David Barton: We Might Be On the Verge of Revolution

The Context

The South Carolina primary was Saturday and Donald Trump came out the big winner followed by Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz who were in a virtual tie for second place. David Barton joined the program and broke down the numbers behind the votes and what he found surprised him.

“Well, I thought there would be a revolution, but not in the sense of having a physical revolution,” Barton said Monday on The Glenn Beck Program. “I'm now more of a believer that it's a real thing. The numbers I saw in South Carolina . . . I was literally shocked. I was shocked at not only the numbers, but the words that were behind some of the numbers. The questions that were literally asked and how people responded to that, it really gave me a lot of pause in a way that I have not done in recent years.”

The Bubba Effect

If you've been a listener over the past few years, Glenn has talked extensively about a term called The Bubba Effect, something he believes is now here. The Bubba Effect is when a group of people feel they have been pushed over the edge by an overbearing government, and someone responds with force or violence. Even though they know it’s wrong, the majority of people support the violence.

“The Bubba Effect, I believe, is in full effect right now,” Glenn said. “I believe Donald Trump is The Bubba Effect, and I'll explain that later, based on some of these polls that are coming in. And they are frightening. They're truly frightening when you read the exit polls and you know what you're looking for.”

What was most frightening for David Barton? The term "betrayal."

“Well, the term we'll get into later is the term "betrayal," Barton said. “[Voters] feel betrayed. And when you look at betrayal and you look at what psychologists say that represents, that's a scary term. It's not like someone has just crossed me --- betrayal is deep stuff.”

Terrorism

The number one issue for South Carolina voters according to exit polling was terrorism at 32%, but the staggering number was that 75% of voters did not want Syrian refugees. Glenn explained why that is such a significant number.

“This is America saying, 'Look, we don't buy your bullcrap that it's a peaceful religion and the Muslim Brotherhood are largely secular.' What they know is, Muslims have come in from the Middle East, not necessarily American Muslims . . . Islamists is the better way to term this. Islamists are not peaceful. Muslims can be peaceful. But we have bent over backwards to say everybody is peaceful. And this guy is just a lone wolf, when we know that's bullcrap,” Glenn said.

What’s Sticking to Cruz

There may be several factors that hurt Cruz’ performance or why Rubio and Trump did so well, but there is one thing that Glenn believes is starting to take its toll on Ted.

“So here's the other thing that's hurting Ted Cruz that is sticking: that he's running the dirty campaign and that he's a liar. I have to tell you, I mean, I would not be with a liar. And I won't make any excuses,” Glenn said.

David has been hearing the same thing over and over and it might start to be something the Cruz campaign should be worried about even if it’s a lie itself.

“It's interesting the way they've gone at it. Trump says, [Cruz is] a liar. He lies about everything. He's the biggest liar --- just lie, lie, lie. That's the word [Trump] uses over and over, and people repeat that. And I say, 'Can you give me one example?' No, but [Cruz is] a liar,” Barton said.

Common Sense Bottom Line

If the exit polls in South Carolina prove anything it’s that we are a deeply divided country and at an extremely crucial point in our history. We have been pushed by an overbearing government and we might start to see violence, but we cannot let The Bubba Effect take root in our hearts. We must continue to be like Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and serve our fellow man with love.

“And this is why I have been saying, 'Jesus, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, pick one. Pick one.' You've got to hold on to who you are, the principles that you have, and you can't fight hate with hate.” Glenn said.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

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

GLENN:  So glad you've tuned in.  We've run out of time for Courage Boys.  We'll have to move that or hit it tomorrow.  

I have David Barton here with us.  And he's been looking at the poll numbers out of South Carolina.  And we're going to get into those here in a bit.  But, David, I wanted to talk to you a bit because I know one of the headlines is going to be, "Glenn Beck says there's going to be a revolution."  I don't think you believed that until you saw the poll numbers coming out of the last three states.

DAVID:  Well, I thought there would be a revolution, but not in the sense of having a physical revolution.  You know, I thought there would be political or something.  I'm now more of a believer that it's a real thing.  The numbers I saw in South Carolina -- you know, I told you the email shocked me.  I was literally shocked.  I was shocked at not only the numbers, but the words that were behind some of the numbers.  The questions that were literally asked and how people responded to that, it really gave me a lot of pause in a way that I have not done in recent years.

GLENN:  And, quite honestly, if we had responsible journalists and responsible press, they would be talking to you now.  And this is why I have been saying, "Jesus, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, pick one.  Pick one."  But you've got to hold on to who and you are the principles that you have.  And you can't fight hate with hate.  And that's exactly what's happening.

And people -- the Bubba Effect, I believe, is in full effect right now.  I believe Donald Trump is the Bubba Effect.  And I'll explain that later, based on some of these polls that are coming in.  And they are frightening.  They're truly frightening when you read the exit polls and you know what you're looking for.

DAVID:  Yeah.  The numbers are scary on this.  And the terms are scary too.

GLENN:  What do you mean "the terms"?

DAVID:  Well, the term we'll get into later is the term "betrayal."  They feel betrayed.  And when you look at betrayal and you look at what psychologists say that that represents, that's a scary term.  It's not like someone has just crossed me.  Betrayal is deep stuff.

GLENN:  So I want to make sure that you hear this.  Because the media will spin this out of control.  And they'll make it into another crazy conspiracy theory.  But I just want to point out: '99, I talked about Osama bin Laden in New York and said that there would be blood and bodies in the streets and the signature would be Osama bin Laden.  And nobody believed me.  In 2006 and '7, I talked to you about financial crash, the crash of biblical proportions, based on the housing market.  I told you that there would be a caliphate, and everybody mocked that.  I'm telling you, we are on the path for revolution.  And a violent revolution.

Right now, we're talking about a velvet revolution.  But if we make the wrong choice at this point, we are -- and I'll make this case, based on the polls and what we're seeing.  And nobody in the media is going to -- they're going to mock it.  Don't mock this warning.  Please don't mock this warning.

All right.  So we'll get into that here in just a second.  And I'm actually anxious for David to hear the -- the -- the founders, the black founders, because David is the one who originally turned us on to black founders.  We had absolutely no idea.

Pat, do you know who this -- which is the black founder that we're hitting today?

PAT:  Crispus Attucks.

GLENN:  Who played a huge, huge role.  I was just up in Boston a couple weeks ago.  And I asked people, "So where is the Old North Church?"  And they're like, "You know, it's been years since I've been there.  I'm not really sure."  

So what is that memorial over there?  

That's Bunker Hill, I think.  I'm not really sure.  

I mean, It's amazing that people who live in that, with all of that history, how many people just dismiss it.  And they're just -- it becomes old hat.  I don't really -- I learned that in school.  And I don't really remember.

PAT:  Yeah, they don't pay attention.  You only pay attention kind of when you go to Boston on vacation and you're there to see the revolutionary sites and do all of that, and then you appreciate that stuff.  I think when you live there, you just kind of -- it's like living around Disneyland.  You get immune to it.

STU:  All right.  But ask them where the nearest Dunkin' Donuts is.

PAT:  Oh, they know where that is.

STU:  They will know that.  They will know that.

PAT:  Yeah.  Yeah.  Ask them what channel the Apprentice is on, and they know that.  Right?

GLENN:  I will tell you that I've never seen them -- I was seeing them from the window.  I've been to Boston a hundred times.  I've never had the opportunity -- never had the time to do it.  It's something I have to do with my kids because it's amazing.  It's all still there.  It's all still there.  And maybe we should spend a little more time learning about it.  

We'll learn something that no one in the mainstream media, no one in the educational system wants you to learn.  The history of our black founders, next.

Hour 2

GLENN:  I'll number Durango Hills today in Las Vegas.  At noon.  And 4 o'clock, I'll be in Elko, Nevada, which I've never been.  And then in Reno tonight.  Which is a beautiful city.  And then tomorrow, we'll be around another few places tomorrow in Nevada.  Just check GlennBeck.com for all the details or my Facebook page.  We'll make sure you can find out where we are.

So in South Carolina, quite honestly, it was like a kick to the gut in South Carolina.  But we learned an awful lot about what is happening in America and how high the anger is in America.  We never make a good choice -- how many times have you ever said these words, "I was so angry today, and I made the best choice I've ever made?"  We always start our apologies with, "I'm really sorry.  I flew off the handle.  I was really angry."  Never have I made a good decision when I was angry.

And David is going to take us through some of the poll numbers and what really happened in South Carolina.  David Barton is with us.

DAVID:  You want to start with the angry side --

GLENN:  You take us where you think we need to go.

DAVID:  Well, I'll tell you the way it started for me.  I was not in South Carolina the night the results came in.  I was speaking at a big event in east Texas.

PAT:  I'm just wondering if this is the David Barton --

GLENN:  Come on.  Let's get something out.

DAVID:  What is the website, Pat?

GLENN:  Oh, jeez.

PAT:  Keepthepromise.com.

GLENN:  We got it.  Let me just say -- if you would like to help the super PAC for Ted Cruz, you can go to keepthepromise.com.  Now, can we please move on?

JEFFY:  So this is the David Barton from --

GLENN:  Stop it right now.  Please, I'm begging you guys.  Turn the mics off, Sarah, in Dallas.  

Okay.  David, tell us what happened.

DAVID:  So I looked at the result after the event that night was over, and I saw all sorts of headlines.  I saw what had happened, that Cruz had come in third.  I saw that evangelicals had abandoned him.  That they did not do well.  The conservative state did not go for him.  And so I saw all these headlines.  Then as I was with you this weekend --

GLENN:  And you were as shocked as I was.

DAVID:  I was shocked.  I was absolutely shocked.  Our numbers were not close to what the results came in as.  Really, nobody's numbers were close.  They missed Rubio by a long way.  Trump overperformed.  Cruz underperformed by what was predicted.  So it was a gut blow.  It was kind of a gut blow.

So I had not thought about it much.  You asked -- you sent me the email and said, "What happened?"  So I sent you back a few articles that had exit polls, but I hadn't really looked at them.  And so as we were talking last night, I spent time going through the exit polls.  And the headlines completely misportrayed what the numbers show.

So, for example, you take -- and let me put it in perspective and then we can talk about how things felt.  The biggest issues that were on voters' minds in South Carolina, which were really different from Iowa and elsewhere, but the biggest issues that were out there -- number one issue was terrorism.  That was the number one issue at 32 percent, followed by jobs and the economy for 28 percent, government spending 27 percent, immigration 10 percent.

GLENN:  Okay.  Listen.  Now, when it comes to terrorism, it's specifically the Syrian refugees.

DAVID:  That's right.

GLENN:  And as I explained to David last night, this is the Bubba effect.  Because David is like, where are the Syrian refugees?  How is that even a story right now?

DAVID:  And, by the way, the reason I was struck with that was 75 percent of South Carolina voters said we like Trump because he doesn't want any Syrian -- and I had no clue it would be 75 percent.

GLENN:  Right.  And why is that number so high?  And I explained to David, this is the Bubba Effect.  This is America saying, "Look, we don't buy your bullcrap that it's a peaceful religion.  And the Muslim Brotherhood are largely secular."  What they know is, Muslims have come in from the Middle East, not necessarily American Muslims and Islamists is the better way to term this.  Islamists are not peaceful.  Muslims can be peaceful.  But we have bent over backwards to say everybody is peaceful.  And this guy is just a lone wolf, when we know that's bullcrap.

So when the government is not protecting us, that is the secret of the Bubba Effect.  When the government isn't protecting, the people push back on that.  They get angry and say, "You know what, get out of our town.  We know what the truth is, and you're part of the problem."  And that's why the Syrian refugees was the -- by far, the number one concern of the people who went to the polls in South Carolina.

DAVID:  And for those folks, Trump was their guy.

GLENN:  Because he says no Muslims.

DAVID:  He says, Muslims, shut it down.  That's where they went.  Although there were these other issues, 75 percent, that was a stunning number to me.

GLENN:  Right.

DAVID:  And the other numbers that stood out to me, is I was told -- let's see if I get the numbers.  74 percent were evangelicals that voted.  As it turned out, 74 percent were not evangelicals.  That was evangelicals born again.  So in the evangelicals, Cruz did really good with the evangelicals.  But among the born agains -- and evangelicals are born agains who are serious about their faith.  So those serious about their faith, Cruz did really well with.  Those who were not serious about their faith and not very conservative, that's where Trump cleaned up.  And so the media said, oh, all the evangelicals are going for Trump.  No, not so.  There was a definite categorization difference between those who practice their faith and those who didn't.

GLENN:  And actually those who practiced their faith, it was split between Rubio and Cruz.

DAVID:  That's right.  Rubio and Cruz had the high percentage of those who were serious about their faith.

GLENN:  So here's the other thing that's hurting Ted Cruz that is sticking, that he's running the dirty campaign and that he's a liar.  I have to tell you, I mean, I would not be with a liar.  And I won't make any excuses.  I think -- you know, I think like -- what was it?  Oh, the thing in Iowa where he said, you know, they sent out fliers --

DAVID:  Ben Carson.

GLENN:  No, no.  The fliers that they sent out and said, "You're in violation of voting violation."  That's been done over and over again by the Democrats and the Republicans.  So it's nothing new.  I don't like it.  I wouldn't have done that myself.  But it's totally fair game.  Nobody has ever had a problem with that in the past.

He's not playing dirty ball.  But the problem is, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump are all saying the same thing because they know, if they take him out, then the whole landscape changes.  And so he's an impediment to them.  So they're doing what they did to, you know, Mitt Romney and everybody always does.  You -- you target one, take him out.  Then you retarget another one and take them out.  So they're all targeting Marco Rubio -- Ted Cruz.

DAVID:  It's interesting the way they've gone at it.  Trump says, he's a liar.  He lies about everything.  He's the biggest liar -- just lie, lie, lie.  That's the word he uses over and over.  And people repeat that.  And I say, "Can you give me one example?"  No, but he's a liar.  

Give me an example.  

Well, he's a liar.

And it goes back to what William James said in the 1800s.  He said, there's nothing so absurd, but that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it.

GLENN:  Hitler said the same thing.

DAVID:  That's right.  And that's what's been happening.  That did hurt Cruz in South Carolina.  The negatives went up on him.  We really can't trust him because he's a liar.  No evidence of that.  That's just a claim.

GLENN:  I know Ted Cruz.  That's the most incredible thing I've heard.  He's trying to be friends with everybody.  He's not taking these guys out.  He's the only one not engaging in those nasty -- you know, this nasty kind of --

DAVID:  Well, I'll tell you, when I -- when they asked me to take the super PAC and I did.  I said, "Here's the deal, I'm not going to be an attack dog.  I'm not going to do a super PAC that's going after everybody attacking.  I believe in Romans 12:21.  You overturn the evil with the good.  We'll run positive messaging.  I don't mind contrast ads.  I don't mind if someone is vote is somewhere, I'll show that.  But I'm not going to be attack dogs and demean the character of others."  And that's the way we run this thing.  And now we're liars for having run really a pretty straight-up campaign.  Now, we can't speak for everybody that does everything in the name of Ted Cruz.  But the super PAC side, our super PAC Keep the Promise.  Oh, wait a minute.  Keepthepromise.com.  Our super PAC,keepthepromise.com, we have really run a straight-up thing.  Because that's Ted's character.  That's what we want to reflect.

GLENN:  I will tell you this, David is in because he does want to raise money for the super PAC because he believes that the only reason why Kasich is still in is he wants to win Ohio.  And Ohio, it doesn't even look like he'll win Ohio.  And the super PAC needs to have the money to be able to go on and continue to fight.  So if you do believe in Ted Cruz, you can donate to the super PAC.

Now, let me switch to -- and, Pat, I don't know if you have this audio.  What Marco Rubio said this weekend on, I don't know if it was Meet the Press

PAT:  I got the Stephanopoulos audio where he was --

GLENN:  Okay.  So I want you to listen to what he said.

VOICE:  For what it's worth, PolitiFact has never been able to find -- none of us have been able to find any instance --

PAT:  That's.  Hang on a second.

GLENN:  And this is important.  Because here's the thing -- there's never been -- in modern history, there's never been somebody who has made it to the presidency without winning Ohio, New Hampshire, or South Carolina.  You have to win one of those three.  In modern history, nobody has made it without winning one of those three.  Hang on just a second.

On the other side, Bill Clinton didn't win anything until Georgia, which was March 1st.  So I want you to remember the comeback kid.  He did win South Carolina.  But South Carolina came later.  It came March 6th.  The first time he won any state was March 1st.  So no matter what's happening at this point, it doesn't matter.  You can win with the momentum.  So don't be discouraged if you happen to be for a candidate.  You know, I think you'll have a hard time -- anybody who hasn't won any of those three states.  That's the only thing that's an impediment.  This is truly a two-man race.  Okay.  Go ahead play the audio.

VOICE:  Three big contests so far.  You've come in third, fifth, and now second in South Carolina.  The big question for you is:  Where do you win?

GLENN:  Now, listen to this.

MARCO:  Well, when we get to these winner-take-all states, we have to start winning because they award all their delegates to one person.  And if you look at what we're doing now, we're going to be doing a national campaign.  I mean, I'm in Tennessee today.  Then I'm going to Arkansas.  Then we finish up in Nevada.  And tomorrow, more of the same.  We're campaigning everywhere.  

So the way this process works, for people that are watching is, these states right now are awarding delegates proportionally.  And -- and -- but come March 15th, if you win a state, you get all of their delegates.  That's when it's really going to start to matter, and we'll be in real good shape for that.

VOICE:  And Florida needs to be a win?

GLENN:  Okay.  Stop.  

Go ahead.

MARCO:  Well, I think that's true for everyone in this race, and it's always been true.  We feel real good about Florida.

VOICE:  True for everybody in this race.

GLENN:  Okay.  Stop.  True for everybody in this race that you have to win Florida.  He is currently polling third in his home state.

DAVID:  And notice he was asked what state can you win, and he hasn't named one.  He's naming where he's going to be, he's naming what they're going to work for, he hasn't given a state where he can win.

GLENN:  Right.  And if his strategy is, I'm going to win in Florida.  It's too late.  That was the -- what's-his-name's strategy?

DAVID:  Jeb Bush.

GLENN:  No.  Not only Jeb Bush, but Giuliani.  It doesn't work.  It just doesn't work.  So I don't know what that strategy is.  But you can't win if you say I'm going to win in Florida and you're polling third and it's your home state.  Imagine if, you know, Ted Cruz was polling third in Texas.  By the way, how is he polling in Texas?

DAVID:  He's polling first in Texas.

GLENN:  First in Texas.  Yeah, I mean, you just can't do that.  You just can't poll third in your own state at this point.  Rubio is not -- is not a winner.  He's just not a winner.  People are looking at him and saying, "Well, he can win in the general."  I'm not so sure.  

Featured Image: Supporters cheer as the South Carolina primary is called for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at his election night party February 20, 2016 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The New York businessman won the first southern primary decisively. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

As we move along this endless primary season, we implement our first major adjustments to our power rankings model. Because of all the changes on the model itself, we'll keep the write ups short this week so that we can get an update posted before we hit the second round of debates.

There are now 40 separate measures of candidate performance which are summarized by the 0-100 score that helps us makes sense out of this chaos.We also have a new style of graphs, where the section highlighted in blue will show the progress (or lack thereof) made by each candidate over the life of their campaign.

In this update, we have our first campaign obituary, a couple of brand new candidates (when will it ever stop) and plenty of movement up top.

Let's get to it.

In case you're new here, read our explainer about how all of this works:

The 2020 Democratic primary power rankings are an attempt to make sense out of the chaos of the largest field of candidates in global history. Each candidate gets a unique score in at least thirty categories, measuring data like polling, prediction markets, fundraising, fundamentals, media coverage, and more. The result is a candidate score between 0-100. These numbers will change from week to week as the race changes. The power rankings are less a prediction on who will win the nomination, and more a snapshot of the state of the race at any given time. However, early on, the model gives more weight to fundamentals and potentials, and later will begin to prioritize polling and realities on the ground. If you're like me, when you read power rankings about sports, you've already skipped ahead to the list. So, here we go.

See previous editions here.

Campaign Obituary #1

The Eric Swalwell Campaign

California State Congressman

April 8, 2019 - July 8, 2019

Lifetime high: 20.2

Lifetime low: 19.5

I ended my initial profile on Eric Swalwell with this:

"There's a certain brand of presidential candidate that isn't really running for president. That's Eric Swalwell."

amp only placement

It's now more true than ever that Swalwell isn't running for president, because he has officially dropped out of the race.

To any sane observer, Swalwell never had a chance to win the nomination. This was always about raising his profile with little downside to deter him from taking money and building a list of future donors.

In one of many depressing moments in his FiveThirtyEight exit interview, he noted that one of his supporters told him he definitely thought he'd eventually be president, but it wasn't going to happen this time. (This supporter was not identified, but we can logically assume they also have the last name Swalwell.)

Swalwell did outline a series of reasons he thought his ridiculous campaign might have a chance.

  1. He was born in Iowa. After all, people from Iowa will surely vote for someone born in Iowa, even if they escaped as soon as possible.
  2. He had what he believed was a signature issue: pretending there was no such amendment as the second amendment.)
  3. He's not old.

It was on point number three where Swalwell made his last stand. In an uncomfortably obvious attempt to capture a viral moment that would launch his fundraising and polling status, Swalwell went after Joe Biden directly.

"I was 6 years old when a presidential candidate came to the California Democratic Convention and said it's time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans. That candidate was then-Senator Joe Biden." This pre-meditated and under-medicated attack, along with Swalwell's entire campaign future, was disassembled by a facial gesture.

Biden's response wasn't an intimidation, anger, or a laugh. It was a giant smile that somehow successfully communicated a grandfathery dismissal of "isn't that just adorable."

Of course, headlines like this didn't help either:

Eric Swalwell is going to keep comparing the Democratic field to 'The Avengers' until someone claps

The campaign of Eric Swalwell was pronounced dead at the age of 91 days.

Other headlines:

Eric Swalwell ends White House bid, citing low polling, fundraising

Republicans troll Swalwell for ending presidential campaign

Eric Swalwell Latest 'Cringe' Video Brags About Omar Holding his 'White' Baby

Eric Swalwell's message to actor Danny Glover is 'the cringiest thing I've ever seen in a hearing'

Eric Swalwell's 'I Will Be Bold Without The Bull' Bombs

25. Joe Sestak 11.0 (Debut) Former Pennsylvania State Congressman

Joe Sestak is a former three-star admiral who served in Congress for a couple of years in the late 2000s. Besides his military service, his most notable achievement is figuring out a way to get Pat Toomey elected in a purple state.

With Arlen Specter finally formalizing his flip from Republican to Democrat in 2009, he was expected to cruise to reelection. However, Sestak went after him in the primary, and was able to knock him off in the by eight points. Sestak then advanced to face Republican Pat Toomey in the general election. He lost by two points during the Tea Party wave election of 2010.

Needless to say, losing to the former president of the fiscally conservative Club For Growth isn't exactly an accomplishment that is going to help Sestak in the Democratic presidential primary.

Unfortunately, with the current state of the party— his distinguished service in the Navy probably isn't helpful either.

Other headlines:

Joe Sestak on the issues, in under 500 words

Joe Sestak, latest 2020 candidate, says it's not too late for him to gain traction

Sestak aims to 'heal the soul of America' with presidential bid

Joe Sestak Would Move the US Embassy 'Back Out of Jerusalem'

24. Mike Gravel: 12.5 (Previous: 24th / 15.3) Former US Senator from Alaska

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Gravel was able to get celebrities and other candidates to send out pleas to raise funds in effort to get above 65,000 donations and qualify for the second debate.

We may never know if it was grift or incompetence, but Gravel probably should have known that crossing this line made no difference. He'll still be yelling at the TV when the debate starts.

Other headlines:

Gravel meets donor threshold to qualify for Democratic primary debate

Gravel spends a bit of cash to run an ad against Joe Biden in Iowa

Mike Gravel: Why the American People Need Their Own Legislature

Mike Gravel Is the Anti–Joe Biden

23. Wayne Messam: 12.7 (Previous: 23rd / 15.8) Mayor of Miramar, FL

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Messam has made no impact in this race so far, and has fundraising numbers that don't even get into the six digits, let alone seven. He's not really running a campaign at this point, so there's no real downside in staying in for now.

Other headlines:

Wayne Messam: Money Kept Me Out of the First Democratic Debate. Will It Keep Me Out of the Second?

22. Seth Moulton 17.2 (Previous 20th / 21.5) US Rep. from Massachusetts 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Seth Moulton is the invisible man on the campaign trail. Most people don't even know who he is when they're talking to him. His appeal to the Democratic party is heavily flavored with his military service and appeal to patriotism.

Good luck with that Seth.

Other headlines:

Moulton: Buttigieg Was a Nerd at Harvard

Moulton: Democrats shouldn't go on 'moral crusade' against Trump

Moulton talks reclaiming patriotism from Trump, Republicans

Moulton: 'Trump is going to be harder to beat than many Democrats like to believe'

Presidential candidates hear challengers' footsteps at home

21. Tim Ryan 18.4 (Previous: 18th / 24.3) US Rep. from Ohio

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Tim Ryan's first debate performance was so bad he lost about a quarter of his score with this update. He's not without a plan to get that support back though. He wants to bring hot yoga to the people.

Other headlines:

Tim Ryan on CNN: Trump 'clearly has it out for immigrants'

Ryan Falls Way Behind in Q2 Fundraising Race, New Poll

20. Marianne Williamson 20.7 (Previous: 21st / 20.6) Author, Lecturer, Activist

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Williamson is not going to be the nominee for the Democrats, but if you throw a debate watch party, she might supply the most entertainment. So much so, Republicans have started to donate to her campaign to keep her in future debates.

Other headlines:

"I call her a modern-day prophet": Marianne Williamson's followers want you to give her a chance

Williamson Uses Anime to Explain 2020 Candidate's Holistic Politics

What Marianne Williamson and Donald Trump have in common

Marianne Williamson's Iowa director joins John Delaney's 2020 campaign

19. John Hickenlooper 22.5  (Previous: 11th / 32.0) Former Gov. of Colorado 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Hickenlooper has been shedding campaign advisors at a relatively furious pace as he admits "there's just a bunch of skills that don't come naturally to me" when it comes to campaigning.

Probably best to pick another line of work.

Other headlines:

Hickenlooper defends campaign fundraising to The Onion: 'The race is wide open'

WP: 'You are who?' The lonely presidential campaign of John Hickenlooper

Gary Hart Warns John Hickenlooper Against Campaigning On Bipartisanship Message

Hickenlooper refuses to condemn protesters who hoisted Mexican flag at ICE facility


18. Michael Bennet 27.4 (Previous: 14th / 28.8) US Senator from Colorado

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Michael Bennet is a bit of a boring no name, but give him credit for actually trying to differentiate himself from the field. He's one of the only candidates willing to criticize his socialist opponents from the center, calling out the open borders crowd and student debt. Obviously this has no chance of success in the democratic party, but at least he's trying.

Other headlines:

George Will touts Bennet to beat Trump in 2020

Bennet: America doesn't know what the Democratic Party stands for

17. Steve Bullock 28.3 (Previous: 16th / 27.7) Gov. of  Montana 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Bullock's biggest moment of his campaign, and quite possibly his only important moment , will come in this round of debates. He missed the first round, but squeaks in for round two after Eric Swalwell decided to take his zero percent and go home.

Bullock has a theoretical argument that doesn't look half bad on paper, but it seems impossible for another "moderate*" to make noise with Biden still hanging around.

(*-None of these moderates are actually moderate.)

Other headlines:

For Democratic presidential hopeful Steve Bullock, it's all about the 'dark money'

Steve Bullock hates 'dark money.' But a lobbyist for 'dark money' donors is helping his campaign.

Steve Bullock looking to introduce himself as someone who won in Trump country

Bullock said he's not one to eliminate all student-loan debt

Steve Bullock raises $2 million for 2020 bid in second quarter, campaign says

Lowering of state flag at capitol draws criticism

15. John Delaney 29.5 (Previous 19th / 20.3) Former US Rep. from Maryland 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The power ranking model likes Delaney more than voters seem to like him. He continues to pour his own money into the race and at some point you have to believe someone in his life stops him from setting his cash on fire.

He did steal a key advisor from Marianne Williamson's campaign, which doesn't seem like a path to success.

Other headlines:

Delaney: "Non-Citizens Are Not Covered By My 'Better Care' Plan, But…"

Delaney says he opposes decriminalizing border crossings

Undaunted by low polling, John Delaney keeps his show on the road

Delaney presidential campaign theme: fix what's broken, keep what works

14. Andrew Yang 30.0 (Previous: 15th / 28.3) Attorney and Entrepreneur 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Before the campaign started, if you would have said Yang would be in the middle of the pack at this point, he probably would be happy with that result. His embrace of quirky issues like banning robocalls, giving everyone free cash, and spending $6 billion to fix the nations malls is enough to keep him in the news.

His fundraising was decent, and he remains an interesting and thoughtful candidate. But, Yang has a better chance of dropping out and running on a third party ticket than winning in this Democratic Party.

You do have to wonder how long it will be before the word "Math" moves from his campaign slogan to the reason he needs to drop out.

Other headlines:

Andrew Yang Is Targeting The 'Politically Disengaged' To 'Win The Whole Election'

You can't turn truck drivers into coders, Andrew Yang says of job retraining

Yang's plan to give $1000 a month to everyone is popular with young, poor Democrats

13. Jay Inslee 31.4 (Previous: 12th / 30.4) Gov. of Washington state

CANDIDATE PROFILEf

Expect Inslee to capture the king-czar-chancellor role of the new climate police or whatever draconian nightmare the actual Democratic nominee creates if they win.

In the meantime, he should try to avoid cringe inducing nonsense like this.

Other headlines:

Presidential hopeful Jay Inslee says Trump's immigration policies will 'end his presidency'

Crowd roars for Elizabeth Warren, Jay Inslee follows to tepid applause

Inslee on listening to Carole King, wanting an anchor tattoo

Inslee Says He Tried to Arrest Fleeing Republicans


12. Tulsi Gabbard 33.4 (Previous: 13th / 28.8) US Rep. for Hawaii 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Tulsi Gabbard really wants to be Joe Biden's vice president. Or, at least, she wants to hold an important role in his cabinet, like Secretary of Defense.

Gabbard has been running interference for Biden, aggressively going after Kamala Harris for her very successful but substance free bussing attack, while hammering Harris as not qualified to be President. These have been among the harshest criticisms levied by any candidate in the race so far, and there is definitely a purpose to all of it. Her presence in the same debate as Biden and Harris should be something Harris prepares herself for. Expect incoming fire.

Along with Yang, Gabbard remains among the most interesting Democratic candidates to Republicans and Libertarians, which is not helpful to her chances of actually winning the Democratic party nod.

Other headlines:

Gabbard says Harris used "political ploy" to "smear" Biden on raced

Which U.S. Wars Were Justifiable? Tulsi Gabbard Names Only World War II

Tulsi Gabbard Says It's A 'Good Thing' Trump Met With Kim Jong Un

Gabbard Sympathizes With Amash, Says the Two-Party System Sucks

Tulsi Gabbard Files Bill To Study Hemp's Uses For Just About Everything

Gabbard: '14-year-old girl hacked into a replica of Florida's election system'

11. Tom Steyer 33.5 (Debut) Billionaire hedge fund manager

Tom Steyer is a Democratic billionaire that has spent millions plastering his face all over MSNBC for the past two years begging people to consider impeaching Donald Trump.

The campaign power ranking model loves Steyer's potential because of his unlimited money and theoretical ability to put together a serious campaign team.

All of this is theory at this point though, as the millions spent so far has lead to a giant pile of zilch. If he's serious enough, he should be able to buy his way into the low single digits, and squeak his way into a debate or two.

Steyer's billionaire status isn't an obvious fit as the party of inequality attempts to take down Donald Trump. But, he does have legitimate movement credibility, tons of cash to buy support, and a long developed immunity to embarrassment—so the sky is the limit.

Other headlines:

Tom Steyer on the issues, in under 500 words

Tom Steyer announces 2020 bid, reversing course

Why We're Not Treating Tom Steyer As A 'Major' Candidate (Yet)

Steyer banks on South Carolina in 1st presidential bid stop

10. Kirsten Gillibrand 37.1 (Previous: 9th / 36.7) US Senator from New York

CANDIDATE PROFILE

There is probably no candidate that enters the second round of debates more clearly in do-or-die mode than Gillibrand. With headlines like "The Ignoring of Kirsten Gillibrand" lighting up her feed, she needs something big to happen, and fast. Her performance in the first debate wasn't actually horrible, but still went unnoticed.

She has zero percent in lots of polls, and that includes all of the benefits she says she's received from white privilege. Imagine if she didn't have that going for her.

Other headlines:

Gillibrand: I'd Tell Concerned Coal Miner the Green New Deal Is 'Just Some Bipartisan Ideas'

Struggling in White House bid, Democrat Gillibrand seeks bump in Trump country

Gillibrand Annoyed by Question About Immigration 'Reversal'

9. Robert Francis O’Rourke 40.7 (Previous: 6th / 52.8) Former state Rep. from Texas

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The free fall continues for Betomania.

When campaigns show signs of death, reporters start to write long profiles that aim to tell the story of the demise, or launch the amazing comeback.

Politico's headline (What Beto O'Rourke's Dad Taught Him About Losing) probably wasn't all that helpful.

Beto did secure Willie Nelson's vote though, meaning he can now count on 2 votes, assuming his "Republican" mother votes for him.

Other headlines:

Welcome to America—It's a Hell Hole!

A desperate Beto O'Rourke goes for broke, claims America was founded on white supremacy

Beto O'Rourke finds 'personal connection' to slavery, argues for reparations to unite 'two Americas'

Beto boldly vows not to prosecute people for 'being a human being'Rebooto O'Rourke

Fact Checker: Has Beto O'Rourke visited the most Iowa counties? No.


Beto O'Rourke: Let's Forgive All Student Loan Debt For Teachers

8. Amy Klobuchar 42.9 (Previous: 8th / 41.9) US Senator from Minnesota 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Klobuchar has been a massive underachiever so far, but is still sticking around in that third tier of candidates. Along with Beto, Booker, and maybe Castro— they aren't exactly eliminated, but can't seem to catch fire. Or even get warm.

Klobuchar would serve herself well to focus on the fundamentals and avoiding desperate pleas for attention if she wants to remain in the Biden VP sweepstakes. Or she could totally shake things up by throwing binders at her opponents in the debate.

Other headlines:

Klobuchar: I Don't Support Open Borders Like Warren, Castro

Deportation raids are about distracting from issues: Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar hoping 'nice' finishes first

Sports bookmakers put Klobuchar as "heavy underdog" in presidential race

7. Julian Castro 43.2 (Previous: 10th / 34.5) Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Castro is a good example of how overblown debates can be. His first debate performance was quite solid, but did more to sink Robert Francis O'Rourke than actually help his own candidacy.

One more good debate performance should be enough to get him into the next round of debates, as he has already passed the donor threshold. Polling, however, has been elusive. Perhaps there is a swath of America that is uncomfortable voting for a Castro for president, like say, all of south Florida?

Still, in a field of a zillion candidates that have shown no potential, he stands out as a long shot with a punchers chance to make some noise. This is reflected with a nice bump in his score for this update.

Other headlines:

Julián Castro Doubles Down On Decriminalizing Migration: Repeal Felony For Reentry, Too

Julian Castro: 'Instead of breaking up families, we should break up ICE'

Bill Maher rips Julián Castro for remark about abortion for trans women

Julián Castro declines to hold baby

Julián Castro can't speak Spanish

Julian Castro wants to solve homelessness by 2028

A consulting firm made specifically to prevent sexual harassment is providing Castro and other 2020 campaigns advice and training

5. Pete Buttigieg 65.8 (Previous: 2nd / 68.8) Mayor of South Bend, IN

CANDIDATE PROFILE

There probably isn't a campaign that has been more bizarre than Mayor Pete. He was a complete nobody to the public, though as we initially noted, he had support from a bunch of Obama era celebrinerds.

This helped him rise to a top tier candidate with all the money and momentum to make a run at the nomination. Since then we've seen a complete fizzle. He is using the cash to build the infrastructure to make himself a serious candidate, and he should last a while, but he probably must win Iowa to have a chance at the nomination.

Also, finding one African American who will vote for him would be nice.

Other headlines:

Pete Buttigieg goes on hiring spree after top fundraising quarter.

Buttigieg, Struggling With Black Voters, Releases Plan to Address Racial Inequities

South Bend police call out Buttigieg for sending pizza rather than apology after race comments

CNN's Axelrod Rips Buttigieg: Blacks Doing Worse Under His Leadership

Only Pete Buttigieg gets standing ovation from Corn Feed audience

New Republic Drops Out Of Climate Forum Over Backlash To Pete Buttigieg Op-Ed

Pete Buttigieg says it's "almost certain" we've had gay presidents

Pete Buttigieg Sets Hollywood Fundraisers With Ellen DeGeneres, Chelsea Handler and More

4. Elizabeth Warren 70.4 (Previous: 5th / 53.4) US Senator from Massachusetts 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Looking back at my initial analysis of this field, I'd say it's played out pretty closely to what I expected. Warren has surprised me though.

In an election where beating Trump is the most important characteristic for democratic voters, she seems to be grown in a lab to lose to him. She comes across as a stern elementary school principal who would make kids terrified to be called into her office, because she'd bore them to death by reading them the handbook.

Her DNA kit roll out was so catastrophic, I assumed democrats would see that her political instincts are awful. When put under the intense pressure Trump is sure to bring, she's going to collapse, and I figured democrats would recognize that.

Instead, she's in the top tier. This rise has been legitimately impressive for Warren.

It's also a dream come true for Donald Trump.

Other headlines:

The Activist Left Already Knows Who It Wants for President

Netroots Nation was the day Elizabeth Warren became president of the American left

Elizabeth Warren pledges to decriminalize border crossings

Warren plans to increase annual refugee admissions nearly 800 percent from FY2018

Warren, Biden Campaigns Appear to Find Loophole Around Paid Internships

Warren says she'll push to end Israel's 'occupation'

Warren staffer: 'I would totally be friends with Hamas'

Elizabeth Warren reintroduces legislation requiring corporations to disclose climate risk exposure

Elizabeth Warren Wants Reparations For Same-Sex Couples

Elizabeth Warren proposes executive orders to address race and gender pay gap

This is how Elizabeth Warren plans to close the pay gap for women of color

How much would a wealth tax really raise? Dueling economists reflect new split in Democratic Party

Elizabeth Warren Brings Ad Buying In-House

Elizabeth Warren says she raised $19 million in the second quarter of the year

3. Bernie Sanders 71.1 (Previous: 3rd / 67.2) US Senator from Vermont

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Sanders has fallen slowly but steadily in the polls the past couple of months, and while not every metric yet reflects it, the socialist wing seems more likely represented by Warren.

That being said, Bernie holds her off for third place. Warren and Bernie have reportedly struck a truce to not attack each other, an arrangement which benefits Warren far more than Sanders.

Bernie's machine and name recognition continues to keep him near the top of the heap, but one wonders how long that lasts as name recognition for other candidates get higher, and Iowa gets closer.

No matter if he wins or loses, he's moved the Overton window of the party in a dramatic way. And don't underestimate the appeal of his Medicare-for-all-humankind dream. Bernie may be too old and cranky to see socialized health care into the end zone, but he has advanced that ball much further than he had any right to.

Other headlines:

Bernie Sanders has 'deep sense of satisfaction' his positions are now 'centrist' among Dems

Bernie Sanders: I Will Cancel All $1.6 Trillion Of Your Student Loan Debt

Sanders hits back at Biden over criticism of 'Medicare for All'

Bernie Sanders: Nancy Pelosi shouldn't 'alienate' freshmen House Democrats

Why Sanders Wanted His Meeting With a Rabbi Kept Secret

Bernie Sanders Says Being the First Jewish President Would Be 'Another Barrier Broken Down'

Liberal billionaire calls Bernie Sanders a 'Communist' and 'a disaster zone'

Blackstone's Byron Wien: Markets are terrified of far-left Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren

Antiwar candidate Bernie Sanders faces backlash over the $1.2 trillion war machine he brought to Vermont

The time Bernie Sanders ranted about baseball in a low-budget film

Bernie Sanders shows off sword Ross Perot gave him

Bernie Sanders Raises $18 Million in 3 Months, Trailing Buttigieg

2. Kamala Harris 79.2 (Previous: 4th / 65.9) US Senator from California 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Harris has given back a good chunk of her post debate bounce, which is to be expected. While she rockets to number two in the power rankings, there are a few things to worry about.

The difference between Warren and Harris is notable. The candidates are nearly tied in most polls, but much of the strength of Harris is based on one spectacular moment. Warren alternatively seems to have a lower ceiling, but a stronger foundation.

The good news for Harris is she does incredibly well among voters that are actually paying attention, while her weakness lies with those who haven't really tuned in yet.

At some point, Harris has to clean up her mess of a policy package, which includes supporting a Bernie style Medicare for All without the Bernie style middle class tax hikes-- a combination that even the left admits makes no sense.

Quotes like this still feel way too accurate, "She's the easy-to-listen-to, poorly defined identity candidate." This needs to be sorted out eventually if she's actually going to win.

Other headlines:

It's Hard To Have A Conversation With Kamala Harris When She Doesn't Even Know What She's Talking About

Kamala Harris: Immigration Raids Are 'A Crime Against Humanity', there are 'babies in cages'

Harris doubles down on criticism of Biden's busing comments on The View

Mother Jones: Kamala Harris Wants to Bring Back Busing? Really?

Kamala Harris's Call for a Return to Busing Is Bold and Politically Risky

Race is 'America's Achilles' heel,' Harris tells African-American group

Kamala Harris claims her campaign is being targeted by Russian bots, also says she's not a plan factory

Harris proposes $100 billion plan to increase minority homeownership

What's Kamala Harris's record on Israel?

Kamala Harris Called Young People "Stupid" in 2015

Kamala Harris lags behind top-tier candidates in Q2 fundraising

Utah man arrested after alleged scheme to plan fake Kamala Harris fundraiser

1. Joe Biden 80.8 (Previous: 1st / 82.3) Former US Senator from Delaware and Former Vice President

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Biden's polling has mostly rebounded to his pre-debate status and he remains the favorite to be the nominee.

He can't survive too many more performances like his first debate however, and he needs to show voters that he can stand up to the heat President Trump is going to bring. In other words, don't get smoked again, fall over on your walker, or look like your dentures are going to fall out in the middle of a debate.

This is a real test for Biden's candidacy. He's had time to prepare, and he's had time to stretch the old muscles. No more excuses.

If Joe can get spry, he probably wins the nomination. But, that is far from a sure thing.

Other headlines:

NBC/WSJ poll: Biden tops 2020 Democratic field...

Joe Biden Decides He Doesn't Need to Stay Above the Fray After All

Biden campaigns as Obamacare's top defender

Biden says Democrats haven't been straightforward about 'Medicare for All'

Biden under fire for mass deportations under Obama

Biden refuses to apologize for high deportation numbers during Obama years

Joe Biden's campaign office opens in Philly with a protest, not a party

AOC: Segregationist controversy and debate performance raised question Biden could be too old for office

Are Biden's Apologies Killing His Electability Argument?

Liberal activists at Netroots Nation bet Joe Biden drops out of race

Joe and Jill Biden have made $15M since leaving White House

How Joe Biden, who called himself 'the poorest man in Congress,' became a multimillionaire

Penn Paid Joe Biden $775,000 to Expand Its "Global Outreach" … and Give Some Speeches

Biden: 'Occupation is a real problem'Joe Biden raised $21.5 million in second quarter, campaign announces

Joe Biden: I Promise To 'End The Forever Wars In Afghanistan And Middle East'

Joe Biden promises to 'cure cancer' if elected president

No, stealth Obamacare won’t fix the failed status-quo

Online Marketing/Unsplash

Another day, another proposed fix to a pressing national problem by a Democratic presidential hopeful. Former Vice President Joe Biden has positioned himself as the "moderate" leader of the Democratic Party, putting pressure on him to come up with a "sensible" alternative to Sen. Sanders' (I-Vt.) Medicare for All plan. But Biden's healthcare proposal, released July 15, doubles down on flawed, top-down solutions without offering any new ideas. Presidential hopefuls should instead pledge to unleash market innovation and lower healthcare prices for all.

Of course, a former vice president will inevitably find it difficult to make a clean policy break from the administration he has repeatedly hailed and defended. Biden's tenure as vice president made him into a second-tier political rockstar, and it makes sense that he's reluctant to separate himself from former President Obama's Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare"). It's also no surprise that "Bidencare" preserves Obamacare's disastrous expansion of Medicaid, the federal government's insurance program for low-income Americans. His plan even provides a public option for residents of states that have not expanded Medicaid. Perhaps more surprising, or just disappointing, is how thoroughly the Democratic orthodoxy has embraced government medical insurance even at gargantuan cost, despite little evidence that it'll work.

RELATED: Medicare for all: Obamacare was only the first step

Back when he was a heartbeat away from the presidency, Biden vigorously defended Obamacare, criticizing Republican governors for failing to expand Medicaid and predicting that all states would eventually see the light. That never quite happened (as of now, 17 states wisely refuse to expand health insurance targeted at low-income Americans). But the Obama administration tried to cajole red and purple states into expanding the Medicaid eligibility threshold "up to 138 percent of the poverty level." Nevertheless, states such as Texas, Florida, and North Carolina wisely considered the evidence that Medicaid was breaking the bank — without helping the poor get access to the care they needed.

This evidence isn't just based on one or two stray studies produced by the "right" think-tank. In June 2018, Health Affairs published a blockbuster analysis of 77 studies on Medicaid's effectiveness, and the results may be disappointing for fans of government-provided insurance. Around 60 percent of the studies included in the meta-analysis found that health status and quality of care failed to improve for low-income patients after Medicaid expansion. The analysis also finds that a majority (56 percent of studies) found no improvement in the financial performance of hospitals post-Medicaid expansion. This finding contradicts claims by Obama, Biden and co. that Medicaid expansion would shift patients from the emergency room to doctor's offices, lowering system-wide costs.

These findings are scandalous for an expansion program that costs federal taxpayers at least $70 billion per year. How could all of this money be failing to improve outcomes? Plausibly, the types of institutions that accept Medicaid are larger facilities that aren't as great at delivering quality health-care as smaller offices? The copious paperwork and documentation required by the program don't really allow smaller facilities the bandwidth to deal with Medicaid in an efficient manner. Yet this documentation is necessary to curb rampant fraud in the program that costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars each year.

Greater Medicaid funding and corresponding anti-waste measures fail to address the cancer undermining the healthcare system: sky-high drug prices and expensive medical equipment.

Greater Medicaid funding and corresponding anti-waste measures fail to address the cancer undermining the healthcare system: sky-high drug prices and expensive medical equipment. Instead of pushing for ever-higher government spending, a President Biden could push for a streamlined Food and Drug Administration approval process for drugs and medical devices, which would keep medical costs down and give a green light to innovators everywhere. The cost to develop a single medication is now more than $2 billion, and an onerous FDA approval process costs lives by being too risk-averse.

Presidential hopefuls such as Biden should also pledge to work with states to roll-back "certificate of need" laws, which force medical institutions to jump through countless barriers to expand their facilities and invest in new services. It's not just hospitals and their patients that suffer from these needless laws; Harvard medical scholar David Grabowski sums up the evidence that these laws make nursing homes far worse and costlier than they need to be. Getting rid of these laws nationwide would give patients and consumers far more options when shopping around for the care and facilities they need.

The price problem gripping the American healthcare system simply won't go away while regulatory barriers and onerous approval processes continue to stifle the sector. Presidential hopefuls such as Biden can make a dent in this problem by supporting market reforms, instead of doubling-down on failed government healthcare.

Ross Marchand is a Young Voices contributor and the director of policy for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both fulfilled their goal of living to see the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Then, both died later that day — July 4, 1826. Adams was 90. Jefferson was 83.

Because of their failing health, Jefferson and Adams each declined many invitations to attend July 4th celebrations. Adams sent a letter to be read aloud at the 50th Independence Day celebration in his local town of Quincy, Massachusetts. He wrote that the Declaration is:

... a memorable epoch in the annals of the human race, destined in future history to form the brightest or the blackest page, according to the use or the abuse of those political institutions by which they shall, in time to come, be shaped by the human mind.

It's remarkable how well the Founders understood human nature and what could happen to the United States. It's the postmodern mindset that increasingly rules the U.S. now. It has infected our institutions and untethered us from the bedrock principles of the Declaration. In its place? Hypocritical and vitriolic partisan righteous indignation.

Less than a century after Adams' and Jefferson's deaths, the most serious attempt to undermine the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution came from America's 28th president — Woodrow Wilson. He wrote:

Some citizens of this country have never got beyond the Declaration of Independence.

As if that's a bad thing.

During Wilson's career as a college professor, he thought deeply and wrote extensively of his contempt for our founding documents. His issue with them formed the core beliefs of Progressivism that are still alive today.

In 1911, before he was elected President, Wilson said in a speech:

I do not find the problems of 1911 solved in the Declaration of Independence ... It is the object of Government to make those adjustments of life which will put every man in a position to claim his normal rights as a living human being.

See what he does there? He completely inverts the Declaration — he's saying, you don't have inherent rights until government puts you in a position to claim them. That's the heart of Progressivism.

In a later speech, Wilson said:

If you want to understand the real Declaration of Independence, do not repeat the preface.

Wilson did not think the equality, natural rights, and consent-of-the-governed parts of the Declaration defined the proper role of government. He preferred the Declaration's list of grievances because they addressed specific problems. That's what he thought government existed to do — solve problems for people. And since people's problems change over time, so should the Constitution and government to keep up with the times.

Wilson said:

No doubt we are meant to have liberty; but each generation must form its own conception of what liberty is.

We hear this sentiment echoed all the time today: follow your heart, find your truth, etc.

Another key to Wilson's Progressive theory of government was human evolution. He thought that because humans were now more enlightened, they could be trusted not to abuse government power. The Declaration's committee of five (Adams, Sherman, Franklin, Livingston and Jefferson) would've laughed Wilson out of the room.

It's hard to believe that less than 150 years after the signing of the Declaration, the U.S. president — Wilson — was saying this:

We are not bound to adhere to the doctrines held by the signers of the Declaration of Independence: we are as free as they were to make and unmake governments. We are not here to worship men or a document. Every Fourth of July should be a time for examining our standards, our purposes, for determining afresh what principles, what forms of power we think most likely to effect our safety and happiness. That and that alone is the obligation the Declaration lays upon us.

Wilson was so effective at imposing his philosophy on government that he forever diverted the U.S. presidency away from the Constitution. Progressives have kept Wilson's torch alive ever since.

Progressives are still hostile to the Declaration of Independence because of this idea of “historical contingency" which holds that truths change over time. Progressives think the “self-evident" truths of the Declaration are outdated and may no longer apply. And that means the Constitution based on those truths may no longer apply either. Wilson and Progressives especially don't like the whole separation of powers thing, because it hinders the fast action they want out of government. They want a justice warrior president who will bring swift change by fiat.

The current trend in attacking the Declaration and Constitution is to tear down the men who wrote them. In late 2015, students at the University of Missouri and the College of William & Mary, placed notes all over the statues of Thomas Jefferson on their respective campuses. The handwritten notes labeled Jefferson things like, “racist," “rapist," “pedophile" (not sure what that one's supposed to mean), “How dare you glorify him," “I wouldn't be here if it was up to him," and “Black Lives Matter."

That is the handiwork of students who are blinded by self-righteous victimhood and can't see the value and merit that the Declaration still holds for us today. After these incidents, Annette Gordon-Reed offered a reasoned defense of Jefferson. Reed is a respected history professor at Harvard Law School, who also happens to be a black woman. She wrote:

I understand why some people think his statues should be removed, but not all controversial figures of the past are created equal. I think Jefferson's contributions to the history of the United States outweigh the problems people have with aspects of his life. He is just too much a part of the American story to pretend that he was not there ... The best of his ideals continue to influence and move people. The statues should be a stimulus for considering all these matters at William & Mary and the University of Missouri.

At the opposite end of the spectrum from Woodrow Wilson's disdain for the Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln loved it. If there is one overarching theme in Lincoln's speeches, it is the Declaration. Lincoln pointed the nation back to the Declaration as a mission statement, which ended slavery and preserved the Union.

Unlike Wilson, who recommended leaving out the Preamble, Lincoln considered it the most vital part. To Lincoln, the self-evident truths were universal, timeless, and more important than the list of grievances. Lincoln wrote that these truths were:

... applicable to all men and all times ... that today, and in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling block to the very harbingers of reappearing tyranny and oppression.

In a speech Lincoln gave in 1861, shortly after he was first elected president, he said:

I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence… I have often inquired of myself what great principle or idea it was that kept this Confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation of the Colonies from the mother-land, but that sentiment in the Declaration which gave liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but, I hope, to the world, for all future time.

Lincoln went on to say that he would rather be assassinated than see the nation forfeit the principles of the Declaration. His Gettysburg Address is a brilliant, concise renewal of the Declaration:

... that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

We cannot assume that this radical idea of freedom will always be embraced by Americans. It has found hostility on our shores every step of the way. The Declaration's principles must be continually defended. Because while humans do have certain unalienable rights that are endowed by our Creator, there is darkness in the world, and for some strange reason humans, while valuing freedom, also seem to have a natural bent toward tyranny. That's why we must understand and discuss the Declaration. It's not alarmist. It's not a quaint history lesson. It's a reality, right now, that the fundamental principles of the Declaration are under attack. The Founders would have undoubtedly shuddered at most of the rhetoric from last week's Democratic presidential debates. Left to its own mob devices, even America would turn its back on freedom.

Shortly before his death in 1826, 90-year-old John Adams was asked to recommend a toast that could be given in his honor on July 4th. Adams didn't hesitate. He suggested, “Independence Forever." The small group of visitors silently glanced at each other for a moment, before someone asked Adams if he'd like to add anything else. Adams shifted forward in his chair, leaned on his cane, stared intently at the men, and replied, “Not a word."

China is having its Boston Tea Party moment

Unknown Wong / Unsplash

Freedom. It usually begins as a whisper. A secret passed on between patrons at a secluded bar or private meeting. And no matter how hard the tyrants may try and stop it, no matter how many dams they throw up to try and contain it, the whispers eventually become a flood. Sometimes it takes longer to break through, but it's the same EVERY TIME. Liberty and freedom always wins. It's an unstoppable force that knows no immovable object.

For us it was exactly 243 years ago to this month that those whispers became a flood. A group of ragtag colonists took on the world's only superpower —and won. Our forefathers proved it — freedom refuses to recognize tyranny as an immovable object. The world was forever changed.

And I can't help but see the poetic justice as more whispers became a flood, defying their own immovable object, just three days before all of us were buying fireworks to celebrate our Independence Day. But this time it was just off the coast of mainland China.

Last week over a MILLION protesters filled the streets in Hong Kong. Literally a FLOOD of humans looking for one thing — freedom. They stormed the government building that is the equivalent of their Congress. They smashed windows, broke down doors, and a photo was taken that I think just might be the picture of the year.

A British colonial flag, a symbol thrown out when Hong Kong was given back to China, was draped — BY THE PROTESTORS — over the chair of their head of government. I can't restate how historic this actually is. The people of Hong Kong, with a population that is over 90 percent ethnic Han Chinese, are saying to the mainland that they prefer colonial rule over the tyranny of the Chinese government. Leftists would tell you that communism is the remedy for colonialism, but for those living in the dark shadow of communism, they actually prefer colonial rule over what they now face.

The local Hong Kong government is caught between the immovable object of the Chinese communist government, and the unstoppable force of liberty.

When Hong Kong was given back to the mainland, China agreed to allow them a few freedoms that the rest of the Chinese don't enjoy. They're free to engage in protest against the government and they maintain a legislative body — both of which are outlawed on the mainland. But, as every tyrannical oppressor always does, China has been looking to reel that in. Most recently, China attempted to make it possible to extradite dissenters back to Beijing. The result? The quiet whispers of freedom, the secrets told in private at clandestine meetings, became a flood of millions in the streets.

On July 3rd, police began a crackdown. More than 13 people have been arrested so far. If China eventually gets their way, those 13 people will no doubt be the first of many to be extradited over to the mainland. Their crime? The dream of freedom. As of right now, the extradition law has been temporarily delayed. The local Hong Kong government is caught between the immovable object of the Chinese communist government, and the unstoppable force of liberty.

History has shown who will win in the end. Yesterday, over 200,000 protestors gathered at the high speed train station that links mainland China to Hong Kong. The message was just as clear as the British colonial flag hung inside their legislative building. For our forefathers it was symbolized with the Gadsden Flag and the phrase “Death To Tyranny." The message is simple: “we will not be ruled. Freedom knows no immovable object."

News of the protest movement has been censored in mainland China, but how long will they be able to contain THEIR OWN whispers with over two hundred thousand freedom lovers camped out at the bridge between Hong Kong and mainland China? How long before those whispers spread to secret meeting locations in Beijing or Shanghai? How long before that cascades to the Christian and Muslim minorities that are tired of being rounded up and thrown into camps?

We might have just witnessed the Chinese version of the Boston Tea Party. July 4th is still a long way away for them, but — as it does time and time again — freedom and liberty always win in the end.