How Backyard Fence Conversations Could Save America

The end of another Independence Day.

These used to be so special for my family. When the older kids were young, every year we would find something special to do. Fireworks in Boston, on the Mall of D.C., on the "Rocky" steps of the art museum in Philadelphia.

Until one year in Philly, Elton John was the featured performer. The city had actually sold the night to some group and made it into an AIDS awareness event. There was not a single word spoken about America, the founding, or the principles that made us independent.

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There were fireworks to "celebrate the largest AIDS event in world history" (actual statement just before the fireworks). During those fireworks, we were treated to "Born in the USA," an anti-American song and a silly James Brown song among others.

It was at this point I started to become disillusioned with what we are really all about.

We had become a people that celebrated the Fourth of July, not Independence Day.

The next year I was asked to be in the biggest July 4 parade in the country. It is in Provo Utah. It is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for the patriotic crowd. I was thrilled to be there. I was asked to host the "Stadium of Fire" two years in a row. I felt at home.

However, as I became more involved, I saw that as some of the original partners of this event were aging out, the younger producers --- all from Hollywood --- were seeing the event more as a concert for big names over big feelings and giant ideas.

A little more reality was coming home. My rose colored, or better yet red white and blue colored glasses were about fully come off.

I really gave up hope several summers ago when I spoke in Logan, Utah. This should have been ground zero for America's principles. The paper made a big deal out of how I shouldn't be there. Some of the leaders spoke out against me speaking. I understood that part of it, as many people don't agree with me politically, but I spoke about Washington and his character and I was followed by an amazing patriotic concert with a full orchestra and choir --- all volunteers. I was told the organizers wanted to go a different direction the next year. Big name concert acts. I hope that didn't happen.

This year, after teaching the kids about the Bill of Rights, we lived the Second Amendment and went shooting.

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Later, we went to a town of about 800 people in Lewiston Utah. It is up near Idaho where we spend a lot of time. I really didn't even want to go, but Tania insisted. I am glad I went. It was simple and in the town's green space.

A flag pole just at the entrance is marked by a stone that reads:

Once freedom is lost, it is lost forever.

It is a quote from John Adams. The stone looked new, no more than five years old.

Just before the event began, I met a man and his family who lived there. His home backed up to the park. He spotted me and called out over his fence.

What a patriot he and his wife are. The were maybe in their twenties or early thirties. They had married and in 2013 she had moved away from her family home in India. He shared his fears about what might be coming our way due to our loss of the common sense of right and integrity.

"We have passed all the exits and the bridge is out just ahead," he said.

She cried as she spoke.

"We are quite broke," she said. "As we began our life together as a family, trying to buy a house, it was tough to do anything else. But we fought hard in this last political campaign. We have to do all we can to save this nation. But people really don't see right and wrong or the difference between a lie and truth."

Her voice cracked as she told me about her love of this country and how she sees us as a country of blessings and miracles.

"America has it all from big to small and most just don't see it," she said.

We didn't say much more after that. But we all knew the "Fundamental Transformation" is complete and perhaps God in His mercy will humble us to save us from ourselves.

It was a simple night in a small town made up of real people --- people who have restored my faith in the gathering we call "Fourth of July fireworks." And to think it was done without celebrity singers, high ticket prices or even a soundtrack featuring Bruce Springsteen or Lee Greenwood songs.

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Thank you, Lewiston.

My view of this holiday has changed over the last 15 years. I used to cry during the fireworks out of uber-patriotism. Then, I cried over the hope and belief there were enough of us to pull our country back from the brink. Then I mourned the loss of my country, feared for the future for my children and the holiday became meaningless to me. Empty words, music and rituals.

Tonight, perhaps, I began walking toward a better America. One where our eyes are wide open, where we recognize the trouble we are in and even more, the trouble we are still headed for and yet we remain committed to our principles as we come together and tell each other the hard truth without guile, blame or anger.

There is something very right and true that happens when Americans simply talk to one another over the backyard fences in our small towns.

Featured Image: 1955: There is tension at the German-Dutch frontier town of Siebengewald, where a minor war is being waged over claims to farm land. Separated only by a hedge, the German family (right), don't approve of the drastic action taken by their fellow countrymen and remain good friends with the Welles family, on the other side of the border. But the families are forbidden to visit one another, they may only talk together over the hedge. (Photo by Vagn Hansen/BIPs/Getty Images)

Terry Trobiani owns Gianelli's Drive Thru in Prairie Grove, Illinois, where he put up a row of American flags for the Fourth of July. But the city claimed he was displaying two of them improperly and issued him a $100 ticket for each flag.

Terry joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to explain what he believes really happened. He told Glenn that, according to city ordinance, the American flag is considered "ornamental" and should therefore have been permitted on a federal holiday. But the city has now classified the flag as a "sign."

"Apparently, the village of Prairie Grove has classified the American flag as a sign and they've taken away the symbol of the American flag," Terry said. "So, as a sign, it falls under their temporary sign ordinance, which prohibits any flying, or any positioning of signs on your property — and now this includes the American flag. [...] The only way I could fly the American flag on my property is if I put it on a permanent 20 to 30-foot flagpole, which they have to permit."

Terry went on to explain how the city is now demanding an apology for his actions, and all after more than a year of small-business crushing COVID restrictions and government mandates.

"COVID was tough," Terry stated. "You know, we're in the restaurant business. COVID was tough on us. We succeeded. We made it through. We cut a lot of things, but we never cut an employee. We paid all our employees. I didn't take a paycheck for a year just to keep our employees on, because it was that important to me to keep things going. And, you know, you fight for a year, and you beat a pandemic, and then you have this little municipality with five trustees and a president, who just have no respect for small businesses. And right now, what I see is they have no respect for the republic and the United States ... I think it's terrible. The direction that government, at all levels, have taken us to this point, it's despicable."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


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The Biden administration is now doing everything it can to censor what it has decided is COVID-19 "misinformation." But Glenn Beck isn't confident that the silencing of voices will stop there.

Yeonmi Park grew up in North Korea, where there is no freedom of speech, and she joined Glenn to warn that America must not let this freedom go.

"Whenever authoritarianism rises, the first thing they go after is freedom of speech," she said.

Watch the video clip below from "The Glenn Beck Podcast" or find the full episode with Yeonmi Park here:

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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

Most self-proclaimed Marxists know very little about Marxism. Some of them have all the buzzwords memorized. They talk about the exploits of labor. They talk about the slavery of capitalist society and the alienation caused by capital. They talk about the evils of power and domination.

But they don't actually believe what they say. Or else they wouldn't be such violent hypocrites. And we're not being dramatic when we say "violent."

For them, Marxism is a political tool that they use to degrade and annoy their political enemies.

They don't actually care about the working class.

Another important thing to remember about Marxists is that they talk about how they want to defend the working class, but they don't actually understand the working class. They definitely don't realize that the working class is composed mostly of so many of the people they hate. Because, here's the thing, they don't actually care about the working class. Or the middle class. They wouldn't have the slightest clue how to actually work, not the way we do. For them, work involves ranting about how work and labor are evil.

Ironically, if their communist utopia actually arrived, they would be the first ones against the wall. Because they have nothing to offer except dissent. They have no practical use and no real connection to reality.

Again ironically, they are the ultimate proof of the success of capitalism. The fact that they can freely call for its demise, in tweets that they send from their capitalistic iPhones, is proof that capitalism affords them tremendous luxuries.

Their specialty is complaining. They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They sneer at Christianity for promising Heaven in exchange for good deeds on earth — which is a terrible description of Christianity, but it's what they actually believe — and at the same time they criticize Christianity for promising a utopia, they give their unconditional devotion to a religion that promises a utopia.

They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They think capitalism has turned us into machines. Which is a bad interpretation of Marx's concept of the General Intellect, the idea that humans are the ones who create machines, so humans, not God, are the creators.

They think that the only way to achieve the perfect society is by radically changing and even destroying the current society. It's what they mean when they say things about the "status quo" and "hegemony" and the "established order." They believe that the system is broken and the way to fix it is to destroy, destroy, destroy.

Critical race theory actually takes it a step farther. It tells us that the racist system can never be changed. That racism is the original sin that white people can never overcome. Of course, critical race theorists suggest "alternative institutions," but these "alternative institutions" are basically the same as the ones we have now, only less effective and actually racist.

Marx's violent revolution never happened. Or at least it never succeeded. Marx's followers have had to take a different approach. And now, we are living through the Revolution of Constant Whining.

This post is part of a series on critical race theory. Read the full series here.

Americans are losing faith in our justice system and the idea that legal consequences are applied equally — even to powerful elites in office.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail what he believes will come next with the Durham investigation, which hopefully will provide answers to the Obama FBI's alleged attempts to sabotage former President Donald Trump and his campaign years ago.

Rep. Nunes and Glenn assert that we know Trump did NOT collude with Russia, and that several members of the FBI possibly committed huge abuses of power. So, when will we see justice?

Watch the video clip below:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.