Susan Rice Scandal: Proof the Media Is in on the Game

Susan Rice, former National Security Advisor under the Obama administration who denied leaking the names of Trump officials, proved one thing on her recent media tour: The media is utterly biased and void of intellectual integrity.

Rice's statements on the unmasking scandal made it clear that in the normal process of the national security business, she asked the National Security Association for the names of certain Americans involved with President Trump's team. However, her claim that she didn't "leak" names was merely a game of semantics --- and the media knew it.

"Her claim is she didn't leak those names. Well, you don't have to when you unmask them. It goes out to the mass. Everybody who is on the list, everyone in government who got that gets the update with the unmasked names," Glenn said Wednesday on radio.

RELATED: A Chalkboard Lesson in Grammar: ‘I Leaked Nothing to Nobody’

Rice also said she didn't seek the names for "political purposes." Again, a game of semantics the media let slide.

"Media, you wonder why Donald Trump became president of the United States? This is your example," Glenn said. "You're doing it again. For anybody who thought possibly that you would have a backbone, that you have learned something, that you have become enlightened, you're doing it again! You are taking a story and you are picking the winner. You are picking the one you choose to believe."

Rice's previous lies to the American public should have left her with zero credibility, and yet the media gave her a platform to lie more without being challenged.

"It's your job to dissect this story and to show where the truth is and how it's all being lumped together to make it appear as though she's telling the truth," Glenn said. "This is the problem."

He continued.

"With so much dishonesty in the government, the credibility of those we've elected to serve us is completely shot. And so what do we do? We elect somebody like Donald Trump --- not because of the credibility of the people in the government, but because he told us the truth. And this is the truth: You can't believe the media. They are in on the game, and this Susan Rice story is proof positive," Glenn said.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

GLENN: Hello, America. Welcome to The Glenn Beck Program. I want to start with Susan Rice. Here's what Susan said.

SUSAN: I leaked nothing to nobody.

(laughter)

GLENN: Now, aside from the double negative, former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice employs they're leaking nothing to nobody. Obviously, that means that you leaked something to everybody.

(chuckling)

But I digress.

Susan Rice who once claimed that the deserter Bowe Bergdahl served with honor and distinction is now vehemently denying any wrongdoing in the scandal of unmasking and leaking the names of Trump officials, which we will get back to here in a second. There is the unmasking, and then there is the, quote, what the media is calling leaking the names. It is a red herring because the media is lazy again.

Respected columnist Eli Lake citing anonymous US officials familiar with the matter, end quote, reported Monday that the national security adviser requested the identities of US persons in the raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign.

Now, she went on a media tour yesterday, to where she could be surrounded by friends who would let her go on the record without pushing her on any tough questions. Here she is with Andrea Mitchell.

SUSAN: First of all, Andrea, to talk about the contents of a classified report, to talk about the individuals on the foreign side who were the targets of the -- the report itself or any Americans who may have been collected upon incidentally, is to disclose classified information. I'm not going to do that. And those people who are putting these stories out are doing just that.

GLENN: Okay. So let's boil this down. It's pretty clear the implication from her various statements on this scandal that she has given is that in the normal process of the national security business, she indeed did ask the NSA for the names of certain Americans that were involved with President Trump.

But her claim is, she didn't leak those names. Well, you don't have to, when you unmask them.

It goes out to the mass. Everybody who is on the list -- everyone in government who got that gets the update with the unmasked names. She also says she didn't seek them for political purposes. Listen carefully.

VOICE: Within that process and within the context of the Trump campaign, the Trump transition, did you seek the names of people involved in -- to unmask the names of people involved in the Trump transition, the Trump campaign, people surrounding the president-elect, in order to spy on them?

SUSAN: Let me begin -- absolutely --

VOICE: In order to expose them?

SUSAN: Absolutely not for any political purposes, to spy, expose, anything. But let me --

VOICE: Did you leak the name of Mike Flynn?

SUSAN: I leaked nothing to nobody.

GLENN: I leaked nothing to nobody.

Again, we'll come back to that with Grammar Pat.

Now, maybe -- maybe some can be forgiven for doubting the veracity of a woman who looked us in the eye and flatout lied to us as the ambassador to the UN in 2012.

SUSAN: But based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is of the present is, in fact, it began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo, where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy, sparked by this hateful video.

GLENN: Okay. So here's the problem: She knew she was lying then. Obama knew she was lying then. Hillary Clinton knew she was lying then. I contend the president knew she was lying then.

Media, you wonder why Donald Trump became president of the United States, this is your example. You're doing it again. For anybody who thought possibly that you would have a backbone, that you have learned something, that you have become enlightened, you're doing it again! You are taking a story and you are picking the winner. You are picking the one you choose to believe.

She has no credibility. Was she following orders last time? Perhaps. Is she following orders this time? Perhaps.

It's your job to dissect this story and to show where the truth is and how it's all being lumped together to make it appear as though she's telling the truth. This is the problem. With so much dishonesty in the government, the credibility of those we've elected to serve us is completely shot.

And so what do we do? We elect somebody like Donald Trump -- not because of the credibility of the people in the government, but because he told us the truth. And this is the truth: You can't believe the media. They are in on the game. And this Susan Rice story is proof positive.

Now, let's go to -- let's go to Pat, who is going to take us to the chalkboard.

PAT: And diagram this a little bit.

GLENN: Yeah. I leaked nothing to nobody. Just show me how I leaked nothing to nobody works here, Pat.

PAT: All right. Well, first of all, this is obviously a negation, right?

GLENN: Pat at the chalkboard teaching.

PAT: Negation. Although, she used a double negative.

(chuckling)

GLENN: Okay.

PAT: Which, of course, leads to a positive statement. As you know, two negative numbers multiplied together makes it a positive. So if you leak nothing to nobody, that does mean that you leaked something to everybody. Now --

STU: You're saying it was a true statement?

PAT: It was a true statement. She obviously leaked something to everybody.

Now, if she was trying to say she didn't leak anything, then you have to use the negative auxillary, I didn't leak anything. The pronoun "anything." Or you could perhaps use the negative article, I have not leaked anything.

(chuckling)

GLENN: To nobody?

PAT: To anyone. To the --

STU: Can you say "I have not leaked nothing to nobody?" If it was a triple negative, she would be okay, right?

GLENN: If you say, I have not leaked anything to anyone, why isn't that a double positive, which would lead it to a double negative?

PAT: Because you've used the negative particle "not," which obviously means you haven't.

STU: And also, if you multiply two positives together, you don't get a negative. You get a positive.

PAT: Right. Correct.

GLENN: How do we know math is right? Have you checked with Common Core lately?

STU: Well, fake math, fake news. It's all real.

GLENN: Thank you, Pat. We appreciate that, for clearing that up.

PAT: Thank you.

JEFFY: Thank you.

PAT: Happy to do that.

GLENN: For anybody who wanted to know exactly -- by the way, anybody who is making fun of Donald Trump in the media and how he speaks --

PAT: Right.

GLENN: -- is anybody going over this? Is anybody saying, "Hey, Susan Rice, I didn't leak nothing to nobody is probably not something at a cabinet level."

STU: I didn't leak nothing to nobody would have been okay because it's a triple negative. However, she said I leaked nothing to nobody, making it a double negative and making it incorrect.

GLENN: You're right. You're right. I'm sorry --

STU: Or actually correct. Because she actually did leak it.

GLENN: Yes. Yes. But she didn't leak it. And here's how they're getting away with it: May I erase your work on the chalkboard here?

PAT: Yes, you may.

GLENN: Okay. So can anybody tell me what FISA means?

STU: Foreign Intelligence Security Act?

GLENN: Foreign Intelligence Security -- it's not act, is it? Is it act?

STU: Yes.

GLENN: And so what does it do?

STU: Yeah, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance. Sorry. Surveillance.

GLENN: Surveillance. Anybody know what it does?

STU: Well, there's foreign intelligence that has surveilled with this act.

GLENN: That's all you need to know. That's all you need to know. They are surveilling foreign intelligence.

Now, why are names masked in FISA? So everything we're talking about here goes to a FISA court.

PAT: They're masked because if Americans are caught up in it, they don't want to suck Americans into something that they're --

GLENN: Great.

PAT: -- not guilty of.

GLENN: So let's go back a bit.

How does the FISA court work? What is the FISA court? How is it supposed to work?

FISA court was developed because we found out in the '70s that the CIA was starting to spy on things. And we wanted to make sure that the CIA and the FBI and everybody was in their proper roles.

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: But we -- we saw that the CIA was starting to use surveillance in foreign countries. And we were afraid we were going to use them here in America.

And so they put this wall up. And this is the point of the FISA court. We built a wall so no one -- no CIA, no NSA could ever cross back into the United States.

And so what the CIA said --

PAT: And it's illegal for the CIA to spy on Americans.

GLENN: Correct. This all comes from the Nixon era, and all this stuff was -- and you were starting to spy on Americans. So the FISA court was designed. And the FISA court, you as the CIA, you have to come to a FISA court and say, "Hey, we have a foreign intelligence that needs to be surveilled. We need to listen to their phone calls." Great. Listen to their phone calls.

And we're listening to their phone calls, as they're coming into the United States. They are here in the United States. And we need to listen to them.

Well, wait a minute. If they're here in the United States, they're going to be talking to Americans.

Yes, but what we'll do is when we issue the report, we will black out their name, and we will put US citizen number one.

And so when the FISA -- when the FISA report came to Susan Rice's desk, it said, "Here's the -- you know, the Russian operative Igor Mullowski (phonetic) -- whatever his name is, spoke to US citizen number one." Now, how do you unmask that?

PAT: You go to the NSA or the CIA and you say, "I need -- can I know -- I need to know who this US citizen is."

GLENN: So how do you know who to go to? CIA, NSA, how do you know who to go to?

PAT: I don't know.

STU: Are you teaching us or asking us?

GLENN: I'm asking -- I'm teaching you too. Do you know?

PAT: No. Whoever filed the report I would --

GLENN: So you go to whoever issued this report.

STU: Okay.

PAT: Right.

GLENN: The only people that have the key to unmask are the people that issued the report. So you go to the -- let's say the NSA. And you say, "Guys, I see US citizen number one. I think I know who this is, and there is something else going on that you're not privy to." Because everything is compartmentalized. I need to see US number one. And unmask US citizen number one so I know their name. Because I think they're connected in this other thing that we have going on over here. We have to make sure it's the same person.

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: Now, when they unmask it, who gets the unmasked report?

PAT: Person who asked for it.

GLENN: That's what I would think. Nope.

So when they're saying, did you leak anything? She didn't have to. Those reports go out to all of -- like 20 people. Those reports go out every day. And they have unmask.

If they are -- if they are unmasked -- they go out masked. Then if somebody asks for them to be unmasked, they're reissued, and they go out to everyone with the unmasking. So she didn't to have leak it. She gave it to 20, to 100 different people.

STU: And someone there leaked it.

GLENN: Someone there leaked it.

STU: She started the process.

GLENN: Right. So the questions they should be asking --

PAT: She puts the blame though, on the NSA, because they're the ones who decide whether they'll unmask or not.

GLENN: Right. Right. So let's play this out, Pat. She's exactly right. They do. You play Susan Rice, I play the NSA. Hello, NSA.

PAT: I'd like to know who citizen number one is.

STU: Why is your voice so low?

PAT: She's got a cold.

STU: Oh, okay.

GLENN: Wow, I hope you feel better, Susan. You sound really bad. You sound like that guy on the radio. What's his name? Oh, man.

PAT: Yeah, I don't feel good right now. So -- nobody knows. Nobody knows his name. It hasn't been unmasked yet.

GLENN: So, Susan, I can't just give you the name of the person.

PAT: No, I've got another investigation going on.

GLENN: You have another investigation going on? Can you tell me a little bit about -- I don't need to know about the investigation, but can you give me a reason why you think this name is important?

PAT: Well, it involves a Trump campaign.

GLENN: And are you doing something on the Trump campaign and the Russians?

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: Okay. So you have something else going on?

PAT: Yes.

GLENN: Okay. So you do need it?

PAT: I do it need.

GLENN: Good. You don't just call them and say, "Hey, I need a name unmasked." Those are masked as a wall. It is incumbent upon the -- the agency that issued the report --

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: -- to then say, "Why do you need it?"

Now, as national security adviser, as the head of the president's national security, she has more clout than anyone else. But it is her case. She cannot blame anyone else for saying, "Well, they just released it." No.

They released it to you because you are the president's national security adviser. You are the top of the pyramid.

PAT: And you made the case.

GLENN: If you say, I have another case that you're not aware of, they will unmask it. Because you're the top of the pyramid. The only one higher is the president.

PAT: And based on her interviews, she -- she kind of walks this line --

JEFFY: Yes, she does.

GLENN: Yes, she does.

PAT: -- that, yeah, I did unmask something, but it wasn't for political purposes and I wasn't going after the Trump campaign.

GLENN: So the question should be, then what were you working on to ask for it to be unmasked?

PAT: Which she would say national security. Classified.

JEFFY: Classified.

GLENN: Correct. Correct, she will.

So then the next question is: So was that name the name connected with something else? National security. Well, you have an American -- you have an American's life at stake here.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: Their whole --

PAT: Yeah, it's bad.

GLENN: The reason for the FISA wall, you've just destroyed their life. I think you have a responsibility to repair it and speak frankly.

By July 9, 1776, a copy of the Declaration of Independence reached New York City, where British naval ships occupied New York Harbor. Revolutionary spirit and tension were running high. George Washington, commander of the Continental forces in New York, read the Declaration aloud in front of City Hall. The crowd cheered wildly, and later that day tore down a statue of King George III. They melted down the statue to make 42,000 musket balls for the ragtag American army.

America's separation from Great Britain was officially in writing. Now came the hard part.

The Declaration of Independence defines who we are, what we believe, and what we aspire to be. It is a mission statement. But no one said it would be easy to implement.

The Declaration was not simply an official announcement of our split from Great Britain. If it was just that, it could've been a lot shorter. It was also an announcement that we're starting a new company, and here's what we're basing it on. It didn't just declare independence — it declared principles. It declared how we were going to organize ourselves once we were out on our own, and it set up guardrails to help ensure we didn't end up like the country we were leaving in the first place.

The Founders set us up for success, but America is now fumbling it away, largely thanks to our dangerous drift from the original blueprints.

In our national discourse, it's hard to find agreement even on fundamentals like the Declaration of Independence anymore. There's no time for old-fashioned things like the Declaration when social media can fuel our outrage around the clock.

We have lost touch with our national DNA.

How often do we jump to outrage before we have any kind of perspective on a matter? In 2017, President Trump had only been in office for one month before over 100 activists rewrote a version of the Declaration of Independence, rewording it with Trump in the King George III role. Trump had been in office for a single month. The focus has shifted from unity to partisan winning at all costs. We have lost touch with our national DNA.

Our basic knowledge of the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights is so weak that we don't have a clue how they relate to each other. As of late 2017, 37 percent of Americans could not name any of our First Amendment rights. And 33 percent of Americans could not name any branch of our government.

Here's another example of our painful misunderstanding. In a Psychology Today article written before the 2016 presidential election, Dr. Mark Goulston was trying to figure out a way to understand Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. This is what he came up with:

Trump represents the Declaration of Independence. Clinton represents the U.S. Constitution.

He tries to explain that Trump supporters are eager to declare their independence from the political swamp system. For the Constitution side of things, he wrote:

It [the Constitution] may have stood the test of time for so long because it was drafted following a long, costly and awful war that the founding fathers wanted to prevent from happening again. That intention possibly enabled them to create a document that was relatively free from special interests and personal agendas. [Hillary] Clinton is more like the Constitution than the Declaration of Independence and appears to be more about getting things done than declaratively taking a stand.

Besides being a completely bogus way to interpret Hillary Clinton, this comparison makes your brain hurt because it so fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between the Declaration and the Constitution. They are not rival documents.

He says the Constitution has stood the test of time because the founders wrote it to prevent another long, costly war. What? No. It stands the test of time because it was designed to protect the “unalienable rights" of the Declaration.

He goes on to say that we need a new Constitutional Convention because, “We may just need to retrofit it to fit modern times."

This is the primarily leftist idea that America is up against today — that the founding documents worked well for their time, but that they now need an overhaul. Progressives seem to live by the motto, if it ain't broke, fix it anyway. Rather than “fixing" things, however, when we understand the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights as they already are, we discover that they still work because they're tied to universal principles, not a specific point in time.

Here's one way to think about the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. The Declaration is our thesis, or mission statement. The Constitution is the blueprint to implement that mission statement. And the Bill of Rights is our insurance policy.

Aside from the practical business of separating from Great Britain, the gist of the Declaration is that humans have natural rights granted us by God, and that those rights cannot be compromised by man. The Constitution, then, is the practical working out of how do we design a government that best protects our natural rights?

The creation of the Constitution did not give us rights. The existence of our rights created the Constitution. The Constitution just recognizes and codifies those rights, clarifying that the government does not have authority to deprive us of those rights.

The Founders were extremely paranoid about corruption and abuse of power. They designed a system to avoid as much of that as possible.

The Progressive and postmodern idea that rich white guys founded America as an exclusive country club for enriching themselves doesn't hold water. If that had been their true intent, they seriously handicapped themselves with the emphasis on rights and the checks on power that they included in these three documents. Any honest reading of the Constitution, and of the massive ratification debates that dragged on in individual state legislatures, makes one thing very clear — the Founders were extremely paranoid about corruption and abuse of power. They designed a system to avoid as much of that as possible.

Still, this Declaration-Constitution-Bill of Rights-trifecta thing is just a conservative line, right? It's just something we say because we're stuck in the past and we're in denial about the new and improved, diverse, post-gender, postmodern America, right?

As the Declaration puts it, “let facts be submitted to a candid world."

In 1839, on the 50th anniversary of George Washington's inauguration as the nation's first president, the New York Historical Society invited former president John Quincy Adams to deliver a speech. As the son of John Adams, John Quincy wrote a speech about something near and dear to his — the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He said:

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, are parts of one consistent whole, founded upon one and the same theory of government… it had been working itself into the mind of man for many ages… but had never before been adopted by a great nation in practice…

Even in our own country, there are still philosophers who deny the principles asserted in the Declaration, as self-evident truths — who deny the natural equality and inalienable rights of man — who deny that the people are the only legitimate source of power – who deny that all just powers of government are derived from the consent of the governed… I speak to matters of fact. There is the Declaration of Independence, and there is the Constitution of the United States — let them speak for themselves.

They can, and they do. They don't require any interpretation or updates because our inalienable rights have not changed.

Progressives and Democratic Socialists believe our rights come from the government, but the Declaration emphasizes that our rights are inalienable and are granted to mankind by God. By the way, we usually only use the word “inalienable" now when we're talking about the Declaration of Independence, so we often don't even understand the word. It means something that is not transferable, something incapable of being taken away or denied.

We don't know our founding documents anymore and we're witnessing the disastrous results of this deficiency. We've lost sight of what made the American Revolution so unique. It was the first time subjects who had colonized new lands, rebelled against the country they came from. Government by the people and for the people is a principle that changed the world. Most countries fall apart after their revolutions. We thrived because of the firm principles of the Declaration, and the protection of those principles in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. It's a unique system with a remarkable track record, in spite of our human frailty. But this system is not inevitable — for it to continue to work, we must understand and protect it.

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

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

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

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

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

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

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