Why War Veteran and Quadruple Amputee Travis Mills Is Thankful and 'Tough as They Come'

It's a love-hate relationship. While Glenn and his co-hosts love visiting with Travis Mills, retired United States Army Staff Sergeant and recalibrated warrior, it's a stark reminder of their physical shortcomings.

"We love having him here. He's the author of the book, Tough As They Come. And . . . we actually don't like having him because we always feel like the biggest weenies on the planet," Glenn said Thursday on his radio program.

RELATED: BOOM! Navy Veteran DESTROYED HILLARY CLINTON at Forum

Travis lost his arms and legs in the service of his country, but you won't hear him playing the victim.

"I go to the CrossFit gym. I really like to socialize a lot," Travis said.

When he's not at the gym, Travis travels the country sharing his inspirational message and helping other wounded war heroes. His bestselling book, Tough As They Come, was released this week in paperback. Travis additionally founded the Travis Mills Foundation, a nonprofit that benefits and assists wounded and injured veterans and their families.

Read below or watch the clip for answers to these questions:

• Would Travis go back in time and change things if he could?

• Why is Travis thankful to be taking his daughter trick-or-treating?

• What four items must be in a care package for service members overseas?

• Will Glenn, Pat or Jeffy ever make it to the gym?

• Can you get PTSD from watching a TV show?

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

GLENN: Good friend of ours is back into town. A guy who we had on about a year ago and has a great sense of humor and also has a mission in his life, I think because of what gave him a great sense of humor. Travis Mills is back in. We begin with him, right now.

(music)

GLENN: Travis Mills is back into town. We love having him here. He's the author of the book, tough as they come. And we -- we actually don't like having him. Because we always feel like the biggest weenies on the planet.

He's talking about -- he has no arms and no legs. He lost them in the service of his country. And he's just talking about swimming and going to the gym every day and how he listens to us at the gym. And we have arms and legs, and we don't even go to the gym.

PAT: Haven't seen a gym in years.

GLENN: No, uh-uh. I don't even like people named Jim.

PAT: I don't even like to drive by them.

GLENN: Right.

TRAVIS: No, I understand that. And I -- you know, I go when I'm at home. I go to the cross-fit gym. I really like to socialize a lot. They're like, come on, Travis. You got to do stuff. And I'm like, I'm kind of busy talking. So don't think -- you know, I have cool tricks. Like, check these pecks out. You know what I'm saying? I can do some things.

GLENN: You can do that. You got that going for you.

TRAVIS: I'm glad you allowed me to believe back and hang out with you some fine gentlemen.

PAT: I don't know who you're talking about --

GLENN: Yeah, he obviously has no judgment either.

So just recap your story real quick, the story of the book.

TRAVIS: Absolutely.

GLENN: And your near-death experience, in case people don't know who you are.

TRAVIS: Yeah, so I'm from Michigan originally. My mom and dad had me. I was a middle child. So they had the first one. They were like, not what we want. Second one, perfection. Third one, crap. Not Travis. But I digress.

JEFFY: That's the way it goes.

TRAVIS: After high school, I went to college. My girlfriend said she moved home. I moved home. Found out she had a boyfriend. Joined the military.

My third deployment, my wife and I were doing well. Had a house and everything out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The 82nd Airborne Division.

Third deployment came up. I decided I was going to go. I had orders to take me somewhere else. I didn't want to go somewhere else. I went on patrol two months there -- a month and a half into my deployment. You know, hit a bomb. IED. And it ripped off portions of my arms and legs.

At the bicep -- my right arm and right leg, at the knee, disintegrated and gone. Left leg snapped to the bone and left arm was blown out the wrist. But hand was still there. So I hit the ground. I radioed my LT with my left arm. I said, "Hey, six. This is four. Just hit a bomb."

My medic came up to me, started working on me. I told him, leave me alone. He just said, let me do my job. Tourniquets. Operating table. Eventually, 14 hours of surgery. Nine doctors and seven nurses put me back together, I guess in a way or got me stable. Two nurses for nine hours just pumped air into my lungs, keep me alive.

And I made it to Walter Reed on April 17th for the first time. And my wife when I first saw her, she had to sign papers to cut my right leg up higher. It wasn't that Kodak moment you would think. She had to do that. And then the next day, I told Kelsey, she walked in, I said, look, honey, you don't got to do this. Like, this is not the life you chose. I'm not the 6-3, 250-pound behemoth of a good-looking man anymore. You know, and I basically just gave her the out.

She said, "That's not how this works. We're going to do this together." And she also said, "And I want the handicapped parking." So, I mean, I get it. I get it.

PAT: So she really kept you around for Christmas time.

GLENN: She has unbelievable parking spots.

PAT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: When she said she was going to stay -- I had a little girl, six months old, who I thought would think I was a monster. But obviously I didn't realize I looked like every single toy she's been given.

GLENN: Right.

TRAVIS: Yeah, short arms, short legs, fuzzy chest. Teddy bear.

But it just came down to a choice. You know, get better. Push forward in life. Learn the difference between reminiscing and dwelling. So I reminisce the past, but I don't dwell on it.

GLENN: What's the difference?

TRAVIS: You know, I reminisce the past. I'm very thankful. I've met a lot of people, a lot of children actually, that never had the ability to have arms and legs. Never had the ability to grow up healthy and strong and to go places. And I did.

And, you know what, I can't change the fact that I got blown up. I can't change the fact that my arms and legs are gone. But what I can do is push forward every day and be thankful for that.

You know, I'm able to speak for my speaking company across the nation because of this book. And the things that it's unlocked for me, the doors it's opened. I'm able to go and tell people about perspective. And it's all about perspective.

You know, my message is never stop. You know, never give up. Never quit. Always keep going.

And I just -- you know, you got to be resilient to things. But when I look back in the past, I can be like, "Oh, well, this sucks. This is miserable. Why would I want this ever?"

But the truth is, I didn't choose it. But I choose to shape my attitude to keep going forward and being positive.

My little girl, I take her to school in the mornings. I hit the gym after that. In between that time, I'm listening to the radio. You know. Yeah. Eh. Eh. You guys.

GLENN: Eh. He's pointing to us. I'm not sure, but I think he's pointing to us.

TRAVIS: Yeah. But, you know, from this book, I'm able to you tell my story in a positive way. I don't sit there and call myself wounded.

GLENN: If you -- if you could --

PAT: What an important message for this victim culture.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I never play the victim.

PAT: That's just unbelievable. Because so many people are victims from words or Halloween costumes.

TRAVIS: I saw it at Target.

PAT: It's gotten that ridiculous now. And here you are, who have gotten blown up literally, and you've chosen to be positive about it.

GLENN: Can I ask you this? And this is a hard question to ask because nobody would ever -- you know, nobody is choosing -- you know what I want -- when I grow up, I want to go to war and have my limbs blown off. So I don't mean it that way.

TRAVIS: Oh, I understand.

GLENN: But knowing who you are and where you are now, do you regret that day?

TRAVIS: Oh, absolutely. I mean, I get asked that all the time. You know, would you go back in time with all the great things you're doing? I say absolutely I would.

PAT: Yes.

TRAVIS: I would love to take my kid and throw her in the air and catch her.

PAT: Heck, yeah.

GLENN: How would you be different today?

TRAVIS: I would probably be an E-7. Maybe be working on E-8 in the military. I'd probably have two more kids. We're working on kids now. I'm fully capable. Still works, if anybody is wondering.

GLENN: TMI.

JEFFY: No judging. We're not judging.

GLENN: Nobody was questioning that.

TRAVIS: Some people do. They wonder.

GLENN: Don't really need to know.

TRAVIS: But, you know, I would still be a family man. I'd still be taking care of business. This has just allowed me to take a negative, turn it into a positive --

GLENN: So you believe that the core of who you are now was already there?

TRAVIS: I was the same person. You know, my wife is happy. And also she thought there probably could be some characteristic traits changed a little bit. But I'm the same person that I was before.

And, really, when it boils down to everything -- you know, there's so many men and women that have lost their lives for this country. And I tell the story of my buddy Francis. Went by Frankie. He was a really close friend of mine. And he didn't make it home. He had a daughter that was four. Now she's going on eight. He had a wife of four years, Christine. And, you know what, he doesn't get to take his daughter trick-or-treating.

On Monday, I'm taking my daughter trick-or-treating. He doesn't get to take his wife on dates. My wife and I go on dates all the time. And my parents are very close to me. His mother would give anything -- his mother would have anything to have him come back. And, you know what, he's not coming back. And it's sad, but it's true.

So why would I want to live my life down and out, you know, dwelling on the past and angry, when I could be out there and changing people's perspective on life, letting them know, life goes on. And think about the lives lost.

GLENN: What do you say to people, who -- they don't even have to be in your situation, they don't even have to go to war, there are a lot of people who are just -- and I'm not talking about clinical depression. I'm talking about just they're feeling sorry for themselves. And they might have good reason to feel sorry for themselves.

TRAVIS: Well, and that's a tricky conversation. Because people see me, and they always think, "Well, jeez, I thought had problems, but looking at you, you know, how did you get through?" And I tell people, it's very clear actually in my book, in the author's note. I said, first thing, if you served, thank you for your service. I did not not serve more than anybody else. I had one bad day at work. Case of the Mondays. We've all been there. But I don't think I served more than anybody else. I raised my right hand and took the oath.

The next line, it basically just states, I don't think my problems are more than anybody else's. You know, we have all our things that we go through. We have family members that deal with cancer. We have things that we go through.

And if my story helps get people through it or past what they're going through, great. If I can be a positive light or mentor for people, that's what I try to do. But I will never sit there and say, "Well, that's a dumb thing to be upset about, or that's stupid." I get a lot of parents who reach out off my website, and they want to have me talk to their family members and like get them through. I do more of a hard truth campaign. I'm more of like -- a lot of PTSD counseling. I don't have PTSD, fortunately. But a lot of gentlemen I serve with and people I know --

GLENN: Hold it. Hold it. There are people that are claiming now they have PTSD now from watching a TV show. You were blown up, lost your limbs, you don't have PTSD?

TRAVIS: No, I don't regret anything I did overseas. I don't regret anything I did overseas. If anybody does get the book -- not to sell it too hard. Tough As They Come. TravisMills.org. No, I'm kidding. But if anybody does get the book, you're going to find out, yes, I've killed people. Yes, I've put friends in body bags. Yes, I've had every single thing that people could claim for PTSD that would affect them later on. But I don't.

I know what my direction in life is. You know, the book is faith-based. So it's just -- it took me a while to get back to that, about two or three weeks, I guess.

But, really, you know, that is a long time. Because you can be a believer all you want, until the day it happens, and then you're like, "What the heck. Am I a bad person?" And then you have to get back on track. You know, bad things happen to good people. But for PTSD --

GLENN: So when you're -- when you're on the phone with these parents and they want you to say, what, to their --

TRAVIS: A lot of people just want to know, like how can I get them motivated to get out of the couch? If I talk to this person or that's going through something, I'm like, "Look, why are you letting one day or one week or one month hold up your whole entire life? Why dwell on the past?" Think about the lives that are lost. Think about the people that would give anything to have the opportunity to still live in, you know, the greatest country in the world, with the democracies and the freedoms that we have.

Why not get out there and go forward in life? Why be the victim? Why dwell on it?

You will never see me the sob story. I will never ever be the one that is like, you know, oh, poor me, pity me. I don't want to be the sob story. I don't have people pity me. I don't even call myself wounded. I mean, I used to be. I have awesome scars. Ladies, I'm married. But I have awesome scars. And, you know what, I'm a recalibrated warrior, if you want to call me anything. But I go by Travis. And I'm just thankful to get out there.

I mean, if anybody wants to know my story, like I said, it's just TravisMills.org. And we appreciate just being be able to push the ball forward and keep moving.

GLENN: Now, you're going around and you're speaking. And one of the things that you're trying to work on is the Maine Chance Lodge veterans retreat. What is that?

TRAVIS: Well, we had the ability to start a foundation. After being at Walter Reed, which is a phenomenal medical facility, we saw all these 501(c)(3)s come in and do some wonderful things. And Kelsey and I said, you know what, let's just start a foundation. We'll just send care packages overseas.

If you have loved ones overseas, send them these four things: Orbit gum, not sweet mint. Okay? Orbit lasts the longest. It's just a fact.

Peppered beef jerky, okay? Peppered beef jerky. Peanut butter M&M's and gummy bears.

GLENN: Wait. Why those two?

TRAVIS: Those are delicious. Everything on that --

GLENN: All right. I thought maybe there was a heat thing.

TRAVIS: No, no. Can you say any of those things are not good?

GLENN: No, I was wondering.

STU: Oh, M&M's are tremendous. I mean, they are delicious. Where are they? Why don't we have some?

TRAVIS: Oh, yeah. Wonderful.

But my wife and I wanted to give back. We thought that would be a good option. Well, then a gentleman from Maine said that he wanted to make friends out, and they started the Travis Mills Project. It would be an umbrella under his foundation, and I would be the face of it, and that would be it.

So he brought some people to Maine, showed them how to kayak, canoe, go boating, swimming, build that network. Say, hey, thanks for your service. Don't live life on the sidelines. You know, here's a network of people you can rely on and lean on, and you can still do things with your family adaptively.

So it went so well, I started raising funds all across Maine and the nation. And we got to the point where it was too much for this foundation to hold. And they said, "Well, this is too big. So we're going to have to just let it fizzle out." I said, "No. No, we're not. So my foundation, which was only care packages, decided we were going to take over."

Now it's a $2.7 million project to get the building done. We were fortunate to raise over a million dollars last year. And this will be done next summer. And we'll be hosting families.

We bring out six to 10 families, up to 35 to 40 people a week. We're going to do five weeks next year. And we're going to bring them from throughout the nation and just bring them in and say, look, I know there's not a lot of people in your community that looks like you. I get that. But here's a network of people to lean on. We appreciate your service. Come on out to Maine. Vacation land is where I live. We show them how to kayak. I go kayaking. I go canoeing. I go swimming. I go tubing. And we do all this stuff. And we bring them out and say, "Thanks for your service." And it's not just the soldiers or the military members that are going through this. It's the families.

GLENN: Have you ever faced anything since the accident that freaked you out of your mind?

TRAVIS: Well, I mean my next goal is to go great white cage diving. Great white shark cave diving because they can't bite my arms and legs off.

GLENN: Right. There's not that much left.

TRAVIS: I will tell you, I wasn't always this positive. It took me a little while where I could look in a mirror at myself after this explosion, you know. But nothing really scares me, you know.

GLENN: So first time you're thrown into the water, you're helpless if you're thrown into the water for the first time, I would imagine. And, you know, you're in a canoe. You don't -- it's not crossed your mind that, crap, I lose these devices and I'm done.

TRAVIS: Well, I mean, I have a life vest. I'm not going to sit there and tell you I don't have a life vest that I wear. My biggest fear is actually water I can't see the bottom of. So fish scare the -- I mean, I was on the lake all summer in Maine. And I jump in and I have to be brave because my little girl, who is five, is sitting there next to me swimming, having a great time. And I can't let her see that I'm so afraid something is going to come bite me. But, I mean, it's like the biggest fear I have.

STU: Yeah, sometimes they like bump into you, underwater. And that's creepy -- and that's creepy man.

TRAVIS: No, it better not. You'll see me walk on water if that happens.

But, you know, it's just about coming together and doing something great. Saying thank you for your service. We really appreciate it. My foundation, I'm the president, okay? We have a great board. A great board of people, and we're never going to take a dollar. We're never going to pay ourselves. It's all voluntarily. People can see my 990s (phonetic), and they can understand that this is one of the A-rated nonprofits. And we're going to keep that driving forward. Obviously, we're taking donations and funds. We're building a pool right now. We need an elevator to go into the building. Because (unintelligible) -- from 1929, it was massive. And we had to -- this undertaking. The construction.

GLENN: Wow.

PAT: So how do people donate?

TRAVIS: Just TravisMills.org. Foundation tab. Again, I'm not trying to like push that agenda, but at the same time, please check us out. You know, the book is on the New York Times bestseller. It's doing fairly well. We just had that paperback come out two days ago. The cover on it is my daughter and me. You know, my daughter, Chloe and I, we're best friends, and I'm very proud of that.

GLENN: Nothing better.

TRAVIS: What's that?

GLENN: Nothing better.

TRAVIS: No, no. My little girl, she's awesome. She woke up this morning, and we were playing hide-and-seek in the hotel room. I mean, big hotel room, but we were trying. We were trying.

STU: Just a general charity question, how many 6-foot oil paintings of yourself have you purchased with charity dollars?

GLENN: None.

STU: Interesting approach.

TRAVIS: You know, we're almost to the point where -- no, I'm kidding. It's not -- I'm 17 miles away. My house is 17 miles away from this place. I'll never be a guest. I will go out there. I will hang out for the day. I will meet these families. I will encourage them to do better. But it's not about me being out there and taking advantage. I'm not doing this for myself.

So I might go out there to introduce myself on the first day. And I might have meetings and traveling. I mean, next week, I'm in Minnesota to Charlotte, to Chicago. I'll be speaking for Allstate in Chicago on Veterans Day. Then I'm back to Maine, to California.

But, you know, I want to make sure I greet these families. We appreciate what you're doing. Enjoy. Please, you know, this is all about being able to get back with your families. Learn how to do things adaptively. And take this knowledge and abilities back where you live. And, you know, I might -- we'll see what my future holds. Probably politics, I would imagine.

GLENN: Ooh.

TRAVIS: I will tell you, I love what's going on right now. Isn't it exciting?

STU: Yeah.

GLENN: Do you?

STU: You can have it.

GLENN: It's all yours, brother. Congratulations, it's all years.

STU: It would be nice to have somebody who would actually be trustworthy running. So please do. We need somebody good to run.

GLENN: Please do.

TRAVIS: Yeah. Because it's not an exciting time for politics, in the most weird way.

GLENN: Yeah. No, no.

TRAVIS: It's the most awkwardly exciting, weirdest time ever.

GLENN: No, no.

TRAVIS: Oh, you'll never find a political post on my Facebook page, no way. I'm never choosing sides. I got to stay right neutral. Because the foundation -- I don't want to hurt my foundation because of one side or the other.

STU: Yeah.

TRAVIS: And that's the world we live in.

STU: It's too important.

GLENN: Travis, I'm glad to have you on again. TravisMills.org. TravisMills.org, if you want to help. And grab his book, Tough As They Come. TravisMills.org. Thanks for coming by.

Featured Image: Screenshot from The Glenn Beck Program

It's time for our April 29, 2019 edition of our Candidate Power Rankings. We get to add two new candidates, write about a bunch of people that have little to no chance of winning, and thank the heavens we are one day closer to the end of all of this.

In case you're new here, read our explainer about how all of this works:

The 2020 Democratic primary power rankings are an attempt to make sense out of the chaos of the largest field of candidates in global history.

Each candidate gets a unique score in at least thirty categories, measuring data like polling, prediction markets, fundraising, fundamentals, media coverage, and more. The result is a candidate score between 0-100. These numbers will change from week to week as the race changes.

The power rankings are less a prediction on who will win the nomination, and more a snapshot of the state of the race at any given time. However, early on, the model gives more weight to fundamentals and potentials, and later will begin to prioritize polling and realities on the ground.

These power rankings include only announced candidates. So, when you say "WAIT!! WHERE'S XXXXX????" Read the earlier sentence again.

If you're like me, when you read power rankings about sports, you've already skipped ahead to the list. So, here we go.

See previous editions here.

20. Wayne Messam: 13.4 (Last week: 18th / 13.4)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

A former staffer of Wayne Messam is accusing his wife of hoarding the campaign's money.

First, how does this guy have "former" staffers? He's been running for approximately twelve minutes.

Second, he finished dead last in the field in fundraising with $44,000 for the quarter. Perhaps hoarding whatever money the campaign has is not the worst idea.

His best shot at the nomination continues to be something out of the series "Designated Survivor."

Other headlines:

19. Marianne Williamson: 17.1 (Last week: 17th / 17.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Marianne Williamson would like you to pay for the sins of someone else's great, great, great grandparents. Lucky you!

Williamson is on the reparations train like most of the field, trying to separate herself from the pack by sheer monetary force.

How much of your cash does she want to spend? "Anything less than $100 billion is an insult." This is what I told the guy who showed up to buy my 1989 Ford Tempo. It didn't work then either.

Other headlines:

18. John Delaney: 19.7 (Last week: 15th / 20.3)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Good news: John Delaney brought in $12.1 million in the first quarter, enough for fifth in the entire Democratic field!

Bad news: 97% of the money came from his own bank account.

Other headlines:

17. Eric Swalwell: 20.2 (Last week: 16th / 20.2)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The Eric Swalwell formula:

  • Identify news cycle
  • Identify typical left-wing reaction
  • Add steroids

Democrats said there was obstruction in the Mueller report. Swalwell said there “certainly" was collusion.

Democrats said surveillance of the Trump campaign was no big deal. Swalwell said there was no need to apologize even if it was.

Democrats said William Barr mishandled the release of the Mueller report. Swalwell said he must resign.

Democrats say they want gun restrictions. Swalwell wants them all melted down and the liquid metal to be poured on the heads of NRA members. (Probably.)

16. Seth Moulton: 20.6 (NEW)

Who is Seth Moulton?

No, I'm asking.

Moulton falls into the category of congressman looking to raise his profile and make his future fundraising easier— not someone who is actually competing for the presidency.

He tried to block Nancy Pelosi as speaker, so whatever help he could get from the establishment is as dry as Pelosi's eyes when the Botox holds them open for too long.

Moulton is a veteran, and his military service alone is enough to tell you that he's done more with his life than I'll ever do with mine. But it's hard to see the road to the White House for a complete unknown in a large field of knowns.

Don't take my word for it, instead read this depressing story that he's actually telling people on purpose:

"I said, you know, part of my job is take tough questions," Moulton told the gathered business and political leaders. "You can ask even really difficult questions. And there was still silence. And then finally, someone in the way back of the room raised her hand, and she said, 'Who are you?' "

Yeah. Who are you?

15. Tim Ryan: 21.6 (Last week: 14th / 20.7)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

When you're talking to less than sixteen people in Iowa one week after your launch, you don't have too much to be excited about.

Ryan did get an interview on CNN, where he also talked to less than sixteen people.

He discussed his passion for the Dave Matthews Band, solidifying a key constituency in the year 1995.

Other headlines:

14. Tulsi Gabbard: 25.2 (Last week: 14th / 25.9)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Tulsi Gabbard torched Kamala Harris in fundraising!!!!! (Among Indian-American donors.)

No word on who won the coveted handi-capable gender-neutral sodium-sensitive sub-demographic.

She received a mostly false rating for her attack on the Trump administration regarding its new policy on pork inspections, a topic not exactly leading the news cycle. Being from Hawaii, the state which leads the nation in Spam consumption, she was probably surprised when this didn't go mega viral.

Other headlines:

13. Andrew Yang: 27.2 (Last week: 12th / 27.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Yang has a few go-to lines when he's on the campaign trail, such as: "The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math." Another is apparently the Jeb-esque "Chant my name! Chant my name!"

Yang continues to be one of the more interesting candidates in this race, essentially running a remix of the "One Tough Nerd" formula that worked for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

I highly recommend listening to his interview with Ben Shapiro, where Yang earns respect as the only Democratic presidential candidate in modern history to actually show up to a challenging and in-depth interview with a knowledgeable conservative.

But hidden in the Shapiro interview is the nasty little secret of the Yang campaign. His policy prescriptions, while still very liberal, come off as far too sane for him to compete in this Stalin look-alike contest.

Other headlines:

12. Jay Inslee: 30.4 (Last week: 11th / 30.4)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

If you read the Inslee candidate profile, I said he was running a one-issue climate campaign. This week, he called for a climate change-only debate, and blamed Donald Trump for flooding in Iowa.

He also may sign the nation's first "human composting" legalization bill. He can start by composting his presidential campaign.

Other headlines:

11. John Hickenlooper: 32.2 (Last week: 10th / 32.0)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

John Hickenlooper was sick of being asked if he would put a woman on the ticket, in the 0.032% chance he actually won the nomination.

So he wondered why the female candidates weren't being asked if they would name a male VP if they won?

Seems like a logical question, but only someone who is high on tailpipe fumes would think it was okay to ask in a Democratic primary. Hickenlooper would be better served by just transitioning to a female and demanding other candidates are asked why they don't have a transgendered VP.

Other headlines:

10. Julian Castro: 35.7 (Last week: 9th / 36.2)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Lowering expectations is a useful strategy when your wife asks you to put together an Ikea end table, or when you've successfully convinced Charlize Theron to come home with you. But is it a successful campaign strategy?

Julian Castro is about to find out. He thinks the fact that everyone thinks he's crashing and burning on the campaign trail so far is an "advantage." Perhaps he can take the rest of the field by surprise on Super Tuesday when they finally realize he's actually running.

Other headlines:

9. Kirsten Gillibrand: 38.1 (Last week: 8th / 37.8)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Gillibrand wants you to know that the reason her campaign has been such a miserable failure so far, is because she called for a certain senator to step down. The problem might also be that another certain senator isn't a good presidential candidate.

She also spent the week arm wrestling, and dancing at a gay bar called Blazing Saddle. In this time of division, one thing we can all agree on: Blazing Saddle is a really solid name for a gay bar.

Other headlines:

8. Amy Klobuchar: 45.1 (Last week: 7th / 45.5)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Klobuchar is attempting a run in the moderate wing of the Democratic primary, which would be a better idea if such a wing existed.

She hasn't committed to impeaching Donald Trump and has actually voted to confirm over half of his judicial nominees. My guess is this will not be ignored by her primary opponents.

She also wants to resolve an ongoing TPS issue, which I assume means going by Peter Gibbons' desk every morning and making sure he got the memo about the new cover sheets.

Other headlines:

7. Elizabeth Warren: 45.3 (Last week: 6th / 46.0)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Elizabeth Warren is bad at everything she does while she's campaigning. I don't really even watch Game of Thrones, and the idea that Warren would write a story about how the show proves we need more powerful women makes me cringe.

Of course, more powerful people of all the 39,343 genders are welcome, but it's such a transparent attempt at jumping on the back of a pop-culture event to pander to female voters, it's sickening.

We can only hope that when she's watching Game of Thrones, she's gonna grab her a beer.

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6. Cory Booker: 54.9 (Last week: 5th / 55.5)

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Booker is tied with Kamala Harris for the most missed Senate votes of the campaign so far. He gets criticized for this, but I think he should miss even more votes.

Booker is also pushing a national day off on Election Day—because the approximately six months of early voting allowed in every state just isn't enough.

Of course, making it easier to vote doesn't mean people are going to vote for Booker. So he's throwing trillions of dollars in bribes (my word, not his) to seal the deal.

Bookermania is in full effect, with 40 whole people showing up to his appearance in Nevada. Local press noted that the people were of "varying ages," an important distinction to most other crowds, which are entirely comprised of people with the same birthday.

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5. Robert Francis O’Rourke: 60.2 (Last week: 4th /62.6)

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Kirsten Gillibrand gave less than 2% of her income to charity. The good news is that she gave about seven times as much as Beto O'Rourke. Robert Francis, or Bob Frank, also happens to be one of the wealthiest candidates in the race. His late seventies father-in-law has been estimated to be worth as much as $20 billion, though the number is more likely to be a paltry $500 million.

He's made millions from a family company investing in fossil fuels and pharmaceutical stocks, underpaid his taxes for multiple years, and is suing the government to lower property taxes on a family-owned shopping center.

He's also all but disappeared. It's a long race, and you don't win a nomination in April of the year before election day. If he's being frugal and figuring out what he believes, it might be a good move.

But it's notable that all the "pretty boy" hype that Bob Frank owned going into this race has been handed over to Mayor Pete. Perhaps Beto is spending his time working on curbing the sweating, the hand gestures, and the issues with jumping on counters like a feline.

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4. Pete Buttigieg: 62.9 (Last week: 3rd / 62.9)

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When we first put candidates in tiers earlier this year, we broke everyone into five categories from "Front Runners" to "Eh, no." In the middle is a category called "Maybe, if everything goes right," and that's where we put Pete Buttigieg.

Well, everything has gone right so far. But Mayor Pete will be interested to learn that the other 19 candidates in this race are not going to hand him this nomination. Eventually, they will start saying negative things about him (they've started the opposition research process already), and it will be interesting to see how Petey deals with the pressure. We've already seen how it has affected Beto in a similar situation.

The media has spoken endlessly about the sexual orientation of Buttigieg, but not every Democratic activist is impressed. Barney Frank thinks the main reason he's getting this amount of attention is because he is gay. And for some, being a gay man just means you're a man, which isn't good enough.

When you base your vote on a candidate's genitals, things can get confusing.

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3. Kamala Harris: 68.6 (Last week: 1st / 69.1)

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There are a couple of ways to view the Harris candidacy so far.

#1 - Harris launched with much fanfare and an adoring media. She has since lost her momentum. Mayor Pete and former Mayor Bernie have the hype, and Kamala is fading.

#2 - Harris is playing the long game. She showed she can make an impact with her launch, but realizes that a media "win" ten months before an important primary means nothing. She's working behind the scenes and cleaning up with donations, prominent supporters, and loads of celebrities to execute an Obama style onslaught.

I tend to be in category 2, but I admit that's somewhat speculative. Harris seems to be well positioned to make a serious run, locking up more than double the amount of big Clinton and Obama fundraisers than any other candidate.

One interesting policy development for Harris that may hurt her in the primary is her lack of utter disgust for the nation of Israel. There's basically one acceptable position in a Democratic primary when it comes to Israel, which is that it's a racist and terrorist state, existing only to torture innocent Palestinians.

Certainly no one is going to mistake Harris for Donald Trump, but a paragraph like this is poison to the modern Democratic primary voter:

"Her support for Israel is central to who she is," Harris' campaign communications director, Lily Adams, told McClatchy. "She is firm in her belief that Israel has a right to exist and defend itself, including against rocket attacks from Gaza."

Just portraying the rocket attacks as "attacks" is controversial these days for Democrats, and claiming they are responses to attacks indicates you think the Jeeeewwwwwwwws aren't the ones responsible for the start of every hostility. Heresy!

Someone get Kamala a copy of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' before she blows her chance to run the free world.

2. Bernie Sanders: 69.2 (Last week: 2nd / 68.3)

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If Bernie Sanders hates millionaires as much as he claims, he must hate the mirror. As a millionaire, it might surprise some that he donated only 1% to charity. But it shouldn't.

It's entirely consistent with Sandersism to avoid giving to private charity. Why would you? Sanders believes the government does everything better than the private sector. He should be giving his money to the government.

Of course, he doesn't. He takes the tax breaks from the evil Trump tax plan he derides. He spends his money on fabulous vacation homes. He believes in socialism for thee, not for me.

Yes, this is enough to convince the Cardi B's of the world, all but guaranteeing a lock on the rapper-and-former-stripper-that-drugged-and-stole-from-her-prostitution-clients demographic. But can that lack of consistency hold up in front of general election voters?

If Bernie reads this and would like a path to credibility, clear out your bank account and send it here:

Gifts to the United States
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Funds Management Branch
P.O. Box 1328
Parkersburg, WV 26106-1328


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1. Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.: 78.8 (NEW)

Joe has run for president 113 times during his illustrious career, successfully capturing the presidency in approximately zero of his campaigns.

However, when the eternally woke Barack Obama had a chance to elevate a person of color, woman, or anything from the rainbow colored QUILTBAG, he instead chose the oldest, straightest, whitest guy he could find, and our man Robinette was the beneficiary.

Biden has been through a lot, much of it of his own making. Forget about his plagiarism and propensity to get a nostril full of each passing females' hair, his dealings while vice president in both Ukraine and China are a major general election vulnerability— not to mention a legal vulnerability for his children. But hey, win the presidency and you can pardon everyone, right?

His supposed appeal to rust belt voters makes him, on paper, a great candidate to take on Trump. The Clinton loss hinged on about 40,000 voters changing their mind from Hillary to Donald in a few states—the exact areas where victory could possibly be secured by someone named "Middle Class Joe" (as he alone calls himself.)

No one loves Joe Biden more than Joe Biden, and there's a relatively convincing case for his candidacy. But we must remember this unquestionable truth: Joe Biden is not good at running for president.

He's a gaffe machine that churns out mistake after mistake, hoping only to have his flubs excused by his unending charisma. But, will that work without the use of his legendary groping abilities? Only time, and a few dozen unnamed women, will tell.

Also, yes. Robinette is really his middle name.

If only Karl Marx were alive today to see his wackiest ideas being completely paraded around. He would be so proud. I can see him now: Sprawled out on his hammock from REI, fiddling around for the last vegan potato chip in the bag as he binge-watches Academy Awards on his 70-inch smart TV. In between glances at his iPhone X (he's got a massive Twitter following), he sips Pepsi. In his Patagonia t-shirt and NIKE tennis shoes, he writes a line or two about "oppression" and "the have-nots" as part of his job for Google.

His house is loaded with fresh products from all the woke companies. In the fridge, he's got Starbucks, he loves their soy milk. He's got Ben & Jerry's in the freezer. He tells everyone that, if he shaved, he'd use Gillette, on account of the way they stand up for the Have-Nots. But, really, Marx uses Dollar Shave Club because it's cheaper, a higher quality. Secretly, he loves Chic-Fil-A. He buys all his comic books off Amazon. The truth is, he never thought people would actually try to make the whole "communism" thing work.

RELATED: SOCIALISM: This is the most important special we have done

Companies have adopted a form of socialism that is sometimes called woke capitalism. They use their status as corporations to spread a socialist message and encourage people to do their part in social justice. The idea of companies in America using socialism at all is as confusing and ridiculous as a donkey in a prom dress: How did this happen? Is it a joke? Why is nobody bursting out in laughter? How far is this actually going to go? Does someone actually believe that they can take a donkey to prom?

Companies have adopted a form of socialism that is sometimes called woke capitalism.

On the micro level, Netflix has made some socialist moves: The "like/dislike" voting system was replaced after a Netflix-sponsored stand-up special by Amy Schumer received as tidal wave of thumb-downs. This summer, Netflix will take it a step further in the name of squashing dissent by disabling user comments and reviews. And of course most of us share a Netflix account with any number of people. Beyond that, they're as capitalist as the next mega-company.

Except for one area: propaganda. Netflix has started making movie-length advertisements for socialism. They call them "documentaries," but we know better than that. The most recent example is "Knock Down the House," which comes out tomorrow. The 86-minute-long commercial for socialism follows four "progressive Democrat" women who ran in the 2018 midterms, including our favorite socialist AOC.

Here's a snippet from the movie so good that you'll have to fight the urge to wave your USSR flag around the room:

This is what the mainstream media wants you to believe. They want you to be moved. They want the soundtrack to inspire you to go out and do something.

Just look at how the mainstream media treated the recent high-gloss "documentary" about Ilhan Omar, "Time for Ilhan." It received overwhelmingly bad ratings on IMDb and other user-review platforms, but got a whopping 93% on the media aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

This is exactly what the media wants you to think of when you hear the word socialism. Change. Empowerment. Strength. Diversity. They spend so much energy trying to make socialism cool. They gloss right over the unbelievable death toll. BlazeTV's own Matt Kibbe made a great video on this exact topic.

Any notion of socialism in America is a luxury, made possible by capitalism. The woke companies aren't actually doing anything for socialism. If they're lucky, they might get a boost in sales, which is the only thing they want anyway.

We want to show you the truth. We want to tell you the stories you won't hear anywhere else, not on Netflix, not at some movie festival. We're going to tell you what mainstream media doesn't want you to know.

Look at how much history we've lost over the years. They changed it slowly. But they had to. Because textbooks were out. So people were watching textbooks. It was printed. You would bring the book home. Mom and dad might go through it and check it out. So you had to slowly do things.

Well, they're not anymore. There are no textbooks anymore. Now, you just change them overnight. And we are losing new history. History is being changed in realtime.

RELATED: 'Good Morning Texas' joins Glenn to get an inside look at Mercury Museum

You have to write down what actually is happening and keep a journal. Don't necessarily tell everybody. Just keep a journal for what is happening right now. At some point, our kids won't have any idea of the truth. They will not have any idea of what this country was, how it really happened. Who were the good guys. Who were the bad guys. Who did what.

As Michelle Obama said. Barack knows. We have to change our history. Well, that's exactly what's happening. But it's happening at a very rapid pace.

We have to preserve our history. It is being systematically erased.

I first said this fifteen years ago, people need clay plots. We have to preserve our history as people preserved histories in ancient days, with the dead see scrolls, by putting them in caves in a clay pot. We have to preserve our history. It is being systematically erased. And I don't mean just the history of the founding of our country. I mean the history that's happening right now.

And the history that's happening right now, you're a problem if you're a conservative or a Christian. You are now a problem on the left, if you disagree and fall out of line at all. This is becoming a fascistic party. And you know what a fascist is. It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican or an independent. If you believe it's my way or the highway, if you believe that people don't have a right to their opinion or don't have a right to their own life — you could do be a fascist.

Christianity might seem pretty well-protected in the U.S., but that's not the case in many parts of the globe.

On Easter Sunday, suicide bombers made the news for killing 290 innocent Christians in Sri Lanka and injuring another 500. On Tuesday, ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacre. Of course, the Western world mourned this tragic loss of life on a holy day of worship, but we forget that this isn't an isolated incident. Indeed, Christians are discriminated at extreme levels worldwide, and it needs to be brought to light. And whenever we do highlight brutal persecutions such as the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, we need to call them what they are — targeted attacks against Christians. Sadly, many of our politicians are deathly afraid to do so.

RELATED: Hey media, there is absolutely a war on Christians!

A 2018 Pew Research Center study found that Christians are harassed in 144 countries — the most of any other faith — slightly outnumbering Muslims for the top of the list. Additionally, Open Doors, a non-profit organization that works to serve persecuted Christians worldwide, found in their 2019 World Watch List that over 245 million Christians are seriously discriminated against for their religious beliefs. Sadly, this translates into 4,136 Christians killed and 2,625 either arrested, sentenced, imprisoned, or detained without trial over the year-long study period. And when it comes to churches, those in Sri Lanka were merely added to a long list of 1,266 Christian buildings attacked for their religion.

These breathtaking stats receive very little coverage in the Western world. And there seems to be a profound hesitation from politicians in discussing the issue of persecution against Christians. In the case of the Sri Lanka bombings, there's even a reluctance to use the word "Christian."

After the horrific Pittsburgh Synagogue and New Zealand Mosque shootings, Democrats rightfully acknowledged the disturbing trend of targeted attacks against Jews and Muslims. But some of these same politicians refer to the Sri Lanka bombings with careless ambiguity.

So why is it so hard for our leaders to acknowledge the persecutions Christians face?

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, for instance, certainly did — calling the incursions "attacks on Easter worshippers." Understandably, the term confused and frustrated many Christians. Although, supporters of these politicians argued the term was appropriate since a recent Associated Press report used it, and it was later picked up by a variety of media outlets, including Fox News. However, as more Democrats like 2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro and Rep. Dan Kildee continued to use the phrase "Easter worshippers," it became clear that these politicians were going out of their way to avoid calling a spade a spade.

So why is it so hard for our leaders to acknowledge the persecutions Christians face? For starters, Christianity in democratic countries like the U.S. is seen differently than in devastated countries like Somalia. According to Pew Research, over 70% of Americans are Christian, with 66% of those Christians being white and 35% baby boomers. So while diverse Christians from all over the world are persecuted for their faith—in the U.S., Christians are a dominant religion full of old white people. This places Christians at the bottom of progressives' absurd intersectional totem poll, therefore leaving little sympathy for their cause. However, the differing experiences of Christians worldwide doesn't take away from the fact that they are unified in their beliefs.

By refusing to name the faith of the Sri Lankan martyrs, politicians are sending a message that they have very little, if no, concern about the growing amount of persecution against Christians worldwide.

Martyrs don't deserve to be known as "Easter worshippers." They should be known by the Christian faith they gave their lives for. Decent politicians need to call the tragedy in Sri Lanka what it is — a vicious attack on the Christian faith.

Patrick Hauf (@PatrickHauf) is a writer for Young Voices and Vice President of Lone Conservative. His work can be found in the Washington Examiner, Townhall, FEE, and more.