Obama's 'Task Force on 21st Century Policing' Puts Officers at Risk

The outspoken and fantastically fierce Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke filled in for Glenn on The Glenn Beck Program today, Tuesday, December 20.

Read below or listen to the full segment from Hour 1 for answers to these questions:

• Who has benefitted most from Obama's presidency?

• Has Obama pardoned more criminals than any US president?

• What services have plummeted at Planned Parenthood?

• Why should cities fight and resist consent decrees from the Department of Justice?

• How does the Department of Justice slant the hiring process in favor of liberals?

• How does Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing put officers at risk?

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

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

DAVID: One month from today, we are done with Barack Obama as president of the United States. Yes, one month from today, America's nightmare will be over. Who has been the biggest beneficiary of having Barack Obama in the White House? I'll let you ponder that for a moment. Welcome to the program.

I'm Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. I'm your host for today. This is the Glenn Beck Program. Filling in for Glenn. What an honor this is. I'll give my usual disclaimer. This is Glenn's program. He's a brand. He has built this brand. Those tuning in today, you are his listeners, and I want to be respectful of that.

But at the same time, I've been given the liberty, if you will, to express my own views. So if you say something that you don't agree with, if I say something, you know, you get all -- all rankled about, don't worry about it, all right? Life's too short. Blame me. Don't blame Glenn. And don't blame TheBlaze. I got big shoulders. I got blamed for a lot of stuff. I still have some room on those shoulders.

Coming up on the show today, we're going to be joined by two guests actually. One in the second hour, one in the third hour. I think you'll enjoy it. I'm going to be join in actually the first hour by Hans von Spakovsky. He's an authority in a wide range of issues, including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law, and government reform. He's a senior legal fellow in the Heritage Foundation's Edwin Meese Center for legal and judicial studies. And with Hans, we're going to talk about the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and the consent decree process where the federal government liberally has taken over police agencies under the Barack Obama administration and how that leads to a rise in crime and violence under those consent decrees.

Also, we're going to be joined later in the program by David French. He's a staff writer at National Review. He's an attorney. He concentrates his practice in constitutional law in the law of armed conflict. He's a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. And with David, we're going to talk about Black Lives Matter and their affinity and love affair with their now departed, the late Fidel Castro.

Also, we're also going to talk about the CIA colluding with the media to put out glowing reports about themselves. It's more evidence of the corruption that has gone on in this country and in our institutions of government. And it starts in the White House. It extends to the United States Department of Justice.

You remember Loretta Lynch meeting with the husband of a person under investigation, and that was when she met on an airport tarmac -- she did not believe this would get out. But she met with Bill Clinton. And, of course, you know, she blew it off at first. She said, "Well, we just talked about his grandkids, and we talked about his golf game." And so on and so forth.

And like five days, this woman stood up there and continued to deny that there was any impropriety or conflict of interest in doing that. And when the presser got so heavy in the White House, she finally buckled and said it was wrong for her to do that.

Actually, she should have been investigated and probably had her law license suspended over that. We've seen corruption in the IRS, with going after people because their political views differed from that of the White House. The IRS was weaponized in not giving people their tax-exempt status or slow-walking that ability for those people to do that and engage in constitutionally protected activity. And that's the political process.

So we'll talk about that as well. Let's get back to what I said to open the program. Who has been the biggest beneficiary -- beneficiary of -- of President Obama in the White House?

I will suggest to you, it is the convicted criminal. Came across an article, a story the other day, and it's -- here's what it says: Obama pardons the most people ever in a single day. President Obama granted clemency to 231 inmates on Monday, the most ever in one day in US history. The pardons are part of Obama's clemency push before he leaves office in a few weeks. Coming out of the USA Today, it goes on to say that with just 32 days left in office, Obama more than doubled the number of pardons he granted in the previous seven years. And if my memory serves me correct, I think he's pardoned or issued clemency to more people than any president in United States history. So this is something new.

This USA Today story goes on to say that the president is playing -- this is a quote from Jeff Sessions, the nominee to be the next attorney general: The president is playing a dangerous game to advance his political ideology, Senator Jeff Sessions said after Obama granted a single-day record of 214 commutations in August. This story also goes on to say that Obama's action follow a pattern of pre-holiday clemency that critics have called part of a broken process. And I would agree with that.

I'm not going to suggest that he doesn't have the right to do that, under his executive power. But I think it's being abused. It's been part of the Democrat campaign, their fail campaign, to embrace criminality, criminal behavior, criminal lifestyles and to make excuses for that sort of thing. It's why the American voter rejected Mrs. Bill Clinton to become the next president of the United States. They had seen enough of that stuff. And it was a very slippery slope that they were on. And hopefully we have put an end to that.

Came across something else that's kind of interesting. Planned Parenthood -- this comes from LifeSite News. The title says, "Does Planned Parenthood do any good for women's health? These stats will shock your liberal friends."

But, but, but Planned Parenthood offers all of these other services. That's the battle cry from pro-choice activists across the nation in attempts to redefine what Planned Parenthood clearly is, a business that profits predominantly from the killing of over 320,000 human beings a year. Think about that, folks.

This story goes on to say, what about those other services at Planned Parenthood? Well, they're in a free fall just like the mainstream media's credibility. Breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood -- they claim to do those -- down 51.3 percent in the last five years. Pap tests, down 64.7 percent. Prenatal care, which looks to be facing an eventual phase-out is down 44 percent. HPV treatments down 37 percent.

All of these declines have occurred in Planned Parenthood's fiscal years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. But you won't hear that from America's fake news outlets like MSNBC, CNN, NBC News, new York Times, Huffington Post, LA Times, and many more.

All you hear -- all you will hear is that undeniably distinct sign of cheerleading for Planned Parenthood.

Story goes on to say that failure pays. Well, Planned Parenthood doesn't see less health care as a failure. Since Cecile Richards took over the helm at the eugenics birth organization, number of annual abortions committed rose from 289,000 in '06 to 323,000 in 2014, a 12 percent jump. That's an increase from 23 percent of all US abortions to nearly 32 percent today. That's something worse celebrating at a place that kills for a living.

Well, Planned Parenthood and killing the unborn is like Hillary Clinton and corruption, this story says. They are inseparable. One of the first things that I think Donald Trump should do in his first 100 days upon resuming the Oval Office is to reinstitute that ban on public funding for abortion.

Look, I'm not going to sit here today and get into whether Roe v. Wade should be reversed. But I don't want my federal tax dollars going to the killing of the unborn. Not to mention that Planned Parenthood kills more black babies than any other race.

Again, I'm Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, filling in for Glenn Beck. This is the Glenn Beck Radio Program. If you want to get in on any of these topics today, the call-in number is 888-727-BECK. That's 888-727-2325. We're going to take a break. And on the other side, when we come back, we're going to be joined by my first guest, Hans von Spakovsky, and we're going to talk about consent to decree. Let's take a break.

[break]

DAVID: Welcome back to the program. Milwaukee County David Clarke. Your host for the today. This is the Glenn Beck Radio Program.

Last week, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that it's possible that the Justice Department in the city of Baltimore and their officials will have a consent decree in place to reform the city's police department over the next few weeks. She said that she was hopeful to have an announcement on the status of the consent decree negotiations between the police department and the city.

And this is a quote from her: We're looking forward to getting a positive response from city officials on finalizing this consent decree and making sure everyone in Baltimore has the constitutional policing that all citizens deserve.

This follows the death of Freddie Gray that resulted in riots in the city of Baltimore. I'm joined on the line today by Hans von Spakovsky.

Hans, I introduced you in the opening. People have a little bit of your bio. Welcome to the program.

HANS: Sheriff Clarke, thanks for having me.

DAVID: Hans, here's where I want to start: Your experience or knowledge about the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, their attitude, their temperament, their zeal, if you will, to go after police departments across the United States.

HANS: Yeah. The Civil Rights Division has a particular section inside of it. It's called the special litigation section. And they are the ones responsible for policing police departments. What they're doing is enforcing this federal statute that prohibits what's called a pattern and practice of unconstitutional behavior.

Here's the problem: The -- the people who work in that -- the lawyers who work there, they were all hired from liberal progressive advocacy organizations like the NAACP. The ACLU. Prisoners rights organizations. There's one woman in there who before she came to the Civil Rights Division was working trying to get one of the terrorists in Guantanamo Bay released. And they -- and not only do they not have any experience in law enforcement, they have a real hostility to law enforcement.

One of the folks that we know who heads that section has expressed his hatred for American law enforcement. And so you've got people coming in, supposedly to see how law enforcement and police departments are performing, who hate the police. And they go far beyond what they're supposed to do. They often come to conclusions that aren't supported by the evidence. It's really one of the worst -- worst offices inside the Justice Department.

DAVID: You know, it's interesting because yesterday on this program, I talked about Debo Adegbile, who Barack Obama last week -- the end of last week gave a six-year appointment to the USA DOJ Civil Rights Division. And I talked yesterday about the attitude of Debo Adegbile. He's a black racialist. He's anti-police. He was turned down by the United States Senate. His confirmation was rejected in a bipartisan fashion to become a federal judge. And then Barack Obama turned around and tried to make him the head of the US DOJ Civil Rights Division.

And at the time, there were several US senators, including Pat Toomey, among others, who said he was not a good fit. He didn't have the right temperament. He comes in with a bias. He's very anti-police.

And so at the end now, Barack Obama continues to shove this guy down our throats with this appointment, this six-year appointment that doesn't require Senate confirmation to be a part of the US DOJ.

But you mentioned in a talk that you gave that I attended that these -- many of these -- not all of them, many of these are career bureaucrat lawyers, that if they weren't working in the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division as career bureaucrat lawyers, they would be speaking -- they would be doing professor work at some liberal university.

Why do you think that is, that the US DOJ is full of these biased individuals?

HANS: Well, they're self-replicating. I know from my experience there that the managers of the different offices and sections, all of whom are very liberal career folks, they -- they -- frankly, they discriminate in their hiring in the career positions.

If you're a conservative, if you're somebody who believes in the Constitution and the rule of law, you might as well forget applying to work there. Because the managers make sure that only individuals who they consider to be very liberal will get hired. In fact, there was an inspector general report released three years ago -- this inspector general of the Justice Department, and he criticized one of the other sections there, the voting section, for in its hiring practices, ignoring individuals who came in with really high professional qualifications, in favor of hiring almost all of their lawyers, only from five liberal advocacy groups, including the ACLU. So you can see how that they basically slant the hiring process to make sure that only very liberal lawyers who agree with them and who are hostile to the police, are the ones who are going to get hired.

DAVID: Why should these cities fight and resist these consent decrees?

HANS: Because the department goes far beyond its authority under the law. Let me give an example of what I mean. The law they're enforcing says, "There has to be a pattern and practice of official misbehavior." In other words, look, you may occasionally get a policeman who goes too far, you know, uses excessive violence. The fact that one police officer does that in a large police force of a city, that doesn't meet the -- the requirements of the law. And the only -- the only way it would meet the requirements of the law is if the city had an official policy of telling all of its officers to engage in that kind of excessive violence. It has to be a pattern and practice of it.

DAVID: Right.

HANS: This department -- this Justice Department goes after police departments for what are considered these isolated incidents and tries to tie them up into saying, "Oh, well, the entire department engages in that kind of behavior, therefore, we have to put in all these standards for the entire department." And then they go far beyond just correcting that problem. Instead, they try to impose their own ideas, their own standards of how law enforcement should behave, including, by the way, putting in -- this is something they did in the Ferguson -- the city of Ferguson. They put all kinds of social engineering into their thing.

In the Ferguson case, the consent decree has basically quota hiring in it for everything from racial and gender characters to their sexual identity and things like that. I mean, it's just crazy what some of these towns unfortunately agreed to do with the Justice Department.

DAVID: You know, these things are onerous. These things are expensive.

HANS: Yes.

DAVID: And in many cities that are under these consent decrees, what we've found is that they've led to an increase in crime. I was talking to an Oakland PD. Oakland Police Department, Oakland, California, several weeks ago. And he was saying to me, "Sheriff -- he says, "I can't do police work anymore. Every time I make a traffic stop, I have to spend time filling out forms. I have to collect data for the United States Department of Justice.

HANS: Right. Right.

DAVID: And so it prevents me from going back in to service to serve people.

Hans, I'm coming up on a break. I have to let you go, but I want to thank you for joining me. And if I get the chance, we'll continue this conversation. Thanks very much.

HANS: Thanks for having me.

DAVID: Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke in for Glenn Beck. This is the Glenn Beck Radio Program.

Coming on the other side of the break, we're going to get into this 21st policing task force that was convened by President Barack Obama. And I'm going to offer a thesis, an argument, if you will, that these recommendations are causing officers to lose their survival edge. Back on the other side of the break.

[break]

DAVID: Thanks for staying with us. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. I'm your host today on the Glenn Beck Program. Call-in number is 888-727-BECK. That's 888-727-BECK.

Deadly terror attack yesterday in Berlin and a terror attack in Turkey as well, where a Russian ambassador was killed.

Again, terror rears its ugly head. I was encouraged to hear this. This was President-elect Donald Trump's response. This is a quote: These terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the earth.

That's the kind of language I want to hear out of my commander-in-chief. For the last eight years, all we've heard after one of these terror attacks, including the ones here at home, Orlando, San Bernardino, Upstate New York, all we would hear from the current commander-in-chief, we'd get lectures about we can't blame Islam and we can't blame Muslims. And no one was ever suggesting that anyway. No one has ever suggested that all Muslims are responsible for this or believe in it or support it or that Islam is a religion in total -- was at the heart of the problem.

Rallied Islamic terrorism is. That's why I think it's encouraging that at least we'll have a new direction. We'll have a new -- we'll have new rhetoric, if you will, as it relates to these terror attacks, which are going to continue.

Look, here in the United States, we're a target-rich environment. We're an open society. We want it that way. We do not want to shut everything down. And, you know, look at what we're doing with our nation's airports with the TSA. You know, we suspect every American traveler of being a terrorist. Every single one gets put through the screening. Gets felt up. They get their baggage and luggage screened and searched and everything else.

Yet when one of these happens -- you know, from this current president and from this administration, all we hear is, "We're doing something wrong. And we must have done something wrong to upset these individuals." So on and so forth.

So, you know, my thoughts and prayers, and I'm sure yours as well are with the people of Berlin as they struggle with this.

One of the things that Europe has to realize is their open borders and their belief and support for open borders is somewhat to blame for this. My limited understanding -- and still early in this investigation, it's some refugee that was in some refugee camp, probably ISIS-inspired. But time will tell in that investigation. So we'll see what happens there.

Here's what I want to get into next is the president task force on 21st century policing. President Obama, as a result of the Ferguson and the Baltimore riots, convened a task force. He was going to transform American policing. Here's a guy who has never policed not for one hour in his life. He knows nothing about policing. And he specifically knows nothing about policing at the local level. What officers deal with on a daily basis, what they come across on a daily basis, how dangerous this job is.

So he convenes this task force, and he puts -- and he puts bureaucrats on the task force, including another black racialist, Brittany Packnett, I think her name is. Black Lives Matter. Hates cops. Puts her on the task force.

He did not put one street-level law enforcement on the task force to get their perspective of, what's happening at ground level, Officer? What are you dealing with on a daily basis? What do you you see? What we can we do to help you do your job more effectively and in a safer manner? Not one.

He puts all these law enforcement executives, mainly chiefs -- I don't believe he put any elected sheriffs on the task force. And they come up with this set of recommendations. And when I read this thing, when it first came out, I read it. I read the report, and then I immediately put it in the shredder. I said, "This stuff is crazy. It's going to get officers hurt and killed." Here are a few of the recommendations that came out of this task force.

Building trust and legitimacy. Community policing and crime reduction. Training and education. Safety and wellness. The future of community policing. Police and oversight.

Here's some more that came out of this -- this 101-page report. Some principles. Treating people with dignity and respect. We've always demanded that of our law enforcement officers. Does it happen from time to time when cops go outside of our code of conduct and mistreat people? Sure. And we need to deal with that.

Here's another one: Giving individuals voice during encounters. Now, let me stop here. When a law enforcement officer makes a lawful stop, traffic stop, field interview stop, it has to be based on either reasonable suspicion or probable cause. That's what the Constitution is. Rule of law. We can't just stop people willy-nilly. Or say, "Hey, I just don't feel right about this individual. Let me pull them -- you can't do that.

Am I suggesting it never happens? Well, of course not. What the officer has to articulate at some point, why that stop was made. But once that encounter is made and it's a lawful stop, that's not a 50/50 proposition. We're not giving anybody voice during these encounters.

Law enforcement officers give lawful commands: Get out of the car. Let me see your hands. Let me see your driver's license. Your insurance.

And, you know what, you have to comply with it. Voice during the encounter? What, a discussion? About what the officer is doing and whether or not that officer should be doing it? You got to be kidding me.

One of the other recommendations: Being neutral and transparent in decision-making. Conveying trust-worthy motives.

This is amazing. Here's another one here that really got me. This is what led me to believe this thing was going in the shredder when I was done.

It says law enforcement agencies should build relationships based on trust with immigrant communities. I don't deny that. This is essential to overall public safety. But here's what they recommend: To decouple federal immigration enforcement from routine local policing or civil enforcement on nonserious crimes.

It says here the Department of Homeland Security should terminate the use of state and local criminal justice systems, including through detention, notification, and transfer requests, to enforce civil immigration laws against civil and nonserious criminal offenders, listening sessions.

So, in other words, they're saying the federal government shouldn't work with local law enforcement agencies to enforce immigration. This stuff is insane. It's completely insane.

So they make these recommendations -- and we're going to continue this through the break, but they make these recommendations. But there's something that's missing here. Something very important. Again, 888-727-BECK. Or (888)727-2325. There's something very important missing from these recommendations. You know what they don't talk about? Officer safety. This report and this task force basically is trying to turn law enforcement officers, a very dangerous job, into social workers. There's a reason why we don't have social workers responding to police calls for service. It's not a good fit. It's too dangerous.

So we're going to remake police officers -- at least this is what Barack Obama's vision is, we're going to make police officers into something they weren't trained to do, it's not their skill set. It's not that they can't get better at some of these things, but it's not in their wheelhouse.

So when we come back from the break, we're going to talk about how I believe -- and I'm offering this as a thesis, which is an argument, that we're dulling their senses. And it's leading to police officers getting hurt and killed. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke in for Glenn Beck. This is the Glenn Beck Program.

[break]

DAVID: Welcome back to the program. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. Your host today. In for Glenn Beck. This is the Glenn Beck Program. Again, the call-in number is 888-727-BECK. (888)727-2325.

Before we went to the break, I was talking about this 21st century task force on policing. Transforming policing that was put together by President Obama in his attempt to transform this profession into something that it's not -- and I'm offering a thesis. I'm doing some more work on it right now. But I'm offering the thesis that we're dulling law enforcement officers' senses on the street. Senses that they need to stay alive. And we're turning them into things like negotiators, arbitrators. It's not a good fit for the realities of street life for a law enforcement officer.

Before we get back into this, let's go to the phones. George from Pennsylvania, welcome to the program.

CALLER: Good morning, Sheriff Clarke. Thank you for being there and what you bring to the table.

DAVID: My pleasure.

CALLER: I have two questions for you, and I think that if you answer these, this might help the listening audience understand a little bit more about immigration law and maybe some of the misunderstandings that people have.

Now, I'm not an attorney. And I don't play one on TV. But what I would like to understand is, first of all, it's my understanding that immigration law in the United States is a civil infraction, not a criminal infraction or offense?

DAVID: Well, first of all, there are civil and criminal. And, again, I'm not a lawyer either. But I have some familiarity. I have some responsibility. And I've been involved in some programs working with the immigration and customs enforcements. One of them was called Secure Communities, which was ended by President Obama. But if you come back into the country after you've been deported, that becomes a criminal offense. That's what we were dealing with out in San Francisco with Kate Steinle. That guy had been deported five or six times. So that's a criminal offense.

And also, I talked about it the other day, I think it's 8 USC 1234 that provides criminal penalties for people who harbor, hide, and provide cover to people that they know are in the country illegally. So it's both civil and criminal.

CALLER: What's the penalty for like repeat apprehension under the criminal side of reoffending for reentering the country?

DAVID: I don't know about those details. I think it's up to five years to start with, for prison. But for the 8 USC -- US Code 1324, for sanctuary cities or individuals, the penalty is up to one year in federal prison and a heavy fine.

CALLER: Okay.

Second question: With respect to your community -- and I think that this applies to a lot of communities around the country -- if a bunch of illegal immigrants are dumped or migrate to a community and then the schools are forced to take in illegal immigrant children and educate them and provide resources and buildings and teachers and all this stuff to successfully accomplish that, from your experience, can you comment on what it does to the taxation and the tax revenue for the people of that area that now all of a sudden find themselves having to build two or three new schools because that load was not previously there, and all of a sudden it pops up and they have to meet that need?

DAVID: Sure, George. First of all, thanks for the call. It's a strain on local resources. And that's one of the reasons why you have to control the influx of people into your country. Because it is a strain on local resources. Schools and things like that, that you have to be able to plan for.

Plus, in addition to national security and domestic security issues and public health issues that I talked about on yesterday's program, you want to control the influx of another country's ne'er-do-wells. I'm not afraid to say that, all right? With your immigration -- and every country is concerned about this. You want to make sure that you're getting the best and the brightest, people who are going to contribute to this society, and not just be a drain on it. So that's another reason.

But getting back to this 21st century task force on policing, there's an emphasis on less-than-lethal force, deescalation, more negotiation and dialogue, they stress. And that's okay in many situations, but it's not in some of these deadly encounters that law enforcement officers are confronted with. And what I believe -- when I get through with this -- with this thesis, if you will, this argument, which I know I can prove, what we're going to find is it's dulling officer's senses.

You know, officer killings are up 68 percent in 2016. Sixty-eight percent over last year. The ambush killings of police officers. And that's one of the things I'm going to zero in on. Is, you know, we're dulling their senses.

Officers need to be in a state of hypervigilance, continually on their tour of duty. Always scanning the environment. Looking for danger. Looking for things out of place.

No matter how routine the call is or the traffic stop -- you know, there's not much that's routine in a law enforcement's daily work. And so what we train them to be is hypervigilant. And I think we're dulling that sense, when all of this training now, implicit bias. That nonsense. Things like, you know, being a negotiator and deescalation. And as it indicated in one of these things here that I read about, you know, initiating more dialogue, as if it's a 50/50 proposition, which it's not.

So officers overtime -- this is going to happen overtime -- it doesn't happen overnight, we're teaching them to be social workers, and we're teaching them to less rely on their survival skills, which are important to keep law enforcement officers alive.

This is going to have catastrophic consequences on future generations of law enforcement officers that make a decision or determination that they want to get involved in this type of career. This is a survival. There's a survival mentality that needs to be instilled in a law enforcement officer. They need to be versatile. There's no doubt about that. But at the end of the day, I want these officers to come home, go home to their families.

And as we're seeing with some of these statistics, that's not really happening the way it needs to be. I'm Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke in for Glenn Beck. This is the Glenn Beck Program. We have to take a break.

Featured Image: Dallas police motorcycles line up outside of the funeral for slain Dallas police Sgt. Michael Smith at The Watermark Church on July 14, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. Dallas police Sgt. Michael Thomas was one of five Dallas police officers who were shot and killed by a sniper during a Black Lives Matter march in Dallas. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.