Glenn to Make Closing Remarks at CPAC 2016

It's turning out to be the year of unprecedented announcements for Glenn. First, the endorsement of Ted Cruz, his first ever political endorsement in 40 years of broadcasting, and now something he never thought would happen — a return visit to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) where he will be making closing remarks this year.

Eight years ago, Glenn spoke at CPAC — and he took his chalkboard along to talk about progressivism.

"So eight years ago, I was asked to speak at CPAC, and I did," Glenn explained Friday on The Glenn Beck Program. "I took out my chalkboard and I said, 'You know, I have to tell you, I've been talking about progressives because progressivism is the disease, but that disease is here in this very room. That disease started with the Republican Party. And it's time for the Republican Party to recognize this.'"

Needless to say, that didn't go over too well, and he hasn't been invited back since. Until now.

Under new leadership, CPAC is heading back to its conservative roots. Matt Schlapp, the new Chairman of the American Conservative Union which runs CPAC, recently reached out to Glenn, inviting him to speak at the 2016 conference.

"So I gladly accepted, and I'm going to be giving I think --- I don't know --- one of the last speeches, if not the last speech at CPAC," Glenn said.

Matt Schlapp joined Glenn on the program Friday to confirm.

"As in most things, you get it right, Glenn," Schlapp said. "And you are going to close out the conference, which is going to be on March 5th . . . right near Ronald Reagan Airport. And you got the theme right too — Our Time Is Now," which is based off of Reagan's very first public event after he was elected president."

A curious Glenn wanted to know what prompted CPAC, one of the oldest conservative groups in Washington, D.C., to change its course from progressivism back to its conservative roots. Schlapp explained how over time, just like old corporations, organizations lose their relevance --- and Schlapp aims to change that.

"I think what we have decided to do is to say, 'Look, we have to be true to our original mission, and we have to be authentically conservative.' And I think if we do that, the market, which are voters and activists across the country, will respond," Schlapp said. "You know, we're not going to be nasty about it, but we're going to stand up for our principles, and we're going to stand up for our country. And CPAC has to reflect that because, you know, we're watching our country transform before our eyes."

Glenn and Matt went on to have a fascinating conversation about how Cuban-Americans, informed by their experience with communism, are playing a vital role at this time in America's history, perhaps being the catalyst to waking up American voters to the reality of socialism and communism. Similar to Ted Cruz being influenced by his father's experience with Castro, Schlapp has heard firsthand accounts from his father-in-law, a Cuban-American who also fled to America to escape Castro's Cuba.

"My father-in-law is a hero of mine," Schlapp said. "He didn't have a lot of wealth, but there was a entrepreneurial class in Cuba at that time before Castro. He started up little businesses. He was an accountant. They had a pawn shop. And one by one, there was a knock on the door and the keys were literally taken from his hands, each one of his businesses, and finally his home. And when that happened, he said to himself and he said to his family, 'Enough is enough.'"

For more of Glenn's conversation with Matt Schlapp, listen below. Get details about CPAC 2016 online.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

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

GLENN: You know, Ronald Reagan said in the 1980s, he said, "Our time is now. Fellow citizens, fellow conservatives, our time is right now. Our moment has arrived to stand shoulder to shoulder in the thickest of the fight. If we carry the day and turn the tide, we can hope that as long as men speak of freedom and those who have protected it, they will remember us. And they will say, 'Here were the brave, and here their place of honor.'"

It is that time again, as I've been saying for a while, that George Washington talked about, "Let us raise a standard that the wise and the honest can repair," what he was talking about was the Constitution: Let's raise that standard up.

So when things get tough, this is the place where people will run for shelter and they will return to it and they will remember what we did and they'll restore America. Now is our time.

In the first time in my lifetime, we have a chance to have somebody, I think, even possibly greater than Ronald Reagan on principles. Ronald Reagan was really, truly remarkable, but the president that the progressive left wants to hide is Calvin Coolidge. And he's the guy who cut the government in half. 50 percent. And we had a deeper depression in 1920 than we did in 1933.

1933, progressives took a hold of it, and we had the Great Depression. But in 1920, we had a greater depression, and a real constitutional conservative took the helm, cut the size of government, cut the spending of government, and we were out of that depression within 18 months. We have a chance of restoring our principles and getting back on -- on point.

Now, I want to -- I want to tell you that as I've always said, the progressive party was started by the Republicans. Not the Democrats. The Republican Party under Theodore Roosevelt started it. The cancer started in the Republican Party. And so when you see people like Mitt Romney, when you see people -- Lindsey Graham, John McCain, they all might be fine people. But they are progressives. And just a touch of progressivism takes us away from the Constitution. And takes us away -- many of our so-called conservative friends are not constitutional. Many of our conservative friends are not conservatives.

Donald Trump is a very good example of this. The guy is not a conservative. Tell me one thing where he's lived his life in a conservative way. I got a very special Bible. A Bible before it my mom. I've never opened it. But I keep it in a very special place. He's not a conservative.

So eight years ago, I was asked to speak at CPAC. And I did. And I took out my chalkboard. And I said, "You know, I have to tell you, I've been talking about progressives because progressivism is the disease, but that disease is here in this very room. That disease started with the Republican Party. And it's time for the Republican Party to recognize this." Well, I haven't been invited back at CPAC. And it's been an interesting -- it's been an interesting thing to watch CPAC battle for its place, battle for its soul.

Are they going to be a progressive establishment organization, or are they going to be a true conservative organization?

I was reading an article just a couple of days ago: Under new leadership, CPAC heads in a more conservative direction. There is new leadership at CPAC.

And Matt Schlapp, who is now the -- I think he's the chairman of ACU, which runs CPAC, he called me the other day. And he said, "We would like to let you know that CPAC is changing. We found our conservative footing, and we want everyone to know that now is the time. Now is our time as conservatives. And we would like you to close CPAC."

So I gladly accepted. And I'm going to be giving I think -- I don't know -- one of the last speeches, if not the last speech, at CPAC, closing it out this coming CPAC, which I don't have the dates.

But I do happen to have Matt Schlapp on the phone, who is the new chairman of ACU.

Did I get this right, Matt, I mean, about the change of CPAC?

MATT: As in most things, you get it right, Glenn. And you are going to close out the conference, which is going to be on March 5th. Saturday, March 5th, right near Ronald Reagan Airport. And you got the theme right too: Our time is now. Which is based off of Reagan's very first public event after he was elected president.

GLENN: So tell me, Matt, why the change? Because CPAC was headed in a very progressive, less conservative kind of direction. And it was really disappointing to watch.

Why the change? What's happened?

MATT: You know, sometimes people have disagreements, and sometimes there are people that make bad choices. But one thing that's happened is the conservative world with conservative organizations in Washington, Glenn, is that we're really old. A lot of times we start off by saying, "We're the oldest conservative group." And we are. We were started by William F. Buckley, right after Barry Goldwater lost the presidential election of 1964.

And over time, it gets hard for organizations to find relevance. And I think there are times for those -- just like old corporations, we see them, you know, making mistakes as well. And I think what we have decided to do is to say, "Look, we have to be true to our original mission, and we have to be authentically conservative." And I think if we do that, the market, which are voters and activists across the country, will respond.

And that's what we're seeing. They're responding to the fact that we're saying -- you know, we're not we're not going to be nasty about it. But we're going to stand up for our principles, and we're going to stand up for our country. And CPAC has to reflect that because, you know, we're watching our country transform before our eyes.

GLENN: Let me ask you this: Usually I don't know -- usually I know pretty much the answer before I would ask, but I have no idea how you're going to answer this one. How much of a role does your father-in-law play in your conservative views?

MATT: Oh, that's a really kind question. My father-in-law is a hero of mine. My father-in-law grew up in Cuba. He was like a lot of people. He didn't have a lot of -- he didn't have a lot of wealth. But there was a entrepreneurial class in Cuba at that time before Castro. He started up little businesses. He was an accountant. They had a pawn shop. And one by one, there was a knock on the door and the keys were literally taken from his hands, each one of his businesses, and finally his home. And when that happened, he said to himself and he said to his family, "Enough is enough." And he was a young man at this point. And he said, "We have to do something to stop Castro." And he actually organized with friends and associates a -- you know, they were freedom fighters. And they pulled together. And they actually tried to HEP effasinate Castro with a bazooka.

And, Glenn, they actually got the bazooka, because in freedom-loving places, there were always firearms available for good purposes. They got the bazooka, but they had an insurgent inside them who tattled on them. And many of them were assassinated. Many of them died in prison. His cellmate was assassinated in prison. And this feisty guy got out of prison, took on Castro, and is still alive to this day and is absolutely disgusted and appalled at Washington -- what the country he now loves, America, is doing in embracing the Castros. It's just another example of what Obama is doing to try -- to try to destroy the underpinnings of our country.

GLENN: I will tell you this: I think -- this is one of the reasons why I trust Ted Cruz so much because I know his dad. And, you know, his dad had a similar story: He was marching to his execution, and thought, "It is all -- it's all over." Got to America and really understood what Castro was doing. And worked against Castro here. And raised his son to be who Ted Cruz is. And I find it interesting that it is the Cuban-Americans that are starting to rise to the top. And I think many of them were raised for this time in particular. Because their fathers or their mothers experienced it and can see it, unlike anybody else.

And I know this is your father-in-law. That's why I asked the question. I mean, how much has he influenced you on where you're headed now and what you see coming our way?

MATT: Well, let me tell you, when I his beautiful daughter, my wife Mercedes, who is named after the Virgin of HEP Mercedes because he prayed to her. He said -- he's not an overly religious man, Glenn. That's actually something my wife and I work on him on.

But, you know, he did believe that if he prayed, maybe he would get released from jail. And he prayed to the Virgin of Mercedes. And when he was released, he named his daughter Mercedes. And, you know, it is -- it's a beautiful story.

I do think that these people are -- these people who fled tyranny understand it better than those of us who have read about it in our history books. And on our first date, we both asked each other questions.

The most thing that I was worried about my future wife might be is a Miami Hurricanes fan because I've been fighting Irishmen from Notre Dame, and I was very worried that I couldn't possibly get through Saturday afternoons if she was a Miami Hurricane fan.

And her question for me, Glenn, was -- this had just happened at the end of the Clinton administration. She said, "Elliot HEP Gonzalez, send them back or keep them?" And I said without a hesitation, "Keep them." And you never return a boy back to the commies. That's one thing that's knit in all of our souls.

And that got that first date off to the right start, I'll tell you that much.

GLENN: You know, you just openly talk about God here. I'm in South Carolina. I got in the car. I just did an event early this morning. And I got into the car and I said to my team, "You know what's really nice, in Texas and in the Carolinas, it's like -- there's a few places in the country it's like this, but it's certainly not like this in the North. And the North, I have to kind of watch my words because you can't speak the language of God. You just can't say, 'Look, read your Scriptures. You know what it says. You know where we are.' Because that just puts you into a freak zone."

MATT: That's right.

GLENN: The culture has decayed. And without organizations -- this is why it was so sad when I just saw CPAC and other organizations kind of saying, "Well, you know, conservatives, we're more establishment." The culture is decaying. And if we don't grab on to the roots of our culture, we're doomed.

MATT: We're doomed. And I drive my four kids to school every morning. My five girls, I drive four of them to school every morning. You know, I'm a news guy, so I'm listening to what's happening on the news. You know, Glenn, when you have young kids, you really can't listen to the news anymore. I have to lower that volume almost every morning because really all the news is concerned with is gender confusion and bathrooms and things that are -- you know, you scratch your head.

With everything that's going on in the world, our focus as a country is really on all the wrong things. And it's a sad thing for kids. And I'm completely where you are, in terms of how dire the situation is, but I continue to be hopeful. And that's why we have this Ronald Reagan quote as our theme for our CPAC conference.

You know, we're in the thickest of the fight. And if we stand shoulder to shoulder, we can save our country. And our country is worth saving still.

And I think it's Biblical. You know, whenever you have good people still, it's worth saving. And there are wonderful people out there, and we need to band together. And we need to grow our numbers. And in a democracy, we need to convince others to stand with us. And CPAC, I think, is a very important moment in this presidential campaign to do that.

GLENN: You don't have a problem with me speaking my mind because I'm going to let it all hang out.

MATT: You know, Glenn, if I did have a problem with that, would I be successful in trying to edit you?

GLENN: Okay. Good. No, you wouldn't. No, you wouldn't.

I'm thrilled and honored that you would ask as you reset CPAC, and I can't wait. So we'll see you there.

MATT: You're going to close us down. But you're going to close us down by lifting us up. And the stakes are high.

GLENN: Thank you very much, I appreciate it, man. There it is. Something that I would never thought would happen, I'm going to be closing down -- in a positive way, I'm going to be closing down CPAC. Because there was a while there, I might want to close down CPAC. But that's a different story.

Featured Images: Courtesy of CPAC

Stop trying to be right and think of the children

Mario Tama/Getty Images

All the outrage this week has mainly focused on one thing: the evil Trump administration and its minions who delight in taking children from their illegal immigrant parents and throwing them all in dungeons. Separate dungeons, mind you.

That makes for a nice, easy storyline, but the reality is less convenient. Most Americans seem to agree that separating children from their parents — even if their parents entered the US illegally — is a bad thing. But what if that mom and dad you're trying to keep the kids with aren't really the kids' parents? Believe it or not, fraud happens.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

While there are plenty of heartbreaking stories of parents simply seeking a chance for a better life for their children in the US, there are also corrupt, abusive human traffickers who profit from the illegal immigration trade. And sorting all of this out is no easy task.

This week, the Department of Homeland Security said that since October 2017, more than 300 children have arrived at the border with adults claiming to be their parents who turned out not to be relatives. 90 of these fraud cases came from the Rio Grande Valley sector alone.

In 2017, DHS reported 46 causes of fraudulent family claims. But there have already been 191 fraud cases in 2018.

Shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

When Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pointed out this 315 percent increase, the New York Times was quick to give these family fraud cases "context" by noting they make up less than one percent of the total number of illegal immigrant families apprehended at the southern border. Their implication was that Nielsen was exaggerating the numbers. Even if the number of fraud cases at the border was only 0.001 percent, shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

This is the most infuriating part of this whole conversation this week (if you can call it a "conversation") — that both sides have an angle to defend. And while everyone's busy yelling and making their case, children are being abused.

What if we just tried, for two seconds, to love having mercy more than we love having to be right all the time?

Remember when cartoons were happy things? Each panel took you on a tiny journey, carrying you to an unexplored place. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud writes:

The comics creator asks us to join in a silent dance of the seen and the unseen. The visible and the invisible. This dance is unique to comics. No other artform gives so much to its audience while asking so much from them as well. This is why I think it's a mistake to see comics as a mere hybrid of the graphic arts and prose fiction. What happens between . . . panels is a kind of magic only comics can create.

When that magic is manipulated or politicized, it often devolves the artform into a baseless thing. Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street published the perfect example of low-brow deviation of the artform: A six-panel approach at satire, which imitates the instructions-panel found in the netted cubbyhole behind seats on airplanes. The cartoon is a critique of the recent news about immigrant children being separated from their parents after crossing the border. It is a step-by-step guide to murdering US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.

RELATED: Cultural appropriation has jumped the shark, and everyone is noticing

The first panel shows a man shoving an infant into a cage meant for Pomeranians. The following five panels feature instructions, and include pictures of a cartoonish murder.

The panels read as follows:

  1. If an ICE agent tries to take your child at the border, don't panic.
  2. Pull your child away as quickly as possibly by force.
  3. Gently tell your child to close his/her eyes and ears so they won't witness what you are about to do.
  4. Grab the ICE agent from behind and push your knife into his chest with an upward thrust, causing the agent's sternum to break.
  5. Reach into his chest and pull out his still beating heart.
  6. Hold his bloody heart out for all other agents to see, and tell them that the same fate awaits them if they f--- with your child again.

Violent comics are nothing new. But most of the time, they remain in the realms of invented worlds — in other words, not in our own, with reference to actual people, let alone federal agents.

The mainstream media made a game of crying racism with every cartoon depiction of Obama during his presidency, as well as during his tenure as Senator, when the New Yorker, of all things, faced scrutiny for depicting him in "Muslim clothing." Life was a minefield for political cartoonists during the Obama era.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

This year, we saw the leftist outrage regarding The Simpsons character Apu — a cartoon representation of a highly-respected, though cartoonishly-depicted, character on a cartoon show composed of cartoonishly-depicted characters.

We all remember Charlie Hebdo, which, like many outlets that have used cartoon satire to criticize Islam, faced the wrath and ire of people unable to see even the tamest representation of the prophet, Muhammad.

Interesting, isn't it? Occupy Wall Street publishes a cartoon that advocates murdering federal agents, and critics are told to lighten up. Meanwhile, the merest depiction of Muhammad has resulted in riots throughout the world, murder and terror on an unprecedented scale.

The intersection of Islam and comics is complex enough to have its own three-hour show, so we'll leave it at that, for now. Although, it is worth mentioning the commentary by satirical website The Onion, which featured a highly offensive cartoon of all the major religious figures except Muhammad. It noted:

Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened.

Of course, Occupy Wall Street is free to publish any cartoon they like. Freedom of speech, and so on—although there have been several instances in which violent cartoons were ruled to have violated the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" limitation of the First Amendment.

Posting it to Twitter is another issue — this is surely in violation of Twitter's violent content policy, but something tells me nothing will come of it. It's a funny world, isn't it? A screenshot of a receipt from Chick-fil-A causes outrage but a cartoon advocating murder gets crickets.

RELATED: Twitter mob goes ballistic over Father's Day photo of Caitlyn Jenner. Who cares?

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud concludes that, "Today the possibilities for comics are — as they've always been — endless. Comics offers . . . range and versatility, with all the potential imagery of film and painting plus the intimacy of the written word. And all that's needed is the desire to be heard, the will to learn, and the ability to see."

Smile, and keep moving forward.

Crude and awful as the Occupy Wall Street comic is, the best thing we can do is nod and look elsewhere for the art that will open our eyes. Let the lunatics draw what they want, let them stew in their own flawed double standards. Otherwise, we're as shallow and empty as they are, and nothing good comes of that. Smile, and keep moving forward.

Things are getting better. Show the world how to hear, how to learn, how to see.

People should start listening to Nikki Haley

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Okay. Let's take a vote. You know, an objective, quantifiable count. How many resolutions has the UN Human Rights Council adopted condemning dictatorships? Easy. Well. How do you define "dictatorship"?

Well, one metric is the UN Human Rights Council Condemnation. How many have the United Nations issued to China, with a body count higher than a professional Call of Duty player?

Zero.

How about Venezuela, where socialism is devouring its own in the cruelest, most unsettling ways imaginable?

Zero.

And Russia, home of unsettling cruelty and rampant censorship, murder and (actual) homophobia?

Zero.

Iraq? Zero. Turkey? Iraq? Zero. Cuba? Zero. Pakistan? Zero.

RELATED: Nikki Haley just dropped some serious verbal bombs on Russia at the UN

According to UN Human Rights Council Condemnations, 2006-2016, none of these nations is as dangerous as we'd imagined. Or, rather, none of them faced a single condemnation. Meanwhile, one country in particular has faced unbelievable scrutiny and fury — you'll never guess which country.

No, it's not Somalia. It's Israel. With 68 UN Human Rights Council Condemnations! In fact, the number of total United Nations condemnations against Israel outnumbers the total of condemnations against all other countries combined. The only country that comes close is Syria, with 15.

The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of what it perceives as an entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers as members.

In an address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Nikki Haley said:

Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy. This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday... No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.

Maybe people should start listening to Haley. Hopefully, they will. Not likely, but there's no crime in remaining hopeful.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

RELATED: If Bruce was never a he and always a she, who won the men's Olympic gold in 1976?

Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?