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

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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