August 15, 1971: The Day We Wanted a Life We Couldn't Afford

Chris Martenson with PeakProsperity.com joined The Glenn Beck Program today to talk about the federal reserve raising interest rates and its primary concern: its own credibility.

"Everybody I talked to says, Look, I like falling prices. That's not what the fed is targeting when it's worried about deflation. They have a different thing they're worried about, where prices rising or falling is the symptom, but the cause is what they're concerned about. And the cause is either our credit markets are expanding, or they're contracting," Martenson said.

To put the problem into context, Martenson quoted Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises:

There's no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later, as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.

"These things have all been building for a really long time, Glenn. And I think if we had to, if we wanted to put our finger on something, we would say August 15th, 1971, when the United States abandoned the gold standard for the world, that's really where all of this started. And these imbalances are enormous now," Martenson said.

For fundamentals on the dangers of manipulating credit markets and currencies, read Martenson article, Money Under Fire: A Reminder of the Great Wealth Transfer Underway.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

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

GLENN: Well, as I'm reading the news, China is being negotiated. I mean, I want to put the good spin on this. Donald Trump is obviously negotiating with China. And China has responded saying it's -- the One-China policy will not be a part of any negotiation. And if you want to threaten us with that, all negotiations and future partnership will be over. They're taking a hard-lined stand, and so is Donald Trump. It's kind of a white knuckle kind of thing, quite honestly.

Russia is now our new best friend, and the Russian ruble is going through the roof. Oil is starting to go up. And this week, we are expecting the fed to raise interest rates. And Christmas Martenson is here. He is with peakprosperity.com. He is a guy who I think really understands the economy and understands the history of the currency war and the gold standard and trade and can kind of help explain -- because I think we're going to need a real basis of -- of history and knowledge to be able to talk our friends down from crazy tree in the coming months and years.

Chris, welcome to the program. How are you?

CHRIS: Glenn, I'm doing really well. It's a real pleasure to be back with you and all your listeners.

GLENN: So tell me, Chris, what you're thinking the fed will do this week and how it's going to affect us.

CHRIS: Well, they're going to have to raise rates because they're behind the curve here. The fed cares about their credibility, as much as everything. Remember, we have a lot of academics sort of at the helm of the fed. And, of course, to them, credibility is like the most important thing to preserve.

So they have to raise. And it's a very weird environment to be raising rates in. It's certainly created a lot of boost to the dollar. The dollar strengthened a lot lately. But we're seeing a lot of strengthening in the price of oil as well. And a lot of signs, Glenn, of weakening in the overall global economy. The stock market, notwithstanding. The trade data is looking iffy.

GLENN: Okay. So if the dollar -- if we raise the interest rates, that will boost the dollar. And if we boost the dollar, that actually hurts the job front at home and hurts prices at home. Right?

CHRIS: Yes. Except for the prices at home. Typically if the dollar is stronger, we'd be able to buy the BMWs cheaper.

GLENN: Okay.

CHRIS: But a rising dollar is not good for corporate profits in the United States. A little over 40 percent of all revenues from US companies are derived not in the United States. From overseas. So --

GLENN: And it makes -- it makes it harder for other countries to buy our products because our dollar is stronger. And them coming over here and buying our products is, it's more expensive.

CHRIS: Right. So typically what happens when your currency gets stronger, your trade, your exports go down, and your imports start to go up. Because you can afford more from other people. They can afford less of your stuff. That is the substance of the charge that Donald Trump has put against China, that they're a currency manipulator, by which he means they're keeping their currency much weaker than it should be because if the Chinese currency strengthened, then their exports would slow down. Their imports would rise. That would help to balance things.

STU: Right.

CHRIS: So that's his charge there.

GLENN: And it would be good if we didn't have an imbalance and everything else, you know, what it cost to employ people in America. If we could even get close on that level with China, which we could never -- they employ slaves -- but it's good for the person that's walking into Walmart and buying their stuff for the Chinese dollar to be -- or the Chinese yuan to be low and have them devalue. But it's really bad on jobs because they're not buying any of our stuff.

CHRIS: Very little of it.

GLENN: So it's a -- so it's a balance. What I'm trying to get to is, trade and the devaluing or the raising of interest rates especially in an economy as fragile as ours is, is really a very nuanced and delicate dance. And you play it wrong, and the thing spirals out of control.

CHRIS: Well, and that's exactly right. And this should be termed I think as much as anything, the age of imbalances.

So we're talking about an imbalance of trade between China and the United States, but there are similar imbalances that exist within the Eurozone with Italy needing a lot more money than it's got and Germany sort of providing it. And then, air quotes here, balancing it out by creating these massive imbalances in their central banking system inside the country.

These things have all been building for a really long time, Glenn. And I think if we had to, if we wanted to put our finger on something, we would say August 15th, 1971, when the United States abandoned the gold standard for the world, that's really where all of this started. And these imbalances are enormous now.

GLENN: Well, that's when we all started we wanted a life we couldn't afford.

So the United States did that. But we convinced the rest of the world that we'll continue to buy your stuff. So it will be good for you. But we all said -- all of us -- we want more stuff than we can afford if we base our dollar or our currencies on gold. Is that accurate?

CHRIS: It is. Because gold provides a set of restraints that you just can't get around. And if you can't get around those restraints, well, sometimes you get to live beyond your means. But very soon thereafter, you have to live below your means. The world collectively kind of said, "We don't like that below our means part. How can we just forever live above our means?" That's how these imbalances got started. And it's a very human thing, Glenn. We've seen this so many times in history. And here we are again.

GLENN: So we are worried now, if the fed raises their interest rates, that would indicate that they are worried more about inflation than deflation. And deflation is -- is bad. Because everything is -- is worthless. And becomes so cheap, you would think that this is really good. But I'm trying to figure out why it is really bad. And it is. Why is deflation something that they're trying to stay away from, at the fed?

CHRIS: Well, this is a more subtle argument because the way that it's presented to us in the newspapers is that inflation is rising prices and deflation is falling prices. And I can't find anybody who -- well, what's wrong with falling prices? I love buying stuff cheaper. Right?

GLENN: Unless you're selling your house.

CHRIS: Well, unless you're selling your house. Of course.

GLENN: Yeah.

CHRIS: But generally speaking, if you're buying a house, you would prefer to buy one that's cheaper rather than more expensive.

GLENN: Yes, yes.

CHRIS: So everybody I talked to says, "Look, I like falling prices." That's not what the fed is targeting when it's worried about deflation. They have a different thing they're worried about, where prices rising or falling is the symptom, but the cause is what they're concerned about. And the cause is either our credit markets are expanding, or they're contracting.

When they're expanding, which gives us inflation, everything kind of works. You know, governments can continue to run deficits and big banks can do crazy dumb things. And it all seems to work out the opposite though, Glenn, when credit is falling. That's also known as 2009 in the United States. It is deeply scary. What works in forward doesn't work at all in reverse. The whole system shudders and threatens to collapse. It's a really scary moment. So we have a system that either expands --

GLENN: Wait. Wait. Wait. Is that because what I have as collateral is no longer worth as much so I can't get credit, or why is that?

CHRIS: Well, let's take a simple example. We just have a bank, you and I, and all we're doing is making real estate loans. And, you know, we're taking in one dollar and basically loaning nine more dollars back out because that's how our symptom operates. And we loan those $9 out to somebody who's bought a house. And if that house goes up in value, that person will be able to sell their house, service that mortgage before they do, and maybe buy a bigger house, and we'll loan them nine more dollars. Expanding is easy. But as soon as that person can't sell that house for what we've loaned the money them to, then lest all they have to lose is one dollar out of that nine that we loan them, and our entire capital stock of our business, our bank, is now wiped out.

So you can't have even tiny, tiny contractions in the credit system without really impairing and sometimes destroying the banking system itself. And that's what the fed cares about. Because let's remember, the federal reserve is not really federal. It's a private entity. It's got a charter from the US government. And it operates a very nice monopoly. But its first set of clients always is the banks. So if the banking system is happy and expanding, the fed is happy.

GLENN: Okay. So they're not worried about deflation. They're worried about the bank. But by doing what they've done, they are throwing caution to the wind by printing 7 trillion dollars' worth of currency. Never been done before in the history of the world. And expecting that hyperinflation won't happen. How can we have printed that much money and not had the problem of the Weimar Republic? What's the difference?

CHRIS: The difference is that today we have these really so-called robust financial markets. So I was just at a wealth conference on Monday of last weekend. That question was asked: Hey, where is this inflation? Well, it's in the financial markets. We see highly, highly inflated stock and bond markets. We see inflated real estate markets, especially on the top end.

Now, Glenn, who got that money when the fed printed all those trillions? Well, it kind of went to the upper .1 percent. So guess what, buying a Gulfstream 650 is a very expensive proposition. High-end art, very large diamonds, these all went up extraordinarily in price. So we have seen the beginnings of inflation. It just didn't show up in eggs and milk this time because the fed didn't print and give it to people. They printed and gave it to a financial system.

GLENN: So is that a savior for us?

CHRIS: Well, it's -- I think it's provided temporary appearance of relief. But when those rich people, when those concentrations of money decide, "I don't want another Gulfstream 650, I'm worried about the value of the currency," all of that currency rushes through what are very tiny little doors trying to get into real stuff again and away from paper stuff.

GLENN: And that's why real estate -- that's why art -- I mean, I've looked at the art -- we just sold I think one of the most expensive paintings I think ever. Again, was like $85 million for one piece of art. And I explained that as the people at the very top have so much money, they don't know what to do with it. They know that everything is overvalued. But it's like looking at a -- looking at a -- at a -- at a bill at a very nice restaurant that didn't have any prices on the -- on the menu. And you're looking at the bill, and you're thinking, "How the hell did we get here?" Well, I've got to make the broccoli now $35 a head because I've already priced the meat so far out, that the broccoli is looking like a deal. So the art is looking like a deal, even at $85 million, compared to where everything else is priced. Is that accurate, do you think?

CHRIS: It is. It's what happens when too much money is printed and put into a market. Things get crazy priced. And we saw that for tulips in the 1600s in Holland. And we've seen it with pieces of swampland in Florida. We've seen it over and over again. And the bubbles always have the same self-reinforcing mental map on the way up. It makes sense.

People go, "Well, the last guy paid 79 million. I paid 85. Somebody surely is going to pay me 100 million for this piece of art." That's all self-reinforcing on the way up, and we don't know why. But eventually, there's a pin that that bubble finds. And when it bursts, then you discover what the true value of things is, and things go down very quickly at that point.

GLENN: Chris, you talk to people in your business -- and I have -- this is the reason you work for me on these things now because I couldn't find somebody like you.

Everybody in your business will say, "It's -- no, we have systems now, and it's not going to be that way. And you don't to have worry about those things." No one will tell you what you're saying to me, that this is going to burst and it's going to be you will.

CHRIS: Well, you know, if it's not going to burst, we have to believe in the four most dangerous words in human investing history, which is, "This time it's different."

GLENN: It's different.

CHRIS: It's not different. It's never different. I'm seeing the exact same psychology. Rationalizations. Post-facto rationalizations that people make. "Oh, here's why that -- here's why we had this Trump rally." You know.

To me, it's much easier to understand where we are if you see that we've got a very scared set of central planners. They've worked themselves into a multi-decade corner. They don't know what to do. So they print.

And you can find this story in Roman times. You can find it in the first --

GLENN: Every time.

CHRIS: -- paper money in China. You can find it all throughout history. And it boils down through this, Glenn, it's very simple, humans would rather take a little risk today, instead of some pain today, in the hopes that things turn out better in the future. But we always go down the same path.

GLENN: Real quick, I only have 30 seconds: Are we going to see a hyperinflation situation like the Weimar Republic? Do you think we're going to see that? If so, are we going to see it in the next four years?

CHRIS: We're going to see it at some point. It could come at any time. It will happen at some point. And I think that the best quote on this comes from Ludwig von Mises. He's an Austrian economist. And he said, "There's no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later, as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved."

GLENN: Chris, thank you very much.

Peakprosperity.com. And Chris explains all of this and can help you through it and everything else. Peakprosperity.com. Chris Martenson, thank you for being on. And we'll have Chris in the studio with us hopefully several times next year to kind of really lay things out. Because I -- I want to show you what's coming and show you how the whole system works. And Chris is going to be instrumental in that.

Featured Image: Fine standard 400 oz gold bars. Photo Credit: Andrzej Barabasz (Chepry)

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.

Other headlines:

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

CANDIDATE PROFILE

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.

Other headlines:

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

CANDIDATE PROFILE

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.

Other headlines:

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

CANDIDATE PROFILE

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.

Other headlines:

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

CANDIDATE PROFILE

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)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

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


Other headlines:

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.