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