Serious About Fixing the Country? You MUST Know This.

John Marini with The Claremont Institute wrote a brilliant article titled Donald Trump and the American Crisis. The piece explains exactly what is happening in America and to her citizens.

"I think this writer is actually a fan of Donald Trump --- I'm not sure --- but he explains Donald Trump and what's happening," Glenn said Tuesday on his radio program. "This explains so much of what I have felt in my gut, but I haven't been able to articulate."

RELATED: Donald Trump and the American Crisis

Glenn read portions of the article, highlighting key points:

• The government is no longer legitimized by the consent of the governed.

• People must understand themselves to be citizens or things will never change.

• Political parties no longer establish a meaningful link between the people and the government.

• Political campaigns have made a science of dividing the electorate into groups and voting blocs.

• Behavior based on traditional virtues has become indefensible based on what our schools teach.

• Post-modern intellectuals have pronounced their historical and moral judgment on America's past.

• Our culture has been transformed --- and we had nothing to do with it.

Understanding and naming the problem is the first step in fixing it. If generations of Americans no longer see the value in traditional virtues or the noble history of America, then we must reintroduce them to these concepts in new and unique ways.

"We've got to stop talking about guys in powdered wigs. We've got to find a new way to present history," Glenn said. "Again, this guy likes Donald Trump . . . but he's explaining why [Trump] is doing so well and why we're not, if you believe in the Constitution."

Listen to these segments from The Glenn Beck Program:

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

GLENN: One of the greatest articles I have read in I don't know how long, explaining what exactly is happening to us. And I think this writer is actually a fan of Donald Trump. I'm not sure.

But he explains Donald Trump and what's happening. I think personally he's giving him far too much credit for his intellectual prowess. But I want you to hear this. Because this explains so much of what I have felt in my gut, but I haven't been able to articulate why. I didn't know why. I didn't know exactly why. This guy does. And I'm going to give you the highlights of this.

This is called Donald Trump and the American Crisis by John Marini. This is not a hatchet piece. In fact, in some ways, it's a love letter to Donald Trump. But I want you to listen to this.

Every conservative should read this article. Because this is absolutely true and what we're facing.

Let's see. Bureaucratic rule has become so pervasive that it is no longer clear that the government is legitimized by the consent of the governed. Do you agree with that?

PAT: Definitely.

GLENN: Yeah. That's what we're feeling. We don't have anything to do with it. And our vote doesn't matter because bureaucrats are doing everything. The Congress has given their power away to the EPA and everybody else and you have nothing to do with it. Rather, it is the consent of the various national, often international, social, economic, political, and culture interest groups that determine the outcome of the elections. Absolutely true.

You see that it is these -- these groups -- how many times have we said, "I just wish -- is there some sort of group that can represent us, just the American people, not the dogs and cats of America and whatever it is." Everybody who has a political agenda, these groups, they're controlling things.

It is possible only when people understand themselves as citizens and when the regime recognizes them as citizens that things will change. But this requires distinguishing American citizens from all others and identifying them as one people.

So you can't make any difference if you don't recognize that we're a unique place, and so is Germany and so is Mexico and everything else. And you as a citizen are the one that is supposed to make the decisions that then lead the government.

But until we can even say that you're a citizen, you'll never be able to do that.

Consequently, political campaigns have made a science of dividing the electorate into groups and reassembling them as voting blocs committed to specific policies and issues dominated by the demographic categories themselves. This strategy requires a systematic mobilization of animosity to ensure participation by identifying and magnifying about what it is that needs to be opposed.

Now, we are doing that on both sides. And this is why I've been saying, "It's not enough to be against her. What are you for?"

Because this is playing into the new system. You're against something, and the system makes you against something. And so we continually go down this path.

Understood this way: What is central to politics and the election is the elevation of the status of personal and group identity to something approaching a new kind of civil religion.

Tell me that's not true. Black Lives Matter. Global warming. Constitutionalism. It is like our religion.

And if you defy our religion, you're the devil himself. You're Satan. You have to be destroyed. You're evil.

Individual social behavior. Listen to this. Individual social behavior, once dependent on traditional morality and understood in terms of traditional virtues and vices has become almost indefensible when judged in the light of the authority established by what they're now teaching in our schools.

And he goes on to talk about this a little bit. He says, "What's happened to us is, we have this critical post-modern theory that is being -- that historians have -- and the experts in our universities, have gone back and they have looked at our history. And everything is judged as bad in our history. Everything is against one of these groups."

And so as our groups are becoming more and more important, at the same time our history is being presented as only things that oppress groups. There's no individual aspiration. There's no individual that says, "I'm going to change the world, and look what they did." No, forget about the individual. What that guy did, no matter what his aspiration was, ended up hurting this group or that group. It ended up in slavery, oppression, global warming, smog, globalism -- whatever it is.

There is no individual that is being taught anymore. The moral standing established by group identity is now how everything is judged. Character is almost unrecognizable and no longer serves as the means by which people can determine the qualifications for public office, of those they don't know personally. As a result, it's difficult to establish the kind of public trust that once made it possible to connect public and private behavior or civil society and government.

When coupled with the politicization of civil society and the institutions, the distinction between the public and the private or the personal and the political has almost disappeared.

So because -- because we no longer have anything that revolves around individual character, we can no longer judge because we don't understand principles. We don't understand virtue and vice.

You can no longer judge. And because we can no longer judge, because we're now all about groups, the idea -- the idea of having your thought philosophy have anything to do with the presidency, it doesn't work.

In short, public and private character of American policies and politics has been placed in the hands of academic intellectuals.

Post modernist and intellectuals have pronounced their historical judgment on America's past, finding it to be morally indefensible. Every great human achievement of the past, whether in philosophy, religion, literature, or the humanities, came to be understood as a kind of exploitation of the powerless. Rather than allowing the past to be viewed in terms of its aspirations or its accomplishments, it has been judged by its failure. The living part of the past is understood in terms of slavery, racism, and identity politics.

No public defense of the past greatness can be allowed to live in the present.

That's absolutely true.

PAT: It sure is.

GLENN: In such a time, an appeal to American citizenship is almost a revolutionary act because it requires making the distinction between citizens and all others.

Since local politics and administration came to be centralized within the administrative state, elections have provided the people the only possibility of participation in public life.

It wasn't long before the brightest and most ambitious college faculty and graduates became graduating to Washington, DC, the new center of economic, social, and political decision-making.

In turn, the federal government and bureaucratic apparatus become dependent upon the intellectual elites to provide the expertise of what everything means.

But do these people who participate in politics -- but what do you do with the people who only participate in politics only as citizens?

In terms of elections, the old partisans of both parties, the party pro who have devoted their lives to trying to understand politics in terms of mobilizing the people, were no longer needed once partisan appeals could be marketed just like any other commodity. Both political parties have benefited from the kind of predictability made possible by the incorporation of scientific professionalism in the organizing and shaping of campaigns and elections.

In addition, both parties have enforced political correctness as the ground of understanding civil society, public policy, law, and bureaucracy itself. Before the end of the 20th century, a new kind of iron law of politics happened. There are red states, and there are blue states, and then there are handful of purple or battleground states.

Political conflict can be contained by focusing on the battleground states. Elections were understood in terms of division rather than unification. And it became almost impossible for any candidate to appeal to the electorate on behalf of a common good.

That's not surprising. Because positivism was rejected and -- as was any other understanding of meaning of the common good.

The political parties no longer establish a meaningful link between the people and the government. Party patronage has been replaced with bureaucratic patronage, and a professional elite has established itself as a vital center between the people and the government.

It's all true, right? It's about to get really important.

PAT: And it's already incredibly insightful.

GLENN: Yes, it is. I mean, this guy is brilliant.

PAT: It's deep, but it's --

GLENN: John Marini, he is brilliant.

PAT: It's really insightful.

GLENN: I do not need think tanks, because we need some do tanks.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: And I avoid think tanks like the plague because I just don't -- I see them churning out papers that are meaningless.

PAT: Besides think tanks avoid us as well.

GLENN: Yes. This is -- this is -- this is from Claremont.

And this is -- this has to be understood if we're going to take our country back.

PAT: Yes.

GLENN: Okay. So listen to this. You know, let me take a quick break because the next section -- the next section talks about why constitutionalists, conservatives, those -- basically it says, basically, Glenn, everything you've done in the last ten years, worthless.

PAT: Oh, good.

GLENN: And it explains why my gut has been saying for how long, would he give you to stop using the word "conservative." We've got to stop talking about guys in powdered wigs. We got to find a new way to present history. Would he give you to stop talking about, "Hey, we need another Reagan." And why Donald Trump's slogan, "Make America great again," appeals to the older generation, but there are zero people who are millennials who are voting for him.

PAT: Very few.

GLENN: Very few. So we'll get into that here in a second.

And, again, this guy likes Donald Trump. I think likes Donald Trump. But he's explaining why he's doing so well and why we're not, if you believe in the Constitution.

[break]

GLENN: John Marini, who I think is a Donald Trump fan, in an article from Claremont.org -- Donald Trump and the American Crisis, this is a must-read for everybody who believes in the Constitution because it is why our argument is failing.

In the popular election, arousing rhetorical defense of a political candidate is nearly impossible when those who have held political office as an attained social respectability are unable to praise the candidate. In the attempt to evaluate Donald Trump, liberals have judged him from the perspective of post modern culture, labeling him a reactionary racist, a nationalist, and a xenophobe.

Conservatives have not objected to this post modern characterization of Trump, they have simply tried to add a conservative twist by seeking to revive the old language of character, virtue, and vices, as though this language still has any public or political meaning.

Did you hear that?

As if character, virtue, vices has any public or political meaning. Unable to politicize a language that no longer resonates, even with the Libertarian or economic conservatives, their moral judgments can -- listen to this -- their moral judgments can only be interpreted by the general population in terms of self-interest.

How many times have we heard people say, "Well, you're only doing this because of, whatever our self-interest is." And we look at each other and say, "Are you kidding me? The beating we're getting for this." But that's the popular refrain. He's making the point, the reason why is because people do not connect to character, virtues, or even vices anymore.

This is not -- was not always the case in American politics. A political discourse once existed that understood itself in terms of principles of right, and the stewards of public office were once judged by nonpartisan standards that presupposed virtue such as honesty, integrity, character, and honor. Those are now a thing of the past.

It was an agreement on the need for such virtues that made it possible to entrust those offices to political partisans and to distinguish theoretical and practical reason or prudance. While it was possible to agree on an abstract principle, it was also possible to disagree on the practical way those principles were to be accommodated with respect to contemporary circumstances.

Moreover, a public language still existed that made it possible to agree on what kind of public and private behavior was praiseworthy or blameworthy.

This is what's happening, gang.

But that old language was dependent on a reasonable and objective understanding of virtue and vice. Such language eludes us now, in an age where subjective values have replaced public and private virtue.

Subjective values.

And when principles are merely subjective policy preferences that are defined and defended simply by being non-negotiable.

Let's see. Although it's easy to blame Trump for politicizing the personal by ridiculing those who seek and hold public office, this is his way of connecting with people who would become mere spectators, not citizens, when it comes to Washington politics. Perhaps he did so because there had been no honest evaluation of Washington that originated in Washington. No policy ever really fails. Private corruption never arises to the level of public corruption, let alone is punished. No officeholder of significance has been held personally responsible for their behavior since Watergate.

Ironically, it has taken a reality television star, one who knows the difference between the real and imagined --I think he's giving him too much credit there -- to make reality a political issue with respect to Washington.

Indeed in recent years, Washington has presented itself as a kind of reality show. It is difficult to distinguish what is real from the way it is spun. Benghazi is one example of the unwillingness of the Washington establishment to announce deception in a political matter. In our post Machiavellian age, which is open to every kind of novelty, we are faced with a new kind of incredulity, one that prevents men from believing in the old things which they no longer have any experience of.

So you can't -- you -- you don't believe in anything anymore because you haven't seen it for so long. And it's been destroyed by academia. It has become far easier for modern man to accept change as something normal, almost natural. What has become difficult to understood, let alone preserve are things that are unchanging or eternal.

History understood in terms of the ideal of progress and politics, economic, science, and technology, has made change or the new, seem almost inevitable. As a result, the desire for the newest has become almost irresistible.

He then goes into how Lincoln brought together, at the Cooper Union speech, where he said, "What is a conservative? What does it mean to be a conservative? Are we conservatives, or are we revolutionaries?" And he made the point that we're both, that you have to go back and reject what the fathers did, while weighing what they did as good and what parts are bad.

So, yes, we want to conserve what our Founders did. But we also are revolutionaries because we have to now go back and say, "This part of it is bad."

So he was asking, "You can't be -- he was saying, you cannot be a conservative and -- and -- and serve the future, unless you're using reason to be able to go back and look through the eyes of reason and virtue, to see, this is good. This is bad. I love this. Let's conserve or preserve this. And let's take this out."

In contemporary politics, both liberals and conservatives are necessarily now open to the new. But in many of the most important ways, they have rejected the old policies of the Fathers. True, conservatives have not yet seen fit to denounce the Fathers. But how much of the legacy of the Fathers do they still find defensible because of academia?

Lincoln was aware that the only proper defense of the tried and the true of tradition was a defense of the unchanging principles of political right understood in terms of an unchanging human nature.

This presupposed distinction between theoretical and practical reason, which made it possible to distinguish unchanging principles from policies that must change.

This understanding assumed the benevolence of nature and nature's God, as well as the capacity of human reason to comprehend and impose those rational limits on human freedom that are necessary to ensure human happiness. It is only if the old can also be defended as the good that conservatism or the tried-and-true can remain a living thing.

The historous understanding of freedom purports to reveal that nature itself is tyrannical and has attempted the self-destruction of philosophic reason by liberating the creative individual from the chains imposed by nature, nature's God, nature's law, and nature's reason.

Identity is something that must be freely chosen and self-created by the individual alone. And it must be defended by a government and a law in civil society. Social institutions dependent on the old morality have become intellectually indefensible. In terms of contrary, social, and political thought, it is good -- it is the good understood as the old that is no longer defensible. And its political defense has therefore become unattainable.

The most controversial aspect of Trump's campaign is his slogan, "Make America great again," because it goes to the heart of the problem. Trump's view presupposes that the old America was good and establishes the conditions for greatness. But is it true, or is America something to be ashamed of as the protesters against Trump have insisted, having accepted all of the teachings of the post modern cultural intellectuals?

Trump's defense of the old America goes unrecognized by conservatives, either because they have succumbed to the post modern narrative, or because Trump is unable to make an intellectual case for the old America.

It is possible that the Trump phenomena cannot be understood merely by trying to make sense of Trump himself, but rather, it is the seriousness of the need for Trump that must be understood in order to make sense of his candidacy. Those most likely to be receptive of Trump are those who believe America is in the midst of a great crisis in terms of its economy, it's chaotic civil society, its political corruption, and the ability to defend any kind of tradition or way of life derived from that tradition, because of the transformation of its culture by the intellectual elites.

This sweeping cultural transformation occurred almost completely outside of the political process of mobilizing public opinion and political majority.

Understand what he's saying? Our culture was transformed, and you had nothing to do with it. And that's what people are feeling.

I have nothing -- I don't agree with that. America is good. But you can't defend it anymore.

We haven't even learned how to defend it with new language. The American people themselves did not participate or consent to the wholesale undermining of their way of life which the government and bureaucracy helped to facilitate by undermining those institutions of civil society that were dependent upon a public defense of the old morality.

To be clear, the seriousness of the need does not mean that the need can be satisfied perhaps even by Lincoln, let alone a Trump.

That's frightening. That is frightening.

Trump has established his candidacy on the basis of an implicit understanding that America is in the midst of a crisis. Those who oppose him deny the seriousness of the crisis and see Trump himself as the greatest danger.

Well, I know there's five -- there's four in this room right now that understand this. And I think there's a great number of people in our audience that understand this.

Here again, this is why -- the Trump people have to understand. This is what -- we are with you on a lot of it.

We are concerned because I don't think Donald Trump has the intellectual firepower to even understand what this is saying.

PAT: Yeah. Those two things are not mutually exclusive.

GLENN: They're not.

PAT: You can believe we're in crisis and just believe he's not the guy to fix it.

GLENN: Yes. Right.

Here, again, Trump's success will depend on his ability to articulate the ground of the common good that is still rooted in the past, a common good established by a government that protects the rights of its citizens in a constitutional matter.

I don't think he's going to be able to do that.

Trump may or may not succeed in becoming president of the United States. And all those who have a stake in preserving Washington as it now exists are his enemies, and the public that is drawn to him is fickle. Much will depend upon the ability of the established order, which has authority and respectability on its side to erode the trust that Trump has built with the constituency that he has created.

In any case, the need that brought Trump to the fore will not disappear with a possible Trump demise.

He has addressed this issue when no one else would. And it is the need for political rule to be reanimated in a way that allows public opinion, understood to arise in the creation of constitutional majorities to establish the legitimacy of politics, policy, and laws, in a matter compatible with the rule of law and the common good. That requires revitalizing the meaning of citizenship and reaffirming the sovereignty of the people and the nation.

It also requires the restoration of the link between the people and the political branches of the government so both can become defenders of the Constitution and the country.

That's from the Claremont Institute. There is a lot to digest. Anybody who is serious about fixing the country and helping the country needs to read that.

STU: It's a hearty meal right there.

JEFFY: Darn right it is.

GLENN: There's days of stuff to feast on in that. John Marini is the name.

STU: Yeah. I was looking back at his archives at the Claremont. And he wrote an article in 2012: America has a problem, not because of our Constitution, but because constitutionalism as a theoretical doctrine is no longer meaningful in our politics.

That's in 2012.

GLENN: How did I not know this guy? Can you reach out to him and find out if he listens or hates us or likes us? I would like to talk to him.

STU: I start at the hate.

JEFFY: Start at the hate. I know. That's a good place to start.

STU: And then be pleasantly surprised.

GLENN: So reach out to him. I'd like to talk to him.

STU: Sure.

Featured Image: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks on during a campaign rally at the Prescott Valley Event Center, October 4, 2016 in Prescott Valley, Arizona. (Photo Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.