Clapper Is Wrong: We Have a Massive Political Crisis, Not a Bogus Constitutional One

Editor's Note: The following is based on Glenn's monologue from May 15, 2017.

Former United States Director of National Intelligence James Clapper went on CNN's State of the Union this weekend and said a couple of things.

CLAPPER: Our institutions are under assault, both externally -- and that's -- that's the big news here, is the Russian interference in our election system. And I think as well, our institutions are under assault internally.

VOICE: Internally from the president?

CLAPPER: Exactly.

VOICE: Because he's firing the checks and balances?

CLAPPER: Well, I think, you know, the Founding Fathers, in their genius, created a system of three coequal branches of government and a built-in system of checks and balances.

Let's all breathe deep here for a second. If you're a conservative, to hear somebody who was in the Obama administration say these things . . . you've got to breathe deep. Talking about undermining Congress? That's difficult to take. It's also difficult to take something like that from James Clapper, a guy who says the Muslim Brotherhood is largely secular. The Muslim Brotherhood? That's like saying the Catholic Knights of Columbus is largely secular. But let's focus on what he said on Sunday. To me, he said the problem is with today's media and politics.

RELATED: Clapper: Government ‘Under Assault’ by Trump After Comey Firing

Clapper Gave One Truth and One Conspiracy

First, let's tell a little bit of truth. Our institutions are under assault externally --- and that's the big news here. Russia's interferred with our election system? Yes. There isn't much of a question regarding what the Russians did. We know that they hacked the DNC and John Podesta. We know they used surrogates to leak that information to hurt Hillary Clinton. I have no issue with the statement that he made there. We know that's true.

Now, his second statement? This is what's wrong with 90 percent of the news lately. He goes from fact to conspiracy theory. He says, "Not only are we under attack by the Russians, but also internally by the Trump administration itself." Does he have anything on the record? Does he have any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia? Did Trump do something that was unconstitutional or just politically stupid?

Trump didn't do anything unconstitutional. It was his right to fire James Comey. The problem is, it was politically stupid. To say that we're under attack because of the Founders and their genius of separation of powers and not to have any kind of collusion between those powers? I have to tell you, some other words come to mind: We're going to pole vault, we're going to jump the fence, we're going to parachute in if we have to.

Clapper used to be the top spy, so he knows exactly how disinformation works. Eventually people will believe the fabricated theory, along with the actual truth, if you continue to couple them. The left has been busy trying to convince the world that Trump has colluded with Russia, without having any evidence to support it. They want everybody to think that nothing happened at all, that Russia didn't attack us, despite evidence to the contrary.

They did attack us.

There's no evidence, though, that Trump had anything to do with that. Now, hiding your head in the sand is equally dangerous, but false accusations may be even more so.

Putin Wants Chaos in the West --- And He's Getting It

Let's be clear. We've been talking about Putin on this show for years. We have been telling you about the people around Putin for years. We told you they would do these things. It is no surprise to anybody in this audience that Putin wanted to hurt Hillary Clinton. But more importantly, something that we have focused on for years, Putin wanted to polarize the American people and cause chaos. Could he have been anymore successful?

Hillary lost, not because of the Russians, but because she was the worst candidate we've seen in 240 years, that's why. Airing her dirty laundry didn't cause her to win, didn't cause Trump to win. It further split an already divided nation, which is the thing that just happened in France. Two awful candidates ran for president, one with an overwhelming win. Russia interfered --- not expecting a different outcome --- but watch, France will tear itself apart in the next five years.

Why is it that we as people can't focus on what's really going on here? Why can't we see the facts anymore?

Because we both feel like we have a gun against our head. The left feels like you felt under Barack Obama --- and you feel like you felt under Barack Obama, for different reasons. And nobody's listening to each other.

If we continue to use threats as political weapons, we are going to tear ourselves apart, and it is going to be much worse.

Keith Olbermann now does videos for GQ. Listen to what he just said over the weekend:

KEITH: I make this plea, we the citizens of the United States of America are the victims of a coup. We need your leaks, your information, your intelligence, your recordings, your videos, your conscience.

The civilian government and the military of the United States are no longer in the hands of the people, nor in the control of any responsible individuals on whom you can rely.

He's talking here directly to all of the intelligence agencies all around the world, including the Russians and the Chinese, saying leak all of the information. He then goes on and says because Trump has no rules, we should have no rules either. We'll take the risk of reestablishing the rules later on.

RELATED: Keith Olbermann Pleads With Spy Agencies Around the World to Help Him Take Down Trump

What exactly does that mean? Keep in mind, we're only a few months into this presidency. The question is the same question we asked a year ago: Where does it go from here? As I pointed out on the chalkboard when I was at Fox, the radical left, the socialists, the communists, the anarchists, the fascists, the Islamists, the Russians, all want the same thing: to cause chaos and burn the system to the ground. And they're all working in concert to see it happen. They're not coordinating, but that's what's happening.

And while we're busy chasing our tails, the bad guys are winning. Yes, we were attacked by Russia during the election. Yes, France was attacked during their election in the exact same way, by the same people. Russia isn't even hiding it anymore. To the contrary, they're expanding.

We'll Lose the Next War --- A Cyber Ware --- With Partisan Politics

The first Cold War was a spy war. I will tell you this next war is going to be a cyber war. If we continue to allow partisan politics to divide us, we are going to lose this war.

Maybe you heard about a cyber attack over the weekend, but you don't know really what happened. A group of hackers --- we think they're just thugs, criminals ---

effectively hacked the entire planet. A massive cyber attack hit over 200,000 computers in more than 150 different countries. In England, it got so bad it almost shut down the national health service. Surgeries were being cancelled. Patients were being turned away from the emergency rooms. And here's the scary part: Nobody even targeted the hospitals. That was just kind of an extra bonus for the hackers. It was a blanket attack that hit the computers, all of them at random. Now, imagine what would happen if they would have actually tried to target all the hospitals, if they would have tried to target all of the power plants, nuclear power plants and the power grids around the world?

So how did they do this? The hackers used a cyber weapon that was created by us, the NSA. Do you remember when it was stolen a few months ago by a group called the Shadow Brokers, and they leaked it online. And they said here, it's up for sale, anybody want to buy it? I believe James Clapper who was the head of the intelligence community when this was stolen from us and leaked online, James Clapper would neither confirm nor deny that that was any of our malware.

Well, they couldn't sell it, so last month they just dumped it online for free. Why? Surprise, surprise, the Shadow Brokers are speculated to be yet another surrogate for Russia. And they're the ones who dumped it online.

This goes to the motivation. It was leaked online in response to Trump's decision to bomb Syria and for kicking Steve Bannon out of the National Security Council. Why would a group of hackers want to burn everything down to the ground? Oh, that's right. Because as we've been warning you, Steve Bannon is not a conservative. He wants to burn the entire thing down to the ground. What Breitbart is doing is unintentionally colluding with the Russians and people like the Russians. Are they in direct contact? I highly doubt, but they are on the same path. They have the same patterns, the same desires, the same language.

This may be the beginning of the world's first worldwide cyber war. Putin said this would happen, and he said it would be World War III. It would be fought with digits, not bombs. We're in uncharted territory. We've never experienced anything like this before. And as long as we are concentrating on those things that politically divide us, we're going to lose this war.

The Real Crisis

It is really important that we not focus on a bogus constitutional crisis --- we don't have one. We have a massive political crisis.

The president was within his rights. I think it was stupid. I don't agree with it, but he was fully within his right to fire James Comey. The government's job now, Congress' job is to oversea, to make sure that there is a full investigation. Give an independent investigator this job, and let's move on with our lives. There's far too many things that are important. And they all revolve around the idea of principles.

While Keith Olbermann may want to rewrite the rules, I'd like to stay with the rules that we have. Those are the ones written down 240 years ago that we haven't used for quite some time. I'd like a return to those rules and those principles --- and that's only going to happen if we pay attention to the truth without being distracted by the things that piss us off.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

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).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.