Riaz Patel: I Am Really Frustrated With Liberals Right Now

Alert the media. There is alive today at least one liberal more interested in facts than identity politics, in people than labels. TV producer and humanitarian Riaz Patel joined Glenn on Friday to continue their discussion about bringing people together and healing the divide.

"I'm not interested in the politics space, but I'm interested in the humanity space," Patel said. "When you know people who have lives and situations that are completely different from yours that voted for Trump for very specific reasons, for their family's welfare, you tell me how you can hate them once you meet them and see their home that slipped off the foundation ten years ago, but they can't afford to move. That is the humanity that's out there if people can get past the labels. And that's what we have to do."

GLENN: Welcome to the program. We're bringing in Riaz Patel who you might remember is the guy before the election went to Alaska on his own dime. How would you describe yourself politically?

RIAZ: I would say -- well, funny I was Democrat. Democrat liberal, but I'm understanding a whole segment of America I didn't understand before.

GLENN: Right. And you've kind of done what we've done before. Unchained yourself from the label of liberal or Democrat, and you want to end the hatred and the black and white of everything; right?

RIAZ: It's too black and white. That's where media plays, and that's what my profession is. I come from media. And, to me, when you're talking about the safe space, it really is a direct product of what the media has done for two years.

GLENN: Let's talk about the safe space. We just heard in Ohio and also Connecticut. They're bringing in grief counselors today for the teachers and for the children who might be experiencing any kind of discomfort with Donald Trump being the president.

RIAZ: It's less about the discomfort and more about for two years, you were taught that there was nothing positive about this man. That it was like electing Hitler. For two years. There was not one positive thing he said. Now, I am not a Trump supporter. That being said if you're unfair and uneven about news, why are you vilifying? So the result of him winning created this panic that we elected a monster. And that's the direct product of how the media portrayed him for two years.

GLENN: Hang on just a second. That is a different way of looking at it, isn't it? I just associated that with the progressive Namby Pamby I never tied the media and said it is the way he's been portrayed. It actually helps me validate their feelings.

RIAZ: We know this because when you talk to families on the democratic side that I've talked to, the children are unable to get their heads around it. Because in their homes, through their TVs, and to their phones, this monster was running for president against Hillary Clinton. And then when the monster won, they don't know what to do. And I remember on the night of the election, every single parent I know said how do I explain this in the morning to my kids? And I thought why don't they think it's a presidential election? Why don't -- why do they think that humanity is at stake? And I remember being on a parenting panel and a woman said to me "My daughter was at a neighbor's house, and they were discussing politics, and she came home at 2:00 a.m. because she felt unsafe." And everyone said congratulations for teaching your daughter to remove herself out of an unsafe situations. And I sat on a parenting panel as the only male and said, "A little bit shame on you. How long have you known these neighbors?" And she said about a decade.

Why would your daughter ever feel unsafe in a house for someone she has known for a decade? That is the media. The conflict-driven entertainment of reality seeped in, which obviously Donald Trump came from. They taught him how to do this, seeped into every aspect for the past two years of election coverage. It became a reality show. If you saw the CNN ads where they looked like these fighters. It literally looked like a heavy weight fight. The conflict-driven set up of this whole election made it that Hillary had to within win. Had to win. It was the only right choice. Right and wrong. And wrong won. How do you explain to the kids at Ohio state that wrong one? Because you don't understand the other side.

When I went to Alaska, I found the other side, and it's very hard to hate people when they're looking at you saying I hate people for eight long years. And people going to the march, and it was down right mean.

An amazing woman that wrote for Muslims specifically --

GLENN: By the way, so people know, Riaz is Muslim Pakistani immigrant. You've lived here how long?

RIAZ: Most of my life.

GLENN: Okay. And gay man who is married and has an adopted child. So there is no more boxes you can check.

RIAZ: No.

GLENN: For people that we are not supposed to get along with.

RIAZ: I have them all. You have the whole system with me. We don't need to collect the cards. I've got them all.

GLENN: And we had dinner last night. Our family joined Riaz last night for dinner. And what was nice was beforehand, we had a meeting and a bunch of people from the office. And the president of my company is a Jew and obviously he wears the yarmulke and everything else. And here's a Muslim man and Jewish man, and we're all joking together, and we're joking -- he's joking about the Jew building a settlement. Comes over and is, like, don't build a settlement over here. And the Jew is, like, fill a bag of nails and blow me up, and we were all laughing about it.

RIAZ: You have to.

GLENN: Because we were joking about the stereotypes that have kept us apart.

RIAZ: Yes. Yes. and, to me, the only way to live with these labels is to make it funny. When I'm around those labels, those labels are too important. I believe honestly important. This Facebook post was the meanest thing I've seen. They said they got on the bus to DC with all of these Trump supporters with all of these white women. And I thought you're on a march about women's rights and literally on a Facebook thread like mean girls attacking a group of white girls who got on the van. How is this a new era of celebration when even the women, the feminists are attacking the other women? And they'll say, well, women don't support each other.

Well, you're not supporting the women on that van right now. I was literally -- it was after we had dinner. I was utterly shocked. And I think they really need to wake up.

GLENN: So, Riaz, I get a lot of mail from people who say "What you're trying to do is not going to work. Nobody is interested in getting along. The left will never change, and I mean, I'm disappointed in my own side.

RIAZ: Uh-huh.

GLENN: But I will tell you I get very frustrated and tired at times of going on and talking to people in the press and saying "Look, I understand how you feel." Do you understand how I feel?

And they don't have any care to even think about it.

RIAZ: Because they think they know what's best for you.

GLENN: Correct?

RIAZ: And this is something I'm really trying to get people -- again, I'm not interested in the politics space, but I'm interested in the humanity space. When you know people who have lives and situations that are completely different from yours that voted for trump for very specific reasons for their family's welfare, you tell me how you can hate them once you meet them and see their home that slipped off the foundation ten years ago. But they can't afford to move. That is the humanity that's out there if people can get past the labels. And that's what we have to do. We have to do.

GLENN: So how do we talk to somebody, Riaz, that is, you know, encouraging their kids to -- well, let's put it this way. Do you know -- who is the -- he's ABC -- George Stephanopoulos. I read an article without anybody saying, like, "This is weird. This is dangerous."

George Stephanopoulos' young, like, 12-year-old daughter has had to sleep in bed with them at night for, like, the week after the election because they were so upset.

RIAZ: Yeah.

PAT: Scared, I believe is the word they used.

GLENN: And my thought is what the hell is being said in that home by a quote objective reporter that makes your 12-year-old sleep in bed with you at night because they're afraid?

RIAZ: I would love to know that families and children who didn't live off of a two-year diet of liberal doomsday with trump, if they are as traumatized and scared. Even the ones who lost. Just to know.

GLENN: You met my kids last night.

RIAZ: Uh-huh.

GLENN: My kids -- I mean, everybody -- every liberal would say my kids of course have had a steady diet of fear mongering. Did you think --

RIAZ: No. Not at all. Because there's the discussions you have in the world and then the humanity at home. I don't think we can say your beliefs are wrong. It doesn't work for either side. To me, it's here's what you don't know about me. Here's what you don't know about my life. Here's the way to start the conversation. If I go attack your beliefs, we're not going to end up anywhere. We're going to dig another two years or longer.

To me, here's what you don't know about my life. And that's the way to understand why somebody voted differently. Why somebody believes differently. Why did you make the choices you make? And then beliefs. You're a deadlock. There's no way around that. And so, to me, it's here's what you don't know about me. As much as you want what's best interest for me, this is me. Why don't I tell you what's in best interest for me? And I think that's the way you begin the conversation is this is what you don't know about me. And everyone can do it on both sides. I think the two-year diet of conflict and rage that came from reality TV -- look, we all watch what most of us watch. If people don't want to watch conflict, it will be there as much. So my hope is after this election, we've reached conflict saturation with media. And that people I believe -- I believe your viewers right now they're driving a pickup truck or Tesla, it doesn't matter. They want this to stop. The inauguration day to me is the day we breathe and move on.

So I am hopeful because now this constant yelling about the election is gone. There will be constant yelling, but at least we can move on with our lives, and we know what the truth is for four years.

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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

-AND-

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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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

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

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

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

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

​How it was

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

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

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.