What Good Is the GOP Without a Full Repeal of Obamacare?

Matt Kibbe, president and chief community organizer for FreeThePeople.org, joined The Glenn Beck Progra from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), taking place this week in Washington, D.C. Kibbe gave a boots-on-the-ground report about what he's seeing firsthand.

"It's definitely a more nationalist crowd here. And you may have noticed that none of the Liberty Republicans, except for Ted Cruz, are even attending this year. There's no Rand Paul. There's no Justin Amash. There's no Thomas Massie. Mike Lee is not going this year," Kibbe said.

In fact, a vibrant group of freedom-loving students in attendance at CPAC --- International Students For Liberty --- doesn't feel welcome.

"I would suggest [CPAC] fix that, but I don't know if they're interested in doing that," Kibbe added.

Both Glenn and Kibbe expressed concern over the GOP's willingness --- even with full control of the House, Senate and White House --- to pass legislation mandated by the people, like repealing Obamacare.

"I want to see a commitment to repealing and replacing Obamacare. I mean, Rand Paul has put an idea on the table, and if you don't like that idea, you better come up a better one. Because just loving America is not enough," Kibbe said

Is the GOP up to the test?

"I'm worried about it. I don't think there's a commitment to it, and I think we're going to have to push it from the bottom up," Kibbe said.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

GLENN: Matt Kibbe, president and chief community organizer for freethepeople.org.

Matt, did you know Alan Colmes?

MATT: I did. (muffled) I think I debated him a few times over the years. And, yeah, he was sort of an old-school liberal in the sense that he loved to debate. He was honest. And I really sort of respected that civility, even though on things like crossfire, he would mix it up with the best of them.

GLENN: Yeah. Could I ask you, are you on Alexander Graham Bell's first telephone?

(chuckling)

JEFFY: Are you in a pool?

GLENN: I don't know what kind of old-timey phone? It's quaint. But what kind of cheap ass phone are you calling from?

MATT: It's actually a tomato can. They told me it would be awesome.

PAT: Right.

GLENN: Right. No, it doesn't sound awesome.

Matt, you're --

MATT: I am moving -- I am moving in the office to see if it can get any better.

GLENN: I doubt it.

Buy yourself a phone from -- I don't know. Try the '90s. Is it one of the phones with the big, huge battery pack that you also had to carry with the other hand?

MATT: It's -- I have no defense. It's an Apple phone.

GLENN: Is it really? Wow. Strange. Okay.

MATT: The latest.

GLENN: So, Matt, you're in Washington, DC. You're at CPAC.

MATT: Yeah.

GLENN: Let's start with the controversy.

This is a really strange thing. Conservatives are defending Milo. And not on the -- the pedophilia stuff. But on everything else. Even though this guy is not a conservative. He's just not a conservative. He even says that.

And there's this strange love affair with him. And people are saying, "You know, he's bringing millennials to the conservative party." Well, how? He's not a conservative.

So what is the mood there with -- with what happened with Milo?

MATT: Well, I got to tell you, you look at the entire agenda at CPAC, and the nationalists -- the Trump's make America great guys have really taken over. And I've always thought of Milo as kind of a troll, a cuter Ann Coulter. Someone that says things just to be provocative. Just to stir up a fight.

GLENN: Yeah.

MATT: And, you know, that's interesting for a comedian. But for someone that tries to represent, A, conservative values. And, you know, on Bill Maher, he said he's a Libertarian, even though he specifically told me that he's not a Libertarian. I think he loves to say things that pisses people off. But that's different than representing a worldview, a philosophy. And it sort of breaks my heart that we're attracted to these provocateurs that don't seem to have any basis on reality. It's just the Twitter world has redefined us.

GLENN: Yeah, I think we're just looking to win. I think we're just looking for someone on our side to be able to tell people to shut up. Because so many times we've been called names and told to shut up and sit down. And I think people are tired of it. So they look for somebody who is -- you know, in some ways, a bigger bully that can get people to shut up and leave us alone.

MATT: Yeah. And I think -- I mean, there are things that we can learn from Milo and Donald Trump about -- about pushing back when people try to mischaracterize your points of view. But it has to be based in a philosophy. And you need to be willing to say that you're wrong. And you need to listen to other people. If we could combine those two things, I think that's what's going to work in the social media world. Yes, be provocative. Yes, be interesting. But why not stand for something that doesn't change from day to day. Because I think he just loves saying things just to see people's reaction. But he'll say the opposite thing tomorrow. And so there's no learning. There's no teaching. And, again, it sort of breaks my heart that young people find that attractive somehow.

GLENN: So we are now looking at a conservative movement that is becoming much more nationalist, much more populist, and much more socialist in some ways. Is that the feeling that you're getting there on the ground at CPAC?

MATT: It's definitely a more nationalist crowd here. And you may have noticed that none of the Liberty Republicans, except for Ted Cruz, are even attending this year. There's no Rand Paul. There's no Justin Amash. There's no Thomas Massie. Mike Lee is not going this year.

And to me, that --

GLENN: Now, is that -- wait, wait. Is that because they refused to come or were not asked? Because I was asked to come and speak, and I couldn't because I'm on my way to Thailand.

MATT: Yeah, I don't -- I don't know if they were asked. And I don't know if they refused. But either way, there's no -- there's no representation of that Liberty wing of the conservative movement.

GLENN: Wow.

MATT: And to me, that's -- I was just at International Students For Liberty last weekend, and I got to tell you, that movement's more vibrant than ever. But they don't feel welcome at CPAC. And I would suggest they fix that, but I don't know if they're interested in doing that.

GLENN: Here we are sitting with a full G.O.P. House, a G.O.P. Senate, a G.O.P. president, a president who can tell everybody to shut up and sit down, a president who is used to winning -- he's going to win so much, we're all going to be sick of it, except when it comes to health care.

No repeal of Obamacare. That's what they're now saying, in Washington, that the G.O.P. will not bring us a full repeal of Obamacare.

What good is the G.O.P.?

MATT: You know, it's been almost 20 years since the G.O.P. had an opportunity to offer a freedom-based, choice-based alternative to Hillarycare. And now Obamacare.

And they've always struggled to do it. Obviously, Rand Paul has stepped into that breach.

But the G.O.P. today is divided into three groups: There's that small Liberty policy reform people who understand how health care could actually work. And that's maybe optimistically a third of House Republicans. There's a third that sort of liked Obamacare. You know, they liked Romneycare. And they would sort of redesign it to be the same thing.

And then there's a third that are just afraid of their own shadows and are going to do whatever they're told to do. And, right now, they're being told in these townhall meetings that Obamacare is a great thing.

So it's inertia --

GLENN: Are those real? I mean, who are those people? The G.O.P. people that are coming out for these town hall meetings. Are those G.O.P., or are those Democrats?

MATT: Oh, I think they're progressives and Democrats. I think there's very few Republicans. But I do think they're real.

GLENN: Yeah, I think they're real too.

MATT: Yeah. Obviously, there's professional community organizers working on this stuff because that's what they do. But by and large, those crowds are real -- real people, frustrated people, people that seem primarily just angry that their guy didn't win. And I think that's your Achilles' heel. They're angry about so many things, the first being the outcome of the election. It's different than the Tea Party in that sense. We had a binding philosophy and a specific policy agenda that we were trying to accomplish.

GLENN: There's a guy you need to meet. His name is Jonathan Haidt. He's a professor up in NYU. And he's written about the immoral theory foundation, where he's identified five moral foundations. And these -- these foundations are what keep us apart, but also what bring us together.

And there is a real opportunity. And we were talking on the radio yesterday that I believe the future is going to split off -- there's going to be a third party. And I don't know whether -- you know, the Republicans or the Democrats survive this. But I'm sensing, in talking to a lot of really powerful liberal people, that they are done with the -- the nonsense of Keith Ellison and the socialist and the Marxist and the radicals. Now that Obama is gone, it's almost as if scales have come off their eyes. And they no longer see the -- you know, the great hope of Barack Obama. They see what's left. And they realize, these are all radicals, Marxists, anti- -- you know, anti-Israel kind of people, and they don't like it.

And they don't know where to go because they can't go to the G.O.P. And then at the same time, I think there's a lot of people in the G.O.P. who, if Donald Trump just continues to do all great things, they may be fine. But there is this classic liberal, this classic constitutionalist that is just leave alone and can we all get together and just stop all this nonsense? I think there's a growing core of America on both left and right that could slip right between these two bogus parties.

Do you see that as a possibility of happening, Matt?

MATT: Oh, definitely. And that's why we started Free the People in the first place. Because I saw this sort of disintermediation, people using technology to discover that they're not just like everybody else. They don't belong to team A or team B. And they know that most politicians are lying to them. And I'm not even sure it's a third party. It may be multiple parties. Because when it really gets down to it, we're all very different. We come from different places and we have different goals and dreams.

GLENN: Sure. I don't mean to say a party. I mean a movement.

MATT: Yeah.

GLENN: There is a real movement out that is dislodged now from both parties. And they're growing increasingly angry with those two parties.

MATT: Oh, definitely. There's more registered independents than there are Republicans and Democrats. And that's particularly pronounced with young people. They choose everything a la carte. They're not really interested in someone telling them that they have to be either a Republican or Democrat, or even a conservative or liberal.

I think people are more complicated than that. And the beauty of what you're calling classical liberalism, Libertarianism, small government conservatism, is that it believes in a simple set of rules. It treats everybody the same under the government rules. But otherwise, you're sort of free to be yourself, as long as you don't hurt people and take their stuff.

GLENN: Right.

MATT: I think we have the only answer to this very complex community we call America.

GLENN: I agree. I agree. So, Matt, just real quick before you go, what is the main thing that we should be looking for, from afar, and the main thing you're looking for at CPAC?

MATT: I want to see a commitment to repealing and replacing Obamacare. I mean, Rand Paul has put an idea on the table. And if you don't like that idea, you better come up a better one. Because just loving America is not enough. You have this opportunity to do stuff. And you promised you would -- you would get rid of Obamacare and replace it with choice and legalize freedom and health care. This is the test. And I'm worried about it. I don't think there's a commitment to it. And I think we're going to have to push it from the bottom up.

GLENN: Thank you very much, man. I appreciate it. President and chief community organizer of freethepeople.org. I love the fact that he has just embraced community organizer. Matt Kibbe.

IN PLAIN SIGHT: COVID and mental health

NotesfromPoland.com

A lot of times, people drown in plain sight. Largely because most of us haven't been taught what to look for. We're accustomed to the movie version of a person struggling in the water — flailing their arms and shrieking and gymnastic — but in real life drowning is quieter, something you could see and not realize. It's never been harder than it is now, in 2020, as we're all locked indoors, alone, out of sight.

Every year, an estimated one million people worldwide kill themselves. A death every 40 seconds.

America is in the throes of a suicide epidemic, with the highest suicide rate since World War II. Suicide rates have risen 30 percent since 1999, and the number keeps climbing. There were 45,000 suicide deaths in 2016 alone. In 2017, there were 47,000. Roughly 129 people a day.

In 2018, 10.7 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.3 million made a plan, and 1.4 million attempted suicide. There were 48,344 recorded suicides. That's roughly one person every 11 minutes. And that's 1,171 more people than the year before. The average American knows 600 people. Meaning, the increase of suicide deaths in one year was more than double the number of people you know. And that's just the difference.

Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death in this country. It is the second leading cause of death among children, and since 2000, there has been a worrying jump in the suicide rate of 15-to-24-year-olds.

In January, USA Today ran an article about the rising suicide rates, "More and more Americans are dying by suicide. What are we missing?

That was January. Three months before the pandemic sent all of us indoors.

An article in The BMJ, a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal, points that "Widely reported studies modeling the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide rates predicted increases ranging from 1% to 145%." In other words, "We really don't know."

So we can't prove exactly how much damage the pandemic and the lockdowns have caused, or how many suicides there have been this year compared to last year because those numbers will take a while to assemble. But we can get an idea by measuring the scope and prevalence of the conditions that lead to suicide, and they are significantly higher in 2020. Because what's not in doubt is that the pandemic has gravely affected people's mental health.

Affect on Adults

For starters, while suicides tend to drop at the start of pandemics, they quickly increase in response to the conditions of quarantine. It's also true that suicide rates increase during recessions.

A study in Science Advances journal noted that "as the rates of COVID-19 positive cases and deaths increased substantially across the United States, COVID-19–related acute stress and depressive symptoms increased over time in the United States." A CDC report from August found that in 2020 compared to 2019, adults' symptoms of anxiety have tripled and symptoms of depression have quadrupled (24.3% versus 6.5%). Compared to 2018, two different studies concluded that symptoms of depression and "serious psychological distress" are triple the level they were. In fact, the rates of anxiety and depression have been higher throughout the pandemic than "after other large-scale traumas like September 11th, Hurricane Katrina and the Hong Kong unrest." Ten percent of Americans surveyed in June said they had seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days.

French philosopher Albert Camus once wrote that "In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

Well, we find ourselves — literally and figuratively — in the depths of winter.

Well, we find ourselves — literally and figuratively — in the depths of winter.

Lockdowns

A number of studies warn about the danger posed by lockdowns. One in particular, published in Lancet, summarizes it well: "Most reviewed studies reported negative psychological effects including post-traumatic stress symptoms, confusion, and anger. Stressors included longer quarantine duration, infection fears, frustration, boredom, inadequate supplies, inadequate information, financial loss, and stigma. Some researchers have suggested long-lasting effects."

The report is very clear about how to minimize the harm of quarantine: Give people as much information as possible, reduce boredom, improve communication, emphasize altruism, and keep lockdowns as short as possible.

Affect on Children

The pandemic and the lockdowns have been especially difficult, and even fatal, for one group in particular, but you might not have heard about it because the media is too obsessed with identity politics to stop for a moment and look at the bigger picture. I'm talking about the most important population: Children.

But they aren't dying of Covid. In fact, children are more likely to die of homicides, drowning, or even fires and burns, than they are to die of Covid. The Academy of Pediatrics reported that, as of December 3rd, children accounted for slightly more than 0% of all COVID-19 cases, and even fewer deaths, about 0.11%, about 160 in total. There are still 15 states with zero reported child deaths. They don't even catch it as often: They account for less than 2% of the total confirmed COVID-19 cases globally. Even here in America, the nation with the highest infection rates, that number is the same: 2%. And, when they do catch it, the overwhelming majority of them experience either no symptoms or mild symptoms. Another recent study found that, compared to the flu, children play a minimal role in spreading Covid-19, and most children who contract it actually get it from their parents.

So they rarely catch it, they almost never die because of it, and they don't spread it. Yet, according to data from the CDC, the rate of children visiting emergency rooms has skyrocketed. Compared with 2019, the number of 5-11-year-olds is 24% higher, while the rate for 12-17-year-olds is 31% higher. This surge is due to mental health reasons.

According to a ton of studies (Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here), during the pandemic, children of all ages have "had high rates of depression, anxiety, and pos-traumatic symptoms as expected in the aftermath of any disaster."

The reality is unequivocal: The lockdowns and quarantines are bad for children. Certainly much, much worse than the disease itself, a point Donald Trump was heckled by the media for making. We waded through a sea of studies, reports, and articles, and the consensus was so consistent that we shifted our focus to looking for studies that said otherwise.

The International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction released a study this month that found that three in four children have reported having depression, and that "the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on children's mental well-being is worrying 60% of parents, according to a survey by parents with primary-aged children and 87% reported that their children were missing school and less than half stated that their children were feeling lonely, which altogether affects their children's mental health and wellbeing."

One study found that children of all age groups "showed more clinging, inattention, and irritability. However, 3-6 year-olds were more likely to manifest clinginess and fear that family members might contract the infection, while 6-18 year-olds were more likely to show inattention and persistent inquiry." Another study found that "In many households, children who end up staying indoors become restless and, in some cases, violent."

Children need predictability... and they need to believe that their parents are in control of things.

Uncertainty, social isolation, and parental angst. Children need predictability, they need activities, and they need to believe that their parents are in control of things. But, as a result of draconian lockdowns, they have spent much more time in front of screens. They are also more susceptible to sleep disruptions, or "somatic symptoms." And they are at a much higher risk for sexual abuse and domestic abuse, and, without school, unable to escape it.

Like us, they'll be dealing with the long term effects of the pandemic and lockdown for the rest of their lives. The difference is, we're more equipped to handle it.

One report refers to the undue harm lockdowns cause children as "collateral damage," adding that "we all have a responsibility to promote the health and well-being of children at home, and to ask questions and fight for service provision in areas where clinicians are not needed to fight COVID-19 but are needed to protect children."

As a society, it is our duty to protect the defenseless, and there is no group of people more defenseless, yet more important, than children.

German philosopher Kant wrote a lot about suicide. His argument can basically be boiled down to two parts:

1) I ought to do my duty as long as I am alive; and

2) It is my duty to go on living as long as possible.

He used the anecdote of civilization as a human body. We must only harm our body if it's necessary for self-preservation. If a toe is necrotic for whatever reason, we amputate it, so that we can preserve our body, our person, as a whole. Suicide, on the other hand, is an act of destruction. It is harmful, not just to the person it removes from humanity, but to humanity as a whole. Each of us plays a role in making sure that body remains in motion. So, when a person resorts to suicide, they are harming the body, the whole, they are depriving society and humanity. They are severing limbs or slicing our arms. They are robbing us of every good that they would bring.

School

Most European countries have closed their schools. According to UNESCO, 91% of children worldwide have been affected by school closures. A study from Bangladesh found that Bangladeshi children were suffering from higher rates of depression, anxiety, and sleeping disorder. In Italy and Spain, one study determined that 85% of parents have noticed negative changes in their children's emotions and behaviors since the pandemic. In England, deaths by suicide among children increased shortly after the country's first lockdown. In Holland, a study "found that young people reported a significant increase in severe anxiety and sleeping problems during the country's lockdown period." Numerous studies from China found that roughly a quarter of children were suffering from the same symptoms. In India, like many other countries, children are spending so much time in front of screens that experts fear it will lead to "psycho-social problems, like lower self-esteem."

Meanwhile, in Sweden, where schools and childcare centers have remained open, the spread of Covid as a result of children attending school is practically nonexistent. Over the next few years, research will show us exactly how Sweden's no-lockdown approach affected their youth.

The research concludes that children should remain in school.

Overwhelmingly — and I mean overwhelmingly — the research concludes that children should remain in school. Academic articles are known for their boring, long-winded, incomprehensible titles, but not these. Like this one: "Mitigate the effects of home confinement on children during the COVID-19 outbreak."

Children need physical activity, which is crucial to minimizing depression and anxiety. Schools provide structure. Schools are a consistent source for children's nutrition, and a lapse in nutrition can have psychological effects. Schools also provide healthcare.

School closures have also put children at a higher risk of domestic violence or sexual abuse, because "school is a safe space where children can report problems and where signs of abuse can be detected."

Children need community. They need friends. While many adults are at home with their kids, most of us are working, and children left alone on workdays are more likely to have anxiety or depression.

Teenagers

According to the CDC, of every demographic, 18-24-year-olds have been most affected, with 75% of respondents in that age range reporting at least one negative mental health symptom. One-quarter said they were using more drugs and alcohol to cope with pandemic-related stress, and another one-quarter said they had "seriously considered suicide" in the previous 30 days.

No prom. No graduation. No church. No dates. No birthday parties — birthdays spent alone. No games. No homecoming. No extracurricular clubs. No sports. No Spring Break — no vacations at all. No funerals, although there are plenty of people being buried.

Teenagers in lockdown are more concerned about their more basic needs. They feel less connected to other people. They are learning less and spending less time on school work. In other words, they are hurting, and bad.

The number of studies that back this up is daunting.

Three papers (Here, Here, and Here) determined that older adolescents suffer more symptoms of depression than younger ones and children. Another study describes the "collective trauma" that the lockdowns have had on teenagers.

The National 4-H Council found that:

●81% of teens say mental health is a significant issue for young people in the U.S., and 64% of teens believe that the experience of COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on their generation's mental health.

●7 in 10 teens have experienced struggles with mental health.

●55% of teens say they've experienced anxiety, 45% excessive stress, and 43% depression.

●61% of teens said that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased their feeling of loneliness.

●82% of teens calling on America to talk more openly and honestly about mental health issues in this country.

Life has always been hard for teenagers, but even before the pandemic, it has been especially rough on American teenagers, who are twice as likely "today to have more anxiety symptoms and twice as likely to see a mental health professional as teens in the 1980s.

Here's how the conversation went on radio:

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: The politics of COVID-19 is DESTROYING our children youtu.be


On "Glenn TV" this week, Megyn Kelly, host of the "Megyn Kelly Show," told Glenn Beck she believes the Democrats' talk of unity is "all nonsense" and forecasted the "death of journalism" under a Biden administration.

Megyn cited President Joe Biden's unwillingness to make concessions that would help unify Democrats and Republicans as an example of how much he actually cares about unity, and added that, while she's all for lowering the political temperature in America, she also believes there are some personal freedoms that are worth fighting for.

"What's happening substantively is worth fighting for and it's not going to go away just because [Biden] gave a nice speech," Megyn said.

"I will object. I will protect my family and what I think is right over Joe Biden's need for unity, which is false anyway. 'Unify behind my agenda' is not a real call for unity," she added.

Megyn said she believes the Left has reached too far and "awakened a sleeping giant" in reference to the silent majority who should speak up, speak out, and refuse to be silenced any longer.

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation:

Because the content of this show is sure to set off the censors, the full episode is only be available on BlazeTV. Get $30 off a one-year subscription to BlazeTV with the code "GLENN." With BlazeTV, you get the unvarnished truth from the most pro-America network in the country, free from Big Tech and MSM censors.

As the Senate prepares for former President Trump's second impeachment trial, many are asking whether it's constitutional to try a president after leaving office. Alan Dershowitz, lawyer and host of the of "The Dershow," joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to talk about the legal battles Trump still faces.

Dershowitz said he believes the Senate doesn't have the authority to convict Trump, now that he's a private citizen again, and thus can't use impeachment to bar him from running for office again.

"The Constitution says the purpose of impeachment is to remove somebody. He [Trump] is out of office. There's nothing left to do.
It doesn't say you can impeach him to disqualify him for the future. It says, if you remove him you can then add disqualification, but you can't just impeach somebody to disqualify them," Dershowitz said.

"The Senate can't try ordinary citizens. So once you're an ordinary citizen, you get tried only in the courts, not in the Senate. So it's clearly unconstitutional," he added.

Dershowitz, who served on Trump's legal team during the first impeachment trial, also discussed whether he thinks Trump is legally (or even just ethically) responsible for the Capitol riot earlier this month, and whether those engaging in violence could be considered "domestic terrorists."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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A new, shocking CBS News poll shows that the majority of Americans believe they're facing a new enemy: other Americans.

More than two-thirds of poll respondents said they believe democracy in the U.S. is "threatened," and 54% said "other people in America" are the "biggest threat to the American way of life," rather than economic factors, viruses, natural disasters, or foreign actors.

Will it be possible to unite our nation with statistics like that? On "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn and Stu discussed the poll numbers and what they mean for our future.

Watch the video clip below:

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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.