Presidents Day: Looking Back and Looking Forward

It's President's Day 2016. And this election year, we're bringing you a special edition of The Glenn Beck Program. Iowa and New Hampshire have now voiced their opinions in the primaries, but most of the country has yet to vote. Over the past several months, we have extended an offer to all of the presidential candidates to sit down and talk one-on-one in a long-form setting. Many of the candidates took us up on that offer; some did not.

We weren't looking for gotcha questions, and we didn't want sound bite answers. Anyone can do an interview where the politicians can give a polished and rehearsed answer. But we wanted to go in depth with the people who want to lead our country through, which will be no doubt, a very intense period in our nation's history.

For those who participated, we discussed important issues, ranging from what to do about ISIS to Common Core to favorite Founding Fathers. It's insightful and important even from those candidates out of the presidential race who could potentially be a vice presidential candidate.

But first, I shared a few thoughts at the beginning of the program --- about past presidents and what we deserve in a leader.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

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

GLENN: I think my first real memory of a president is President Nixon. I remember it like it was yesterday. Sitting in front of my family's Magnavox television consul with the shag green carpeting underneath and hearing President Nixon say, "Americans need to know if their president is a crook."

RICHARD: Because people have got to know. Well, I'm not a crook. I've earned everything I've got.

GLENN: I remember his face when he said it. I remember what he looked like when he said.

RICHARD: I shall resign the presidency, effective at noon tomorrow.

GLENN: I also remember the words my father uttered. He said, "I can't believe he's given up." He told me, "He's no different than other presidents, he just got caught." It didn't feel right, and it certainly doesn't feel right now.

The face of Richard Nixon coming out of my television is forever burned into my memory as my first image of a president. And it's funny how my generation, the generation that upon having kids, allowed this to be the exact same image that is now burned into the memories of my children.

BILL: But I want to say one thing to the American people: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time, never.

GLENN: Or even more recently, with a president who never missed a chance to reveal his own character.

OBAMA: The Cambridge Police acted stupidly.

You see folks waving teabags around.

Heck, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.

I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this.

GLENN: We all have evidence that shows what my father told me that night of Nixon's resignation is true, that our leaders are just people that don't get caught. Or who do get caught, but we shouldn't care anyway.

You know, for a long time, I've tried to figure out where my belief in the greatness of our American leaders comes from. Is it fables? Is it movies? Or is it something more?

Is it a God-given knowledge that something so great as America had to be built by men, maybe no greater than us, but by men who had the same silly belief in the inherent HEP goodness and honor of men. The belief that our differences come on policy, and our agreements come on principles.

Ever since I've been alive, I've seen far too few examples of greatness, of courage, of strength, and honesty. Identify seen too far examples of men that spend themselves in a worthy cause. Who then, even if they fail, they fail while daring greatly. I still believe that those are the men who built our country. They're still out there, somewhere among us. They're waiting to lead. Maybe there are those in our own homes, the sons and daughters we ate breakfast with this morning. Does this belief come from my reading of the words of past presidents who actually wrote the words themselves? Now, we read about presidents and politicians who have their speeches written for them weeks in advance. They run them through focus groups and rehearsals. Everything has been honed and polished for consumption.

We long for a leader, that while on a train to a battlefield could actually scratch out in his own handwriting, "Four score and seven years ago. Our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now, we're engaged in a great civil war. Testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

We meet here, on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it as a final resting place for those here who gave their lives that this nation might live. And that's altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. We cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note or long remember what we say here. They will never forget what they did here.

It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have thus far so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be 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 should not have died in vain. That this nation shall have a new birth of freedom. And that this government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from this earth.

You know, I'm a firm believer in we all get what we deserve, and we can only get what we expect. I expect that great men and women are still among us. I expect that our leaders are to be made of the same thread of this great American fabric that has been woven over two centuries.

So today, on this President's Day, we look to the future, and we ask ourselves: What do I expect from our leaders? And what is it we deserve?

Happy Birthday, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

Featured Image: Abraham Lincoln and George Washington

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined Glenn Beck on this week's podcast to share her unique perspective as a trusted adviser and confidante to President Donald Trump for two and a half years, which she also details in her new book, "Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom, and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House."

Sarah described the unprecedented levels of corruption she saw firsthand during the Russia probe and shocking lengths to which Democratic leaders and the mainstream media would go to "take the president down."

Sarah said she often saw sides of Donald Trump that the media never covered. Recently, she went on the record denying the Atlantic's claims that the president mocked our military during a 2018 trip to France. She was on that trip, she told Glenn, and her account of what really happened paints a very different picture.

"The people who are making this outrageous charge are such cowards for doing so in an anonymous way. If you really believed this, and believed it was wrong, one, why did it take you so long? And, two, put your name on it the way the rest of us have," Sarah said.

"He didn't say those things. Not only was I there that day, Glenn, I spent two and a half years traveling all over the world with the president, watching him interact with men and women of our armed forces almost every single day during that two-and-a-half year period," she added.

"This is a person who loves America and loves the people who allow the rest of us to live in America, free, and have prosperity. And I got to see that a lot. I think it is shameful that people are trying to distort who he is and what he has done, particularly when it comes to the men and women in the military."

Watch a clip from the full interview with Sarah Huckabee Sanders below:

Find the full podcast below, on Glenn's YouTube channel or on Blaze Media's podcast network.


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The Daily Beast recently reported on a group of 50-plus leading progressive organizations that calls itself the Fight Back Table or FBT, who are planning for a "post-Election Day political apocalypse scenario."

The FBT held a meeting on Zoom to launch an initiative they dubbed the "Democracy Defense Nerve Center." Meeting participants prepared for expected threats to a fair election in November, such as "armed right-wing militia dudes show[ing] up in polling places," or poll locations that "mysteriously close" on Election Day. They also predicted that President Donald Trump would claim victory regardless of November's election results, which would lead to inevitable "mass public unrest."

"It is very obvious that Trump is laying the groundwork for claiming victory no matter what ... we will fight to protect [our democracy] from what we truly see as a president who has gone off the rails and taking this country down an authoritarian fascist path," said MoveOn Executive Director Rahna Epting.

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn argued that the left is using large-scale mail-in voting — which unlike absentee ballots does not require voters to submit an application ahead of the election — to set the stage for chaos, revolution, and ultimately cause civil war to destroy our nation.

"No one will believe the [election] outcome because they're changing the way we're electing a president this time. And people don't understand the difference ... this is Democratic states just printing ballots and mass mailing them," Glenn said.

"They've been war-gaming this forever," he continued. "And the media is trying to make it look as if the right is the one that is violent. We're not planning anything to happen on Election Day, except to go and vote. The chaos that's coming, I think is remarkable. And if the DOJ doesn't get involved and find out who these groups are and what they have planned, you are going to have intimidation and chaos the week of the voting, and for weeks [afterward] until we go into civil war. This is not hyperbole. This is what the left is now saying."

Watch the video below to hear more from Glenn:

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Netflix film 'Cuties' is darker than you thought

'Cuties'/Netflix

Plague. Recession. Riots. Looting. Fires. Murder Hornets. And now, as we round the third base toward the home stretch, 2020 gives us Cuties, a delightful French coming-of-age film by Maïmouna Doucouré that's half Stand by Me and half Coyote Ugly – if you were to combine both films into an anthropomorphic entity and then forcefully dip its toe into the perilous waters of pedophilia.

Cuties begins by showing us an 11-year-old Senegalese girl named Amy, whose fundamentalist Muslim family has recently moved to France. We learn that Amy's father has gone back to Senegal to bring home the woman who is to become his second wife. The mother's struggle is very clear to Amy, who begins right then and there to develop a hatred for her father. She starts looking for ways to rebel, and soon lands in the company of a group of ne'er-do-well girls, who fancy themselves dancers and have adopted the group name "Cuties". Their primary goal in life at the moment – and the thing that drives the film's narrative – is to participate in and win the big dance competition coming up soon. The ring-leader – a dark-haired bespectacled girl who resembles Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to such an eerie extent that it can't have been on accident – lives in Amy's building, and the two form a kind of delicate friendship throughout the film.

Here is where the movie most resembles a female version of Stand by Me, and it's also where I began to understand that this is a remarkably beautiful film at times. It's well-shot, well-scored, and well-acted. In fact, Fathia Youssouf Abdillahi (the actress who portrays Amy) is quite possibly the most talented child actor I've ever seen.

I began to understand that this is a remarkably beautiful film at times.

The portrayal of this group of girls wending their way through the thick tangles of childhood and constantly grasping at what they perceive to be higher concepts of adulthood is somehow both charming and bothersome at the same time. Knowing virtually nothing of the real world of sexuality, they engage in a kind of whimsical speculation as to how sex works that almost comically mirrors the aforementioned Oscar-winning film (and a ton of other coming-of-age movies as well). Some of this is fine. There's a particularly funny-turns-emotional moment when one of the girls, upon finding a used condom lying around in the woods, blows it up like a balloon and begins playing around with it. The other girls – who at least know enough to know that one doesn't touch such things for fear of disease – immediately recoil from her, tell her that she's going to catch AIDS, and so embarrass and frighten her that she begins to cry. The scene is, again, beautifully shot, and I found myself sympathizing with the character as she feels an overwhelming moment of ostracization-through-misadventure. In the following scene, we are treated to a montage of the girls washing her mouth out with soap, and it breaks the tension.

All of that to say that not only does this movie have plenty of redeemable moments that are on the beat film-wise, but also that it will pull you in headlong whether you want it to or not – which is what a good film is supposed to do.

But, alas, there's more. And I'm not so much talking about the risqué dancing that's done throughout the film. Here's why: as if the plot structure of every coming-of-age story didn't lay it out clearly enough for us, kids strive to be adults. The results are often hilarious, sometimes disturbing, but it's their nature. Kids want to be more like adults. And in a world – such as the one depicted in this movie – where children either can't or won't seize on the example of adulthood provided by their own parents, a vacuum is created. And nothing fills the vacuum of responsible parenting better than social media.

For the girls, it is the well from which they draw their inspiration, acceptance and love. "Likes" are the currency of the realm, and if you don't think this is true in your own kids' world today, you need to wake up and smell the Zuckerberg.

Thus, it is no surprise that these young dancing girls are modeling their very existence after what they see in online videos, and regurgitating the same back at the soulless machine. That they would be twerking and gyrating in a manner that falsely suggests they do know a thing or two about sex is normal when you consider that they're dining daily on visual and musical junk food – art perhaps not entirely without merit, but certainly without taste. And if there's one thing about the movie that phone-it-in parents might do well to see, it is perhaps the juxtaposition of budding childhood and the laissez faire morality adhered to by the demigods of popular culture. In short: these girls are just trying to be like the only set of role models afforded to them.

Here's what should (in my opinion, anyway) not be okay, though.

Aside from the moments of dancing, this film is filled with the cinematography of sexuality. When you watch any film in which there is a femme fatale character (or in some cases several of them), the way in which they are shot by the camera is extremely suggestive of overt sexuality. To quote one of my favorite online film critics: "You may not have noticed, but your brain did." Tracking shots over women's bodies, particularly up their backside or across a heaving bosom all decorated in cleavage, are a stock in trade for many filmmakers (and the only one for some of them). It's so common in the making of movies that it's often lampooned as a trope.

I'm reticent to accuse the woman who made this film of directly catering to the desires of pedophiles – but... I can't completely dismiss the idea, either.

We'll save the discussion about whether or not this is offensive when actresses in their twenties and thirties do it for another time. What I would hope we could all agree on is that you don't – in good conscience – use those same tracking shots over the bodies of a group of 11-year-old girls, even to make a point. And you certainly don't do it over and over and over throughout the course of a movie. The unstated purpose of such shots in a regular film is to give the viewer a taste of the voyeur. You wouldn't be allowed, in polite society, to walk up to a woman and stare at her from inches away, scanning down her body as if you were about to fax her someplace. But with the movie camera, you get a little taste of that. Dopamine rushes to your brain, and you're instantly glad you shelled out the twenty bucks to see the movie.

And while it's theoretically possible that the unstated purpose on behalf of the filmmaker changes when the subject is a little girl, it can't be denied or even overlooked that, for a certain subset of the viewing population, the effect does not. I'm reticent to accuse the woman who made this film of directly catering to the desires of pedophiles – but after having sat through an hour and a half of shot after shot of this very overt technique, I can't completely dismiss the idea, either.

As Amy progresses down the path that her (barely) world-wise friends have chosen, she becomes far more steeped in it, because she has no sense of the unseen boundaries which exist even in a hedonistic postmodern society such as present-day France. She spirals out of control very quickly, trying to outdo her friends in overt displays of sexuality and even violent aggressiveness. If there is a redeeming quality to the message of the movie, it is that we are fairly explicitly told through what we see her go through that this is not the best life for her. That escaping from the oppressive Muslim traditions of her family is a thing she should seek, but that this is not the way to go about it. All throughout her journey, we are subjected to close-up images of her body (and the bodies of the other girls). At one point, Amy's mother and aunt seem to be performing a kind of exorcism on her to drive out the evil rebellious spirits they believe have taken over, and Amy vibrates in the middle of the room on her knees in a paroxysm of movement which is half-dance, half-apparent-demonic possession, and all sex. I don't mean to be graphic here, but she may as well have been doing a full-on sex scene, for all the heavy breathing and gyration and rank passion that's going on. As an adult – and particularly as a parent – it made me literally feel ill to watch.

It's a beautiful final scene... but it fails to pull the film from the mire into which it's dipped.

And, if you believe the film's director, that's what you're supposed to feel. She claims that the whole intent of the movie is to get people to feel uncomfortable as they realize the hyper-sexualized nature of children in our modern world, and how it's driven by the nanny state that is social media in our modern era. Part of me wants to applaud the effort – it certainly worked on me. I walked away from my television with a feeling of nausea and a renewal of the commitment in my head toward doing anything and everything I can to make sure that my own children never watch this film. The fact that the movie ends with Amy making a choice to reclaim her childhood – that she walks away both from the more oppressive elements of her Muslim upbringing (insofar as she will be able – we are never told) and from trying to become an adult too soon (insofar as she will be able – we are also never told) and embraces just being an 11-year-old girl – that fact doesn't change what's transpired. It's a beautiful final scene – it really is – but it fails to pull the film from the mire into which it's dipped.

In summary, I can't really put any sort of seal of approval on this film, despite part of me wanting to. I generally subscribe to the idea that showing us a thing is far better than telling us a thing – but there are limits, and I think Cuties crosses them. As much as I want to believe that the director's motives are pure as the driven snow, it's not lost upon me that – as I mentioned before – one of the main characters (with whom we are meant to be sympathetic multiple times throughout the film) is very obviously meant to be the prototypical girl-who-wants-to-be-AOC. This film is at war with its own supposed message – it seeks to convey the horrors of oversexualized youth while laying out on for open display an entire smorgasbord of pedophilic fantasies. The game simply isn't worth the candle.

Osama bin Laden's niece, Noor bin Ladin (Noor's family has always spelled their name differently than her uncle) wrote an open letter to America, praising our country as "a beacon of democracy and hope for all subjugated peoples" across the world, and warning: "America, you are at the very edge of the precipice. Please wake up! Take hold! Fight for your country, and be proud of your roots! Uphold your values. Stand for your flag and your anthem. Defend your history. Don't relent in the face of those who seek to re-write it to serve their narrative and justify the destruction of your nation. You have much to cherish and protect for your sake, and ours."

Noor never stood with or supported her uncle. In fact, she grew up with an American flag proudly displayed in her childhood bedroom. Now a resident of Switzerland, she describes the chaos and destruction she's seen spread across America over the last several months.

"Watching the gratuitous violence, streets burn, buildings and statues being defaced in America over these past months, I am heartbroken to see how an entire generation was successfully brainwashed into hating the very nation that has yielded the most freedom, justice and equality anywhere in the world.

"I am also highly distressed by the blatant erosion at various levels of your most basic individual rights and freedoms as guaranteed by your Bill of Rights, from arbitrary censorship of speech to unlawful, politically motivated abuses of justice," she wrote.

Noor warned America that if we don't stand up, defend our history, and cherish the principles which make our country great, than those who have sought to undermine our country for decades will divide and destroy us from within.

"The truth is that the undoing of America has been decades in the making. The globalists, Deep State, swamp, whichever name you call them, have been hard at work to weaken America's sovereignty and standing as world leader. Intent on erecting a new system of world governance where they would be in total control, they are seeking to undermine the fundamental principle of your country, "a government for the people by the people", replacing it instead with a world order of international institutions ultimately puppeteered by a caste of technocrats, oligarchs and international bankers.

"Though your Constitution stands firmly in their way, it never deterred them. Like a trojan horse, they infiltrated governmental and intelligence agencies, and all realms of society - education, media, entertainment, culture. At their disposal, tools of mass population influence: propaganda, fake news and censorship. By pushing their marxist-socialist progressive agenda for years, they set out to destroy your fundamental values and divide you. They negated God, dissolved the family unit and dissevered us from moral objectivity, effectively leaving a vacuum of degeneracy, cognitive dissonance and absurdity in its wake," she added.

Read the full letter here.

On the radio program Friday, Glenn Beck shared several highlights from Noor's letter as well as her first-ever interview with the New York Post.

"A letter was written to America this week. I want you to listen to the words," said Glenn. "'America, you are at the very edge of the precipice. Please wake up! Take hold! Fight for your country, and be proud of your roots! Uphold your values. Stand for your flag and your anthem. Defend your history. Don't relent in the face of those who seek to re-write it to serve their narrative and justify the destruction of your nation. You have much to cherish and protect for your sake, and ours.' [...] The woman who wrote that, the woman who is an American at heart, who is warning us, is Osama bin Laden's [niece]."

Watch the video below to hear more from Glenn:

*Note: Glenn mistakenly referred to Noor Bin Ladin as Osama bin Laden's sister. She is his niece.


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