War on Poverty: The Four-Part Series

In 1965, Lyndon Johnson announced his War on Poverty initiative, a sweeping vision of government intervention to provide all manner of welfare to those in need. Today, America has over 70 welfare programs to aid the poor and has spent $22 trillion on the so-called War On Poverty. One would think such massive resources and efforts would have eradicated --- or greatly lessened --- poverty in America. Instead, the poverty rate, which was 14 percent in 1965, has increased to 14.3 percent. In this four-part series, we explore the failed War on Poverty and how more government is never the answer.

Listen to the Full Series on the War on Poverty:

War on Poverty Part I: The Founders' Thoughts

While living in Europe during the 1760s, Benjamin Franklin observed that the more public provisions made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves and the poorer they became. On the contrary, the less done for them and the more they did for themselves, the richer they became.

Many have completely lost sight of that simple truth. Instead, when it comes to helping the poverty stricken, the common refrain for government intervention is to do what the Bible says or what Jesus would do. But here's what Jesus actually said while addressing the rich man claiming to obey every commandment since his youth:

And Jesus said unto him, if thou will be perfect, go and sell that thou hast and give unto the poor, and thou shall have treasure in heaven, and then come and follow me. (Matthew 19:21)

It's vital to note that Jesus told the man to sell what he had and give it directly to the poor. He didn't say, go and pay your taxes and hope that Caesars will redistribute your wealth properly to those who need it. Jesus never mentioned the government had any role in taking care of the poor. It was for individuals to do. Our Founding Fathers held the same belief.

The Founders made no mention of the federal government caring for the poor. That responsibility was left to the individual, families, churches, and if need be, local governments. Assistance was to be temporary, minimal and only on the condition of work. In other words, the poor would have to work for the welfare they received, if they were able-bodied. Franklin also said the government should assist the poor in overcoming poverty as expediently as possible. He famously said, "I think the best way of doing good to the poor is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it."

The Founders were concerned about taxpayers' money being spent properly, something that no longer concerns members of our government. The Founding Fathers had not been supportive of an income tax. In fact, Thomas Jefferson denounced the idea of income taxation in his first inaugural address saying, "A wise and frugal government shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned."

In 1779, Thomas Jefferson proposed a bill that outlined his approach to welfare. He suggested group homes with work requirements for the able-bodied and raising local funds to support poor children and the lame, impotent, blind and other inhabitants who couldn't take care of themselves.

The left often portrays our Founders as uncaring, hateful and callous because of the principles they held on government welfare. However, the results of their philosophies cannot be denied. The poverty rate at the nation's founding in 1776 was 90 percent. The rate before massive government intervention had plummeted to 14 percent. It's one of the greatest success stories in the history of mankind.

There's no denying the Founding Principles of personal responsibility, coupled with freedom, opportunity and capitalism, brought great prosperity to this nation and lifted millions of out of poverty.

War on Poverty Part II: The Great Depression

The United States of America changed the world. The American experiment, launched by its Founders, revolutionized how the world viewed personal freedom, government, business, culture, commerce --- everything. It set an example for liberty that captured the world's envy and imagination. In short, the American experiment worked.

It worked so well that the poverty rate went from 90 percent in colonial America to 14.3 percent today. Some would argue the War On Poverty lowered that rate and not American exceptionalism. They would be wrong. The poverty rate before Lyndon Johnson and the Welfare Act was actually lower than today --- 14 percent.

Naturally, there were bumps along the way, including a few major ones like 1929 and The Great Depression, when the financial house of cards collapsed and an overinflated stock market plunged. For the majority of America, it meant interminable lines outside factory gates, hunger and a march of the unemployed on the nation's capitol. Practically overnight, an economic blizzard swept the world.

During the crash of 1920, the hands-off policies of President Harding's administration allowed the free market to correct itself and send America into the Roaring Twenties. In 1929, there was a completely different approach.

Government intrusion and welfare programs increased exponentially after Franklin Roosevelt's election in 1932. Rather than help end the depression, his actions actually deepened it. Americans who had seen tough times before had never seen anything like this.

In 1932, the situation became so dire that 3,000 unemployed workers marched on the Ford plant in Dearborn, Michigan. It was the same Ford plant that a decade before had doubled workers' pay. Working at the Ford plant was so prestigious throughout the decades prior that a job there was a status symbol. In 1932, 3,000 unemployed and struggling workers were attacked by Dearborn police and Ford's company guards, who killed four and injured many more.

In March of that same year, FDR signed the Emergency Baking Act into law and the FDIC was born. He also ordered the nation off the gold standard. Then came the Civilian Conservation Corp, the Federal Emergency Relief Action, the National Industrial Recovery Act, the National Labor Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Glass-Steagall Act, the Soil Erosion Service, the Civil Works Administration, Works Progress Administration, the Wagner National Labor Relations Act and the Social Security Act --- all by 1935.

Much more government intervention was to come, but no relief. In fact, things actually got worse.

By 1937, five years after FDR took office, the percentage of Americans living in poverty had hit 45 percent. That same year, frustrated and beaten down workers at Republic Steel's south Chicago plant and their families tried to combine a picnic with a rally and demonstration. Chicago Police moved in and opened fire on the crowd. Ten people were killed and a dozen more wounded in what is now called the Memorial Day Massacre.

The Great Depression stretched on throughout the 1930s and into the '40s, with rationing and shortages until America's war machine geared up enough to finally overcome the joblessness and stagnation. By most estimates, the Depression lasted 13 years. Yet, millions of Americans continue to revere FDR, including former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw who called FDR a "demigod" in his household.

War on Poverty Part III: The Great Society

In 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson declared "unconditional war on poverty in America," launching The Great Society that altered social programs of The New Deal. According to Johnson, The Great Society asked "not how much, but how good."

Perhaps "how much" was the greater question because the answer was $22 trillion --- and counting. The Cato Institute estimates an additional $48 trillion in unfunded liabilities from Medicare alone.

Today, Medicare, Medicaid and FDR's Social Security program account for 47 percent of all federal spending. That's almost $1.8 trillion annually. And the total amount of America's unfunded liabilities are said to be in excess of $125 trillion --- more than twice the amount of all money in the world today.

Was it worth it? LBJ said "not how much, but how good." So how good was it? Sadly, the poverty rate is higher today than in 1965.

LBJ proposed many initiatives to launch his War on Poverty:

• An educational program to ensure every American child had the fullest development

• A massive attack on crippling and killing diseases

• A national effort to make the American city a better and a more stimulating place to live

• Increase the beauty of America and end the poisoning of rivers and air

• A new program to develop regions of the country suffering from distress and depression

• New efforts to control and prevent crime and delinquency

• Elimination of every remaining obstacle to the right and the opportunity to vote

• Honor and support the achievements of thought and the creations of art

• An all-out campaign against waste and inefficiency

According to one source, his vision was to help the disadvantaged help themselves, hoping that an education equaled opportunity, and the chance to come into the mainstream of American middle class economic life.

However, even in his own party, some were not convinced that his efforts were effective, including Senator Robert F. Kennedy who said, "If we learned anything in the last summer and over -- in the last 30 years, what we've been doing hasn't been the answer. It's been helpful. But what we've been doing has not been the answer. And we can't just be doing the same thing that we've been doing for the last three decades and hope that eventually all these problems are going to disappear."

Regardless, LBJ kept pumping out the programs, preparing bill after bill, funds for education --- elementary, secondary, college and Head Start for preschool children --- funds for conservation, clean air, clean rivers, highway beautification, national parks, consumer protection, truth in labeling and packaging, automobile safety, urban renewal and housing, public television, creation of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Arts --- the list goes on and on.

Part of the LBJ War on Poverty initiative included bringing about social and racial justice --- equal rights for blacks. His efforts helped create the impression that Democrats were the ones fighting for minorities and Republicans were the racist corporation cronies. This, despite the fact that Republicans had freed slaves and fought along with black Americans for civil rights. LBJ, on the other hand, had fought against civil rights the first 20 years of his political career, including opposing President Harry S. Truman's proposals against lynching and segregation and interstate transportation. Johnson called the proposed civil rights program a farce and a sham.

No one knows what was in Lyndon Johnson's heart at the time, but being as he was incredibly opportunistic and ambitious as the nation began to demand civil rights for blacks, his position changed. Democrats have reaped the benefit of that change ever since.

By the early '90s, studies were showing that rather than eradicating poverty, The Great Society was eradicating families --- and that trend has worsened ever since.

War on Poverty Part IV: Abusing the System

The War On Poverty is an unmitigated failure. The United States has gone from 26 million people on food stamps in 2007 to more than 47 million today. The cost of the program has gone from $33 billion to $77 billion. It has become so flawed that the Wall Street Journal reported millions are now legally entitled to collect food stamps as long as they have little or no monthly income. Thirty-five states have abolished asset tests for most food stamp recipients. These and similar paperwork reduction reforms advocated by the USDA are turning the food stamp program into a magnet for abuses and absurdities. Furthermore, according to the Journal, the Obama administration is far more enthusiastic about boosting food stamp enrollment than about preventing fraud. And there is fraud --- a lot of it.

When looking at American poverty, one might expect poor people to be on food stamps --- the homeless, the drug addicted, the perpetual scammer --- not people with jobs, living in suburbia. One woman interviewed in a documentary received $750 each month from the food stamp program while making $70,000 annually, allowing her to purchase filet mignon and steaks. As she noted, it was easy to apply, so she took advantage. She also had a $9,000 breast augmentation while on food stamps.

So how good has the war on poverty been for American families? In 1960, just 9 percent of children lived in a single parent home. By 1980, there were more than 6.2 million families headed by a single woman, making up 19.4 percent of all families with children. By 1990, that number had risen to 84 million families, or 24.2 percent of the total. Today, that number sadly is at 34 percent.

Blacks have been hit especially hard. At the beginning of World War II, the illegitimate birthrate among black Americans was slightly less than 19 percent. In 1965, near the start of the Great Society, the rate of unwed births for blacks was 25 percent. Beginning in the late 1960s, the trend rapidly accelerated, reaching 49 percent in 1975 and 65 percent in 1989. Today, it is 72 percent. Nearly three-quarters of all black families are now single parent.

Fewer than half, just 46 percent of US children younger than 18, of all races, are living in a home with two married heterosexual parents in their first marriage. This is a marked change from 1960, when 73 percent of children fit this description.

Back in the early '90s, the University of Washington showed that an increase of roughly $200 a month in welfare benefits per family correlated with a 150 percent increase in the illegitimate birthrate among teens.

There is one important caveat: Poverty in America is generally very different from poverty elsewhere in the world. According to the government's own surveys, 80 percent of poor households have air-conditioning. Nearly, two-thirds have cable or satellite television. Half have a personal computer. Forty percent of America's poor have a wide screen HD television. Three-quarters own a car or a truck. And nearly a third have two or more vehicles. Ninety-six percent of poor parents state that their children have never been hungry at any time during the last year because they could not afford food. And 82 percent of all poor adults reported that they too were never hungry at any time in the prior year.

Today is the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the largest amphibious invasion in history.

The Allied invasion force included 5,000 ships and landing craft, 11,000 planes, and almost three million allied soldiers, airmen and sailors. Despite such numbers, the location and timing of the invasion was still an enormous gamble. The Nazis fully expected such an invasion, they just didn't know precisely when or where it would be.

Despite the enormous logistics involved, the gamble worked and by the end of June 6, 1944, 156,000 Allied troops were ashore in Normandy. The human cost was also enormous – over 4,900 American troops died on D-Day. That number doubled over the next month as they fought to establish a foothold in northern France.

There were five beach landing zones on the coast of northwestern France, divided among the Allies. They gave each landing zone a name. Canada was responsible for "Juno." Britain was responsible for "Gold" and "Sword." And the U.S. had "Utah" and "Omaha."

The Nazis were dug in with bunkers, machine guns, artillery, mines, barbed wire, and other obstacles to tangle any attempt to come ashore. Of the five beaches, Omaha was by far the most heavily defended. Over 2,500 U.S. soldiers were killed at Omaha – the beach so famously depicted in the opening battle sequence of the 1998 movie, Saving Private Ryan. The real-life assault on Omaha Beach included 34 men in that first wave of attack who came from the same small town of Bedford, Virginia. The first Americans to die on Omaha Beach were the men from Bedford.

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America has a national D-Day Memorial, but many people don't know about it.

America has a national D-Day Memorial, but many people don't know about it. Maybe that's because it wasn't a government project and it's not in Washington DC. It was initiated and financed by veterans and private citizens. It's tucked away in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the small town of Bedford, Virginia. Why is the memorial for one of the most famous days in modern world history in such a tiny town? Because, as a proportion of its population of just 3,200 at the time, no community in the U.S. sacrificed more men on D-Day than Bedford.

There were 34 men in Company A from Bedford. Of those thirty-four, 23 died in the first wave of attacks. Six weeks after D-Day, the town's young telegraph operator was overwhelmed when news of many of the first deaths clattered across the Western Union line on the same day. Name after name of men and families that she knew well. There were so many at once that she had to enlist the help of customers in the pharmacy's soda shop to help deliver them all.

Among those killed in action were brothers Bedford and Raymond Hoback. Bedford was the rambunctious older brother with a fiancée back home that he couldn't wait to return to. Raymond was the quieter, more disciplined younger brother who could often be found reading his Bible. He fell in love with a British woman during his two years in England training for D-Day. Like in that opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan, Bedford and Raymond barely made it down the ramp of their Higgins Boat in the swarm of bullets and hot steel before they were cut down in the wet sand.

Bedford and Raymond Hoback's mother, Macie, learned of both their deaths from two separate telegrams, the first on a Sunday morning, the second the following day. Their younger sister, Lucille, remembered her mother's devastation, and her father walking out to the barn to cry.

The day after D-Day, the killing field of Omaha Beach was already transforming into the massive supply port that would help fuel the American drive all the way to Berlin over the next year. A soldier from West Virginia was walking along the beach when he saw something jutting out of the sand. He reached down and pulled it out. He was surprised to find it was a Bible. The inside cover was inscribed with: "Raymond S. Hoback, from mother, Christmas, 1938." The soldier wrote a letter and mailed it with the Bible to Raymond's mother. That Bible, which likely tumbled from Raymond's pack when he fell on D-Day, became Macie Hoback's most cherished possession – the only personal belonging of her son that was ever returned.

Of the 23 Bedford men who died on Omaha Beach, eleven were laid to rest in the American cemetery in Normandy.

These men, many of them barely out of their teens, didn't sign up to march to the slaughter of course. They had hopes and dreams just like you and I. Many of them signed up for adventure, or because of peer pressure, and yes, a sense of honor and duty. Many of the Bedford Boys first signed up for the National Guard just to make a few extra bucks per month, get to hang out with their buddies, and enjoy target practice. But someone had to be first at Omaha Beach and that responsibility fell to the men from Bedford.

Over the last several years, the D-Day anniversary gets increasingly sad. Because each year, there are fewer and fewer men alive who were actually in Normandy on June 6, 1944. The last of the surviving Bedford Boys died in 2009. Most of the remaining D-Day veterans who are still with us are too frail to make the pilgrimage to France for the anniversary ceremonies like they used to.

It's difficult to think about losing these World War II veterans, because once they're all gone, we'll lose that tether to a time when the nation figured out how to be a better version of itself.

Not that they were saints and did everything right. They were as human as we are, with all the fallibility that entails. But in some respects, they were better. Because they went, and they toughed it out, and they accomplished an incredibly daunting mission, with sickening hardship, heartbreak, and terror along the way.

So, what does the anniversary of D-Day mean in 2019?

In one sense, this anniversary is a reprimand that we've failed to tell our own story well enough.

In one sense, this anniversary is a reprimand that we've failed to tell our own story well enough. You can't learn about the logistics of the operation and above all, the human cost, and not be humbled. But as a society, we have not emphasized well enough the story of D-Day and all that it represents. How can I say that? Because of an example just last weekend, when common sense got booed by Democratic Socialists at the California Democrats' State Convention. When Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper said during his speech that "socialism is not the answer," the crowd booed loudly. When did telling the truth about socialism become controversial?

Sure, socialists, and communists and other anti-American factions have always been around. America certainly had socialists in 1944. But the current socialists trying to take over the Democratic Party like a virus don't believe in the D-Day sacrifices to preserve America, because they don't believe America is worth preserving. They are agitating to reform America using the authoritarian playbook that has only ended in death and destruction everywhere it is followed.

Ask a Venezuelan citizen, or an Iraqi Christian, or a North Korean peasant why D-Day still matters in 2019.

The further we move away from caring about pivotal events like June 6, 1944, the less chance of survival we have as a nation.

At the same time, the D-Day anniversary is a reminder that we're not done yet. It's an opportunity for us to remember and let that inform how we live.

Near the end of Saving Private Ryan, the fictional Captain Miller lays dying, and he gives one last instruction to Private Ryan, the young man that he and his unit have sacrificed their lives to rescue in Normandy. He says, "Earn it."

In other words, don't waste the sacrifices that were made so that your life could be saved. Live it well. The message to "earn it" extends to the viewer and the nation as well – can we say we're earning the sacrifices that were made by Americans on D-Day? I cringe to think how our few remaining World War II veterans might answer that.

Honor. Duty. Sacrifice. Gratitude. Personal responsibility. These used to mean a lot more.

Honor. Duty. Sacrifice. Gratitude. Personal responsibility. These used to mean a lot more. I don't want to believe it's too late for us to rediscover those traits as a nation. I want to believe we can still earn it.

The challenge to "earn it" is a lot of pressure. Frankly, it's impossible. We can't fully earn the liberty that we inherited. But we can certainly try to earn it. Not trying is arrogant and immoral. And to tout socialism as the catch-all solution is naïve, and insulting to the men like those from Bedford who volunteered to go defend freedom. In truly striving to earn it, we help keep the flame of liberty aglow for future generations. It is necessary, honorable work if freedom is to survive.

The end of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is remarkably relevant for every anniversary of June 6, 1944. This is what D-Day still means in 2019:

"It is rather for us to be here 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 shall not have died in vain – 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."

Letter from Corporal H.W. Crayton to Mr. and Mrs. Hoback – parents of Bedford and Raymond Hoback who were both killed in action on June 6, 1944

Álvaro Serrano/Unsplash

July 9, 1944 Somewhere in France

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Hoback:

I really don't know how to start this letter to you folks, but will attempt to do something in words of writing. I will try to explain in the letter what this is all about.

While walking along the Beach D-day Plus One, I came upon this Bible and as most any person would do I picked it up from the sand to keep it from being destroyed. I knew that most all Bibles have names & addresses within the cover so I made it my business to thumb through the pages until I came upon the name above. Knowing that you no doubt would want the Book returned I am sending it knowing that most Bibles are a book to be cherished. I would have sent it sooner but have been quite busy and thought it best if a short period of time elapsed before returning it.

You have by now received a letter from your son saying he is well. I sincerely hope so.

I imagine what has happened is that your son dropped the Book without any notice. Most everybody who landed on the Beach D-Day lost something. I for one as others did lost most of my personal belongings, so you see how easy it was to have dropped the book and not know about it.

Everything was in such a turmoil that we didn't have a chance until a day or so later to try and locate our belongings.

Since I have arrived here in France I have had occasion to see a little of the country and find it quite like parts of the U.S.A. It is a very beautiful country, more so in peace time. War does change everything as it has this country. One would hardly think there was a war going on today. Everything is peaceful & quiet. The birds have begun their daily practice, all the flowers and trees are in bloom, especially the poppies & tulips which are very beautiful at this time of the year.

Time goes by so quickly as it has today. I must close hoping to hear that you receive the Bible in good shape.

Yours very truly,

Cpl. H.W. Crayton

It's not as easy as it used to be for billion-dollar entertainment empires like The Walt Disney Company. It would be more streamlined for Disney to produce its major motion pictures in its own backyard. After all, abortion in California is readily available, as well as a protected, cherished right. And since abortion access is critical for movie production, right up there with lighting equipment and craft services, you would think California would be the common-sense choice for location shooting. Alas, even billion-dollar studios must pinch pennies these days. So, in recent years, Disney, among other major Hollywood studios, has been farming out production to backwater Southern lands like Georgia, and even Louisiana. Those states offer more generous tax breaks than Disney's native California. As a result, Georgia for example, played host to much of the shooting for the recent worldwide box office smash Avengers: Endgame.

But now it looks like it's Georgia's endgame. The state recently passed what is known as a "heartbeat" bill – a vicious, anti-woman law that would try to make pregnant women allow their babies to be born and actually live. It's a bridge too far for a major studio like Disney, which was largely built on creating family entertainment. How can Disney possibly go about making quality movies, often aimed at children, without access to unfettered abortion? It's unconscionable. Lack of abortion access makes it nearly impossible to shoot movies. So, what's a major studio to do? Disney might have considered migrating its business to Louisiana, but that state too has now signed a heartbeat bill into law. It's utter madness.

These monstrous anti-abortion bills, coupled with having to live under President Trump, has led Disney to seek a new home for its legendary movie magic. Last week, Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, announced that all future Disney movies will now be filmed on location in the Sub-Saharan African nation of Wakanda.

"Disney and Wakanda are a match made in heaven," Iger told reporters. "Wakanda was, until recently, a secret kingdom, much like our own Magic Kingdom. With this new partnership, we'll not only get to continue our legacy of making movies that parents and children everywhere enjoy together, but we'll get to do so in a safe space that reveres abortion as much as we do."

Wakanda is one of only four African countries (out of 55) that allow unrestricted abortion.

As home to the most advanced technology in the world – and with the planet's highest per-capita concentration of wokeness – Wakanda offers women painless, hassle-free abortion on demand. As the Wakandan health ministry website explains, the complete absence of any white-patriarchal-Judeo-Christian influence allows women in Wakanda to have complete control of their own bodies (with the exception of females who are still fetuses). As winner of the U.N.'s 2018 Golden Forceps award (the U.N.'s highest abortion honor) Wakanda continues its glowing record on abortion. That makes it an ideal location for Disney's next round of live-action remakes of its own animated movies in which the company plans to remove all male characters.

Iger says he hopes to convince Wakandan leadership to share their top-secret vibranium-based abortion procedure technology so that American women can enjoy the same convenient, spa-like abortion treatment that Wakandan women have enjoyed for years.

Wakanda is one of only four African countries (out of 55) that allow unrestricted abortion. Disney plans to boycott and/or retaliate against the other 51 African nations, as well as any U.S. states, that restrict abortion. Specific plans are being kept under wraps, but sources say Disney's potential retaliation may include beaming Beverly Hills Chihuahua into the offending territories on a continuous, indefinite loop.

When asked how Wakanda's futuristic capital city and distinctly African landscape would be able to double for American movie locations, Iger said, "I guess America will just have to look more like Wakanda from now on."

One potential wrinkle for the Left-leaning studio is the fact that Wakanda has an impenetrable border wall-shield-thing designed to keep out foreign invaders as well as illegal immigrants. Iger said he understands Wakanda's policy of exclusivity, adding, "After all, not everyone gets into Disneyland. You have to have a ticket to get in. Anyone is welcome, but you have to go through the process of getting a ticket." When one reporter pointed out that Iger's answer sounded like the conservative argument for legal immigration under the rule of law, Iger insisted that the reporter was "a moronic fascist."

What if the unthinkable happens and Florida also enacts its own "heartbeat" law? That would be problematic since Walt Disney World is located in Florida. Iger responded that Disney would "cross that bridge if we get to it" but that the most likely scenario would entail "dismantling Disney World piece-by-piece and relocating it to the actual happiest place on earth – Wakanda." As for whether Disney would ever open character-themed abortion clinics inside its theme parks, Iger remained coy, but said, "Well, it is the place where dreams come true."

With the Wakanda solution, Disney may have found a place where Minnie Mouse can finally follow her heart and have true freedom of choice.

When pressed about the cost of ramping up production in a secretive African kingdom that has no existing moviemaking infrastructure (which could easily end up being much more expensive than simply shooting in California) Iger said, "You can't put a price tag on abortion freedom. Wakanda Forever and Abortion Forever!"

With the Wakanda solution, Disney may have found a place where Minnie Mouse can finally follow her heart and have true freedom of choice. And that will be welcome relief to traditional families all over the world who keep the Walt Disney Company in business.

*Disclaimer: The preceding story is a parody. Bob Iger did not actually say any of the quotes in the story. Neither is Wakanda an actual nation on planet Earth.

"Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris," is a podcast featuring conversations about how faith has guided newsmakers and celebrities through their best and worst times. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a much maligned religion so Glenn joined the podcast and took the time to explain what it means to him and how it changed his life.

From his suicidal days and his battle with drugs and alcohol, it was his wife Tania and his faith that saved him. All his ups and downs have given him the gift of empathy and he says he now understands the "cry for mercy" — something he wishes he'd given out more of over the years.

You can catch the whole podcast on any of the platforms listed below.

- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
- TuneIn
- Spotify
- Stitcher
- ABC News app

One of these times I'm going to go on vacation, and I'm just not going to come back. I learn so much on a farm.

You want to know how things work, go spend a summer on a farm. You're having problems with your son or daughter, go spend a summer on a farm.

My son changed. Over two weeks.

Getting him out of bed, getting him to do anything, is like insane. He's a 15-year-old kid. Going all through the normal 15-year-old boy stuff. Getting him on the farm, where he was getting up and actually accomplishing stuff, having to build or mend fences, was amazing. And it changed him.

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Our society does not allow our kids to grow up, ever. I am convinced that our 15-year-olds could be fixing all kinds of stuff. Could be actually really making an impact in a positive way in our society. And what's wrong with our society is, we have gotten away from how things actually work. We're living in this theoretical world. When you're out on a farm, there's no theory here. If it rains, the crops will grow. If it rains too much, the crops won't grow.

If there's no sun, they won't grow. If there's too much sun, they'll shrivel up and die. There's no theory. We were out mending fences. Now, when I say the phrase to you, mending fences, what does that mean? When you think of mending fences, you think of, what?

Coming together. Bringing people together. Repairing arguments.

I've never mended a fence before until I started stringing a fence and I was like, "I ain't doing this anymore! Where is it broken? Can't we just tie a piece of barbed wire together?"

Let's stop talking about building a wall. Because that has all kinds of negative imagery. Mending fences is what we need to do.

That's called mending fences.

And why do you mend fences? So your animals don't get out and start to graze on somebody else's land. When your fence goes down, your cow is now on somebody else's land. And your cow is now eating their food.

We look at the phrase, mending fences as saying, hey. You know, we were both wrong. Mending fences has nothing to do with that.

Mending fences means build a wall. My neighbors and I, we're going to get along fine, as long as my cows don't go and steal their food, or their cows don't come over and steal my cow's food.

We're perfectly neighborly with each other, until one of us needs to mend a fence, because, dude, you got to mend that, because your cows keep coming over and eating my food.

You know what we need to do with Mexico? Mend fences.

Now, that's a phrase. You hear build a wall. That's horrible.

No, no, no. We need to mend fences.

In a farming community, that means putting up an electric fence. That means putting up barbed wire.

So the cows — because the cows will — they'll stick their head through barbed wire. And they'll eat the grass close to the road. Or eat the grass close to the other side of the fence. And they'll get their heads in between those fences. And they can't get out sometimes. Because the grass is always greener on the other side. You look at these damn cows and say turn around, cow — there's plenty of stuff over here.

No. They want the grass on the other side of the fence.

So you mend it.

And if it's really bad, you do what we do. We had to put an electric fence up. Now, imagine putting an electric fence up. That seems pretty radical and expensive.

Does it really work? Does it shock them? What does that feel like to a cow?

The cows hit it once, and then they don't hit it again. They can actually hear the buzz of the electric fence. There's a warning. Don't do it. Don't do it. They hear the current and they hit it once and they're like, "I'm not going to do that again."

So you mend fences, which means, keep your stuff on your side. I like you. We're good neighbors. You keep your stuff on your side and I'll keep my stuff on my side and we'll get together at the town hall and we'll see each other at the grocery store. Because we're good neighbors. But what stops us from fighting is knowing that there is a fence there.

This is my stuff. That's your stuff. But we can still trade and we'll help each other. But let's stop talking about building a wall. Because that has all kinds of negative imagery. Mending fences is what we need to do.

You can have a tough fence. It could be a giant wall. It could be an electric fence. But you need one. And that's how you come together.

The side that's having the problem, mends the fence.