What the Hell Kind of Young Men Are We Raising in This Country?

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 2 for answers to these questions:

• What diplomatic situation will President-elect Trump inherit?

• What the hell kind of young men are we raising in this country?

• Is there a rape culture on college campuses?

• How did the Univ. of Minnesota football coach make a bad play?

• Should President-elect Trump trust the CIA?

• Why must the TSA treat every American like a terror suspect?

• When will Sheriff Clarke's new book Cop Under Fire be available?

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

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

DAVID: Welcome to the Glenn Beck Program. I am your host for today. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke in for Glenn Beck. This is the Glenn Beck Program. The call-in number is 888-727-BECK. That's 888-727-2325, if you want to opine or get in on any of these conversations.

I'm going to do a little self-promoting starting this block. You can follow me on Twitter. And that's @SheriffClarke. C-L-A-R-K-E. I think you'll find that interesting. My tweets.

The liberal mainstream media likes to keep up with them and try to contort some of the things I say into something and try to destroy me with it. They have not been successful thus far. I don't think they will be. I think about what I'm doing before I put out a tweet. I never do it on impulse. And I always ask myself if I know it's going to be one of those cutting-edge tweets, I always say, "What can the liberal mainstream media do to turn this thing inside-out or upside-down or contort it into something I didn't say?" And that's why they haven't been successful, although they'll keep trying.

Also, you can follow me at my blog, and it's ThePeoplesSheriff@Patheos.com. And it's P-A-T-H-E-O-S.com. Also, I have a book coming out in March.

Cop Under Fire: Beyond the Hashtags of Race, Crime, and Politics For a Better America. You can preorder that book at Amazon.com. And also, my understanding, it's available at Barnes & Noble for preorder. But it's due to come out in March of 2017.

You know, I was looking again at this -- I talked about it a little bit before, earlier, I should say this terror attack in Turkey.

This is something that we should keep an eye on. Because this is not the first incident involving Turkey and Russia. It was a Russian ambassador that was shot and killed at some art exhibit or whatever in Turkey. And apparently, the early reports, the Russian ambassador was shot because of Russia's involvement in Syria.

This one here might -- this is one that President-elect Donald Trump is going to inherit, this situation. And here's why I say this is one that we really need to pay close attention to. If you recall, sometime last year -- it might have been earlier this year, a Russian fighter jet was shot down by the Turkish army. And Turkey had accused this fighter jet of violating their airspace. Killed a Russian fighter pilot. And all eyes were on Russia as to how they were going to handle this thing. And, you know, nothing drastic happened. But I'll tell you why this one here is important. Because Putin has to look at it this way, you know, how many more times is a Russian citizen or a Russian soldier going to be shot and killed and not have Putin or Russia do anything about it?

I mean, that would be -- after a while, it's going to be viewed as a sign of weakness. And that's what Putin has to think about. That's why I said it will be interesting to see what their response might be. Will Russia go to the UN and try to, you know, put together a coalition of support for some sort of action against Turkey, or will they act unilaterally?

They have the right to defend their sovereignty and defend their citizens. I know if that happened here in the United States, yeah, I guess the -- the preferable route is to, you know, go to the UN and do all that stuff.

But, you know, when it comes to the commander-in-chief of the United States, you know, we don't need -- he does not need permission from the world to defend American sovereignty, American interests, and American citizens. So that will be interesting to watch.

Here's what we're going to get into now: Again, the call-in number, 888-727-BECK. (888)727-2325.

Going to talk about rape on college campuses. This is an issue that exploded recently over the last couple of years. It was a dirty little secret that there was a problem with sexual assault on college campuses.

And what I want to specifically point to an incident that happened very recently. It involves the University of Minnesota and their football program. And the things I want to talk about is, what is the proper course of action for the university to take? I mean, some of this -- you know, some of the course of action is a no-brainer. But some of it is not. And I'll get into why that is.

But here's what happened: Five or -- ten of University of Minnesota football players were suspended from the team recently in the fallout of a student sexual assault.

This comes from the Star Tribune out of Minneapolis.

From the team in a fallout of a student's sexual assault allegation. And these ten students now face expulsion from schools -- from the school. They've been suspended from the football program.

It says four other players face a one-year suspension, and another could get probation, stemming from this September 2nd incident. So that's within the last couple of months.

The school discipline comes weeks after a criminal investigation resulted in no arrests or charges. Now, that's key. Okay. No arrests of these players were made. And it does not look like, according to the prosecutor who reviewed this thing -- it doesn't look like criminal charges will result.

But there's some twists here that you need to know about. This was a party, some football players had a party, and there was drinking. And there was a young lady there, and she claims that up to 12 of these players forced themselves -- sexually assaulted her in a bedroom, wherever this party was. I believe this party was off campus.

There was an underage recruit who was present. And he's one of the ones who is alleged to have had sex with this co-ed, this student.

So the university took this action and suspended these players. And some of them are going to be expelled from the school, or at least there's a process, and that has started, even though no criminal charges have been filed. Now, just because no criminal charges have been filed, it does not mean that the school shouldn't take action.

And oftentimes, you'll hear people say, "Well, you know, there was no crime committed, or nobody was arrested." It doesn't matter.

Here's the first thing I said to myself when I learned about this, "What the hell kind of young men are we raising in this country?"

Most men know what's right and what's not right as it relates to these sorts of things. This is not the first time this has happened. You know, let's be honest about this. You get a college campus environment, even if it's a dorm off campus, you get fraternities, you get these football players, you get alcohol, and they introduce women or a woman into this thing, and that is a recipe for disaster.

No good is going to come of that, ever. And these are just the ones that we hear about. How about the ones that we don't hear about? There was one that happened at Marquette University. It actually made the -- Marquette University in my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. But it did make the media sometime after where the campus security kind of dissuaded the woman from making an accusation against some basketball players of sexual assault. Something happened, and they talked her out of it. And later on, she had remorse and brought this up. And it hit the fan.

So you had a university who tried to squelch it. Here the university takes action. No criminal charges have been filed. No arrests have been made.

When we come back on the other side of the break, I want to get into some of the moving parts on this thing. We got to unpack this. Going to talk about some cases that have happened in the past and figure out, you know, what's the right course of action for the school to take?

I'm Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke in for Glenn Beck. This is the Glenn Beck Program. We'll see you on the other side of the break.

[break]

DAVID: Thanks for staying with us. I'm your host for today. This is the Glenn Beck Program. I'm Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. Before we went to the break, we were talking about this issue of rape or rape allegations on college campuses. And I'm talking about the ones where you have these frat parties or you have these parties in general, and you have either athletes or frat members. And you start mixing in alcohol and girls, and sometimes it's a recipe for disaster.

And one of the questions I ask was, you know, what kind of young men we're raising that don't know -- they know. I shouldn't say they don't know. You got 12 women -- 12 men, I should say, are accused of having sex with this one woman at this University of Minnesota situation, 12 football players.

You know, we're not talking about the stranger sexual assaults, where someone is abducted and brutally raped. We're talking about these things that involve a party, alcohol, there was consent, it was consensual, it wasn't consensual. And these are very difficult to prosecute. They're very difficult to investigate as well for law enforcement. You know, it's a "he said, she said". You collect evidence. There's evidence that some sort of sexual activity occurred. You can determine that. But the consent issue is one that is not clear. And then that's very tough for the prosecutor as well. And what does the school do?

In this case, the University of Minnesota acted very quickly and suspended these players. Some of them are facing expulsion.

The coach at the time -- not at the time -- the football coach issued a statement after it was learned that ten of the players were suspended. And then the rest of the football team got in on this and then also boycotted and said they weren't going to play in the upcoming bowl game, the Holiday Bowl, which I think is December 27th in San Diego, California. That's when this thing broke on the sports news networks because they were threatening to boycott the bowl game, as if that, you know, mattered in this situation. But, anyway, the coach said he was never more proud of his players because they stuck together.

You know, the players had said, "We're going to boycott the bowl unless this suspension is lifted." Wrong answer.

Very wrong answer. The coach's response should have been, "I'm disappointed that the young men who were part of this program that I lead didn't do the right thing in this situation, didn't exercise discipline." That's what he should have said. He said he was never more proud for his players because they stuck together in this boycott.

You know, it's this kind of attitude that doesn't help these situations. This is not the most famous case where this situation occurred. I think the iconic case is the Duke lacrosse case. You may remember that. It was about ten years ago.

This comes from ESPNNews.com: Exactly ten years and six days before Duke and Yale met -- this was in lacrosse -- a black woman reported to police that three white Duke lacrosse players had raped her during a house party at which she had stripped.

So they brought her in to strip. Again, you know, I ask -- I'm not a Puritan or anything like that. But these are college-aged kids. Okay. They're going to do dumb stuff. I'm not naive to think that college kids don't party and there isn't booze involved and that sort of thing. But they bring this woman in to strip.

It says here, latent and long-standing tension in the city on campus around race, class, and gender, boil quickly to the surface. The district attorney made inflammatory statements that fueled an intense media firestorm.

The DEA at the time, the prosecutor, he was a grad of North Carolina. So you know he had no love for Duke, if you know anything about the rivalry.

Duke University, North Carolina University, the Tar Heels. About 8 miles separate the two schools. Very intense rivalries in their sports programs.

So it says here, with Duke lacrosse: The coach of the team was forced to resign. Their season was cancelled.

Over a year later, when the attorney general of North Carolina dropped the charges against the three players, he said, "We have no credible evidence that an attack occurred."

The DEA was later disbarred after he was found to have committed ethics violations in the case.

Remember I said he was a UNC grad. So he had no love lost for Duke.

It says here, ESPN's recent 30 for 30 documentary, Fantastic Lies, dissects how the media coverage and the prosecutorial misconduct had a profound effect on the families of the men accused.

So these men -- Duke lacrosse, they had to cancel their season.

Remember, there were some players who were not a part of this party. So the season was cancelled. The coach was fired. And then they find out later, no sexual assault occurred.

So you get this situation. You say, "How fast is too fast?"

And then you get the case of Penn State. A little different because you had underage men. The Coach Sandusky had young boys in the locker room when he was taking sexual liberties. It was brought to the attention -- or at least reported, brought to the attention of the late Joe Paterno who kind of said, "I don't really want anything to do -- I don't want to hear about that." So I ask the question -- and there's no straight answer: How fast is too fast? How slow is too slow to act?

And then you have the Baylor University situation, where the coach apologized for his role in a scandal that led to his firing. The coach, Art Briles, was removed as Baylor's head coach on May 26th after a university commission investigation found he was slow to act when confronted over the course of several years with accusations that multiple Bears players -- Baylor Bears, that's their nickname -- had sexually assaulted fellow students. Two of his former players have been convicted of sexual assault, while a third, a former star defensive end was indicted on a similar charge.

So he was slow to act. Duke may have been too fast to act. You have to suspend the season. Fire the coach. Instead of letting the investigation play itself out.

But the PR disaster for the school is, if you wait for the investigation, which is the prudent thing to do -- but it's also prudent to suspend the players pending the investigation. I think that's the sweet spot here. We'll get to the bottom of it. We won't get to the bottom of it right away. We won't get to the bottom of this before the Holiday Bowl. But who cares about the Holiday Bowl?

Don't release the names. The names are probably going to get out in public anyway, but the university shouldn't release the names. Don't expel them just yet. Suspend them and wait for the investigation and see what happens. It doesn't look like any criminal charges are going to result, but that doesn't mean that the school shouldn't take some sort of disciplinary action. It doesn't have to mean that a crime occurred, that anybody was arrested and charged.

It's not innocent until proven guilty. Not for the school, it's not. They have the right -- they have the need to take some sort of action, if for no other reason, to tell their alumni and their donors, here's how we deal with this sort of unwanted behavior at this university. We have values here that we're going to uphold. And you also send a message to your current students and future recruitees -- remember, there was an underage recruit at this party who had sex with this woman.

But you got to send a message, this sort of behavior is not going to go on -- this abhorrent behavior is not going to go on at this university. So there is a sweet spot. And these schools need to work hard to find it. You don't always land on the sweet spot, but if you get close, you're going to be okay. But this stuff -- and it's going to happen again. We will be sitting here at some point in time with another situation like this. But I think the message needs to be sent, you know, about proper behavior for young men everywhere. Not just on college campuses. I'm Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. This is the Glenn Beck Program. We have to take a break. And we'll talk to you on the other side of the break.

[break]

DAVID: Welcome back to the Glenn Beck Program. Let's see. Let's take a twist here -- turn into something else. I want to talk about this deal with the CIA and the president, the president-elect, that's been reported that there's some differences of opinion between the President-elect Donald Trump and the intelligence agencies within the United States federal government.

I think Donald Trump is right not to trust these intelligence agencies. They -- he's going to have to make that determination as time goes by. But I wouldn't trust what they're giving him, if I were him.

You know, I've studied the intelligence process, these intelligence agencies in my graduate decree program. I'm familiar with how they work. And I'll tell you what the CIA does not have: a stellar record. They miss a lot. They've missed a lot of -- for instance, the fall of the Berlin wall, they missed it. The breakup of the Soviet Union, they missed it.

This is an agency that came into being after the 1947 National Security Act, after the bombing at Pearl Harbor. And they were designed to do just what the name says: to develop intelligence and give recommendations to the president, keep him appraised of what's going on in world events. Who are the threats? What are their capabilities, and are they planning an attack? That's what they're supposed to do.

It's not a perfect world. I understand, for the CIA. But there's some things that they should not miss. They missed 9/11. There were red flags, but they missed it.

And so, you know, we'll see how that relationship works out in the end, between Donald Trump and the CIA and the National Security Agency and some of those other entities.

But came I came across a story that I found disturbing. And there are some parallels with what went on in this recent election between the Democrat candidate, Mrs. Bill Clinton, and the local media. I shouldn't say local media, the national media, where she was given, in some instances, questions to some of the debates. They were clearing stories with the campaign: Hey, we're putting this out -- a particular writer -- we're putting this story out. Is this okay? Are there any changes you want to make?

That stuff should not go on. You know, we can't trust the media anymore. But also, some of our institutions of government are corrupt as well.

So this article, it's from the Intercept, and it says the CIA's mop-up man, LA Times reporter cleared stories with the agency before publication.

A prominent national security reporter for the Los Angeles Times routinely submitted drafts and detailed summaries of his stories to CIA press handlers, prior to publication, according to documents obtained by the Intercept.

Email exchanges between the CIA public affairs officers and Ken Dilanian, now an Associated Press intelligence reporter who previously covered the CIA for the Times, showed that Dilanian enjoyed a close collaborative relationship with the agency, explicitly promising positive news coverage and sometimes sending the press office entire story drafts to review prior to publication.

In at least one instance, the CIA reaction appears to have led to significant changes in the story, that was eventually published in the Times.

Quote, I'm working on a story about congressional oversight of drone strikes that could present a good opportunity for you guys, Dilanian wrote in one email exchange to a CIA press officer, explaining that he intended to report what would be reassuring to the public, about CIA drone strikes. In another after a series of back-and-forth emails about a pending story on CIA operations in Yemen, he sent a full draft of an unpublished report along with the subject line, does this look better?

It goes on to say that Dilanian's emails were included in hundreds of pages of documents that the CIA turned over in response to two FOIA -- and that's information -- when you want to obtain information on records within the federal government.

A request seeking records on the agency's interaction with reporters. The email exchanges with reporters for the AP, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other outlets were included. This guy left the Times to join the AP in May.

So it goes on to say, when he's clearing these stories with the CIA, does this look okay? So on and so forth.

Quote, it's one thing for you guys to say you killed three instead of 15, it's another for congressional aides from both parties to back you up.

Part of what the story could do, if you could help me bring it to fruition, is to quote congressional officials saying that great care is taken to avoid collateral damage and that the reports of widespread civilian casualties are simply wrong.

It goes on to say that on June 25th, the Times published this guy's story, which described thorough congressional review of the drone program and said legislative aides were allowed to watch high-quality video attacks and review intelligence used to justify each strike. Needless to say, the agency hadn't quibbled with Dilanian's description about one of these terrorist's deaths in a drone stroke.

It says here: Video provided by the CIA to congressional overseers show that he alone was killed. That claim was subsequently debunked. Some of those killed were very likely members of al-Qaeda. But six were local tribesmen, who Amnesty -- Amnesty International believed were only there as rescuers.

Another field report published around the same time -- this one by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism -- also reported follow-up drone strikes on civilians and rescue workers, attacks that constitute war crimes.

The emails also show that Dilanian shared his work with the CIA before it was published and invited the agency to request changes. It goes on to say, on another case, he sent the press office a draft story on May 4th, reporting that the US intelligence believed the Taliban was growing stronger in Afghanistan.

Guys, I'm about to file this, if anyone wants to weigh in.

So after they confront this guy on this, it says, reached by the Intercept for comment, Dilanian said the AP does not permit him to send stories to the CIA prior to publication. He acknowledged that it was a bad idea. I shouldn't have done it. And I wouldn't do it now, he says.

He was not sure if the Los Angeles Times -- that's who he was working for at the time -- rules allow reporters to send stories to sources prior to publication. But the Times' ethic guidelines state they clearly forbid the practice. We do not circulate printed or electronic copies of stories outside the newsroom before publication. In the event you would like to read back quotations or selected passages to a source to ensure accuracy, consult an editor before doing so.

So the Times' bureau chief, the national security editor said he had been unaware that Dilanian had sent drafts -- story drafts to the CIA and would not have allowed him to do it.

So this is why there's no trust in government. This is why Donald Trump shouldn't trust the CIA at this point. At the very least, I'd have what Reagan would say, trust, but verify.

The CIA press corps was colluding with this newspaper writer for positive coverage. So, in other words, we don't know what the CIA, which is steeped in secrecy, anyway, but we don't know what they're up to.

Now, I realize a lot of the things they're involved with involve secrets. But when they're fabricating stories, when they're getting it cleared -- when the writer is saying, "Hey, I'm trying to get you guys to look good," this is problematic. It is to me anyway.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. I'm your host for today. This is the Glenn Beck Program. We got to take a break.

(OUT AT 9:46AM)

DAVID: Welcome back. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, your host today on the Glenn Beck Program.

I want to share with you a letter I received. I was cc'd on it from an individual. You know, we were talking about terror for a lot of this program. It's rearing its ugly head again. But this is relative to how we treat American citizens at airports. The TSA. And I realize these people are just following policy, but the policies don't make sense.

And the way they do this is they don't allow people to use discretion. And when you don't allow people to use discretion, you get what happened with this guy here. And I'll just read the letter.

He sent it to Congressman Cuellar. But he cc'd me on it and Representative Mike T. McCaul. He's from Texas.

It says: Dear congressman, in August 2016, my son and I underwent complete body searches at the Tweed Airport in Connecticut. When I inquired why we were both required to undergo such thorough searches, we were informed it was because my son had prescription allergy medicine in his carry-on luggage.

When I appealed this procedure, in the enclosed August 2016th letter to the TSA, I received a letter dated September 22nd, in which I was told that additional screening of the passenger and his or her property after screening medically necessary items may be required and may include a patdown.

The nonsensical and ineffective security procedure that I question while in the Navy, that I describe in my enclosed letter, appeared to be duplicated by the TSA. If the United States is to be protected, particularly from terrorist attacks, it needs to implement intelligent and effective security measures.

Here, here. I would second that. Back to the letter.

While TSA officials were patting down a war veteran and his son at a small airport in Connecticut, which made my son ask, "Dad, why were we searched like terrorists," the Department of Homeland Security was shutting down Operation Failax (phonetic) that was effective in apprehending scores of illegal immigrants and some 13,000 pounds of narcotics.

It is my hope that whoever President-elect Trump chooses to head the DHS and TSA will have the experience and common sense to stop harassing veterans, the elderly, and children, instead of taking steps to effectively deter terrorist threats, illegal immigration, and drug smuggling.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are interested in critiquing the rationale and effectiveness of our country's security procedures.

And then not too long after that, I came across a story -- this is from Pix11.com. This woman -- I'll just read a part of it here.

A breast cancer patient said she felt violated and humiliated in a public TSA search at LA International Airport after two security agents put her through what she called an aggressive patdown.

It says here, she recently underwent some cancer procedure. And she's pulled to the side as she's going through the screening. And she said she brought some cream on that was part of her -- her prescription there. And she said she was wearing a wig because she lost her hair because of the cancer treatment.

And it said she told the agents what she's going through. She could not remove her shoes since she was not wearing socks and had an infection on her feet, a side effect of her treatment and chemotherapy. So they let her sit down and remove her shoes.

After 20 minutes of sitting there, because they were debating on how to proceed, I told them my feet were freezing. Also, a side effect from chemo. They refused to help me, she said.

Now, this is her rendition. I realize there's two sides of every story. But here's her experience.

And I'm sharing this with you because you probably have, if you are engaged in a lot of air travel, you probably have some other nightmarish experiences that you could share as well.

So it says here, after the TSA agent forcibly and aggressively put her hands down the back of her jeans, the agent explained that they'd have to apply pressure from head to toe, which presented another set of problems for this woman. She wears a wig and did not want them to remove it and had a lumpectomy medical port in her chest, which she did not want the agents to trust. I started crying, she said. It was overwhelming and horrific. I could not believe this was happening, she said.

So after the agent conducted the search, the supervisor arrived, and her bags were emptied. She was made to feel humiliated again after another agent joked about fake eyelashes. Blah, blah, blah, blah.

This is how we treat American citizens. This does not thwart airplane hijacking. This does not thwart terror. I'm not going to sit here and necessarily pin this on the agents who are just -- and they'll tell you this all the time. I've had my own experience. We're just doing our job. We're just following the rules.

See, what they need at TSA is a risk-based model instead of a follow-the-rules model. Suspecting every American traveler of being a terrorist is not a risk-based model. It's to follow the rules so that they can check the box and say, "Well, we checked everybody." That's not how you identify terrorists, by checking everybody. It slows down the process. It's very expensive.

I think TSA has a budget of about $5.9 billion. This is how we treat people? I'd be willing to bet that if somebody came through of Arab descent and had their headdress on and everything else, they would not be treated like this out of political correctness.

We got to take a break. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke in for Glenn Beck. This is the Glenn Beck Program.

Featured Image: Head coach Tracy Claeys of the Minnesota Golden Gophers yells at an official against Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the fourth quarter at TCF Bank Stadium on October 22, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Minnesota defeated Rutgers 34-32.(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

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

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

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

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

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

​How it was

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

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

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

For one night only at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, on December 7th, join internationally-acclaimed radio host and storyteller Glenn Beck as he walks you through tales of Christmas in the way that only he can. There will be laughs, and there might be a few tears. But at the end of the night, you'll leave with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.

Reconnect to the true spirit of Christmas with Glenn Beck, in a storytelling tour de force that you won't soon forget.

Get tickets and learn more about the event here.

The general sale period will be Friday, August 16 at 10:00 AM MDT. Stay tuned to for updates. We look forward to sharing in the Christmas spirit with you!