Steve Deace: Liberals Deconstruct Us Better Than We Construct Ourselves

Steve Deace, host of The Steve Deace Show, joined Glenn in studio Tuesday for an in depth conversation about the future of conservatism.

"I think that we have got to have a time period where there can be some family healing going on, after what's transpired over the last year. And I think I told you yesterday that I didn't really, truly understand how difficult the last six and seven months has been," Deace explained.

Glenn's wide-ranging conversation with Deace covered faith, principles, the media and how conservatives have failed to control their own conversation and identity.

Steve Deace is author of Nefarious Plot, available in bookstores everywhere.

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

• This election was really a repudiation of what?

• Do conservatives have an objective value system?

• Do people think socialism is related to social media?

• Do liberals define diversity by external identities?

• What song did Steve Deace have going through his head the day after the election?

Listen to these segments from The Glenn Beck Program:

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

GLENN: Steve Deace is a talk radio show host. Heard nationwide out of Iowa. And a friend of the program. Author of the new book, Nefarious Plot, which is very C.S. Lewis. I mean, it is a great, great book that everybody should read that is modeled after the Screwtape Letters. And if you like the Screwtape Letters, this is a modern version of it. And I think -- I mean, I hate to say this because it's C.S. Lewis, but I think just, you know, in the same category as good. It is really good, Steve.

STEVE: Wow. That's about the highest praise you can give a theo nerd like me, so I'd like to just walk off now, if that's okay. Send a (inaudible) at the --

GLENN: Yeah, okay. All right. See you later.

That's right. That's right. Welcome to the studios. Glad you're here.

You -- you called together a little get together of some of the people who were Never Trump and reluctantly Trump. And wanted to have a conversation with people of where we go from here. What are you trying to accomplish?

STEVE: Just that. I think that we have got to have a time period where there can be some family healing going on, after what's transpired over the last year. And I think I told you yesterday that I didn't really, truly understand how difficult the last six and seven months has been. Because it's not new necessarily for me. I'm kind of one of those grassroots rabble-rousers anyway.

GLENN: Uh-huh.

STEVE: So being on the outside, looking in, of some of my own friends, is almost like a state of being for me. But this took it to a whole new level. And I really wasn't aware until it was over, just what the weight of what the last few months was like, feeling like every day I was arguing with members of my own audience. You know, people who put food on our table, who we support, that support us, that make it possible for us to do things like this.

Arguing with our own peers and our friends. How many tweets I compose that I had to delete to my own friends because I just couldn't handle some of the things I was seeing. And then wondering how often they weren't doing the exact same thing to me. Right?

And when I got up the next morning, I was like, "Holy cow." It was like Katrina and the Waves. That one, I'm Walking on Sunshine song came on. It was like, "This weight is gone."

And I think there needs to be though some time to assess where we're at. Because I think strategically, we're in a place that we've never been before, as a movement. And that is, taking for granted that a conservative movement still exists, which I have my doubts about that. I think we also need to discuss, what does conservatism even mean?

I was on C-SPAN for an hour a week before the election, and I got that question. And I defined it as, I'm a conservative because I'm trying to conserve the things that history has proven are what's best for the human condition.

And a black man from Detroit calls up and says, "I'm a black man from Detroit." And says, "I've never voted Republican in my entire life, but if someone had explained it to me the way you just did, I might have -- I might have looked at this differently."

I think our damage -- our brand has been damaged quite a bit in this race. And I think it's not a victory as much as a reprieve. I think everybody to some extent is ecstatic the Marxists are out of the White House, right?

But that doesn't necessarily mean that Donald Trump had a character transplant because the communists are gone. And I think you're watching his capricious, mercurial, unstable nature play itself out, just in the Courts of Owls that we're seeing get assembled here in the -- in almost this sort of Kremlin-esque intrigue about transition teams and who's in and who's out.

GLENN: This happens to all of them. Why is this a negative? This happens all the time. The transition team -- this seems normal to me.

STEVE: We're on like our third transition team. This thing has been on it for a week, you know, and there's mixed signals everywhere. And I just think that one thing --

PAT: That's how the Trump camp rolls though.

STU: Well, yes.

PAT: This happened the whole campaign.

STEVE: Because that's how he rolls.

PAT: That's how he rolls.

STEVE: No campaign can rise above its own candidate.

PAT: Right.

STEVE: The candidate is always the one responsible for the outcome of a campaign.

PAT: Right.

GLENN: We should say you were a friend and supporter of Donald Trump's for a long time.

STEVE: At first. At first. A long time may be a relative term.

GLENN: Okay.

STEVE: What really changed my mind for good --

PAT: You endorsed Ted, right? The Iowa caucus.

STEVE: Yes, I did. In fact, I remember I called Ted up in early July. And I told him, I said, "You know, I'm thinking about -- I'm leaning going this way. I'm really thinking about it. You know, I do think we need to burn it down. I I think we need something dramatically different." And about a week later, there was an event in Iowa where they had 13 of the candidates show up. It was a leadership summit. And I was the co-MC with Frank Luntz. And I'm sitting there backstage. I'm actually getting ready to meet with Donald Trump again. He's going to come off backstage. We're going to grab a private room, presumably to try to close me as a supporter. And I'm sitting 20 feet from him when he talks about, "I've never asked God for forgiveness because I've never done anything wrong."

PAT: Right.

STEVE: Which was -- to me, that was the biggest thing that stood out to me, even more than the McCain comments, as offensive as those were. That was the thing like, wow, you just walked into a room of 3,000 evangelicals and dropped that bomb. You may not -- you don't understand what you're walking into.

And then he talked about, "Well, I like soldiers who weren't captured." And I knew -- or, I suspected when they walked off of there, that him and his people were going to ask me, "How do you clean up this mess?" I didn't know what the answer was.

So this was not a great -- this was not a real Men of Courage moment, guys. I hit the eject. I just walked out. Because I was like, I wouldn't know how to fix this. It's done. Don't fix it. Go home. Go back to Trump Tower. This is not fixable. Salvage your brand.

GLENN: But it didn't hurt him. It didn't hurt him.

STEVE: You know why it didn't hurt him? Is Sam Nunberg, who is still a friend of mine, who was the guy that helped set up Trump's original campaign -- Sam called me the next day. He had sent me a column that he had ghostwritten for Trump for USA Today in response to this.

And it was -- and he essentially doubled down on it. And Sam -- and the column was, "Hey, look at all the money that I've given to veterans groups. Look at everything I've done. Who are you people to question me?" And Sam to me -- he said, "Hey, Steve, do you like this column?" And I said, "I think it's forceful. I like it." I go, "Why?"

And he said, "Because I took everything that you put in your book, Rules For Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again, the previous book I wrote, and I used that to construct this piece." And I am convinced that that is what turned everything around.

The first time the media came at him -- see, this election wasn't a repudiation of Hillary Clinton. I don't even think it was a repudiation of Barack Obama. I think it was a backlash repudiation of the media. And Trump ran against the media the entire time. Ran against them in the primary. Fox tried to kill him in the first debate. They couldn't. And so's they ended up shilling for him after that. I think he beat the media. And I think most people as conservatives, guys, define their conservatism, not by an objective values -- or, set of values, but by opposition to the liberal media.

GLENN: Explain that.

STEVE: Meaning that I think we're so -- we don't -- first of all, we don't have an objective value system. Ask the average conservative, "Why are you a conservative?" And you're probably not going to get a cogent answer.

I mean, I was listening to the roundtable you had before I came on, and you talked about the Declaration of Independence. When I go around the country, if I teach in churches or I speak in churches or I preach in the church where I go to back home, if I ask believers, "What is the foundation of the Christian faith," almost every time they're going to tell me it's the Bible.

No, it's not. Christ is the foundation of the Christian faith. Paul says, "If Christ isn't raised, you're -- then your preaching is in vain. You're all still dead in your sins."

Christianity is about God supernaturally wove his hand into history to roll the stone away and bring a dead man back to life. Did that fact happen or not? If it did, then the Bible is the clarification of how we are -- how we are then to live in light of that fact.

If it didn't happen, then we're free agents to make this up as we go along.

The -- Christianity's foundation is Christ. The clarification is the Bible. That is the relationship, I believe, between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The Declaration of Independence is the foundation of America. There is a God. Our rights come from him. Government's only responsible is to protect and preserve those rights so we can reach our God-given potential. And that's it. That's all there is. There isn't anymore. That's it.

And then the inevitable questions that come along when we have conflicts: How do we resolve those things? The Constitution clarifies those conflicts, but the Declaration is the foundation. How often is that foundation ever uttered ever by any conservative?

GLENN: You would have loved -- I just gave this speech Sunday. I wish you would have been there, because it was that -- there's six points in the Declaration. And the Declaration of Independence has those six points, and that's all you need to know. That is the spirit of America. The Constitution is the framework on how to protect that idea.

And we missed that. And progressives have tried to destroy the Declaration. And we don't have a Declaration.

The conservatives are supposed to be saying -- what is a conservative? Well, we hold these truths to be self-evident.

DOM: Right.

GLENN: That all men are created. They're endowed by creator with certain rights that are unchangeable. Those rights come from God. The government is established to be able to protect those rights. That is their main duty: Protect those rights.

STEVE: Uh-huh.

GLENN: That the laws are all based in natural law and -- the laws of nature and nature's God. So the laws out of the Bible. The Ten Commandments.

STEVE: Uh-huh.

GLENN: And what you witness in nature. You can protect yourself because -- a bear can protect itself, so why can't I?

Nature's laws. Nature's God. And the last one is, if a government becomes hostile to that, you have the right to abolish it and reestablish a new government that will protect those rights.

STEVE: Right. That's it.

GLENN: That's the whole idea of America in a nutshell.

STEVE: I know it sounds like we're having a Cleon Skousen class in here. But that's what it is. That's supposed to be what we're conserving. I don't know -- I don't know what most of conservatism is. And it's easy for me to say -- I don't have, you know, one of the ten biggest shows in the country. I haven't written five New York Times best-sellers. But it seems to me that most of conservatism is selling out conferences and selling widgets.

GLENN: Yes.

STEVE: And it's not an advancement of a set of principles, let alone policy.

Does anybody know what the Sam Hill conservative policy actually would be? Forget even defining our principles. Let's see we define those. How would we go about governing accordingly? Has anybody even seen in their lifetime -- except for maybe the first half of Ronald Reagan's first term, before the rigor mortis of Washington set in -- has anybody ever actually seen what governing along those lines would look like, beyond just framing the principles?

GLENN: No. No. No.

And you ask a conservative, "What does it mean to be a conservative?"

Well, I believe in God. And I believe in traditional marriage. And I believe that people should work hard and we should have less, you know, welfare or whatever they want to say.

They make it about the policies.

What does it mean to be a conservative?

STEVE: Uh-huh.

GLENN: There are certain ideas that are universal and everybody knows: That we were created. We were created by a God. That God gave us rights. We've established government to protect those rights. And the minute those rights -- the government starts to abuse those rights, we have a right to abolish it. That is the conservative idea.

And if we can all start to say those things -- because, you know, I was looking -- if you look at the Bill of Rights. Everybody is looking for a place where we can come together now.

Well, what are we going to do on global warming? What are we going to do on Planned Parenthood? What are we going to do about -- we're so far beyond that. We are so -- we have no cornerstone anymore. We have no baseline anymore. So we're just winging it on all of those. There's nothing to be able to say, "Well, our polar star says that we have to do X, Y, and Z --

STEVE: Right. What is the plumb-line of American culture? What is that? --

GLENN: There is none. There is none.

STEVE: There is none. Yeah.

GLENN: And it is the idea of the Declaration of Independence and the framework of the Constitution -- and I know I could go to any college campus -- I could go to Berkeley and say, "Do you believe in freedom of press? That the press shouldn't be restrained?"

Now, this is changing, but right now he with still have, "Yeah, press -- there's a freedom of the press. Yes, there's a freedom to assemble peacefully. Yes, there's a freedom to question the government. Yes, there's freedom of religion." That one is beginning to change too. Because we have abused both the press and religion.

STEVE: Right. There is -- there's a fascinating article at FiveThirtyEight today, which is Nate Silver's site.

GLENN: Yep.

STEVE: And it talks about how Americans may be too religious to accept socialism. And if I wasn't down here hanging out with you all today, here's what I would do on my show, if I was on the air on my show today: I would go on the air and ask my audience, "Why is this true? Why is America -- how come if a people are religious, they will reject socialism?" And I will guarantee you, most of my audience, until I explain it to them won't know.

GLENN: Won't know.

STEVE: And it's because, obviously if the state's going to be God, there can't already be a God. That's why socialism either proceeds secularism every single time.

GLENN: Yes. I don't believe we are too religious for socialism.

STEVE: I don't think we are either. But here's what's fascinating -- my point is, how often we had to see because Fox, Infowars, and Drudge wouldn't do it, and so we saw the mainstream media vetting Trump during the primary, according to his lack of conservative orthodoxy. The liberals were doing it.

Now, FiveThirtyEight, a liberal analytical site is now explaining to us essentially conservative apologetics, why we won't accept socialism because we're still too religious. They're making our arguments for us better than we currently make them. By the way, that's not good, guys.

GLENN: No. Because they're making those arguments so they can understand it and dismantle it.

STEVE: Yes. Yeah, they're deconstructing us better than we are constructing ourselves.

PAT: And the fact is I think that most people have been convinced by the left now that socialism and Christianity are one and the same.

GLENN: Yes. This is what the socialist --

PAT: Way too many people believe that Jesus was a socialist. I just read another article about that.

GLENN: Yeah. Yeah. Easy. And the rest of the people think that socialism -- and I'm not making this up -- think socialism has something to do with social media.

PAT: Yes.

GLENN: Socialism just means the promotion of Facebook and Twitter.

STEVE: There was a poll a few years ago that found something like six out of ten people that had held elected office felt the electoral college was a place that you went to get trained on how to get elected. So there you go.

[break]

GLENN: Steve Deace is with us. The talk show host and also author of the new book Nefarious Plot, which I can't recommend highly enough. Just a great book.

Steve, so where do we go from here? What happens now?

Because people are hurting. And they are looking for somebody, and they are dismissing people like -- I mean, even those in the conservative movement are dismissing people like Steve Bannon. The media is now saying Steve Bannon is a bad guy. They're absolutely right on this. But the media has such a bad relationship with the American people. By them saying, "He's a bad guy," only makes -- only makes people say, "Well, he must be a good guy."

STEVE: Yeah, I mean, they're doing their best to inoculate Steve Bannon from criticism at this point. And I said this -- PBS called me the day after the election, asked me to come on the round table and discuss from a conservative viewpoint how they missed the Trump phenomenon. And I pointed out to them, "You know, you guys are disconnected from America." And I asked them, "How many people in your newsroom at PBS are pro-life? How many of them go to mass once a week? How many of them go to church? How many of them even considered for voting for Donald Trump? Like a single person. You guys define diversity by external identity. Most of America doesn't. Most of America defines their identity by their value system or what they think they need or want at the time. And so you are literally not talking to most of this country. And that's why you missed that."

And I think -- I think -- I told them, "I think people got the rise of Fox News wrong, that it wasn't that it was G.O.P. TV. That's kind of what it is now. But that they -- they -- they talked about our values without suspicion. You guys do."

GLENN: Yes. Yes. Back in just a second.

[break]

GLENN: The fed is hinting that there might be a rate increase when they meet in December. Stock market looked like it was going to tank when Trump was winning Tuesday night. But after his speech, it rebounded in a uge way. Bigger than Jina. And we're going to talk a little bit about that coming up in a second.

Steve Deace is with us. Steve, what -- tell me, is there the possibility -- because I think we should consider this, that we have been completely wrong. Is there the possibility that Donald Trump becomes Ronald Reagan?

STEVE: I think we should absolutely consider the possibility we've been completely wrong.

Now, I will be -- I will be surprised if we are wrong, and I think what we're seeing in the transition team indicates we're not, that this is --

GLENN: Why?

STEVE: Because it's inconsistent. There is no consistent strain in who is surrounding him, other than, did you help me get to where I'm at?

And if you're a progressive Rudy Giuliani over here and if you're an evangelical pastor's kid Mike Pence over here, you help me get to where I'm at, so find a way to kind of work together.

I mean, Reince Priebus, when he opens his mouth, the Republican machine we all hate comes out in every last syllable. So you're going to go on camera and eat the crap sandwich on TV, and Bannon's going to be my Rasputin in the dark room over calling the Svengali shots. I mean, these two guys have literally nothing in common, other than they both helped Donald Trump get to where he's at.

GLENN: Do you believe that Bannon -- talk radio is saying Bannon is okay.

STEVE: You know, I think I met him once briefly. Been interviewed by him twice on Breitbart radio. All I know is what I've heard from other people. And all I've seen is what I've watched and witnessed Breitbart news become since it essentially become symbiotic with Trump -- and I don't think -- and I'm someone that used to be a regular reader. I don't think I've shared a link or clicked on a link at Breitbart in like nine months. I just got so disgusted by what I saw, that it just -- it literally became dead to me. Same with Drudge. I can't remember the last time I visited Drudge as a website. I just can't handle it. To me, I just look for news in other sources.

PAT: Yeah. That's where we are.

GLENN: So you just don't think there's a chance --

STEVE: I think there's a chance. Listen, my worldview starts with, God raises dead people to life.

GLENN: Right.

STEVE: So to quote the great prophets of Dumb and Dumber, I'm saying there's a chance. There is a chance. But this is why I think we should step back and let it play out. Now, I think the early returns are mixed at best. And the pressures -- the real pressures --

GLENN: What do you disagree with, on his appointments?

STEVE: First of all, I wouldn't have Rudy Giuliani anywhere near my administration.

GLENN: Why is that?

STEVE: Because he's the ultimate progressive Republican. That's why.

GLENN: Well, no, I think Chris Christie is. But he's a close second.

STEVE: He's a close second.

GLENN: Yes.

STEVE: I think that the dynamic between Reince and Bannon is terrible. It strikes me as trying to split the baby in half. And this is often -- as someone that's worked on a lot of campaigns, this is why businessmen are often the worst candidates. Because they think it is like running a company. And it is not.

You know, a CEO can't coin money. A CEO can't command an Army. A CEO can't compel you to do something lawfully or unlawfully against your will. A president can.

And I think that is where -- it's not -- it's not the same. Just because Steve Kerr is a great coach of the Golden State Warriors doesn't mean he can coach the Dallas Cowboys, guys. There's some skills that transcend, but they're totally different pursuits, different personalities, different activities.

You know, and not to mention Trump hasn't always been successful as a manager. He's filed multiple bankruptcies. He's had several failures. It's not the same at all.

And so when I see the Priebus/Bannon thing, this is what it looks like to me: Hey Reince, your reward is you get to go out there and be the guy on camera, and you're going to speak to McConnell and Ryan down there on Capitol Hill. And I'll be Nicholas II over here in a corner dark room while Rasputin is whispering sweet nothings in my ear. And we'll essentially have our own little management team over here, deciding which of your ideas we'll veto and which we won't.

Who is actually in charge? The last thing someone with Donald Trump's temperament needs is to have the people facilitating him in an uncertain chain of command. I mean, when you are as mercurial and capricious as he is, then the people around you have to be ironclad certain.

You know, it's a little like in football. If the head coach is not Mr. Game Manager, then the assistant coaches need to be real X's and O's people. And if the head coach is an X's and O's guy but not Mr. Light You Up In the Room, when he's recruiting athletes, that means the assistant coaches have got to be in there and woo mom and the young -- and her baby boy on the recruiting trip.

Trump is not Mr. X's and O's guy. He's not. So someone else has got to do that. Well, who is that right now? I mean, you kind of have these two towers of Mordor here between -- with Reince -- Reince is Isengard and Bannon is Mordor. They have literally nothing in common, other than they have a common sentiment with Donald Trump.

But you can't run a government that way. Government is not like a business. It's not.

GLENN: But he's going to try to run it -- I mean, one of the most amazing things I saw yesterday -- and I said this wouldn't happen. This couldn't happen. And it's happening. For him to ask for top secret clearance of his children --

STU: They are denying that, by the way, I believe, for what it's worth.

GLENN: Well, that's good. Do you believe it?

STU: Yeah. I don't know.

GLENN: Yeah. I mean, it sounds --

JEFFY: I believe it. I don't know that it will last.

STU: The initial source was an unnamed source. There's some reason to doubt it.

STEVE: I think with stories like this, guys, we're going to have to -- I think we're not dealing with a level of, shall we say, prudent communication we've ever seen from people in power before. I think we're going to have to really sit back and wait until the final deed is done. Because if we react to everything these people say, we're all going to have coronaries. We're going to be like, "This is the big one, Alice, by the time we get to 2017."

So I think we need to just sit back. I think we have to wait for them to actually sign the waiver before we react to the story, like this. Because I think they will seriously just throw crap out there all the time, see if they can get away with it, see what the backlash is. And then say, "We never really meant it."

It's been my experience -- again, I've had a lot of experience in politics. I've never seen anybody govern differently than they campaign. Ever. Ever.

GLENN: It is who they are. That's what my problem was with Donald Trump.

He would say, "I'm not this guy." But your whole life shows that you are.

STEVE: Right.

GLENN: You don't generally change.

STEVE: Right. Not unless something transcended.

GLENN: Yeah. Unless there is a pivot point.

STEVE: Yes.

GLENN: Something big happens in your life, and then you're like, "I'm not that guy anymore."

STU: Is there any chance, you know, becoming president of the United States is that moment?

(laughter)

GLENN: It is a possibility.

STEVE: It is.

STU: Right. Unlikely, but possible.

GLENN: There is a possibility. No, I have to tell you -- I think -- you know, I was thinking about that when -- you know, the next morning Donald Trump woke up. And I thought about it, that next morning. What must that be like, to wake up -- and it's one thing to have your wife roll over and say, "Well, good morning, Mr. President-elect." It's another to then have the Secret Service, the apparatus, the -- everything start to change around you. The weight -- I mean, Truman said he felt like the earth -- I'm sorry. That the moon, the sun, and the stars fell on his shoulders when he found out he was president.

There is a chance that that changes you. A big chance.

STEVE: I think there's also a difference, gentlemen, between winning the presidency and being the president. When your life is defined by Maslow's hierarchy of needs, as Trump's entire existence has been -- he has received now the ultimate self-actualization, right?

GLENN: Yes, yes. Yes.

STEVE: But here's the question: Next May, when the headlines are done and the parades are over and the Organization of American States wants a nine-hour meeting with their emissaries in the White House, does he really want to do that?

JEFFY: Not a chance. Not a chance.

STEVE: Or does he want to be down -- does he want to be teeing it high and watching it fly at the Mar-a-Lago with some Hollywood starlet? What would you rather be doing? I think that's -- you know, I had somebody offer me a job in New York City a few years ago. And I tried really hard for it. I really wanted it. It was dry time in New York. I thought it would be the greatest thing for my career.

And then when I got back home and waited for them to make the decision, I recognized that what the commute would be like, the changes would be like, moving my family to New York City, how different the values were.

And then I realized, "You know what, I think I wanted to win this job more than I wanted to do the job. I wanted someone to come to me as a guy and give me that helmet sticker and say, "Yeah, you got this accomplishment." But did I really want to do this? When all the trades (phonetic) wrote about it and all the accomplishment stuff was done, did I want to do that job?

And I wonder if Donald Trump has truly considered, does he actually want to be the president? Does he want to do it? And that's why the people around him will I think really run the show. That's why it's so important.

GLENN: That's why -- I have a guy who works here now, John Schreiber, who is brilliant. He runs my company. And he said -- he's been asking people as we restructure everything, "What do you want to do every day?" And people will say, oh -- like me. He asked me. "Well, you know, I want to do the radio show. I want to, you know, be able to talk and make a difference and everything else." He said, "No, no, no. What do you actually want to do every day?"

STEVE: Uh-huh.

GLENN: That's very different. And people don't ask themselves that question. They think of the accomplishment. I want to go and do this. I want to be here. That I want job. But they don't necessarily match it with what they actually physically think, "Oh, I'd love to just do this every day."

STEVE: Uh-huh.

GLENN: And they're very different things. And I think Donald Trump in May, may find that. He may not. He may love this. But he doesn't strike me as the guy that does like to be sitting in the office at the late-night meetings.

JEFFY: No.

STEVE: Uh-huh.

GLENN: But I think that's why people like Bannon are so critical to make sure, good guy, bad guy? Because if indeed Donald Trump is the guy who says, "I don't want to be there all the time," he will put it on the shoulders of Rasputin.

STEVE: Well, and this is why, what is the value system? This goes right back to where we started in the conversation, guys.

I mean, this is not a company. You're not selling widgets. The goal is not to end up in the black on a P&L statement. You are governing a free people, and sometimes that means you're going to make decisions that are unpopular. And so is everybody in on advancing that value system?

I know that we look back now on the Obama years, and we look at over 900 Democrats in the legislative branches across the country who lost their jobs under his presidency because of the voter backlash. I will guarantee you though, almost none of them would ever publicly say they regret it, because even though he did it, by hook or by crook, he did more to advance a progressive worldview into our government than any human being has in the last century.

And so, therefore, that's why they got into government, to advance that value system. They're on board with that. That's why they never ever fought back against him, even though it was costing them seats in their own legislatures.

What is the endgame of the Trump presidency? What is making America great again, what is the vision of what that would be?

GLENN: You think it might be -- you think it might be fascism.

STEVE: I think that -- my fear is that our side is going to embrace authoritarianism. Because they saw Obama get away with it. I think there were -- and I hate to say this, but I think there were a lot of older white people that stayed home and watched Fox News all day, that got really justifiably angry at the last four years and what they saw Obama do. And they said, "You know what, we need to go get our own version of that."

GLENN: Well, then did I help cause this?

STEVE: You know, I think we all have, to some extent, played a role in this.

GLENN: I think so too.

STEVE: We're a self-governing people. So there's no one -- you know, nobody is absolved from it.

I think that -- I've looked at some of the rhetoric I've used, that we have to win right now, or we're on the precipice of history.

And I've wondered, what is a sense of urgency? And when am I actually feeding into the sort of panic that causes people to embrace authoritarianism?

GLENN: Do you think anybody on the left is starting to feel this way? Do you think they're self-examining like we are on the right?

STEVE: They soon will. First, they got to do their fake Tea Party Astroturf, get rid of the electoral college crap, which is just clickbait to raise money basically. When they get done with that here in about six to eight months, we get into year two or three of a Trump presidency, I bet you they'll have a newfound respect for separation of powers and limited governments in some way, yes, I do.

GLENN: It's interesting to me, because the New York Times came out this weekend -- and this is what they expressed to me -- when they invited me up, 19 editors from the New York Times editorial board were there. And they wanted to know who we were, what is really happening, what's caused this. What their role was. They were very, I thought, introspective. And they said at the time, we know we have a problem. We're not connecting with the American people. And we need to change that. They came out this weekend and said that.

I think there is some -- there is some movement in trying to be better.

STEVE: I said to Judy Woodrow on PBS, on the panel I was on this week. I said, "Judy, where I come from, a dad who thinks it's a bad idea to have another creepy dude go into the bathroom next to his young daughter in the women's bathroom, that's called a parent. Not a bigot. There's a whole other country out there. You guys don't even interact to it. You lecture to it."

GLENN: Yes. You look down to it.

STEVE: And so as a result, they said, "Let's go find our own person that can smash these people so that we can at least get our side of the story out there." And I think Trump wisely capitalized on that.

GLENN: Thank you so much, Steve. Steve Deace.

Featured Image: Steve Deace on The Glenn Beck Program.

It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.