The #1 Journalist Targeted for Anti-Semitism on the Internet Talks With Glenn

Ben Shapiro holds many titles, awards and distinctions --- editor-in-chief, author, attorney --- but perhaps his latest is the most compelling. Shapiro was recently named the number one journalistic target of anti-Semitism on the internet.

"I was always of the opinion that the vast, you know, anti-Semitic left was a much bigger threat, with regard to anti-Semitism, than the right," Shapiro said. "Virtually all of the anti-Semitism I received this year was from the alt-right. You know, that came as a shock to me."

According to an Anti-Defamation League survey, about 20,000 anti-Semitic tweets were directed at American journalists since March of 2016. Eight thousand of those were at Shapiro.

Unswayed by the hatred, Shapiro remains as focused and committed as ever to conservative principles. His new book --- True Allegiance --- is available now for pre-order and at bookstores everywhere next week.

Read below or listen to the full segment for answers to these steadfast questions:

• What gives Ben hope in millennials?

• Why could Ben's new book be a history book very soon?

• What's Steve Bannon's scam?

• Does Trump even care about being president?

• What does Ben wake up every morning thinking about?

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

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

GLENN: Ben Shapiro. Welcome to the program, sir. How are you?

BEN: Hey, doing pretty well. How are you?

GLENN: Pretty good.

So we find out now that it is indeed a Jew, Ben Shapiro, that has been torching Donald Trump. They were right all along. They were right all along, Ben.

BEN: Yeah. If only they had known I was an international banker, this would have changed everything.

GLENN: That's right.

BEN: It is amazing how all of the people who foisted Donald Trump on us in the primaries are now insisting that anyone who says that Donald Trump was a bad candidate from the beginning is at fault here. If only we had jumped on the Trump train sooner, then he would be losing by presumably by six points, instead of by eight.

GLENN: Right.

BEN: Everybody is preparing for the post-election fallout. The people who timed themselves to this electrical fire, more than anybody else. They're already prepping Trump TV. And I look forward to the lineup, including, you know, some of our good friends who will presumably be appearing shortly.

I mean, Trump debuted Trump TV in the middle of the debate last night. And it's clear that's what this rigging talk is about, by the way. This whole routine is not designed to win any votes. No, independent voter across the country is going, "Well, you know, if Trump says it's rigged, that means I'm going to vote for that guy." This is just all about the coalition of the dispossessed. It's about creating a grievance culture where people think that the real reason Trump lost wasn't because he's the worst major candidate in presidential history. That the real reason he lost is because there are all these media people and evil pollsters and evil voting fraud gurus and the Never Trumpers who combine to stop him. And the only way that you're going to be able to fight back against those people is by paying 10.99 a month to watch Laura Ingram talk to Sean Hannity about the wonders of Donald Trump.

GLENN: So, Ben, how does this actually shape up at the end? Because he is not going away. As you said, during the debate two nights ago, he was debuting Trump TV. The BBC even tweeted that. Are we watching the beginning of Trump TV? It was clear that was the prototype broadcast of what was coming.

And he's not going away. And the reason why he hit Hillary as hard as he did was -- was not to expand his base, which he had to do. It was to make sure that his base was die-hard for him. They are going to say that it was rigged. They're going to blame it on the G.O.P. They're going to blame it on the media. They're going to blame it on people like you, people like me. And a good portion of those people are going to believe that from -- from now until the end of time.

BEN: Yeah, and that's a scam. That was Steve Bannon's scam, you know, when he moved over from Breitbart. I said it immediately. I'm admiring him. That Bannon is too smart not to have a backup plan. His backup plan is if Trump loses, they convert, you know, a million or 2 million of the big Trump fans into the a subscriber base for some sort of TV network. That was always the plan here.

I mean, Trump is not a great businessman. He's a great branding magnate. His brand is ruined internationally because of all the things he's done inside of this election cycle. But that doesn't mean he can't make a lot of money off of the die-hards. They're attempting to increase the number of die-hards here by suddenly narrowing all the Tea Party language that Trump despised at the time, but suddenly he's a Tea Partier, because they're trying to grab on to that audience, hold them tight, and then claim the real reason that people have moved away from him is not because he's not conservative enough, not because he has no values. The reason that people moved away from him is of course because he's just too tough and we're too wimpy to really take the fight to the enemy.

GLENN: So with -- with Steve Bannon who is -- and you worked for him for years, or worked with him for years. One of the more despicable men alive. Would you agree?

BEN: Yeah. I'm not a Steve Bannon fan.

GLENN: Yeah. Okay.

BEN: Yeah, he's a bad guy.

GLENN: Right. A really bad guy. He is -- he is -- he will use -- I don't know if he believes in the alt-right, but he is certainly willing to use the alt-right for fuel.

This is going to be a very bad chemistry lab experiment that that could blow the conservative movement sky-high. How do we navigate around this? How do we -- how do you expose what's coming and what they're going to be doing?

BEN: I mean, the only thing that we can do is, of course, tell the truth about what is going on. And this is sort of the final con in what has been a con of a campaign.

But beyond that, I think that we also have to make clear, some of the stuff that you've been saying, Glenn, I think has been useful in this respect. And I've been trying to say the same thing.

My hard feelings are not with the people who feel like they have to vote for Donald Trump in order to stop Hillary Clinton. I totally understand that logic.

GLENN: Correct. I do too.

BEN: You know, I wake up every morning trying to figure out for myself on a personal level, is that logic that predominates over other logic that suggests you can't vote for this guy.

GLENN: Hang on. Before you say anymore. Was there a time -- any time at all in the first ten minutes a couple of nights ago on the debate when you heard her talk about the Constitution, the Supreme Court, the Second Amendment, and abortion, that before he started talking, that you said, "I've -- I have to consider voting for Donald Trump. She is awful."

BEN: Yeah. Pretty much every time she opens her mouth, I have to consider voting for Trump. And I think that that's true for virtually everybody who considers themselves Never Trump.

GLENN: Correct. I agree. And I think that's why both of us -- all of us, we do not condemn anyone who is voting for Donald Trump. We get it -- we totally get it.

BEN: Right. Exactly.

GLENN: Unless you're part of the alt-right -- you know, when you had 16 candidates in front of you, I don't understand that.

BEN: Right. Even if you had 16 others in front of you, but you weren't following the news that closely, and all you saw was sort of the headlines that he's going to be a fighter.

GLENN: Yeah. I agree.

BEN: But somebody who backed him because you're sort of a nationalist/populist and you want that sort of constitutional conservatism that's always driven the Republican Party or has since the Reagan era, then that's the part that I don't understand.

I think that what you're seeing is sort of a preemptive strike from a lot of the Trumpkins, the Bannons of the world, saying, "Look, we know we're going to go down in flames here, but we have to make it seem as though people like Beck and Shapiro and people who aren't going to vote for Trump are sneering at you, like they're looking down their nose at you for voting Trump. I'm not looking down my nose at anybody. I've made a personal calculation. I've never said to anybody, "I'm encouraging you not to vote for Donald Trump."

I have said that, "Here's my -- you know, here's calculation, why I'm not voting for Donald Trump." I think that Washington takes the heart out of the Republican Party over the last year alone is good evidence that he's going to do much worse over the next eight years and pervert the Republican Party into the Steve Bannon alt-right, and that is something that I'm not going to stand around for. But, you know, that said, I understand the differing risk assessments that people have.

GLENN: Sure.

BEN: The civil war is entirely a creation of the Bannon/Trump brigade. They want the civil war. Neither you nor I want the civil war. We would like to see us come together and actually fight the left. Listen, the reason that I opposed Trump in the primaries because I thought he's an agent of the left. I still think that he's leftist in his heart.

GLENN: Yeah. I do too. You know, I don't think you meant that literally. But there are some -- and I think you could make a pretty strong case that Bill Clinton, you know, called him up a week before and was like, "Hey, Don, I know you're thinking about it. You should do it because, you know, it will be good for your brand. And you'll be able to have fun. And, you know, you'll be able to clean up those crazies on the right."

BEN: Look, I don't think Trump is the plan. But if he were, I'm not sure he would be acting much differently than he has been for the past few months.

GLENN: Correct. Correct.

BEN: I think he's -- I think Trump is an ad hoc guy who has never really thought about politics very much. What he does think is about (inaudible). He has no ties to the Constitution. He has no ties to conservatism. And so he's this sort of reactionary who doesn't like some of the stuff that he saw from Barack Obama. That's all.

GLENN: So let's just assume that the polls don't change -- because he didn't have a game-changing debate. And so let's say the polls are accurate, which is still an if. And Donald Trump loses. We know what he'll do. He'll start Trump TV. There will be an alt-right party that grows out of this. Let's talk about, how do we come together enough to stop Hillary Clinton? Because that's -- that's going to be the important part. And I will tell you, because some show hosts have said, "I will never come together with you. I will condemn you for you, you know, losing the vote for Donald Trump." So how do we get together and stand together as a bloc to block Hillary if she wins?

BEN: You know, I think that we're going to have to ignore the flames and arrows. Unfortunately, this capitulation -- there's a phrase in the Jewish prayers -- (cutting out) I let my soul (cutting out) -- I think there's going to be have to be some of that. (cutting out)

GLENN: Hang. Hang on. Ben, I don't know if you just walked into another room or something, but you broke up. Can you tell us -- we lost you at the -- at the Jewish prayer.

BEN: No.

Yeah. Can you hear me now? Is that better?

GLENN: Yes, yes.

BEN: Okay. So there's a part of the Jewish prayer service where it talks about, you know, let my soul be as dust to people who criticize me. And I think that we're going to have to adopt that, that idea. Because we're going to get hit with blame for Hillary, because everybody who selected Trump in the primaries and backed him so ardently, they have to shift the blame somewhere. We're just going to have to keep the focus. We're going to have to ignore it. We're just going to have to keep the focus, where it ought to be, which is on attacking the left, attacking Hillary Clinton.

And, look, I think that the recriminations are going to last longer than they did after 2012.

GLENN: Right.

BEN: It is amazing. I don't remember after 2012, the whole Republican -- a large swath of the Republican Party turning on the Trump people, who didn't show up for Romney. And saying, "It's your fault Romney wasn't elected." But the Trump people, some of them, are going to do it to us this time. But, you know, I think that -- people have short memories. And the only thing that's going to matter is, how do we stop Hillary's agenda? So alliances of conveniences to the Republican Party -- has shown are not foreign to the Republican Party or a lot of people who are in it.

STU: Ben, this is Stu, and it's very rare that we have award-winning journalists on the program. You have won the award for the number one journalistic target of anti-Semitism on the internet. Congratulations.

BEN: Thank you. I thank God. I thank my neighbor --

(laughter)

STU: Did you want to give -- I -- you have to look at this -- I mean, A, it must be just a nightmare to even sign on to Twitter or any of these places these days with this stuff going on. Not only were you the number one target of anti-Semitism. It was by a really, really large margin.

GLENN: I know what it's like, Ben, to sign on for me. The things that they say -- my wife blew a gasket the other day. I just got an email, and she said, you are never talking to another person in the press ever, ever again. I don't care what it is. I don't care what happens. You're never talking to another member of the press.

And I can't imagine what it's like to be you, with the anti-Semitism that is going on. How are you dealing with it?

BEN: You know, at a certain point, you start to tune it out because you have to. But on the day of your baby's birth and you're getting notes from, you know, people who write for Breitbart, you know, that are essentially racists. And then you get other notes from people that are -- just pictures of gas chambers and talk about cockroaches. And I hope the four of you die in a gas chamber. That kind of stuff. At a certain point, it moves from the mildly irritating to the actually upsetting.

I mean, I've received -- according to that ADL survey, there were something like 20,000 anti-Semitic tweets directed at American journalists since March. And I was the recipient of nearly 8,000 of those.

So, you know, at a certain point it's kind of amazing that there are that many people that think they're that important in their lives that they're going to do that. And my feeling has always been that if you're pissing off the mouth-breathing Jew hater, then you're doing something right.

So it didn't bother me on any moral level. But I will tell you that it's pretty clear that it's coordinated. I mean, there are certain spike points where people did it based on the news cycle. There were a couple of accounts that were taken off of Twitter. By the way, I'm not an advocate of taking people off Twitter for anti-Semitism. I retweet these people because I think it's important to expose them.

But there are a couple who were taken off of Twitter when Milo Yiannopoulos was booted off of Twitter, which I didn't advocate for. When that happened, the amount of anti-Semitism in my feed dropped by at least 50 percent.

So, you know, when people ask why are you concerned about the Breitbart/alt-right movement, why are you worried Trump, you know, being kind of confused with that, well, it's because the major players in that movement are a problem. I mean, they believe some pretty terrible things. And our fellow travelers (phonetic) are people who believe even worse things.

GLENN: Ben, I -- I have to tell you, we've been a fan of yours for a very long time. But this -- this last year has really shown people's colors. And I don't know if the -- the people who read you or listen to you on the radio understand the difficulty that you have put up. And anybody who has taken this stand. It's a very, very brave thing to do.

And we've been watching you for the last year. And we are -- we're really impressed. Really impressed. Can I switch topics? Go ahead.

BEN: Yeah, that's high praise come from you obviously. Because of the people who have taken a lot of hits in this election cycle, you're definitely number one on that list. So it's been brutal, and I'm just hoping that after this election cycle, we can move into a period where people actually go back to principle instead of sort of the tribal fight that they've wanted to engage in.

GLENN: Yeah. Can you hang for a minute. Because you also have started another project that I think is really interesting. And I'd love for you to share with the audience. Do you have time to stay?

BEN: Sure. That would be great.

GLENN: Okay. Great.

[break]

GLENN: Ben Shapiro is with us. Ben, you've written a novel. You want to tell us about it?

BEN: Sure. That would be great. The novel is called True Allegiance. And it sort of takes all of the political crises we're facing in the country and ratcheting them up by a factor of about 50 percent. And it talks about what the dissolution of the country would look like.

And the reason that I wrote it as fiction as opposed to writing a sort of nonfiction book as to what the future looks like, is mainly because -- and, Glenn, I know you've been a proponent of this for a long time, Andrew Breitbart, my mentor, or my former mentor, was promoting this as well, the idea that culture is upstream of politics.

And if you tell it in a story, what you can't necessarily say in nonfiction, you know, here's one possible future, here's how bad things are on everything from the border to government's encroachment on land rights to race relations in the inner city, then people are more likely to read it and take it seriously, oddly enough, than they are to take a non-fiction book about the same topic seriously. Plus, you end up with more readers.

Ayn Rand did more for capitalism probably than Milton Friedman did, just because there are so many more people who read Atlas Shrugged. So the idea was to take all of these crises, stack them up one on another, and say, "Okay. How close are we really to everything collapsing?" And I have to say, I wrote the thing maybe a year and a half ago I started writing it. I completed it probably a year ago. And since then, half of the stuff in the book came true. So it turns out that I thought it was all 30 years away, and it may only be about 15 years away, which is a little scary.

GLENN: I did -- I'll tell you, I did the same thing.

We published -- what was it? Eye of Moloch. I don't remember what it was. Oh, it was the NSA stuff. The Eye of Moloch was a novel that I wrote. And it was about the spying on American citizens and how the NSA was going to do this and everything else. And I wrote it. It took about a year and a half to write.

And we put it out. And the day it came out was the day that I think the WikiLeaks story broke. We were like, "Good heavens, man. This is supposed to be in the future." It's amazing.

BEN: Oh, yeah. It is incredible how the future has accelerated. I mean, all of the worst fictional things that I talk about in True Allegiance, again, a lot of them came true. I wrote about major race riots in an American city and the attempt by the race rioters to kind of mainstream their politics into the politics of the upper echelon of the city. And obviously that's now been happening in pretty much every major Democrat-controlled city in America.

GLENN: Hang on. Hang on. Hang on. I have to take a quick break. Come back and just tell us the things that are in the book. And what the solutions are, if there are any. I'd like to hear your version of what's coming in America. Next, Ben Shapiro.

[break]

GLENN: Ben Shapiro, the biggest target for anti-Semitism in America today. He's an amazingly brave man. And a -- a brilliant, brilliant mind. And I'm glad he's on our side because I'd hate him to see him use his power for evil. Ben Shapiro is with us. He has a new book -- is it out this week?

BEN: Yeah. It's coming out next week.

GLENN: Okay.

BEN: So you can preorder it now.

JEFFY: True Allegiance.

GLENN: True Allegiance. Tell me the scenarios that you put in the book that you thought were 30 years away.

BEN: So one I talk about at length is a major race riot breaking out in a major American city and the government, led by presidents of the United States, essentially pushing the notion that the -- that the government -- the local government should give into the race rioters and allow them to take leadership of the local government.

And obviously, we've seen things along those lines from the presidents of the United States. I talk about precipitous pullout from a country. In this case, Afghanistan, that leads to the rise of a major terrorist group that hooks up with Iran to start pursuing nuclear terrorism.

And, you know, it turned out, I had the wrong country. The precipitous pullout from Iraq is what caused the rise in ISIS. But the idea that precipitous pullout causing rise in a major terrorist group, I wrote that before the rise of ISIS.

I talked about the idea of raids across the southern border from Mexican drug cartels, causing tensions on the border such that the government of Texas has to start disobeying the federal government in attempts to enforce the border, causing serious conflict between the state of Texas and the president of the United States. Obviously, you can see that beginning to materialize now.

GLENN: Ben, this isn't 30 years in the future. This was Wednesday.

(laughter)

BEN: Exactly. That's why I have to tell it now because it will be history --

GLENN: Right. It's a history book very soon. So how do -- how do -- I mean, I don't want you to tell me the whole story. But is there a solution to these problems that you see? Are you in this novel, are you proposing solutions?

BEN: Well, there are some solutions. And I think the number one solution that I sort of propose is that everybody start relying on basic human decency, which I know sounds ridiculous. But that's what we've come down to in this country. Is, are we going to have a country founded on individual decency, or are we going to have a country founded on everybody taking advantage of the situation at hand?

But the book does -- you know, I don't want to give away the ending of the book. But I will say that not everything is resolved peachy keen. Because I'm not sure that everything is resolved so peachy keen easily. I think these are deep abiding conflicts. And I think things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. But people of principle are going to have to ban together because tough times are coming.

If we do that, then I think we're going to be able to rebuild from some pretty bad things that are about to happen. But I think that it may be -- I mean, not to be a pessimist. I think it's late to forestall some of the worst things that are already happening from taking further material effect.

GLENN: Ben, I was talking to a guy -- yesterday I was having a meeting. And a pretty famous commentator -- and he just stopped by the studios to say hi. And we were having a private conversation. And he said to me, "I no longer believe people are good." He said, "I used to." He said, "I used to believe" -- he said, "I've heard you a million times, you know, you put good against evil, side by side, and Americans will always pick good." He said, "I don't think so."

Do you?

BEN: I think that unless there's a serious revival of morality in the country, I agree with your friend. And I think, by the way, our Founders didn't believe that people were naturally good.

I think our Founders, they said in Federalist 51, they believe that people are capable of good. They're capable of evil. That's why you can't have a government that's overpowering because the people who run it could be evil. And the only way that you're actually going to protect liberty is with a decent citizenry.

Obviously, the Republican Party -- conservatives have done a very poor job of maintaining the culture, maintaining the educational system, maintaining the media. And a lot of these values have dripped down all the way into -- you know, what was shocking to me about this election was, is that I didn't realize how far a lot of this had dripped down into our own party.

GLENN: Yeah.

BEN: You always like to think of yourself as sort of you're on the side of the angels and people on your own team aren't part of the tribal problem. And then you look around and you realize, some of the people on your own team are not really on your team.

And that was -- that came as a rude awakening to me. You mentioned the anti-Semitism thing a little bit earlier. I was always of the opinion that the vast, you know, anti-Semitic left was a much bigger threat, with regard to anti-Semitism, than the right. I really had never -- I'm a guy who wears the Yamaka every day. I had never seen anti-Semitism from the right. Virtually all of the anti-Semitism I received this year was from the alt-right. You know, that came as a shock to me.

I think that we're going to need to re-inculcate values from the most basic level with our kids because people just don't know anything about, not only basic economics and basic politics, but basic decency. Because in the end, politics is just a reflection of values. When you have an entire generation of voters who are looking at Bernie Sanders as some sort of savior and socialism is a good, moral thing. And that's -- that's our fault. I mean, that's because we haven't done enough. Because my parents' generation hasn't done enough. I have to do a better job as a father in order to rectify the breach. And that's going to be a long process. That's not something that happens overnight. I don't think that we're one election away from restoring the country. I think we're one generation away from restoring the country. The idea that Reagan said, we're -- liberty is always one generation away from disappearing. You know, I think that liberty is always one generation from restoration, but it's going to be a hard generation (inaudible).

GLENN: How old are you, Ben?

BEN: I'm 32.

GLENN: So you're a millennial. How much faith do you have in the millennials?

BEN: I'm hoping for the millennials. I think the millennials are bored. I think the millennials don't pay a lot of attention to politics. I think they're dispossessed. They don't like all of the institutions. So there's not the same faith in the government and the same faith in the media that you see with the Boomers.

So there's an opening there. I think they're susceptible to basic reason, but they have to be -- they have to be pushed off the moral superiority they feel. And I speak at probably 30 colleges a year. And when I speak at these colleges, the first thing that I do is I immediately take the feelings question off the table, by basically saying, "You think you're a good person because you believe these things politically. Here's why what you believe politically is actually immoral and it hurts people."

And it's an argument who are young have never heard before. Because they've grown up in a millennia that's told them that the way to assure your ascent to political heaven is just by voting Democrat or by saying socialism is a great system of redistribution or by talking about white privilege.

When you say, look, the real way to be a good person is to actually be a good person. I agree with you. When young people are presented with the argument for good, then they will become more good. But if they're never presented with the argument for good and they're just told that politics is politics and everybody is corrupt and the whole system is rigged and nobody is good in the end and it's get yours at the table before somebody takes it away from you -- or (cuts out) the ultimate sacrifice that you can make is voting somebody else's money away, then you're going to go with the side that gives you a feeling of moral superiority. And failing to recognize that on the part of the right has been a mistake.

GLENN: Do you think that -- do you see when you're speaking out in universities, when you really start to teach some of these things, do you see the millennials at all get a little pissed that they've kind of been robbed by -- by people who have been teaching them garbage? Are they ticked at all?

BEN: Yeah, there's definitely a backlash that's building. I mean, I get probably somewhere between 50 to 100 emails every day. And all from millennials. People who are my age or younger. Who are excited that -- who have watched -- there are these videos on YouTube that have started to go viral, called Ben Shapiro thug life videos. Where somebody took like my kind of destroying somebody in the debate. Then they put sunglasses on me and an Obey hat on me.

It's really ridiculous stuff. But it's become very popular with young folks. And I get a lot of emails from young people saying, I was never even exposed to basic arguments or moral arguments. And if you speak dispassionately about what is good and true, then I think the young people resonate to that. It's actually one of the areas where I do have hope.

I speak on enough college campuses that I have hope for young people. I actually have less hope for some of the Baby Boomers than I do for people who are my own age and younger. I think a lot of the people, my own age and younger, are still malleable. They don't know a lot. They haven't been taught a lot. And when they're made aware of arguments they've never heard before, they're kind of shocked by it. They're actually vulnerable in that way because they're being blind-sided by the truth.

GLENN: Ben Shapiro. Always good to talk to you, sir. Thank you so much. And thanks for all your hard work and taking such a hard stand. Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of dailywire.com. Thank you so much, Ben.

BEN: Really appreciate it, Glenn.

Featured Image: Ben Shapiro on radio

Ryan: Bernie at the disco

Photo by Sean Ryan

Saturday at El Malecón, we waited for the Democratic socialist. He had the wild white hair like a monk and the thick glasses and the booming voice full of hacks and no niceties.

Photo by Sean Ryan

The venue had been redecorated since we visited a few nights before when we chatted with Castro. It didn't even feel like the same place. No bouncy castle this time.

Photo by Sean Ryan

A black curtain blocked the stage, giving the room a much-needed depth.

Behind the podium, two rows of mostly young people, all holding Bernie signs, all so diverse and picturesque and strategic.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Lots of empty seats. Poor showing of Bernie fans for a Saturday afternoon. At one point, someone from Bernie's staff offered us seats in the audience, as if eager to fill up those seats however possible.

There were about 75 people in the dancehall, a place built for reunions and weddings and all those other festivities. But for a few hours on Saturday, August 10, 2019, it turned serious and wild for "Unidos Con Bernie."

Photo by Sean Ryan

People had been murmuring about Sanders' speech from the night before at Wing Ding. By all appearances, he had developed a raving lust to overthrow Trump. He had even promised, with his wife just out of view, that, were he elected, he'd end white nationalism in America. For good.

El Malecón lacked its previous air of celebration. It had undertaken a brooding yet defiant spirit. Media were sparse. Four cameras faced the podium. Three photographers, one of whom had been at nearly all the same events as us. A few of the staffers frowned at an empty row of chairs, because there weren't that many chairs to begin with.

At the entrance, Bernie staff handed out headsets that translated English to Spanish or Spanish to English, depending on who the speaker was. The translators stood behind the bar, 20 feet from the podium, and spoke into a lip-ribbon microphone.

Bernie's staff was probably the coolest, by far. As in, they looked cool and acted stylishly. Jeans. Sandals. Careworn blazers. Tattoos. One lad had a black Levi's shirt with lush crimson roses even though he wasn't a cowboy or a ranch-hand. Mustaches. Quirky hats. A plain green sundress. Some of them wore glasses, big clunking frames.

Photo by Sean Ryan

The outfits were distinctly Bernie. As Bernie as the tie-dyed "BERNIE" shirts for sale outside the club. Or later, at the Hilton, like a Grateful Dead cassette stand.

Immigration was the theme, and everyone in the audience bore some proof of a journey. Because America offers life, freedom, and hope.

Sanders' own father emigrated from Poland to America at 17, a high school dropout who could barely speak English. As a Jew, he'd faced religious persecution.

Within one generation, Bernie Sanders' father contributed to the highest stratum of American society. In one generation, near hopelessness had transformed into Democracy, his son a congressman with a serious chance at the presidency.

Photo by Sean Ryan

That's the beauty of America. Come here broken and empty and gutted and voiceless. And, within your lifetime, you can mend yourself then become a pillar of society. Then, your son can become the President of the United States of America!

Four people gave speeches before Sanders. They took their time, excited and nervous. They putzed. Because how often do you get to introduce a presidential frontrunner?

All the native English speakers jammed their earpieces when the woman with the kind and dark energy took the stage.

Photo by Sean Ryan

She mumbled in Spanish and did not look up and said that, when her parents died, she couldn't go home for the funeral. She fought back tears. She swallowed hard to shock herself calm. And the room engulfed each silence between every word.

It felt more like a therapy session than a political rally. A grueling therapy session at that. Was that what drew people to Bernie Sanders, that deep anguish? That brisk hope? Or, rather, the cessation of it, through Sanders? And, of course, the resultant freedom? Was it what gave Sanders a saintlike ability to lead people into the realm of the confessional? Did he have enough strength to lead a revolution?

Photo by Sean Ryan

While other frontrunners hocked out money for appearances, like the studio lights, Sanders spent money on translators and ear-pieces. The impression I got was that he would gladly speak anywhere. To anyone. He had the transitory energy you can capture in the writings of Gandhi.

Photo by Sean Ryan

I'm not saying he's right or wrong — I will never make that claim, about any of the candidates, because that's not the point of this, not the point of journalism, amen — what I'm saying is he has the brutal energy of someone who can take the subway after a soiree or rant about life by a tractor or chuck it up with Sarah Silverman, surrounded wherever he goes.

Without the slightest fanfare, Sanders emerged from behind the black curtain. The woman at the podium gasped a little. The room suctioned forward when he entered. In part because he was so nonchalant. And, again. That magnetism to a room when a famous or powerful or charming person enters. Not many people have it. Not many can keep it. Even fewer know how to brace it, to cull it on demand. But several of the candidates did. One or two even had something greater.

Photo by Sean Ryan

I'll only say that Bernie had it with a bohemian fervor, like he was a monk stranded in a big city that he slowly brings to God.

"We have a President who, for the first time in my lifetime, who is a President who is a racist," he shouted. "Who is a xenophobe and anti-immigrant. Who is a sexist. Who is a religious bigot. And who, is a homophobe. And, what is very disappointing is that, when we have a President, we do not necessarily expect to agree with him, or her, on every issue. But we do believe that one of the obligations is to bring people to-geth-ah. As Americans."

Photo by Sean Ryan

After listening silently for several minutes, the audience clapped. Their sweet response felt cultish. But, then again, what doesn't feel cultish these days? So this was cultish like memes are cultish, in a striving-to-understand kind of way.

"The essence of our campaign is in fact to bring people together," he said. "Whether they're black, or white, or latino, or Native American, or Asian-American. We understand that we are Americans."

At times, this meant sharing a common humanity. Others, it had a slightly more disruptive feel. Which worked. Sometimes all we want is revolution. To be wild without recourse. To overthrow. To pass through the constraints of each day. To survive. The kind of rowdy stuff that makes for good poetry but destroys credit lines. Sanders radiated with this intensity, like a reclusive philosopher returning to society, from his cave to homes and beds and fences and maybe electricity.

Photo by Sean Ryan

But, as he says, his revolution would involve healthcare and wages and tuition, not beheadings and purges and starvation.

Seeing the Presidential candidates improvise was amazing. They did it constantly. They would turn any of their beliefs into a universal statement. And Sanders did this without trying. So he avoided doing the unbearably arrogant thing of pretending to speak like a native Guatemalan, and he looked at the group of people, and he mumbled in his cloudy accent:

"My Spanish — is not so good."

Photo by Sean Ryan

This is the same and the opposite of President Trump's Everyman way of speaking English like an American. Of speaking American.

Often, you know what Sanders will say next. You can feel it. And, anytime this happened, it brought comfort to the room.

Like, it surprised no one when he said that he would reinstate DACA on his first day in office. It still drew applause.

But other times, he expressed wild ideas with poetic clarity. And his conclusions arrived at unusual junctures. Not just in comparison to Republicans. To all of them. Bernie was the Tupac of the 2020 election. And, to him, President Trump was Suge Knight, the evil force behind it all.

"Donald Trump is an idiot," he shouted.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Everybody loved that. Everybody clapped and whooped and some even whistled like they were outside and not in a linoleum-floor dancehall.

"Go get 'em, Bernie," someone in the back shouted.

This was the only Sanders appearance with no protestors.

"Let me say this about the border," he shouted. And everybody listened to every thunking syllable. He probably could have spoken without a mic. Booming voice. Loud and clear. Huddling into that heavy Vermont slug accent.

They'll say many many things about Bernie. One being, you never had to lean forward to hear him. In person, even more so. He's less frail. More dynamic.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Despite the shoddiness of the venue, there was a sign language interpreter. Most of the rallies had a designated interpreter.

"If you work 40 hours a week you shouldn't be living in poverty," he shouted, provoking chants and applause from the audience, as if he were talking about them. Maybe he was.

An anecdote about the people at an emergency food shelf blended into the livable wage of $15 an hour. He shifted into his spiel about tuition-free college and pointed at the audience, "You're not doing well," then at the kids behind him, "they are." He craned his head sideways and back. "Do your homework," he told said.

Laughter.

Half of the kids looked like they hadn't eaten in days. Maybe it was their unusual situation, a few feet from Bernie Sanders at a stucco community center.

Before the room could settle, Sanders wove through a plan for how to cancel debt.

Did he have a solution?

Tax Wall Street, he shouted.

Photo by Sean Ryan

And he made it sound easy. "Uno dos trey," he said. "That's my Spanish for today."

A serious man, he shoved through his speech like a tank hurtling into dense jungle. He avoided many of the typical politician gimmicks. Proof that he did not practice every expression in front of a mirror. That he did not hide his accent. That he did not preen his hair. That he did not smile for a precise amount of time, depending on the audience. That he did not pretend to laugh.

Photo by Sean Ryan

He laughed when humor overtook him. But it was genuine. With none of the throaty recoil you hear in forced laughter.

"I want everyone to take a deep breath," he said. And a palpable lightness spread through the room, because a deep breath can solve a lot of problems.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Then he roused some more. "Healthcare is a human right," he shouted. "A human privilege," he shouted. He told them that he lives 50 miles from the Canadian border in Burlington, Vermont, and healthcare works better up north.

Each candidate had a bad word, and Sanders' was "corporate."

Photo by Sean Ryan

At every speech, he mentioned "corporate media" with the same distrust and unpleasantness that conservatives derive from the term "mainstream media." Another would be "fake news," as popularized by Sanders' sworn enemy. Either way it's the same media. Just different motivations that irk different people.

But the discrepancies varied. Meaning two opposing political movements disliked the same thing, but for opposite reasons.
It sounded odd, Sanders' accusation that the media were against him. The media love Bernie. I can confirm this both anecdotally and judiciously. Yes, okay, in 2016, the media appeared to have sided with Hillary Clinton. As a result, Sanders was publicly humiliated. Because Clinton took a mafioso approach to dealing with opponents, and Sanders was her only roadblock.

Imagine if a major political organization devoted part of each day to agitating your downfall. And then you fail. And who's fault is it?

Sanders wanted to know: those negative ads targeting him, who paid for them?

Photo by Sean Ryan

Corporations, of course. Corporations that hated radicals like him. And really was he so radical? He listed off the possibilities: Big pharma, insurance companies, oil companies.

Because he had become a revolutionary, to them. To many.

He said it with certainty, although he often didn't have to say it at all. This spirit of rebellion had become his brand. He would lead the wild Americans into a utopia.

But just as quickly, he would attack. Trump, as always, was the target.

He called Trump the worst president in American history.

"The fates are Yuge," he shouted.

The speech ended as informally as it had begun. And Sanders' trance over the audience evaporated, replaced by that suction energy. Everyone rushed closer and closer to the man as Neil Young's "Keep on Rockin in the Free World" blared. Sanders leaned into the podium and said, "If anyone wants to form a line, we can do some selfies."

Photo by Sean Ryan

It was like meeting Jesus for some of the people.

There he was, at El Malecón. No stage lights, no makeup, no stylist behind the curtain. Just him and his ideas and his erratic hand commotion.

Then a man holding a baby leaned in for a photo. He and Sanders chatted. And, I kid you not, the whole time the baby is staring at Bernie Sanders like he's the image of God, looking right up at him, with this glow, this understanding.

Bernie, if you're reading this, I'd like to suggest that — if this election doesn't work for you — you could be the next Pope.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Monday, Harvard Law professor and lawyer on President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team Alan Dershowitz explains the history of impeachment and its process, why the framers did not include abuse of power as criteria for a Constitutional impeachment, why the Democrats are framing their case the way they are, and what to look for in the upcoming Senate trial.

Dershowitz argued that "abuse of power" -- one of two articles of impeachment against Trump approved by House Democrats last month -- is not an impeachable act.

"There are two articles of impeachment. The second is 'obstruction of Congress.' That's just a false accusation," said Dershowitz. "But they also charge him, in the Ukraine matter, with abuse of power. But abuse of power was discussed by the framers (of the U.S. Constitution) ... the framers refused to include abuse of power because it was too broad, too open-ended.

"In the words of James Madison, the father of our Constitution, it would lead presidents to serve at the will of Congress. And that's exactly what the framers didn't want, which is why they were very specific and said a president can be impeached only for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors," he added.

"What's alleged against President Trump is not criminal," added Dershowitz. "If they had criminal issues to allege, you can be sure they would have done it. If they could establish bribery or treason, they would have done it already. But they didn't do it. They instead used this concept of abuse of power, which is so broad and general ... any president could be charged with it."

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On Friday's radio program, Bill O'Reilly joins Glenn Beck discuss the possible outcomes for the Democrats in 2020.

Why are former President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama working overtime to convince Americans they're more moderate than most of the far-left Democratic presidential candidates? Is there a chance of a Michelle Obama vs. Donald Trump race this fall?

O'Reilly surmised that a post-primary nomination would probably be more of a "Bloomberg play." He said Michael Bloomberg might actually stand a chance at the Democratic nomination if there is a brokered convention, as many Democratic leaders are fearfully anticipating.

"Bloomberg knows he doesn't really have a chance to get enough delegates to win," O'Reilly said. "He's doing two things: If there's a brokered convention, there he is. And even if there is a nominee, it will probably be Biden, and Biden will give [him] Secretary of State or Secretary of Treasury. That's what Bloomberg wants."

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On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Friday, award-winning investigative reporter John Solomon, a central figure in the impeachment proceedings, explained his newly filed lawsuit, which seeks the records of contact between Ukraine prosecutors and the U.S. Embassy officials in Kiev during the 2016 election.

The records would provide valuable information on what really happened in Ukraine, including what then-Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter were doing with Ukrainian energy company, Burisma Holdings, Solomon explained.

The documents, which the State Department has withheld thus far despite repeated requests for release by Solomon, would likely shed light on the alleged corruption that President Donald Trump requested to be investigated during his phone call with the president of Ukraine last year.

With the help of Southeastern Legal Foundation, Solomon's lawsuit seeks to compel the State Department to release the critical records. Once released, the records are expected to reveal, once and for all, exactly why President Trump wanted to investigate the dealings in Ukraine, and finally expose the side of the story that Democrats are trying to hide in their push for impeachment.

"It's been a one-sided story so far, just like the beginning of the Russia collusion story, right? Everybody was certain on Jan. 9 of 2017 that the Christopher Steele dossier was gospel. And our president was an agent of Russia. Three years later, we learned that all of that turned out to be bunk, " Solomon said.

"The most important thing about politics, and about investigations, is that there are two sides to a story. There are two pieces of evidence. And right now, we've only seen one side of it," he continued. "I think we'll learn a lot about what the intelligence community, what the economic and Treasury Department community was telling the president. And I bet the story was way more complicated than the narrative that [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Adam Schiff [D-Calif.] has woven so far."

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