Glenn and Riaz Patel Discuss Bridging the Divide to Find Common Ground

Glenn and Riaz Patel couldn't come from more different worlds. Yet, these strange bedfellows are modeling how people from different perspectives can still develops friendships and have conversations despite their differences.

"In general when I have conversations, I react to the way the question is asked. You know, I think so much of what people say is not being said, it's the way they're saying it," Patel said Friday on The Glenn Beck Program.

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Riaz, who was recently unfriended by a longtime friend on Facebook, shared great advice on how to handle relationships in our current combative political climate: Don't judge people based solely on what's happening now.

"Examine today, and the friendships and the history of people start from the past, work your way forward," he advised.

GLENN: Riaz Patel, recovering Hollywood addict.


STU: Don't insult the guy.

RIAZ: I'm used to it. I'm used to it.

GLENN: So, Riaz.

RIAZ: Yeah.

GLENN: Your friend and a deep friend, not a Facebook friend, unfriended you, hasn't talked to you, unfriended you, wrote a story that said, you know, he's friends with Glenn Beck, who is a racist, blah, blah, blah, didn't talk to you. Tell me how you are A going to approach this and how you would if she would have come to you.

RIAZ: I mean, I think in general when I have conversations, I react the way the question is asked. You know, I think so much what people say is not being said, it's the way they're saying it. If they're talking about the president, they're getting roweled up, that's what they're saying. They're getting angry. If she asked me, I would notice she's angry. And I'll be honest. I am very concerned for the black community right now. I am. I do think there are real fears.

GLENN: I do too. And they're afraid -- I believe -- talking to some Black Lives Matter people, they are also afraid of their own millennials.

RIAZ: Yeah.

GLENN: They're afraid that there is a shift of values that they don't understand.

RIAZ: It's everywhere. And, to me, look, with someone like that, I would go from the past forward. Forward is now the past. The press conference last night. That's the past 12 hours. 24 hours. I would go back to the eight years, ten years, 15 years ago we met and be, like, remember this photo? Let's start there. And then with he work our way forward. Now today, which is only one one hundredth of our relationship, what do you want to talk about? Because it's really about today and then we talk about tomorrow. But what you discuss today does not design who you are. But I believe some people who voted for Trump, what they feel every day is infused with eight years of expectation, disappointment, frustration. So they're hearing things with the hope of what they believed would happen.

GLENN: There's a really interesting thing that said yesterday on my TV show in the audience. A guy said -- we were talking about the press conference, and he said it feels so good to have him wipe the press, their nose in it because they deserve it.

There's a big feeling for those who are on the out of the last eight years. You have this empathy because you were picked on in school all the time.

RIAZ: Picked on always.

GLENN: Right. So for every -- from every angle.

RIAZ: Every angle.

GLENN: So you have this great empathy.

RIAZ: Yeah.

GLENN: So you can also understand the feeling of I've been squashed for eight years.

RIAZ: Yes.

GLENN: I want somebody --

RIAZ: Can I just have a small window where my president can be president? Is what I am saying. Can I just get a couple months? And I would say, I hear that empathetically I hear that. What is going on today disturbs me separate from what the expectations of all of that two years of campaigning was. Two years of campaigning is like going on the longest blind date and then you're finally in a relationship, and then you're starting to get to know each other. This is what he's like as a president. Do I like him? Evaluating him every day. Not from the two years of expectations and then the eight years of disappointment. Examine today and the friendships and the history of people start from the past, work your way forward.

GLENN: Back in a minute.


GLENN: Welcome to the program. We're glad you're here. Riaz Patel is with us who was a new friend of the program. Has it been a year yet?

RIAZ: It was July. Our one-year anniversary is coming up.

GLENN: I say paper this year, isn't it? Riaz is a amazing guy and a searcher, and I think that's what this show is and needs to be. It's what I am, and I think that's why we get along so well. We don't believe -- and, you know, I said to somebody yesterday.

One of the things that caused problems for me or the reason why I could cause some problems is I was in a way arrogant over the last eight years or so. And not the way I was guarding against, you know? I wasn't -- I wasn't in it for the fame or the money. So I wasn't that kind of arrogant. I just really, truly believed that I knew the way to make the point.

RIAZ: Uh-huh.

GLENN: And that if I would just make the point, and I could make it an entertaining way, that people would hear it, and they would pick it up, and they would make that point in their own way, but I could get them to listen.

RIAZ: Yeah.

GLENN: And that arrogance stopped me from seeing so many Americans that didn't speak my language.

RIAZ: Yeah.

GLENN: You know what I mean?

RIAZ: Yeah.

GLENN: And it is the drop of the arrogance. Not the principles. Not even some of the policies. It's the dropping of the arrogance and saying "Okay. There's half of the country that I don't see eye to eye with."

RIAZ: Yeah.

GLENN: And that I've demonized.

Question for you. If you and I were sitting down, and we were talking about policies, and we would have to reach out for policies with each other. You and I even if we would disagree, you and I would walk away saying, well, he's not a bad guy. We just disagree. Not a bad guy. You can't do that with 330 million people.


GLENN: And how do you bridge the gap to where when I look at the policies of the left, I do believe there's -- and let me give you a couple of examples.

RIAZ: Okay.

GLENN: I do believe that there are people both left and right who are just in it for the politics and so the things that they will compromise on, the things that they will do will be bad for people.

RIAZ: Yeah.

GLENN: Will be bad for the one.

IAZ: Because the win is important.

GLENN: Correct. I believe there are some really good, honest people who do not look at the constitution the way I do. They feel that it is an old, dusty document that is no longer relevant.

RIAZ: Yeah.

GLENN: And they want to, you know, this progressive, giant state can be a babysitter for everybody. I believe that is destructive to the soul because I believe that we are born to be responsible for ourselves. And if everybody is -- if mommy is a helicopter parent and lifting you up all the time, if we don't let the banks fail, that's bad for the bank, and it's bad for everybody else.

RIAZ: Yeah.

GLENN: So those who believe in the helicopter government --

RIAZ: Yeah.

GLENN: -- I think that is bad.

So when we talk about things, because there's people on the left thank the same thing, I'm callous and want children to starve, how do we talk to each other and get to a place to where we can understand each other when we really do believe that the policies will hurt people?

RIAZ: I think it starts -- we need to stop shoulding on each other. Should is a word we use in psychology when you think there is a moral right and wrong. There are moral rights and wrongs.

STU: Can you spell that real quick?

RIAZ: Should.

STU: Just for our facilitates who thought it was a different word.

RIAZ: It's controversial and easy to remember. But if you and I talk, you and I can disagree. But if I say Glenn, you should think this, we're not going to agree. If I tell you you should believe this, you conservatives should do this. The should implies a moral question. There are moral rights. Policy about banking is not a moral, necessarily. So everything becomes heightened to this moral level.

GLENN: So that's one of the issues that liberals have with conservatives that conservatives do look at things in a moral. Okay? Because generally speaking, conservatives are the ones that believe in God and hard fast rules with God.

RIAZ: But liberals will say their morally superior in ways because they're understanding of systems and humanity is superior. Because both sides -- and that's where I'm, like, it's a lock head. If you're both morally thinking you're superior, morally thinking you are right, it's very hard to move.

GLENN: Right. So let's take this. I think morally, I believe in Ben Franklin, and I don't know if you founded the history of Ben Franklin.

RIAZ: He founded the universe.

GLENN: He invented a patent and then won't take the own patent on his stuff because he said this is good for all man. But that was an individual choice. He started the patent and then individually said, no, I don't want to do that and set the example. We believe -- I believe -- that man must be free to fail and succeed. He must be free to be a bad guy, should he choose in my eyes. Not a bad guy legally. But a bad guy in my eyes. A greedy SOB that takes his money and blows it all in Vegas, if he wants to or uses it to build strip clubs or whatever. I don't have a right to tell him "no." Okay? Unless he breaks the law.

RIAZ: Yeah.

GLENN: And you have a moral responsibility to stand up for people's right to fail.

RIAZ: Yeah.

GLENN: There are a lot of people who believe I've got to take the pain away from the world. Ben Franklin said "The best way to make -- to assist the poor is to make them uncomfortable in their poverty. The more the government tries to help, he said, the more I find that they fail longer and are -- dig themselves into even more misery."

RIAZ: Yeah.

GLENN: People on the left see that as cold and callous.

RIAZ: It's funny this friend I reached out to from middle school. He is in Seattle, liberal -- he's the one I called who works in grassroots poverty. He's one of the first policies in the country, and he said to me capitalism works. And I thought how funny. You need to talk to my new friend Glenn.

GLENN: Who is he?

RIAZ: His name is Jeff. He was actually someone who picked on me in middle school, and we've reconnected because he saw some of the work I've done with you, and he said I just wanted to say I love some of the work you're doing, and we reconnected. And he started this way of giving loans, and he says the incentive of the capitalism. And he's doing it through his grassroots organization, Democrat. But he says it's interesting. Capitalism seems to be working.

GLENN: Oh, I know.

RIAZ: So I think everyone has to be allowed to learn. And I appreciate that. Do we spotlight that? Do we show that too? Because gray. It's all gray now, people. It cannot be binary black and white.

GLENN: It's funny. I was asked to speak at a very leftist organization. I can't even say that -- yes, I can. Some of the things they go for are really -- they pushed for the $15 minimum wage in Seattle. And so they're very, very leftist on some things. But they reached out and wanted me to talk to the group because there are many that we see do agree on.

RIAZ: Yeah.

GLENN: That I was shocked. And as I was talking to him, I said, "You live in Seattle. Do you tell people that point of view in Seattle?"

And there is this weird hybrid coming out where some of these things are true like capitalism works. Some of these things are true and the older marxist lies are being shed while other new things are being brought in, you know what I mean?

RIAZ: It's evolving, and I think we want to get to a point. Any good can come out of all of this chaos where we don't even know what party system means. In that let it be gray. Let people define for themselves what they believe. And if this guy think so that this community, this works great. But show that it's, you know, a liberal who traditionally would go one way seeing an implementation, look at this new information we have. I love information. I love new information by experience. Not just data. What did they say? What did they guy feel when they got this loan for the first time? What did they do? Let's track him. That's the stuff that will change. Not the statistics. You said to me one of the first time you're in a post fact world, and it shocked me. How can we ever get that point? It was like a year ago, and I'm, like, oh, my god. I did not see it coming. Did not see it coming. Post fact world. I was, like, what does he mean? Who? You see things. You shared. That's how we'll move forward. This guy in Seattle, Jeff. He shared. We move forward. Or we can sit and say, well, you used to believe this, and I believe -- and six years ago and eight years ago -- we can do that until the cows come home. But at some point, we have to grow up and be adults.

GLENN: The number one thing that I get from people is nobody on the left is going to change. Nobody on the left wants to reason. Nobody on the left wants to work together.

RIAZ: Hello. Here I am, you know? And there are more of me.


RIAZ: But I think they're afraid to come out. I think everyone's afraid because they could be unfriended by a real friend. I think people are talking -- the professor yesterday. I'm sure in academia halls --

GLENN: I'm going to ask him if he has the time because I want to get his moral foundation theories. Have you read it yet?

RIAZ: I haven't.

GLENN: He's going to explain it here in a few minutes. But, yeah, I would like to know. I mean, being a professor at NYU, a liberal professor and then flipping -- doing his own homework and then going out and saying wow wait a minute. I see the world a totally different way. It's interesting to me, and I wonder how his life has been at NYU.

RIAZ: Yeah. I mean, that has to be -- we're all feeling fish out of water. I don't know a single person you would ask today and say did you have a good day? Are you happy? Like, everyone is in this rage mode all day because suddenly --

STU: Is that true?

RIAZ: I will say liberal. Sorry. Definitely liberal. It's all rage all day. And, to me, they're terrified, and I get it. But at some point, we've got to bring it down from DEFCON 5 to be effective. I look at trump and the press, and they're these weird bizarre frenemies. It's, like, I love you, but I hate you. I love you, but I hate you.

GLENN: I keep asking the question every time I watch the press conferences, how does this end? How does this end? Because the other one will punch twice as hard, escalate, punch twice as hard, where does that end? It doesn't work.

RIAZ: I think eventually information comes out. There are no secrets anymore, apparently. So is that a better era that we move where we now based on all of this hacking, you can't do this anymore. Like, that's off the table.

GLENN: Yeah, total transparency. Radical transparency.

RIAZ: That would be really interesting.

GLENN: Thank you so much. Thank you so much, Riaz.

RIAZ: Happy to be here always.

GLENN: Appreciate it.


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