Glenn's recent trip to San Francisco inspired a powerful monologue Tuesday on The Glenn Beck Program. Things have changed in America — and that was no more evident than on the streets of San Francisco. Once bound by common principles, Glenn realized he had "very little in common with many of the people who were the loudest on the streets."
There was a time when most Americans were grounded by principles found in the Constitution. Today, too many of us — especially younger citizens — tie themselves to political parties rather than our founding documents, thinking they are the secret to restoring America. In fact, the parties have long been corrupted, and they're exactly what's wrong with America.
We've forgotten our common sense, First Principles, all of which the Founders laid out in the Bill of Rights:
• Practice Your Faith — First Amendment
• Question the Government — First Amendment
• Right to Protect Your Family — Second Amendment
• Right to Protect Your Property — Fourth Amendment
• Right to Privacy — Fourth Amendment
• No Torturing People — Eighth Amendment
• Everything Else — Ninth & Tenth Amendments
These rights are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution — and they're not given to us by any man or government. They're given to us by a higher power — call it the universe, call it God, but don't call it the government.
Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:
GLENN: Does anybody really wonder what happened to America, the America that we all grew up in? I grew up in a small farming community 90 miles north of Seattle, a small town called Mount Vernon. My dad owned the city bakery. I never remember my folks talking about politics or people framed by who they voted for.
My parents were Republicans. My grandparents were Democrats. They were shaped by FDR, and they never looked at the policies again. Just, FDR was good, and that's all they needed.
But with an exception of the Watergate days, they never argued politics. Even with Nixon in the White House, it was about lies and not politics. My folks believed Richard Nixon; my grandparents did not. When it became apparent Nixon was a liar, my family gathered around principles that they agreed on: Lying is not a quality suitable to be president of the United States.
This last weekend I was in San Francisco. I came to work while the rest of the world came to party at the Super Bowl. And as I walked through the crowds and through the streets, I found that I had very little in common with many of the people who were the loudest on the streets.
From a woman and several women carrying signs that said, "His body, his choice," a bizarre protest against circumcision, the foul lyrics and the gyrating that was happening on the stage across the street in a family park, to the street preachers screaming that we're all going to hell, my country looked like a movie. I didn't even recognize it. My son who is now 11, not one to hold dad's hand in public much anymore, grabbed my hand and held it tight.
Later in a quieter section of town, on a street that sells Bentleys, fine steakhouses, and homes that can cost up to $15 million, we walked to dinner and to CVS. The entire street reeked HEP of urine. While the homeless, dangerous, and mentally ill roamed the streets in such numbers that none of the men with me said they would feel comfortable with their wife or their daughter walking alone on that street, and this was at 4:15 in the afternoon.
No matter where I went in San Francisco, I was greeted as both a hero and a villain. I'm neither. My son spent the week watching, taking it all in, while I who had grown up in Seattle was taking in the memories of a town that was much like mine as a kid and wondering what happened to us.
I think the solution is the problem. Principles. We no longer agree on principles. Actually let me take that back. When the chips are down, we do agree on principles. We did on 9/11.
On 9/11 and 9/12 and 9/13, we were people that had more in common than not. But that was 15 long years ago. This, right now, today's America is the only America anyone under 20 remembers. Restore America, bring back the Reagan years, those are long gone and long forgotten.
How would you even do that? Most people don't even remember it. And too many of us think that it's our political party that's the secret to restoration. It's our political party that is the secret to progress.
Our political parties are not. In fact, they are as Washington pointed out in his Farewell Address, the problem. We hold tight to the idea that the party is our savior. And we know our party platform perhaps better than we know the Constitution. It's time to return to first principles. This election has got to be a return to first principles.
Should people be able to speak their mind in public? We all know the answer to that, yes. Is there a college campus safe zone? If there's a safe zone in college, then why do we have to have on colleges, why do we have to have tenure? Tenure is made so people can say the uncomfortable things and not get fired. But if colleges have a safe zone, what's the point of tenure?
Should the press be free to report on information given to them by whistle-blowers, or should those press members be thrown in jail by the government? Should you be free to practice your faith or science? Should you be able to question the government, protect your family, be the first responder? Should your private property be able to be seized, gone through? Can a squatter come through your house and just take it? Can a hotel chain force you out of your house?
Because the public votes for you to pay more in taxes, can the public vote that somebody can come in and take your money? Do you know what's happening in Spain right now? Spain has become so socialist, that if you have two houses and you don't live full-time in one, the government is now talking about just taking that second house.
Do we have the right to privacy? Can somebody just go through your phone records and your email accounts, listen to your phone calls, read your email? Should we as a nation torture people? I'm not talking waterboarding. I'm talking torture people.
Should we enforce our own laws, or should we have special exceptions for our laws? Is justice blind? Should rich people get off because they're rich or they're in a special protected class? Wasn't it wrong when whites shielded whites in the 1950s, and isn't it wrong now when we shield the rich, the privileged, illegals? Is a finger gun really a Class 2 lookalike weapon, or do we all know that's bullcrap?
Abortion supporters are looking to sell baby parts, and they have. Should you be able to sell human organs? This is beyond, "Are you pro-choice or are you pro-life?" This is is, "Should you sell baby parts?"
Now, here's the latest. Because of the Doritos ad in the Super Bowl, NARAL is saying you can't humanize a fetus. Can't humanize -- they're giving birth to a dog? That's what a fetus is, it's a human fetus. We can argue about when life begins, but whether or not it's human life is settled. Making it a criminal offense for a Class 2 lookalike weapon when it's a finger gun is nuts. And we all know it. These are our principles. These are the things that bring us together.
But we're not tied to any of those. Practice your faith, First Amendment. Question the government. First Amendment. Protect your family, Second Amendment. Property, Fourth Amendment. Right to privacy, Fourth Amendment. Torture people, eighth amendment. Anything that I haven't mentioned, the Ninth and the Tenth Amendment. These all come from the Constitution. These are all the things that we have rights to. And they're not given to us by the government. They're given to us by a higher power. Call it the universe, call it God. All men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unchangeable rights.
The government always goes mad, and it always needs to be reigned in. Throughout history, reconstruction, taking guns away from blacks so they could hang them in the trees. Out of fear, Japanese internment camps. Out of fear, the war on the red man. Each time, each time, the government oversteps its bounds and we lose our way. And each time, a coming generation is embarrassed by that and has to apologize. And it soils our reputation. And they blame it on the Founders. They blame it on the government. They blame it on this outdated piece of paper, when this outdated piece of paper had nothing to do with it. This outdated piece of paper called the Constitution railed against it the whole time, crying out, screaming in silence from the paper locked away, behind the walls of the national archives. It screams out, "Listen to me."
This election, we need to see the road that we're on and turn back to the principles that we have -- all of us have in common: the Constitution. Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, they all have more in common, if we use the Constitution. And if we, the people, want to get rid of the Constitution, then that is the argument that we should be having. We shouldn't just let it go quietly in the middle of the night. We should have the conversation.
Do we believe in these first principles? Do we, the people, anymore believe in this Constitution? If we do, our first priority must be to restore it, to empower it again, to heed its warnings, to make sure the government is held by its chains and restraints. And if we don't want to do that, then let's have that conversation about real revolution. But what are you going to replace it with?
Most people who are voting for Bernie Sanders say they're for socialism. But when asked, "What is socialism," they have no idea.
It is the step in between capitalism and communism. What rules you, if you can take people's property? Because it isn't the Constitution. What rules you if you can just say, "Well, yes, we're in a panic now. We have fear of an outside force, and so we can scoop people off the street. Or we can just listen to every email and every phone call of every citizen in in America without a warrant?" What rules you if it's not the Constitution?
If we had that conversation, we wouldn't be as divided as we are. But right now, we're in little subsections. This is no longer Republican and Democrat. It's Trump people, Sanders people, Cruz people, Rubio people, Clinton people. And we can't find our way to one another because very few of them are saying, "Look, don't listen to me. I'm not going to make America great again. You're going to make America great again. I don't have the solutions. The solutions are found with the people and the government being restrained by the restraints of the Constitution." Instead, almost all of them offer answers that are beyond the Constitution. You want to save your country, now is the time to do it. And there is truly only one way. Otherwise, the fundamental transformation of America will be sealed and will be cemented in for all time.
The real conversation we should be having in New Hampshire and in South Carolina is, "What rules our nation?" Not a man. If it's ruled by the Constitution, if it's not, then the conversation should be, "How much of a strong man do you really want," as the people cry out for a king.
Featured Image: Screenshot from The Glenn Beck Program