A book called Pendulum: How Past Generations Shape Our Present and Predict Our Future sat on Glenn's desk for a long time. When he finally took the time to read it, he was amazed to discover it validated his own long-held "pendulum theory" --- in a big way.
"Friends of mine have been saying to me, 'Glenn, you got to read this book,'" Glenn told radio listeners Wednesday. "So I've been trying to catch up on all of my reading lately and trying to get through of all of them, and I've been reading a lot of history books."
Pendulum breaks down societal trends into the "we" generation and the "me" generation.
The "me" generation says, "Can't we all get along? You're okay, I'm okay." On the flip side, the "we" generation says, "I'm okay, you're not okay." At its zenith, it goes from "you're not okay" to "you're an enemy."
According to Pendulum, that's exactly where we are right now.
"So how do you solve that?" Glenn asked.
The strongman's answer would be to remove everyone in his path because the ends justify the means. To counteract this trend, the authors of Pendulum suggests two things: Listen with your whole heart and try not to interrupt.
Glenn described how he's trying to navigate this issue:
Right now, what we’re doing on this radio show is chemotherapy. We are taking the medicine that we think we have to take, which is, be more Christ-like . . . try to articulate what people are saying and listen to people. And don’t demonize.
Yet, we balance that with, there are things we have to speak out against, we have to take a strong stand against. And how do we do that without killing ourself? Well, I describe this as chemotherapy. We are trying to take the medicine that we believe we have to take, and we’re hoping that it kills the infection before it kills us.
Watch the clip or read the transcript below for more.
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
GLENN: So, first, be an example and listen. Two, be capable of articulating calmly how the other side sees it. So not only do you have to listen, you have to be able to say, "Okay. So here's how the other side sees it."
Now, this is amazing because I just read this part this morning. This is what I've had trouble from, from many people, when I said, "Listen, I don't agree with Black Lives Matter, but here's how they feel."
GLENN: What's interesting is, by saying that, the Washington Post has asked for an op-ed piece. The New York Times has asked for an op-ed piece. That's never happened before.
Now, as I said to my wife, I don't necessarily take that as a badge of honor. That makes me question absolutely everything. However, it shows the other side is willing to listen for the first time and because they see that maybe somebody is listening. When we listen to each other is the only time we can -- why did we not make any progress with Barack Obama? Why did we know we would never make any progress with Barack Obama?
PAT: He didn't listen.
GLENN: He never listened to us. Not once.
GLENN: And so that ratcheted things -- and I think he did it intentionally.
PAT: He didn't even pretend to.
GLENN: No. He didn't want to. He rejected -- Cindy Sheehan met with George W. Bush in the Oval Office. Barack Obama never invited the Tea Party people to go and meet with him and talk to him. Never. And if he did, because of everything that is written by the people on the left, he doesn't listen anyway. He tells you where you're wrong. But somebody who actually listens softens the blow.
I don't think the Tea Party would have been as -- as -- as active as they were if he would have said, "You know what, let me sit down and listen." And then came out with a press conference and said -- with the Tea Party people, "I just met and we disagree on a lot of things. A lot of things. But there's some things that I needed to hear." Can you imagine how that would have changed things?
PAT: Oh, it would have made a world of difference.
GLENN: So why aren't we doing that as leaders? Why aren't we doing that? The reason we're not doing that is because, A, it's just been my gut -- and I haven't had -- I mean, how many times we've walked in for the last year to work and go, "I don't know how to navigate these waters. I don't know what we're doing. I have no idea what we're doing. I don't -- this hasn't been done before. How do we navigate these waters? How do we save our voice?"
I mean, it's almost -- I wrote to somebody last night: Right now, what we're doing on this radio show is chemotherapy. We are taking the medicine that we think we have to take, which is, be more Christ-like, listen to people, try to articulate the way other -- this was before this came out, or before I read this. Try to articulate what people are saying and listen to people. And don't demonize.
Yet, we balance that with, there are things we have to speak out against, we have to take a strong stand against. And how do we do that without killing ourself?
Well, I describe this as chemotherapy. We are trying to take the medicine that we believe we have to take, and we're hoping that it kills the infection before it kills us.
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