Any Talk of Immigration Reform Must Start With Sealing the Porous Southern Border

The outspoken and fantastically fierce Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke filled in for Glenn on The Glenn Beck Program today, Monday, December 19.

Read below or listen to the full segment from Hour 2 for answers to these questions:

• Who is a best friend to police officers?

• What is reality like for police officers today?

• Is it violating federal law to threaten Electoral College voters?

• Does Sheriff Clarke think we should locked down the borders?

• Is Sen. Jeff Sessions a good choice for Attorney General?

• Is there a mechanism in place to defund sanctuary cities?

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

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

DAVID: Welcome back to the program. I'm your host today, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. This is the Glenn Beck Program.

Our next segment, we're going to be talking to Heather Mac Donald. There is no better friend outside of law enforcement than Heather Mac Donald. I've said that before. And I truly mean it. Joined on the line by Heather Mac Donald.

Heather, how are you?

HEATHER: Great, Sheriff Clarke. It's always such an honor to speak with you.

DAVID: Likewise. And I gave you an introduction in the opening, so they kind of know your background. Your latest book The War On Cops is a must-read for all law enforcement officers, people outside of law enforcement, who want the research, who want the data, the statistics, to fight back in this war on police.

Now, you authored an article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend. And you indicate that Trump can end the war on cops. And in it, you say Donald Trump's promise to restore law and order to America's cities was one of the most powerful themes of his presidential campaign. His capacity to deliver will depend on changing destructive presidential rhetoric about law enforcement and replacing the federal policies that flowed from that rhetoric. How does president-elect Donald Trump go back doing that?

HEATHER: Well, I would love to hear him or his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, give a speech just laying out the facts for the American public that policing today is data-driven. There's no government agency more committed to the proposition that Black Lives Matter, than the police.

And that there is simply no evidence that policing is shot through with racial bias or that we're living through an epidemic of racially biased shootings of police officers. And he should promise to, you know, investigate misconduct when it legitimately -- when there's legitimate evidence that it's occurred. And, of course, officers have to be held to the highest standards of courtesy, respect, and lawful behavior. But the public has to stop fighting officers. They have to stop resisting arrest. They have to cooperate with criminal investigations.

As you know, Sheriff Clarke, a detective will tell you, he could solve every single murder in the inner city if he got the witnesses to cooperate. And instead, because of the no-snitching ethic, nobody's talking. And that's the reality that cops are facing today.

DAVID: There's no doubt about it. It's part of the cultural dysfunction that I've talked about, that exists. And it's not all black people. I'm not even intimating that, and you aren't either. But there is some cultural dysfunction that goes on. Like you've mentioned, the no snitching, lack of respect for authority, lack of respect for the police.

Now, you mentioned Jeff Sessions. He's the President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to be the next attorney general of the United States. And I indicated when Donald Trump ran for president, I said, "One of the things he could do -- because, as you know and you point out, you know, local policing is a local issue.

HEATHER: Right.

DAVID: But the feds can't play a role in helping us.

But you mentioned Jeff Sessions. And I said one of the things the president-elect can do is appoint an attorney general who understands policing, who is a supporter of the police, a supporter -- strict supporter of the rule of law. How do you think Jeff Sessions can help and will help?

HEATHER: Sessions is a remarkable appointment. It could not have been better.

DAVID: Amen.

HEATHER: And, as you know, Sheriff Clarke, you have been one of the most fearless exponents of the immigration rule of law. And for people who believe that immigration should be a function of the American people deciding what their laws should be -- not a function of people outside the country, deciding whether they want to enter illegally, Sessions could not be a better pick because he has been the voice within the Senate for immigration enforcement and the rule of law.

But on the policing matter, he's also stood up against the phony narrative that so-called mass incarceration is another idea of where racism is dominant.

DAVID: One of the myths.

HEATHER: And he's pushed back against this myth that the reason that there is a disproportionate representation of blacks in prison is because of criminal justice racism.

The reality is, sadly, criminologists have tried decades to find this evidence of criminal justice system, racism. They always come up short and against their most fervent desires, are forced to conclude that it's a crime that is resulting in disproportionate representation of blacks in prison.

And Sessions will, I think, try to put a break on this effort to de-incarcerate and decriminalize, that is contributing to the crime increase that this country has experienced over the last two years.

DAVID: And one of the things that you point out -- you've done extensive research on, is this theory that you offer about the Ferguson effect, where police have cut way back on pedestrian stops, public order enforcement, I call it, quality of life enforcement, assertive policing, discretionary policing. That they've cut back in minority neighborhoods because of this war on cops and now this fear to actually go out and like I said, assertively police, for fear of being caught up in some United States Department of Justice dragnet, if you will, and called racist.

What effect has the Ferguson effect had on the quality of life for black people living in these high-crime neighborhoods?

HEATHER: It means that their voices are being ignored. You know, I don't blame the cops for backing off. Because if they're told by the most powerful segment of society, which is the media, the political class, the academics, that they're racist for enforcing quality of life laws. And when they encounter this virulent hatred in the streets now, they're human. And they're going to back off.

But there's another segment in the black community that is not represented on CNN or MSNBC. And these are the people that I hear every time I go to a police community meeting, in places like Harlem or central Brooklyn. These are the good, law-abiding, bourgeois citizens who beg the police to restore order, to clear the corners of the youths who are hanging out, fighting, smoking weed, to get the drug dealers off the streets, to get rid of the illegal vendors, to get the kids out of their lobby. And the irony that the cops face in today's racially charged world is that they cannot respond to those heartfelt requests for public order, without generating the racially disproportionate stop-and-arrest data that the Justice Department under a President Obama or an ACLU can use against them in the next racial profiling lawsuit.

DAVID: You know, one of the things that I admire you about you, Heather, is unlike many academics who sit up there and offer these theories, and they write these reports from these ivory towers. They're not at street level. They don't talk to street cops on the front lines. They don't talk to everyday citizens that have to live with this crime and violence. And you have done that. You go down to the street level. And most of these people are too afraid to do that sort of thing.

I want to thank you for the work that you continue to do on behalf of, not just the police, but on behalf of every law-abiding citizen in America who appreciates the rule of law and what it does to maintain some standard that we all want to live under inside these neighborhoods.

Again, Heather Mac Donald's book, The War On Cops, a must-read. And, Heather, thanks for joining me, and Merry Christmas.

HEATHER: Well, Sheriff, thank you so much. And I'd like to tell your listeners to pre-order your book, Cop Under Fire. I'm sure it's available on Amazon. And if not, they should just sign up as quickly as possible because it's a fantastic, elevating (inaudible) to American greatness.

DAVID: Well, Heather, thanks for that endorsement.

Coming up in the next segment, we're going to talk immigration. And that is, like I said, in the first 100 days, one of the things that this Congress, this new Congress is going to have to deal with, keeping in mind that the Constitution says that Congress has the enforcement and the -- is empowered to create immigration laws. The Congress. Not the president of the United States.

The president-elect, I should say, Donald Trump has made it very clear that he wants something done to finally fix this issue of immigration. But we'll talk about that again. The number is (888)727-2325. It's 888-727-BECK. You'll want to get in on that conversation. I'm Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, in for Glenn Beck. This is the Glenn Beck Program.

[break]

DAVID: Welcome back to the program. I'm your host for today. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. This is the Glenn Beck Radio Program. Thanks for joining us. Again, you can follow me during the week on Twitter @SheriffClarke. And that's C-L-A-R-K-E. Don't forget the E. And also at ThePeoplesSheriff@Patheos.com. That's my blog. And also don't forget, Cop Under Fire, my book coming out in March of 2017. You can preorder that now on Amazon. And I've been told you can order that at Barnes & Noble as well.

Call-in number, 888-727-BECK. (888)727-2325. We're going to talk about immigration. This is going to be one of the priorities of the Trump administration. He campaigned on it. On his thank-you tour, victory tour across the United States and some of the other states that he won, that he was not expected to win, he talked about it again. He's going to build a wall, folks.

We can talk some other day about who is going to pay for it and all that other stuff -- you know, the trimming on it. Going to build a wall.

It has to happen. Because any talk of immigration reform -- any talk of immigration reform has to start with sealing the border. It has to.

If you don't seal our porous southern border, mainly the southern one, it's not going to matter. Because you can deport all the people you want, even the criminal illegal aliens, which there are about 820,000 estimated -- you can deport them all you want. They're coming right back.

Some other aspects of immigration -- see, the problem, ladies and gentlemen, is we don't enforce the laws on the book. We talk comprehensive -- I don't know what that means anyway -- comprehensive immigration reform. But when we talk about immigration reform, we have immigration laws on the books that we will not enforce. So part of it is getting back to enforcing the laws as they are written. And if Congress and other constitutional authority thinks that we need to reform some of those, well, God bless them.

They can make all the laws they want. If the laws are not enforced by the United States Department of Justice, by the White House, you know how President Obama has obliterated our immigration laws. And it's not going to matter what kind of new immigration reform that they come up with.

So we have to lock down the border. This is a national security issue. If you're going to be a sovereign nation, which the United States is, then you have to have borders and you have to enforce those borders.

But there's no -- there's been no will. And, you know what, this -- this stuff transcends different administrations.

Republican presidents haven't had the will. Democrat presidents haven't had the will. Democrat-controlled congresses haven't had the will. Republican-controlled congresses haven't had the will. They've always turned this into a political issue. How can they use this into political leverage? How can we turn this into votes?

Instead of just enforcing the law. So there's this estimate that we have anywhere between, I don't know, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17 million people living illegally in the United States.

What do we do with those? We don't have the answer for that. But I know this much, as I indicated -- there are about 820,000 criminal illegals who have not been deported. We need to start there because that can happen immediately. What congress wants to do with the anywhere from 11 to 17 million illegal aliens in the United States, I'm going to leave it to Congress, the political issue. But let's get rid of the criminals.

And here's another thing, folks, I'm tired of the games being played with criminal illegal aliens where courts and others are saying, "Well, you know, it has to be a serious felony." And then other courts have thrown attempts to deport out because, "Well, that's not really a serious felony, like burglary." Yes, it is. It's a very serious felony. Because if you break into my house and I'm home, you're an intruder and I fear for my life -- I'm going to shoot -- I'm going to shoot you. That's how serious this is.

So what they're basically saying is, "Well, you can't use deadly force, Sheriff, if someone breaks into your home because that's not a serious felony." Yes, it is. I'm going to make sure it's clear to the perpetrator, it is very serious.

I don't think it's unreasonable -- I do not think it's unreasonable. If you are in somebody else's country, that you should adhere to all of their laws. You are a guest. And if you're in the country illegally, you're a trespasser. You should be able to deported, for disorderly conduct, for drunk driving. We've had courts throw out attempts to deport a criminal or illegal alien who has been arrested for drunk driving. Said it's not serious. That is -- yes, it is.

So we got to get rid of this notion of trying to parse things here. And, you know, pick nits.

Well, it's not -- no, you will obey all of our laws, civil and criminal. I don't think that's asking that much.

It would happen to you or I, if we were in somebody else's country. If you went to Mexico, they would look at you -- if you were arrested for drunk driving, "Well, it's not really serious." Oh, they would look at it differently.

One of the other reasons we have to lock down the border, to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases.

Remember the flu epidemic a couple years ago? Do you remember some of the other epidemics that hit the United States? There was a fear about it, just a couple years ago. Ebola, remember that? That's why -- that's another reason you have to control your borders, to spread and prevent infectious diseases from becoming epidemic in your country. So it's a national security issue. There's health issues.

And like I said, if you're going to be a sovereign nation, you have to have borders, and you have to be willing to enforce those borders.

Now, coming up on the other side of this break -- because there's many facets to immigration reform. And I want to hear from you. 888-727-BECK. (888)727-2325.

One of the other important issues surrounding immigration is, what do we do with these sanctuary cities? These cities that are providing safe haven for not just people in the country illegally, but for criminal aliens as well. There are laws on the books that don't allow the local level to do this. But, again, we have not demonstrated that we have the will to enforce our immigration laws.

That's why we're up to now, you know, 17 million people in the country illegally. And it will get worse as time goes by.

Coming up on the other side, we're going to continue this conversation. I'm Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, in for Glenn Beck. This is the Glenn Beck Radio Program.

[break]

DAVID: Welcome back to the program. I'm your host today, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. I'll give you advanced notice, or maybe warning in some case. I'll be with you tomorrow, as well. This is the Glenn Beck Program.

Before we get back into this immigration issue -- and, again, the number is 888-727-BECK. That's 888-727-2325.

Let's go to the phones. Chris from Florida, you've been waiting for some time. Chris, welcome to the Glenn Beck Radio Program.

CALLER: Thank you, Sheriff. Good morning to you.

DAVID: Good morning to you, sir.

CALLER: I'd like to first just say, you know, I am a deputy out here in south Florida. And I'm a part of all law officers: Men, women, white, black, Hispanic. Just thank you for how strong you've gone to bat for us, to, you know, tell the public to at least have the facts come out before we're hung, judged, fired. You know, have all the facts come out in all the cases. Because as you've seen on TV, a lot of us have come back innocent on cases. And their lives and careers are ruined even because they did what they had to do. And I still back, like you say, if an officer does cross the line and does do wrong, well then he needs to -- he or she does need to face the consequences. But we just can't be judged right away. And I want to just thank you very much for everything you've done on that.

DAVID: Thank you, Chris. Thanks for the call.

You know, and that's a good segue into continuing this immigration issue. I want to thank Chris and everybody who puts on that uniform and goes out to protect and serve their community, puts their life on the line, puts themselves in harm's way. These people have families. They're spouses. And what they do for this country is incredible. It's been an honor, Chris, and it's been an honor to every law enforcement officer out there to be able to defend your character, your courage, your commitment, your sacrifice as you go about protecting and serving your community.

Now, here's why this is a segue with local law enforcement. One of the things I've thrown out there in terms of immigration reform is, we need a mechanism with which to deputize all local law enforcement officers to have immigration enforcement authority. Currently, they do not -- this is going to be a big issue because the local law enforcement officer comes across these individuals on a daily basis.

Let's be frank, ladies and gentlemen, immigration and customs enforcement don't have the bodies, they're not in these neighborhoods, they're not doing traffic stops, they're not investigating crimes where they're coming across these individuals. The local law enforcement officer does not have the authority currently to detain these people for potential -- for potentially being in the country illegally. They can notify ICE. We can notify them. But we can't hold them, unless ICE puts a detainer on.

So here's how this works: If I go and make a traffic stop -- I'm investigating a traffic violation. I'm not investigating whether this person is in the country illegally or not. And all of a sudden, you come across an individual with no driver's license. You come across an individual who has no identification and he or she can't even speak the English language, at least not fluently, it doesn't mean necessarily they're in the country illegally. But that is called a red flag.

So what we would do in that instance -- what I would do -- let me talk about what I would do. Don't forget, I've been doing this -- I'm in my 39th year. I never tell people I've seen it all because every time I start to believe that I have, I see something that I haven't seen before.

But I will say this about my 39 years in serving my community and wearing my community's uniform, I've seen a lot. So what we would do in that situation is you'd call a bilingual officer, someone who speaks Spanish. Say, come over and interpret. And you start asking a few questions: Where do you work? Where do you live?

You try to find known associates. So you're just asking some probing questions. You aren't doing any immigration enforcement. But you're allowed to ask those questions of a law enforcement officer. Because don't forget, you're going to write a citation, and the person has no identification. How do you know who this person is?

So what we would do is make some determination -- you may haul them in, on a summary arrest, because they don't have ID. So you take them in for fingerprints so you can identify them. So you can write the citation.

We are not enforcing immigration up to this point. Now, what we can do is notify immigration and customs enforcement and we can say, "We've got an individual here when we suspect may be in the country illegally. We don't have -- we still don't have the authority to detain them." Now, ICE gets to make that determination.

They'll ask a few questions. They'll do some initial digging. And they'll say, "We're going to put a detainer on that individual." Now the local jail has the authority to detain this person under that lawful detainer. Now, they don't have to.

Because the feds can't force -- the locals, the local law enforcement, local communities to enforce immigration, but I do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I've been a part of a couple of those initiatives. Secure communities. We cooperate with ICE. We don't enforce immigration. We don't have the authority.

But I'll -- I'll detain. They're not doing California. That's why Kate Steinle is dead. You remember that case. The one that capitulated the immigration issue for Donald Trump.

That guy had been deported five or six times. Back in the country. In and out of jail. The sheriff of the San Francisco area wouldn't honor the detainers. So these guys go back on the street to commit crimes, to commit more crimes.

So we want to secure communities. I would hold -- I still hold them today. If ICE puts on a detainer, I hold that. Yeah, I get blasted politically in Milwaukee County. I don't care about that. I care about law-abiding citizens. I care about doing my job. Which is, what? To enforce the law.

So I cooperate with ICE. But I think it would go a long way if we would give deputize -- and ICE would have to do that. Federal government. Deputize local law enforcement so we could start asking these questions, looking at whether this person is in the country illegally or not. Currently, we can't do that.

I think it would go a long way. So, you know, there's many facets. But the sanctuary city deal, totally out of hand. San Francisco is one. There's many cities, all run by Democrats, liberal Democrats. What I mean by that, their mayors, their city councils, who make it clear, "We're going to provide a safe harbor, a safe haven for people who are in the country illegally." Guess what, there's a federal law that says you can't do that.

And I've talked about it. It's under 8USC1324, which in part contains criminal sanctions for any person who knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to or entered or remains in the United States, in violation of law, in attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection such alien in any place, including any building or in subsection. Four, encourages or induces an alien to come, enter, or reside in the United States.

That's what sanctuary cities are doing. They're saying, "Come here. We'll provide you safe haven." Safe haven.

Knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to or entry or residents, is or will be in violation of the law, engages in any conspiracy to commit any of the preceding acts, shall be fined and imprisoned for up to five or ten years -- five to ten years.

These sanctuary cities -- these mayors, these city councils who are proclaiming a sanctuary city, they are in violation of 8USC1324. But, folks, remember. Remember what I said: We don't have the will. We don't have the will -- this law is already in the books. Congress doesn't even have to add nothing to this. But where is the will? What about the rule of law?

I'll tell you right now, this happens on college campuses -- there's some university recently where the president said, "We're not going to enforce immigration in terms of -- of illegal aliens coming on to our campuses and enrolling in our schools. They're in violation of 8USC1324."

I'll tell you right now, the first university president, the first mayor, the first city council president that is prosecuted under 8USC1324, I'm telling you right now, within a year, these sanctuary cities would shut down.

It would serve as a deterrent. But they them their nose because they know there's no will on the part of the federal government, the United States Department of Justice, the attorney general of the United States. They know there's no will to enforce this.

See, this to me is the biggest aspect of any kind of immigration reform. You can come up, as I said, with all of the reform you want, you don't have the will to enforce it -- enforce the border, deport criminal illegal aliens and other persons that we learn are in the country illegally -- we're not talking about roundups. You can't round up 17 million people, but you can put things in place to discourage this.

We have to zero tolerance, zero tolerance at the federal level to enter into the United States illegally and set up residence. Zero tolerance. And when we do this, people will stop coming over. They'll stop crossing the borders. You don't have to round up and deport 17 million people.

When you force employers -- here's another aspect, when you force employers under E-Verify -- right now, E-Verify is voluntary. So the federal government sets up this program where employers can run these names through to see if the person is in the country legally before they employ them. But it's a voluntary system. You have to have it mandatory.

How do you? Well, when you find some business that in large numbers -- I'm not talking about one person that slipped through the net, that in large numbers are employing illegal aliens knowingly and they haven't checked with E-Verify, you hammer them. There are sanctions for that.

Once again, we come back to this -- we have plenty of laws on the books to fix this immigration issue, but we don't have the will.

So another thing that I would recommend is to make the E-Verify system mandatory. And like I said, well, how do you mandatory that employers are going to do it? Well, when you find out that they've employed somebody who is in the country illegally, massive fines. Massive fines. You don't have to arrest anybody. Massive fines for that company or corporation. This stuff would stop yesterday.

When the federal government sends the signal that we're not doing this anymore, we're not going to allow you to do it anymore, because we are a sovereign nation. Like I said, this is a national security issue. This is a domestic security issue. This is a public health issue.

We're going to continue this on the other side of the break. I'm Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke in for Glenn Beck. This is the Glenn Beck Program.

[break]

DAVID: Thanks for joining us. Thanks for staying with us today. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. We're talking immigration. Something the new Congress is going to have to take up and many facets that are involved and what it might look like. Let's go to the phones. Mike in Missouri, you're on the Glenn Beck Program. Mike, are you there?

CALLER: Hey, Sheriff, thanks for having me.

DAVID: My pleasure.

CALLER: You know, I just wanted to mention it. You kind of touched on it a little bit, because you keep talking about that we don't enforce the law. And I think the main thing it comes down to is accountability. And it's something that's not mentioned enough because there is no accountability.

But I think Trump's already demonstrated that he believes in a top-down leadership, you know, with an open door. And I don't think you can go to the cities themselves. But, you know, there's nothing to say that he can't lean on the governor which leans on the county seat, which, you know, maybe pulls in a senator from that district and goes to these cities and be like, "You know, this is what the deal is. And we're going to bring in -- I don't know the rule of law that you were discussing. I don't know if it would be like a U.S. Marshal that would enforce them or if the FBI would come in and enforce them.

But like you said, as soon as we get one person arrested or prosecuted for harboring an illegal, I think things will change. But there's no will because there's no accountability. No one comes to these local sheriffs or these local city mayors and says, "Hey, this is what you have to do, or you're going to have consequences." And no one holds anyone accountable anymore. And I think that's where the lack of will came from.

DAVID: Without a doubt. Mike, thanks for the call. Without a doubt, there's no will to enforce the law. But here's how you deal with sanctuary cities: Defund them. There is a mechanism. We might get into that coming up after the next break. We're going to continue this. 888-727-BECK.

Defunding sanctuary cities. There's a mechanism in place. Again, like I said, and Mike touched on it, we have what we need. There's no will to enforce it. I mean, like I said, these are national security issues, domestic security issues. You have public health implications involved in this sort of thing. They have to get their arms around this now.

I'm Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke in for Glenn Beck. This is the Glenn Beck Radio Program. Stay with us.

Featured Image: The Rio Grande flows along the U.S.-Mexico border on August 16, 2016 near Roma, Texas. Border security has become a main issue in the U.S. Presidential campaign, as Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump has promised to build a wall, at Mexico's expense to fortify the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

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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