Progressive Liars: The 12-Part Series

Glenn has warned about progressivism for more than a decade. So what is progressivism and who are progressives? This 12-part series explores those questions, backed up with research and facts from Glenn's new book Liars: How Progressives Exploit Our Fear for Power and Control.

At its core, progressivism is an insatiable thirst for control. The endgame of progressives is to build a massive all-controlling welfare state that holds us hostage to their preferences. After all, they know what's best.

Progressive leaders are masters of lies and deception, using fear to control and subjugate free people. Frighteningly, their efforts often involve the loss of free will, murder or mutilation of their fellow human beings --- always in the name of a better world. Ever hear the expression, "My way or the highway"? It might as well have been coined by a progressive.

Share this series with everyone you know. The centuries-old history of progressivism must be exposed and taught to all freedom-loving people.

Listen to the full series:

Progressive Liars Part I: Fear and Hope

Chicago coliseum, July 9, 1896: Thirty-six-year old William Jennings Bryan put forth the Democratic Party’s proposed national platform to a cheering crowd that frantically waved red bandannas in a sign of solidarity. Bryan became convinced that victory was his. A new monetary policy based on the coinage of silver, free silver, had proven to be an even more enticing message than he had expected. The new supply of money would relieve crippling debt for the impoverished voters Bryan sought to mobilize. As he neared the climax of his remarks, he mustered every last ounce of energy and unleashed some of the most famous lines in American political rhetoric:

If they dare come out in the open field,” he thundered, “And defend the gold standard as a good thing, we shall fight them to the uttermost, having behind us the producing masses of the nations of the world and having behind us the commercial interests and the laboring interests and the toiling masses.

Bryan’s speech launched the era of progressivism, featuring the biggest liars in American history. These liars achieved their so-called progress using fear and hope, two uniquely human feelings, to impose their will upon mankind.

Progressive Liars Part II: German Roots

To find the roots of progressivism, one has to go back to Germany in the 1500s, and the Protestant Reformation against the Catholic Church by Martin Luther. Was Luther a progressive? Hardly, but his ideas about man’s relationship with God have morphed and metastasized the past 500 years into something unrecognizable from what he originally intended. Luther’s declaration that man could have a personal relationship with God without enlisting a papal leader inadvertently started the ball rolling toward progressivism.

More than two centuries later in the late 1700s, German professor George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel would use his disbelief in God for a similar purpose — to better humanity. After surviving an epidemic, Hegel’s views on God were irrevocably changed. Hegel concluded that experts and knowledgeable persons should rule — not God — with the most perfect government and unlimited authority over the individual. Through the State and its rulers, man would essentially become God on earth. This was the foundational principle that eventually became known as progressivism.

Progressive Liars Part III: Margaret Sanger

Margaret Sanger, the so-called mother of birth control and founder of what has become modern day Planned Parenthood, believed in a policy of improvement to “create a race of thoroughbreds.”

In 1922, Sanger wrote:

Those least fit to carry on the race are increasing most rapidly. People who cannot support their own offspring are encouraged by church and state to produce large families. Many of the children thus begotten are diseased and feebleminded. Many become criminals. Funds that should be used to raise the standard of our civilization are diverted to the maintenance of those who should have never been born.

In 1926, Sanger presented her views to a women’s chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, which led to more speaking engagements to similar groups. How did an American woman arrive at this kind of thinking? As with many progressive leaders, a traumatic childhood event helped shape her radical beliefs about preventing birth among certain “undesirables.”

Progressive Liars Part IV: Woodrow Wilson

In 1912, there were at least two massive disasters for the United States of America: The sinking of the Titanic and the election of progressive Woodrow Wilson. Just a month after the completion of the grim Titanic recovery operation, Woodrow Wilson addressed the prestigious economic club of New York at a hotel bearing the name of one of the Titanic’s most prominent victims.

Speaking to business leaders at the Time Squares Hotel Astor, Wilson pushed back against the complaints that his ideas opposed the free enterprise system. He believed that wealthy families such as the Astors had turned the American Republic into their own fiefdom. The rich, he said, had to be reined in and their wealth confiscated for the public good, if necessary:

The very thing that government cannot let alone is business.

Government cannot take its hands off business. Government must regulate business because that is the foundation of every other relationship.

The tragic sinking of the Titanic, a ship that its owners boasted was unsinkable, was the consequence of a hubristic, humanist assumption about man’s ability to control natural law and to defy the will of God. And so was the candidacy of Woodrow Wilson.

Few presidents have displayed such open contempt for the Constitution they swore to preserve, protect and defend. Even fewer had such severe disdain for women, minorities and anyone else who deviated from Wilson’s view of the “perfect citizen.”

Progressive Liars Part V: Prohibition

Wayne Wheeler, raised on an Ohio farm, became the leading force behind America’s prohibition movement — and he was merciless in his crusade. Frightening childhood experiences with drunk farmhands scarred Wheeler’s adolescence, convincing him that only full-scale abolition across America would bring safety and comfort to the collective. For Wheeler, the perfect world required absolute control over the individual.

Perhaps the most powerful force in the nation regarding alcohol, Wheeler led the Anti-Saloon League, coining the term “pressure group” to explain the league’s tactics. By 1903, the Anti-Saloon League forced all 70 of their political targets out of office. In 1915, Wheeler became general counsel for the Anti-Saloon League of America and one of the most effective lobbyists of his time.

Thanks in large part to Wheeler’s efforts, the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect in 1920, banning the manufacture, sale and transportation of intoxicating liquors in the United States. Once law-abiding American citizens were now breaking federal law by drinking, blurring the lines between right and wrong. Instead of creating a new perfect world, the law opened the door for bootleggers and organized crime to make millions of dollars from the illegal distribution of liquor.

With the new constitutional amendment, Wheeler believed alcohol consumption to be treasonous, and came up with the sick idea of poisoning whisky and releasing it into the public. Under Wheeler’s poisonous plan, the government identified people drinking illegally when they became sick or died — and it was wildly effective. Up to 50,000 Americans paid the ultimate progressive price, essentially murdered by Wayne Wheeler and the U.S. government.

Progressive Liars Part VI: FDR Part I

Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” He should have added one thing: progressivism.

The nation had scarcely regained its footing from the constitutional crisis created by FDR’s hero Woodrow Wilson, a man who oversaw the internment of over 170,000 American citizens without probable cause or due process. In subsequent years, FDR would follow Wilson’s blueprint, authorizing the physical removal of all Japanese Americans into internment camps.

FDR knew he could take Wilson’s revolutionary but academic critique of America and mold it into something practical and concrete. With the term “progressivism” waning in the 1920s under small-government Presidents Harding and Coolidge, FDR also knew he had a branding problem. This led to his purposeful rebranding of progressive ideology during the 1932 Democratic National Convention:

Ours must be a party of liberal thought, of planned action on enlightened international outlook and on the greatest good to the greatest number of our citizens.

It was a noble lie. FDR’s new liberalism betrayed the classic liberal thought of John Locke, Adam Smith and America’s Founding Fathers. This new interpretation of American politics and governance elevated the state above the individual. Rights no longer came from the individual, much less God, but directly from the government — everything that classical liberals had rejected about the divine right of monarchs and the state’s tendency to trample individual liberty.

Progressive Liars Part VII: FDR Part II

Liberals, the media and academia worship at the altar of FDR and the anti-constitutional, gigantic government he created. They teach our children that his policies ended The Great Depression of the 1930s, but the exact opposite is true. Roosevelt’s disastrous policies actually extended the depression by years.

After implementing his socialized agenda known as The New Deal, which included the legalized Ponzi scheme of Social Security, the United States was still mired in the deepest and worst depression in its history. Roosevelt spent and regulated like a drunken sailor, and he paid for it by vastly expanding and steeping the tax code. What was only 400 pages at the start of FDR’s administration ballooned to more than 8,200 pages by its end. Designed to make individuals and businesses pay their “fair share,” it stifled economic growth and reshaped the economic promise of America from individual achievement to redistributive equality. FDR turned what would have been a depression into The Great Depression through his social and financial engineering.

From 1933 to 1940, the average annual unemployment rate averaged 18.6 percent. In 1937 and 1938, the economy collapsed into a double-dip recession. From 1937 to 1938, industrial production declined by 33 percent. National income hemorrhaged at 13 percent. Wages went down by 35 percent and an estimated four million workers lost their jobs.

Roosevelt won reelection in 1940 by promising to keep American boys out of the fight against Adolf Hitler. That eventually became another broken promise — and his saving grace. America’s participation in World War II kickstarted the economy, finally ending the misery brought on by The Great Depression.

Progressive Liars Part VIII: FDR Part III

Infatuated progressive scholars credit Franklin Delano Roosevelt with ending The Great Depression when, in fact, American manufacturing kickstarted the economy enough to negate the damage done by his massive government programs. Scholars and leftists alike also ignore his internment of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II, just as his progressive hero Woodrow Wilson had done with Germans and Italians during World War I. Most of these loyal Americans never got their homes back. Unfortunately, the loss of liberty under FDR didn’t stop there.

Under cover of war, President Roosevelt illegally authorized agents to wiretap the phones of not just aliens who threatened national security, but also potential political enemies and even political friends. Roosevelt’s spying targets included former President Herbert Hoover, 1940 Republican presidential opponent Wendell Wilke and critical journalists. FDR also requested a tax audit on The New York Times and had the heads of various agencies, including the FBI and the Department of Justice, investigate several newspaper publishers in a failed witch hunt for Nazi ties.

As World War II wound down, FDR proposed a second Bill of Rights, arguing true individual freedom could not exist without economic security and independence. He may have once claimed the only thing to fear was fear itself, but in reality, he wanted Americans to fear a host of things. Fear after all, opened the door to things people otherwise wouldn’t think possible. Additionally, FDR warned that if Americans let his wartime reforms go away, they might as well have lost the war.

Incredibly, this strategy is successfully employed by progressives in government over and over again. Legislation during a crisis lives on like a cockroach, able to survive even in the worst of conditions. In FDR’s wartime America, rights were to be granted no longer by our creator, but the federal government.

Progressive Liars Part IX: LBJ Part I

Like the state he loved, Lyndon Baines Johnson was a large and imposing man. His head, ears and hands, even his voice, seemed to overwhelm those around him, traits that helped him make deals with timid, cowering colleagues. In the aftermath of President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, Johnson, who had never cared much for JFK’s policies, decided to remodel the Kennedy presidency after his two idols: Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt. After Kennedy’s assassination, LBJ finally had the chance to live up to the legacy of his “second daddy” and make the spirit of Roosevelt proud.

LBJ had “a specific objective” in mind that guided his presidency from the start: Outdo Franklin Roosevelt as the champion of everyday Americans to become the next generation’s FDR. He would be what he called “their daddy,” whether they liked it or not. Wilson had successfully organized progressivism as a political force and FDR built new progressive economic institutions during The Great Depression. LBJ would build on that legacy by spreading progressivism into mainstream America at a time of similar tumult and disorder. He would set in motion the destructive forces of nihilism, hedonism and blasphemy that marked the 1960s, a decade that would change America fundamentally, forever.

Progressive Liars Part X: LBJ Part II

Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society was the New Deal on steroids. It was the most destructive anti-Democratic and anti-entrepreneurial program of the 20th century. Johnson’s vision was utopian, statist and reckless, but the grief of a nation reeling from an assassinated president, and the general sense that America was spiraling out of control, spurred LBJ to act.

The Great Society started with Johnson’s disastrous War On Poverty. In reality, it wasn’t a War On Poverty at all. It was a war against prosperity and success. Like all progressives, Johnson believed in economic leveling. Instead of lifting everyone up through commerce or capitalism, he forced people into an economic purgatory where mediocrity was the norm and striving for greatness was discouraged.

Under LBJ, the nation witnessed the true creation of the welfare state, based on massive entitlement programs and predicated on the government’s ability to drive the populace to an ambition-destroying focus on inner meaning and quality of life, instead of character, ambition and success. This created a crisis of conscience and confidence in people, making them both susceptible to undermining traditional norms and predisposed to reliance on the state to handle things that were too hard for them.

LBJ laid the groundwork to create an environment of self-actualization — through the government, conservation programs, federal patronage of the arts, public broadcasting and more. These were not meant to foster national elevation or celebrate America’s greatness. They were created as a corporate secular replacement of religion, as sources of spiritual fulfillment for the masses. Replace God with government, and you control not just people’s minds, but their hearts and souls. Using these fears, he persuaded millions of Americans to abandon their traditional values of hard work and self-reliance in exchange for the soullessness of self-actualization.

Progressive Liars Part XI: Stuart Chase and System X

You know progressives like Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson, but you may not know Stuart Chase, the man called the progressive prophet. An American economist born in 1888, Chase was influenced by Fabian socialists, as well as communist social and educational experiments being conducted in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. At the conclusion of his 1932 book, A New Deal, Chase wrote, “Why should the Soviets have all the fun remaking the world?” What sort of government and economic system did progressives like Stuart Chase want to adopt if they considered constitutionalism and the free market passe? A strong centralized government controlling everything — the government, the banking system, education, employment, food, housing, medical care — so the people wouldn’t make poor decisions for themselves.

Chase had just one problem as he envisioned his utopia on earth. He couldn’t come up with a name for it. Socialism, fascism and state capitalism just didn’t seem to fit the bill. Like any good Fabian, he shied away from calling socialism by its name. Instead, he labeled America’s future system “something called X.” And as Chase believed, System X was already displacing the system of free enterprise all over the world.

Progressive Liars Part XII: Barack Obama

Chicago, Illinois, July 1995, the future president of the United States stood in the living room of a radical domestic terrorist. They were in Hyde Park, a Chicago neighborhood of tree-lined streets, dotted with handsome old stones and brick houses. In this highly segregated city, Hyde Park stood out as a vibrant, racially diverse, but monolithic melting pot. There couldn't be a more fitting place for the future commander-in-chief to live, just mere blocks away from former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Hyde Park, home to the prestigious University of Chicago, was also just a few blocks from Chicago's notorious South Side. The ivory tower of elitist academics loomed over crippled communities, riddled with drugs, gangs and broken homes. The slums and Section 8 housing projects were homes to some of the highest murder rates in the civilized world, the wreckage caused by decades of leftist rule.

This would be the environment in which radical community organizer Barack Obama received the advice that endeared a nation and helped secure him the presidency of the United States: If you really want to change things, you've got to drop the radical pose for the radical ends.

Listen to all serials at glennbeck.com/serials

My fellow supporters,

It is with a heavy heart that I must make a sad announcement today. The time has come to press pause on the dream of Beto for president. It's not the end of the Beto dream. It's just pressing pause for a while, like pausing a Foss CD. The dream will keep right on spinning, until we return to it and press play again. I mean, look at Bernie Sanders. That guy's almost twice my age and he's still running for president. That means you can look forward to Beto running for office for decades to come. I have found there is tremendous joy and freedom in running for office and never winning. All the travel, Vanity Fair cover stories, food and free beer, with none of the hassle or responsibility of having an actual job in elected office (or any job at all). It's really great.

With the exception of myself, no one has supported Beto more faithfully and true than you, the fans. I'd also like to thank my wife Amy for continually raising our children so that I can travel this great land in my never-ending quest to find myself (and also to connect with you, the fans). From attending my very hip and not-at-all contrived jogging town halls, to slapping those trendy Beto bumper stickers on your hybrid-SUVs, to steadying tables all over America so I could jump on top of them and yell and jab the air, to clicking "like" on all those Facebook videos of my dentist visits – you perpetuated this Beto dream way longer than it had any right to be perpetuated.

So, I'm sure you're now wondering – what's next for Beto?

Other than pursuing my career as a solo rock recording artist, I believe the best way I can serve America and bring true justice to this great land of ours is by stealing from the rich and giving to those who fall in the sweet spot on the intersectionality charts. Except I won't steal from my billionaire father-in-law, only because getting my family cut out of the will would not be in America's best interest. You need a Beto who is independently wealthy via his wife and so do I. Plus, as you know by now, from following the 2020 presidential campaign so closely, the only acceptable status quo in America is leaving the wealth of Progressive elites alone. Everyone else's wealth is fair game, including the middle class. It's the right thing to do.

You need a Beto who is independently wealthy via his wife and so do I.

Therefore, from this day forward I will henceforth be known as Beto Hood. You will be able to join the cause by purchasing official Beto Hood merch soon at Beto Hood dot com. Together, with my band of merry men, who will be known as "merry non-binaries", we will roam the land, righting all the wrongs and bringing about all the social justice that Donald Trump refuses to let you have.

Beto Hood and his Merry Non-Binaries will live on the road. And in the woods (in eco-friendly, fully sustainable treehouse yurts). And in the shadows. We will skateboard and learn archery and rappelling. We will become proficient in hand-to-hand combat. We will become experts in all weaponry except guns, since guns are the evilest weapons. We will care for all the animals of the forest. You already know my affinity for squirrels. Not only will we continue to rescue all the orphan squirrels, we will train them in petty thievery and nimble sabotage. We will affix tiny helmets on them, fitted with tiny Go Pro cameras to live stream their heroic exploits on Facebook. Side note: my colonoscopy next week will also be live streamed on Facebook and available to rent on iTunes.

Using the skills I honed as a college graduate scaling the gates of UTEP, Beto Hood and his Merry Non-Binaries will scale the gates of America's richest and steal from their grotesque wealth. Jewelry, high-end electronics, precious antiques, art, women's shoes – nothing of value will be off-limits. Drawing on my experience while my father was a county judge, we will live above the law. It will be dangerous work, the Lord's work as some people say. But totally worth the risk.

Also, we will not wait for Constitutional amendments nor judicial overreach to get rid of America's AR-15s. We will steal those too. One by one. Using very large versions of those stretchy sticky hands that come in cereal boxes, we will literally be able to snatch these vile guns right out from under the noses of the monsters who own them. Then, with our literal mountain of confiscated AR-15s, we will melt them down and use the metal to build a flotilla of sturdy watercraft, called Beto Boats (trademark pending). Families will be able to use these Beto Boats to save themselves and others when the rising waters of climate change overtake our cities in exactly ten years.

Who needs the presidency? I have big, bold plans for a bright future as an outlaw hero.

Who needs the presidency? I have big, bold plans for a bright future as an outlaw hero. So, don't cry for me, America. Beto will be just fine. Dropping out of this race is nothing that another months-long, head-clearing road trip won't cure. And after that, I'll start shopping for some tights.



[NOTE: The preceding Memo was a parody written by MRA writer Nathan Nipper – not Beto O'Rourke.]

Ryan: Making of an Ant Queen

Photo by Kevin Ryan

The embattled, Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning author Liu Xiaobo wrote that "Life is priceless even to an ant."

An ant colony can only survive for a few months after the death of its queen. On average, queens live 10 to 15 years. Some, up to 30 years, one of the longest insect lifespans, hidden deep within the colony, protected, unable to use her wings because she's a little bigger than she used to be.

Plus she's very busy.

The majority of ants are female. Wingless, sterile worker ants. They build nests, they forage, they hunt.

Theirs is a far briefer life than the queen's, ranging from a few weeks up to a year. But they see more of the outside world than any other ant.

The bigger they are, the farther they travel. And they release pheromones along the way so that they have a trail home.
Drones — winged male ants whose primary function in life is to mate with the queen — die after mating and rarely make it out of the colony.

Then, there are the soldier ants. They protect the colony and attack.

To quote philosopher Bertrand Russell, "Ants and savages put strangers to death."

They go on raids.

The attacking colony rarely loses, so most colonies flee as soon as an invasion begins. But they sometimes remain and fight.
Ants on both sides of the battle die in droves.

Henry David Thoreau describes an ant battle in Walden: "On every side they were engaged in deadly combat, yet without any noise that I could hear, and human soldiers never fought so resolutely."

If the attackers succeed in overtaking a colony, they pillage the eggs. Some are eaten, fed to larvae. But others become victims of slave raiding. Meaning that the victors return home with their enemy's unborn, feed them, nurse them. Then, when the eggs hatch, the victors force them into slavery.

Often, the slaves even develop an allegiance to the colony which ransacked their home and enslaved them. They'll even help raid other colonies and either die pointlessly or help with the seizure of the next generation of slaves.

Sometimes, however, the slave ants rebel.

In the words of Persian poet Saadi, "Ants, fighting together, will vanquish the lion."

Flying ants, both male and female, leave the colony to form another colony. Once they find a suitable place, the males's wings fall off and they mate to their death. Then one or more of the females becomes queen.

*

It felt odd, any time I sat with a roomful of media, a few hundred journalists from all over the world, as they simultaneously, silently, decided "Yep, that's newsworthy. We should hammer that."

It wasn't like everyone turned to each other and said, "Let's agree on the narrative."

It was an energy.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Like in Houston, at the third Democratic Debate, after Biden misused the word "record player," you could hear chatter spread through the room, people muttering the words "records" and "record player."

In Houston, the media watched the debate from a gymnasium around the corner from the auditorium. So I could contrast the crowd's reactions with the media's reactions.

Nearly every time, there was a disparity between the two. The media were more relaxed — during the debate at least. The audience enjoyed any mentions of identity issues. There were a lot. But the media barely reacted at all.

This was a good thing, probably.

*

It's impressive to see how politicians force their stump speeches into a new form, depending on the context. How they say it like an epiphany.

That night brought the opposite for the ever-fledgling Kamala Harris. I could not believe it. Was this the same woman who'd made Iowa hers, just a little over a month ago?

All night, she was so loyal to the tactic she'd premeditated that she didn't realize it wasn't working, like she kept putting on a puppet show on some busy sidewalk.

At one point, she declared, proudly, "We're not talking about Donald Trump enough."

The most talked-about man in the world, perhaps in our country's history.

In five weeks, she became an entirely different candidate. Her latest version resembled a Xanax-fueled stepmom. It was like she was transforming into Joe Biden.

She kept laughing at her own jokes. And the entire media room cringed every time.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Amy Klobuchar's pre-formed jokes and half-zany dad jokes fell short every time, too. Most of the media saw Klobuchar's long rants as a chance to chat with a neighbor or jet off to the nearest bathroom, which was likely a locker-room full of plastic flight containers and padded camera cases and journalists who curse like sailors.

During the debate, the press was stoic. So if a candidate got a reaction from them, it carried a certain authenticity.

They laughed at things that the audience ignored or disliked or didn't notice. In part because the audience didn't do a whole lot of laughing. But the media laughed like professionals laugh. In-jokey and staid yet ready for anything unexpected.

They loved it when Booker said the thing about "Let me translate that to Spanish … 'No'." And Yang's opening handclaps. As well as Pete Buttigieg's reaction to Yang's raffle.

The biggest laugh of the night in the media center, surprisingly, was when Yang said, "I am Asian, so I know a lot of doctors."

*

Early scientists believed that ants adhere to a complicated hierarchy, which biologist E O Wilson compared to the Hindu caste system. The idea was, ants and humans have a lot in common, and ants belong to a society divided by class and determined by labor.

In the Wealth of Nations, father of capitalism Adam Smith wrote: "It is the great multiplication of the productions of all the different arts, in consequence of the division of labour, which occasions, in a well-governed society, that universal opulence which extends itself to the lowest ranks of the people."

Ants have been organized into colonized societies since the Cretaceous Period, 140 million years ago, when dinosaurs still dominated the Earth. All of that changed 74 million years later. Which was about 66 million years ago. When a comet slammed into what is now the Yucatan Peninsula, resulting in the KT mass extinction.

80 percent of all plants and animals died. The ash and dust and debris polluted the air, blocked the sunlight, transforming the Earth into a dark, frozen wasteland full of asthma.

Insects, carrion-eaters, and omnivores all survived. Any purely carnivorous animals starved to death, while mammals and birds fed on insects and worms until the earth repopulated itself with more animals that could be eaten.

The K-T Mass Extinction ushered in a new era of life. Species that had lived in constant retreat from predators were suddenly able to form more elaborate purposes.

After these lifeforms thrived for tens of millions of years, certain mammals started to become vaguely humanlike.
Early humans popped up about 300,000 years ago.

Meaning, ants have existed for 140 million years, which is 139.7 million years longer than humans.

For reference, if you counted to 300,000, it would take you roughly three-in-a-half days. To get to 140 million would take about four-and-a-half years.

Humans only began developing language about 100,000 years ago.

Yet we're the ones with libraries and governments and ABBA and iPhones. What did ants have? Other people's sugar?

*

Before the debate, I wandered out of the gymnasium and onto bustling sidewalks with makeshift security fencing on each side. And hopped over the massive yellow tubes that belonged in E.T. and pumped cold air into the building. Past dozens of police and security, through an elaborate weave of temporary checkpoints and wires bigger than a fire hose.

On the street, I passed a group of six-or-so teenagers flipping DELANEY signs around like those cardboard "WE BUY GOLD" banners which actual people bob around while dressed as Elvis or Lady Liberty or a Banana.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

The sun cast a delightful orange over Houston, glitter in the humid air.

Those kids were having a blast with those signs. Laughing so hard they had to stop occasionally and slap their legs.

On the other side of the fence, some of the most powerful people in the world were readying for battle, and these kids could not have cared less.

*

The protestors had gathered just outside the gates of the campus entrance.

Far as I could tell, it was me and no other journalists present. The rest of the media were in the gymnasium, preparing for the debate or networking or already on-air. Once they got into the media center they stayed put. For many reasons, I assume.
The air collapsed under a wave of heat unique to Houston.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Gnarled blockades served as borders on both sides of the street. Locked into steel fencing, flanked by rows of police cars with their lights on but their sirens off.

Worse than the humidity, and more intense, was the energy bouncing out of the protestors on Cleburne Street. The opposite of suction energy, shoving out with tension and panic and elation.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Curtis Mayfield's "Move on Up" blared from a Bluetooth speaker. I envisioned a slow zoom from above, beginning with the top of my head and rising, up and up and up. Drawing in the greater scene. Up past Trump's message-board plane. A panorama of city, then county, then state, capturing the topography and nuance of each snapshot of nature.

The higher the camera rose, the more I resembled an ant. One more wingless worker or obedient soldier rushing from place to place on a mission.

And when you got far enough above, you saw the colony that each of us belongs to.

Then it shrank like a passing bobsled, and Earth itself resembled an ant.

The scale of it is daunting.

For thousands of years the sky has filled humans with romance and humility and wonder. A restive impulse that strikes when we gaze up at the moon, the stars, the galaxy, the quiet.

But at ground level, I was a man in the throes of a great human drama. And my job was to document it as neutrally as possible.

The 120-odd protestors on the south side of the street spilled onto the sidewalk and into a lawn, and they chanted as the Trump plane groaned overhead.

They were crowded together, and they were all fighting for different causes. Lots of contradictions under the same banner.
Next to a group of Beto supporters with pro-choice t-shirts, several women chanted

We.
Want.
A pro-life.
Dem.

Chaos itself occupied the south side of the street. The protestors weren't sure how to handle it. So they chanted and sang and probed for the problem. Like so many tiny creatures hauling an orange slice.

Across the street, facing that horde of supporters, two men gripped pro-life signs.

They were the counter-protestors. Their barricade was far wider than needed. The grass around them looked sad, like the trail a dog makes along the fence when it wants to escape.

Behind the two counter-protestors, a mini-bus covered with photos of aborted babies, tangled fetuses, severed and indistinguishable chunks.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Photo by Kevin Ryan

I squinted and gasped and felt downright unwell.

Two days earlier, my wife and I found out that she was pregnant with our first child.

At the very moment I stared at images of tiny human shapes contorted and grey, our baby was the size of a pea.
A few weeks later, we'd see its heartbeat pulsing like a strobe.

I'm not making a statement on abortion. That's not my job as a journalist.

It's more my admiration for the impeccable depth of life. The timing. How messages and symbols confront us all the time, with unmatchable creativity.

Because there I was, literally in the middle of two opposing factions. Again. In the divide. Tangled into so many dichotomies. Life and death. Freedom and oppression. Order and chaos. Activity and stagnation. Creation and loss. Art and nature.

And I had once again remained in the middle.

This brought me tremendous satisfaction. It signified personal and journalistic success.

It was also a bit ridiculous.

As a reporter, I never wanted to pick a side. I already had a side. My side was America, and Ireland. My side was humanity.

My side was life.

New installments of this series come out every Monday and Thursday morning. Check out my Twitter or email me at kryan@mercurystudios.com

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak.Not to act is to act."
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The cost of discipleship can be daunting and few people are willing to sacrifice and stand in the face of evil to do what they know God is asking of them. The "Bonhoeffer Angel Award" is awarded to someone with the vision and courage to act when others only talk, to dig in and listen to the whisperings of the spirit when others turn a deaf ear. It is only fitting the inaugural award go to the visionary founder of Mercury One, Glenn Beck.

The award was presented by the Board President of Mercury One, David Barton and CEO of the Nazarene Fund, Tim Ballard. There was a touching video tribute as well including the likes of Penn Jillette, Senators Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and Joe Liberman, Congressman Loui Gohmert and Rabbi Daniel Lappin.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:

Glenn will be hosting the annual Operation Underground Railroad gala Saturday, November 2nd with keynote speaker Tim Ballard. If you are able to join us, tickets are still available and donations of all sizes are welcome.

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

For one night only at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, on December 7th, join internationally-acclaimed radio host and storyteller Glenn Beck as he walks you through tales of Christmas in the way that only he can. There will be laughs, and there might be a few tears. But at the end of the night, you'll leave with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.

Reconnect to the true spirit of Christmas with Glenn Beck, in a storytelling tour de force that you won't soon forget.

Get tickets and learn more about the event here.

The general sale period will be Friday, August 16 at 10:00 AM MDT. Stay tuned to for updates. We look forward to sharing in the Christmas spirit with you!