And WLM. Which I will not -- the WLM phrase, white lives matter, you can't even say it. He's editing himself because he doesn't want to be on camera again saying the phrase all lives matter.

This is one of the two main political parties in the country. This is not -- this is not some crazy --

PAT: I'm just stunned.

STU: Group of -- I mean, it is a crazy group. But this is supposed to mainstream. And they can't -- he can't bring himself to say all lives matter?

PAT: No. Not in this context. For some reason, we can only speak of black lives now. Even though white people are dying and have died at the hands of cop at a higher rate than black.

STU: Yeah, 49 percent of people killed by officers are white. 30 percent are black.

PAT: And, by the way, in the past several years, it's been about double. In the past like -- I think it was since 2009, it's close to double the number of white people dead by cop compared to white people dead by cop. Or black -- white people to black people. It's almost twice as many.

STU: The argument against that will be, well, white people are a higher part of the population. They will probably be a higher amount. Which is fair. If you want to use the rate, that's fair. However, you have to also use the rate and apply it to the questions she actually asked. Which was, hey, when was the last time a black person killed a police officer? Interesting question. Are you ready for the answer? Blacks make up 13 percent of the population. Are responsible for 42 percent of all cop killers.

PAT: Wow.

STU: So while you would say, okay, look the rate is significantly higher, you can't not use the rate in one and use the rate in the other. Of course, that's what the left tries to do. The bottom line is, these numbers aren't flattering. These numbers aren't flattering. You don't want to get into a numbers conversation. You could say there are justifications for those numbers. There are a lot of -- there are longer nuanced arguments that we've had many times on this program as to why those numbers occur. But the numbers aren't flattering. This cause does not have statistics they want to quote.

PAT: The numbers aren't on their side. That's for sure.

STU: Which is why, by the way, they attach to -- these activists attach to high-profile cases like Eric Garner where it looks like something actually was wrong that was done.

PAT: Which we said, by the way. Over and over again.

STU: Yeah. Let's see. I do have the number off the top of my head. It's 200 or so reported killings of blacks by police officers.

The vast majority of those, however, were justified. There wasn't even really a controversy. You know, there are criminals that do things. That doesn't mean all black people are criminals by any means. It just means that sometimes criminals happen to be black and these things happen. And cops shoot someone who happens to be black, the person dies, and it was actually completely justified. And we see that in most of these cases, even the ones that were controversial. Michael Brown comes to mind. There was this huge controversy. Until you actually saw the report, until you learned that he was potentially wanted for a crime just moments before. He had an altercation inside the car, all these details come out. Then you find out, well, maybe it was justified. The vast majority of them justified. Those are controversial cases. You don't hear about the one where the guy is pointing a gun at an officer and he shoots him after being shot at. No one brings those cases to light because they don't advance anyone's agenda. But those happen all the time to good officers who are sitting there defending their lives trying to get home to their kids. Happens all the time.

PAT: Yeah.

STU: And those are never promoted. Al Sharpton never shows up in those towns.

PAT: That's for sure. Meanwhile, the O'Malley apology continues.

MARTIN: I said those other two phrases, I meant no disrespect to the point which I understand and that black lives matter is making.

PAT: And I understand that white lives don't matter. I don't know why I said they did when they don't. And all lives don't matter either. Only black lives matter. And I understand that now.

STU: The guy is white.

PAT: I get it.

STU: He can't say his own life matters? He can't even bring himself to admit that his own life matters?

PAT: Not in this context, Stu. Not in this context.

MARTIN: For many years -- many years ago, when I ran for mayor of Baltimore -- a majority African-American city, when we had allowed ourselves to become the most violent, part of what I called us to as a people was to the justice of realizing that, yes, black lives matter. And when we allow ourselves to assume that every year as a city we just to have accept that 300 young black men will die violent deaths --

PAT: And, by the way, different issue here. It's a separate issue. 300 black men dying violent deaths is almost always at the hand of another black man.

STU: Uh-huh.

PAT: That is a completely different issue. You're mixing apples with oranges here. You're not talking about cops killing blacks anymore.

STU: Right. It's embarrassing when you're analyzing what he's saying. He's saying, well, we're the most violent city in the country. Was that because of white cops killing blacks? Was that the reason for that?

PAT: No, it's a total separate issue. It's black-on-black crime, the same problem they have in Chicago and elsewhere. The same problem that nobody wants to deal with. Nobody wants to talk about that. Nobody wants to discuss any other reasons that might lead to that. And search for real solutions to those problems, nobody wants to deal with it.

STU: Give you a rough estimate of these numbers. About 200 or so killings of blacks by white police officers -- or by police officers in general. Some of them are black police officers. 200 nationwide police officers killing blacks, the vast majority were justified and not even really questioned highly.

There were 30 times that amount of blacks killed by blacks. 6,000.

PAT: Wow. Wow.

STU: What do you do with that?

PAT: Yeah, what do you do with that? That's the problem he's talking about with Baltimore.

STU: He's mixing these issues to make him seem like he's tough on them. At the same time, he's trying to act tough while he's saying things like, those other two phrases. Those other two phrases, you can't bring yourself to say that people's lives matter?

PAT: So bad. Really bad.

MARTIN: We have to do a checkup from the neck up and realize as a people --

PAT: That's a nice phrase. Checkup from the neck up.

STU: Wait. Take that phrase and stop saying it. How about that? What year is it? It's 2015.

PAT: We have to do a checkup from the neck up is what --

STU: Unfortunately I used the phrase checkup from the neck up. I will no longer be using that phrase. That would be a positive for your campaign, Martin.

MARTIN: We would have a different reaction to this as a state and as a metro area and as a city. So I meant that as a mistake on my part. And I meant no disrespect. And I didn't mean to be insensitive in any way or to communicate that I did not understand the tremendous passion, commitment, and -- and feeling -- and depth of feeling that all of us should be attaching to this issue.

PAT: Wow.

STU: I feel like he should drop the mic and run because he's just embarrassing himself. He just said it was a mistake -- the word mistake was used when describing the phrase all lives matter.

I mean, what kind of insane group of people is this? You can't say that people's lives matter comfortably anymore.

PAT: It's an insane group of people who have been running this country for six years now. Going on seven.

STU: I guess this is what you get.

PAT: We're getting what we voted for sadly. We specifically didn't. But the nation as a whole did. When we put him in office. We're reaping the benefits right now. I don't know how else to put it. And if we vote -- if this nation chooses Hillary or God forbid, Bernie Sanders or Martin O'Malley, a guy who apologizes saying black lives matter, white lives matter, all lives matter, we're -- how do you survive that? Another four to eight years? I really don't know. 877-727-BECK. 877-727-BECK. More of the Glenn Beck Program with Pat and Stu coming up.

Featured Image: PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 18: Former Gov. Martin O'Malley (D-MD) (R), and moderator Jose Antonio Vargas (R), listen to Tia Oso, the National Coordinator for the Black Immigration Network, during an interruption to O'Malley's speech, at the Netroots Nation 2015 Presidential Town Hall with at the Phoenix Convention Center July 18, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Democratic presidential candidate was challenged on his record of criminal injustice during his time as mayor and governor. (Photo by Charlie Leight/Getty Images)

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:

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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."

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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.