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Jonah Goldberg: If Hypocrisy Were Helium, We'd All Have Funny Voices and Some Would Float Away

Jonah Goldberg --- comedian or acclaimed author and senior editor at National Review? You decide. Goldberg joined Glenn on radio Wednesday to offer his hilarious take on the absurdity that is Washington, DC. It's either laugh or cry, right?

Enjoy the complimentary clip or listen to this segment for details.

GLENN: I have to tell you, I'm so excited about the next two people that we have to introduce you to today. This hour, we have Jonah Goldberg from National Review. He's a guy who I don't know if he knows this or not -- I think I've told him before -- has really changed my life. He wrote a book called Liberal Fascism, stuff I didn't even know. Nobody was taught. His dad was a real pioneer in this field and kept the torch alive. And Jonah has done such a great job to explain progressives and liberal fascism. And it opened my eyes to an entirely new world and changed the course of my life.

I love having him on and reading his points of view. And he has a lot to say about what's happening. So we're going to get an update on what happened yesterday, since we last met on -- in Washington, with the Comey letter. And McMaster. And -- and his press conference.

Also, next hour, a serial entrepreneur. The guy who started Priceline. He has about 900 patents to his name. He was called by Forbes, the Edison for a New Age. He's the guy who came up with the friend button on Facebook. I can't wait to get into this guy's head as a -- as an entrepreneur. That's next hour.

We begin this hour with Jonah Goldberg and what's happening in Washington. How do we make sense of it? Beginning, right now.

(music)

GLENN: Welcome to the program, Jonah Goldberg. How are you, sir?

JONAH: Glenn, great to be here, and thanks for the kind words up front. That was great.

GLENN: Jonah, you're watching everything that is happening in Washington, DC, and trying to make sense of it. The media does not have any credibility at all on trying to say, "Rule of law. And, gee, we can't have somebody handle classified material, that doesn't know what they're doing with it." They have no credibility. It's a farce to watch them as they're talking about this, when we know what they did with Obama and Hillary Clinton.

However --

JONAH: Yeah --

GLENN: -- if we want to be consistent, we're watching this and saying, "This does not look good."

Can you take us through this, especially what happened yesterday?

JONAH: Yeah, no, that's right. I mean, look, as a big picture point, as I've been saying for a while, if hypocrisy were helium, we'd all have funny voices and some people would just float away.

(laughter)

And it is absolutely -- as I keep saying to some of my friends on the right who are absolutely right, in their criticisms of the double standards of the mainstream media and how the mainstream media is freaking out about stuff that they yawned about under Barack Obama -- that's all a perfectly good point to make, and it's a good argument to make. But it's a necessary argument, but not a sufficient argument, in the sense that, if the things that Obama did -- and just to -- when Obama did X and the mainstream media didn't freak out, and you criticized the mainstream media for not freaking out, and then when Trump does X, and you criticize the mainstream media for freaking out -- well, you should be freaking out too since you're -- if you believe in the rule of law, you think Obama violated the rule of law, and you stomped your spoon on your high chair for eight years about what Obama was doing to violate the rule of law and then Trump violates the rule of law, and all you have to say is, "Look how hypocritical the New York Times is," well, then you're being a hypocrite too. You have a double standard too. You don't call out a Republican president for doing stuff that you condemned the Democratic president for. Fine. Call the New York Times a bunch of hypocrites, but you're being hypocritical too. And this is a huge problem on the right, with a lot of people trying to find this safe harbor of anti anti-Trumpism. They don't -- and they're absolutely right that, you know, much of the left-wing freakout, this resistance nonsense and all of that is absurd. I mean, so much of it has been, "Donald Trump put salt on his french fries. Hitler put salt on his french fries."

(laughter)

JONAH: It's that kind of nonsense. And I'm all for calling it out. But if that's all you're doing, you're a disservice. Because some of the things that Donald Trump has done are legitimately worth criticizing, which brings us to yesterday.

So we all remember -- I mean, it's amazing to -- you know, it's just barely a week. Barely over a week since Sally Yates testified. This -- the -- the space time continuum has been sort of accordioned in Washington. And it's this bizarre thing where each day sort of brings, usually right around my cocktail hour, which really ticks me off.

GLENN: 9:00 a.m.?

JONAH: Brings a new story -- well, yes, there is that.

(laughter)

Look, I have a tattoo that says, "If you don't start drinking in the morning, you can't claim that you were drinking all day."

But it's just -- so the White House, you know, announced that they fired Comey last week, turned out that the story that they brought out there was just flatly not believable, and turned out to be untrue within a couple days. Donald Trump told Lester Holt that he fired him because of the Russia investigation, which, from any other president would have everyone pulling their hair out because you're just not supposed to say that. You know, you're not supposed to say that you didn't like the investigation into your campaign or into you or whatever. And you called it off because you -- and you told -- and you fired the FBI director because it wasn't -- he didn't make it go away.

And so this sort of gets to us the core problem, is that Donald Trump's greatest defense is incompetence and ignorance. He doesn't know how the system works.

He doesn't have an appreciation that some rules and procedures that are traditional in a White House are there for a good reason.

I don't know if you guys remember, you know, the parable of -- of Chesterton's fence. G.K. Chesterton has this wonderful story, where he says -- he's talking about progressive reformers.

And he says the progressive reformer is the kind of guy who sees a fence in the middle of a field, has no idea why it's there, and says, let's tear it down because there's no good reason for it to be there. I can't imagine why it's there.

And Chesterton says, "The only time you have a reason to tear down the fence is once you understand why it was put up in the first place. Maybe it's keeping out the ice zombies and the white walkers." Who knows. And Donald Trump has contempt for all of the traditional rules, all the traditional procedures. And he wants to go off the cuff. And so when he does stuff like axe the FBI director, as we learned yesterday, to go easy on an investigation into Mike Flynn, the former national security adviser, it seems utterly plausible that, you know, he can just be like, "Oh, was I not supposed to do that?" You know, because he doesn't know -- you know, he doesn't know what he doesn't know. And the problem --

GLENN: But if you look at --

JONAH: One last point, the problem with the left is they all want to make it about Russia, collusion. You know, they want to go to 11 on all of this stuff. And they want to have it both ways. They did this with George W. Bush too. They wanted to say he's an idiot, and they want to say he's a genius mastermind of an international mastermind of a conspiracy. You can't have it both ways.

GLENN: Yeah. So I don't think he's a genius mastermind of a conspiracy. I think you're right. He has contempt for rules. He doesn't want to live by those rules. And, in fact, one of the sources that we talked to Erick Erickson about yesterday, he said, you know, look the guy is a huge Trump supporter, supported him all the way through the campaign. Erick said, I couldn't even talk to him during the campaign because he was so rabidly Trump. But he was one of the sources that has leaked the information about what really happened. And he said he's doing it because the president will not listen to any advice. He sees all advice as an attack on him. So he is isolated.

And he's saying, we have to leak it to the press, because we're hoping that he'll listen to the press more than -- you know, and have him driven back into our arms, saying, okay. What do I have to know about this?

He said, he's just out of control, and really bad things will happen if he doesn't start taking some common sense advice on, "No, Mr. President. We can't do that because of X, Y, Z." Now, we can find another way to do it, but we can't do that.

JONAH: No, look, I agree. I had a column -- I wrote a column for the L.A. Times yesterday. It's up at National Review today. Calling on Michael Pence. You know, Mike Pence is the one guy, the one constitutional officer in the executive branch that Donald Trump can't fire. And so he -- you know, all these other guys in the cabinet -- some of them I like, I respect a lot. All these people on the senior staff, some of whom I like and respect, they can all be fired. And they all seem to think that they have to audition every day for their job. Mike Pence doesn't.

And Mike Pence was humiliated by the president last week. And not for the first time. By going out and saying, "Oh, no, we fired Comey on the recommendation of the deputy attorney general, and it was all through proper procedure, and we had waited for the DAG to get there. Of course this has nothing to do with the Russian investigation." And then two days later, Donald Trump uses a capitulate to throw him under a bus.

And Mike Pence should march into the Oval Office and say, "Mr. President, if you do that again, I may have to resign and run against you in 2020, or I'm going to start speaking freely to the media on the record." You know, he can't be fired, and he would have an enormous bully pulpit.

GLENN: Okay. Wait. Hang on just a second. That was my advice for Hillary Clinton when Bill Clinton did this to her with the blue dress.

JONAH: Right.

GLENN: She should have marched out and said, he's still my president. I still agree with his policies, but no woman should be treated this way. And what we work out in our marriage is our business. Stay out of our marriage. But no woman should be treated that way. She would have been the most powerful woman in the world. She, however, decided to stay in, I think for her own power and everything else. And that was kind of the arrangement that they had.

With Pence, I wonder if Pence and McMaster, who I have great respect for -- although I saw him tap dance like nobody else yesterday. It was an amazing answer from him yesterday. And I'm wondering if these guys are saying to themselves, "Look, if I leave, I don't know who he's going to have for advice. And I'd rather be in here. And I'll take the hits for this, but we have got to get him on track and keep him in place. And who is going to replace me? It could be anyone."

JONAH: No, I agree with that. I have to assume that H.R. McMaster, to the extent that he kind of -- as you put it, tap danced and parsed over the last 48 hours, he was doing it either to protect national security by minimizing the damage of this story, or because he thinks that if I'm not in there, we're going to go back to someone like Mike Flynn or worse, and I need to keep, you know, things operating in as professional manner as possible. I have to think it was a patriotism in some way or another.

GLENN: I think so too. He's an amazingly credible man. And he knows -- I mean, what he said yesterday was, anything the president wants to do is appropriate, legally it's appropriate.

Then they asked, so did he do anything appropriate? No. Well, he just said anything he wants to do is appropriate. And he must -- he knows that to come out with Jerusalem as the city and the Israelis, that is wildly damaging to our spy apparatus. Wildly damaging.

JEFFY: Although, I still think there's a possibility that Israel is taking one for the team, and that it was actually Jordan. Because --

GLENN: Wow.

JONAH: -- you know, it's not like Israel is going to break its relationship with us over this. They understand, and they've got all this stuff coming up on this visit that's of bigger importance. But if Jordan had been revealed as the source, it could have really -- I don't know. Who knows.

GLENN: Wow. Wow.

JONAH: But, look, I wrote this the other day. I keep thinking that poor Reince Priebus and Mike Pence and these other guys, I honestly think their hearts are in the right place. I imagine all of them, like Jerry McGuire in the locker room, begging Cuba Gooding Jr., "Help me, help you." You know, I mean, it's like, if Trump could just get a little discipline, you know, and get sort of -- a little less addicted, a little weaned off the drama and the reality show vibe that he clearly thrives on, he could still get important things accomplished. But it's like you can't break through to him.

And this thing about, you know, back channeling to him through the media, that's been going on since day one. I mean, that's the only reason why I actually liked watching Morning Joe so much for the first couple of months of the administration, is because it's like reading Pravda. You know, you just never know who is like signaling from what point of the PoleP euro through the press, to the first among equals.

And I think that that's -- but that's a problem. If he's consuming and getting all of his advice filtered through what he sees on Fox & Friends or printed out from Breitbart.com, that is no way to run a country.

GLENN: Okay. I only have one minute. One more question.

STU: Politically, Jonah, isn't it the issue here that his surrogates, their most effective defense is to basically say he's incompetent, he's new, he's trying to figure this stuff out? But that's also simultaneously, the one thing that they absolutely under any circumstances cannot say.

JONAH: No, that's right. And that's why -- and I wrote about this months ago -- they fall back on this he's a man of action, he's a man of wisdom. He knows things that we don't know.

And the problem with that kind of rhetoric is that it may work for a moment politically -- although, it's credibility is diminishing -- but that's also cult of personality talk. You know, that is not how conservatives, that's not how people in a democracy are supposed to talk is just say, well, he's the president, and he has the supreme judgment, and who are we to question it? The whole point of democracy is to question the judgment of your political leaders. But that's where the surrogates have to go. And I don't think it works for them very much at all anymore. And it doesn't help send off anybody who isn't sort of already in the tank.

GLENN: Jonah, 30 seconds. Can you tell me what we should watch for? What's the good sign or a bad sign that we should watch for?

JONAH: Well, if the rivers turn to blood...

(laughter)

GLENN: Okay.

JONAH: I don't want to send any of your advertisers -- buy gold.

(laughter)

GLENN: Jonah, God bless you, man. Thank you very much.

JONAH: Good to be with you guys. Thank you.

GLENN: Jonah Goldberg, senior editor of the National Review.

THE GLENN BECK PODCAST

The Truth Behind the 5G Airline Hysteria | Brendan Carr | Ep 130

The rollout of 5G has begun across the country … except at airports. Rumors are everywhere that the new 5G networks could cause massive — and deadly — disruptions to air traffic. But is this a factual fear, or does it belong in the same bucket as the billion other conspiracy theories surrounding 5G? Population control, invisible propaganda, hundreds of birds that die all at once, wavelengths that microwave your brain ... And what about the less far-fetched concerns about what 5G could usher in: Increased Big Tech monitoring, ESG scores, the metaverse? Since President Biden isn’t doing anything to calm America’s fears, Glenn sits down with FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr to cut through the noise and separate fact from fiction. Yes, Carr explains, there is a lot to be concerned about. But he also details why he’s so optimistic about the potential a 5G-powered world could have.

TV

WATCH: The Great Reset: Joe Biden and the Rise of 21st-Century Fascism

The Great Reset is not just an elitist idea — it’s not even a socialist utopian concept. It’s a real-world fascist threat to every American from Wall Street to Main Street. It’s happening now in policies and cultural shifts big and small, obvious and subtle, from environmental promises to corporations going woke. But the mainstream media, global elites, and politicians brushed off the Great Reset as “nothing to see here.” Another myth they push: “The World Economic Forum is just a conference for elites who have no REAL power.”

Glenn Beck first exposed the Great Reset almost two years ago, and the globalist cries of "conspiracy theorist" soon followed. They said he believed the WEF was a “master cabal calling the shots from some evil underground lair.” But Glenn Beck never said that. Instead, he uncovered the true intentions of global leaders in finance and politics by simply highlighting their own words.

This week, the same global elites are doubling down on their agenda at the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda virtual event. But still, the global elites — like Twitter’s Jack Dorsey — are trying to downplay the WEF’s influence to stop people like us from interfering with their plans. The oligarchy will prosper in the new world order they’ve designed. You will not.

So Glenn unveils a master chalkboard based on his best-selling new book to outline the threats from globalists and why we must stop their agenda if we hope to keep the precious freedoms we still have.

Watch the full episode of "GlennTV' Below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

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.

RADIO

Explaining Washington’s rumored FORCED QUARANTINE law

Despite what the mainstream media may say, on January 12 Glenn DID fact-check a claim he made on Tucker Carlson about a rumored Washington law that could force citizens to quarantine or isolate. In this clip, Glenn clarifies his original statement, explaining that the law in question has been on Washington books since 2003 and therefore is NOT a result of the COVID pandemic. But Glenn also explains the more concerning context he — and those in the mainstream media — missed too: the fact that this law didn’t seem too farfetched for Washington citizens should be VERY concerning to us all.

RADIO

Follow THESE 8 STEPS so we can REVIVE our republic

It’s a new year, and every new year comes with New Year's resolutions. This is when we resolve to lose weight, join a gym, or finally read those books on our shelves. For many of us, the New Year's resolution has become a kind of joke, because deep down, we know the new diet won’t stick and that reading a book a day isn’t really sustainable. The real issue is that we usually create resolutions that are too idealistic and broad, like, “Be healthy.” When it comes time to deliver on those resolutions, we don’t know what to do, so we quit.

But the idea of resolutions is still a good one. It is good to set new and better goals for ourselves. The secret is keeping them attainable.

You will hear many people, like me, tell you that 2022 is the year to save the American republic. Well, that is a great idea, but what do we actually DO to make that happen?

I know this audience is already resolved to save America, so I want to offer you some specific, actionable ways to do that.

Here are some “Practical Steps to Revive the Republic.” It is by no means a fully comprehensive list. We will find a broad array of ways to save our nation. This list is a jumping-off point for the New Year for folks like us who love this country.

Practical Steps to Revive the Republic

1. Get married and have a family.

Mother Teresa said, “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”

Family is the first system of government we enter. It is where we are taught the virtues necessary for self-government. Children denied love and guidance when they are young struggle to successfully enter society, let alone the reality of their own lives. We call them “mal-adjusted.”

Ronald Reagan addressed the nation in 1986, saying:

“Consider, for example, that the philosopher-historians Will and Ariel Durant called the family ‘the nucleus of civilization.’ They understood that all those aspects of civilized life that we most deeply cherish — freedom, the rule of law, economic prosperity and opportunity — that all these depend upon the strength and integrity of the family. If you think about it, you'll see that it's in the family that we must all learn the fundamental lesson of life — right and wrong, respect for others, self-discipline, the importance of knowledge, and, yes, a sense of our own self-worth. All of our lives, it's the love of our families that sustains us when times are hard. And it is perhaps above all to provide for our children that we work and save.

“Some have suggested that in today's world, the family has somehow become less important. Well, I can't help thinking just the opposite: that when so much around us is whispering the little lie that we should live only for the moment and for ourselves, it's more important than ever for our families to affirm an older and more lasting set of values.”

If you are concerned about the fall of the American republic, remember that liberty is always just a generation away from success or demise, and the children we raise make all of the difference.

2. Tell the truth.

“When you have something to say, silence is a lie.” –Jordan B. Peterson

Lying is really easy. It seems to take the mess of the present and push it into the future. But lying makes the world like a mine field of constructed reality – one wrong step and it will all blow up. To maintain a lie costs the liar in consciousness, attention, and productivity. Enough lies make you useless. Useless people have very little capacity for self-government.

In 2021, we rightly pointed out, “The media lies!” “The politicians lie!” “The doctors lie!” “The celebrities lie!”

But if we lie too, can we expect better from them? If we are silent in the face of lies, when we KNOW they are lies, then how can we expect things to improve?

If we each agreed to stop lying and to tell the truth today, can you imagine how much better tomorrow could be? Theodore Dalrymple, the pen name of the English writer and psychiatrist, said it perfectly: “When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.” We have to embrace and promote a way of life worthy of liberty – and that starts with me, you, and all of us.

3. Study history and read old books.

There is nothing new under the sun. It’s likely that the struggles of today were deliberated years ago by our ancestors. Perhaps they have some good ideas worth considering. We won’t know unless we study them. The American system of government was revolutionary not because the founders were somehow superhuman (although God was clearly with them) but because they embraced the lessons of the past. If you think practically, looking at the future is impossible, but moving into the future, regardless of where you look, is inevitable. The only concrete information we have is in the past. If you are being presented with a “new idea,” check with the past first to see how that idea will play out. If you love the American republic, study it. If you want to navigate the future, read old books.

4. Own. Don’t rent.

Many of us likely watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” over the holidays. This movie makes an explicit case for the correlation between home ownership and human dignity. The greedy villain. Mr. Potter, wants to keep the people of the town in his rental apartments and is threatened by the movie's protagonist, George Bailey, whose Bailey Building and Loan business is helping people own their own homes.

Home ownership matters. Not only does it set you on the path toward true self-reliance and out of the grips of the “Mr. Potters” of the world, but it also creates local buy-in, which makes our communities stronger. A 2001 Harvard study found:

“Strong and consistent evidence indicates that homeowners are more likely to:

a) be satisfied with their homes and neighborhoods;

b) participate in voluntary and political activities; and

c) stay in their homes longer, contributing to neighborhood stability.

To be metaphorical: It turns out that when we put down roots, we care more about the local soil. But right now, we are seeing the death of home ownership in exchange for perpetual renting. Even people with the financial capacity to buy a home are forgoing it for the ease of renting. But if we want to save our republic, we have to tend to our local communities. We have to take ownership over where we live.

Before our Declaration spoke about “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” John Locke was talking about the natural rights of life, liberty, and property. When he said “property,” he was talking about the holistic ownership a man can have over his destiny. The right to own property is about self-determination. In essence, it is about the right to own yourself – to own your destiny.

If you can buy a home, do it. If not, take on the mentality of a homeowner in your community, not a passerby.

Whenever possible, own, don’t rent.

5. Dump the tea into the sea.

Over the past two years, the government has grabbed at power like a drunken man in a strip club, losing all decorum, restraint, and sense of place in the greater society. But what is more disturbing is that we complied. After “15 days to slow the spread,” we stayed unnecessarily locked down physically, emotionally, and financially for almost two years.

Remember the last time kings tried to hold us down? I’m not saying to turn to violence. I am saying we should just start saying “no” to the government overreach – PEACEFULLY, respectfully, and deliberately.

Thomas Jefferson said, “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive.”

Maybe the lovers of the American republic need to start getting into, as the left loves to say, “good trouble.”

6. Know your rights AND your responsibilities.

We all love talking about our rights. In fact, the word “rights” is being conflated with a narcissistic tendency to think we deserve the whole world to conform to our way of life. Yet our inalienable rights are eroded every day. If you haven’t read our founding documents, now is the time. We can’t protect rights that we can’t define or are ignorant of. But along with rights come responsibilities. We are accustomed to turning to the government to solve everything – to heal all of our “boo-boos.” It’s reflexive at this point.

“There are so many poor people ... I’ll call my senator!”

Yes, the government has a role in general welfare, but the government is bad at solving most problems. I would love to hear a politician, when asked about an issue, say, “Yes, I agree that is a problem, but the government should not be the one to solve it.”

Can you imagine?

There are plenty of issues in our communities – plenty of people who need help. We have to start helping them. Knowing the government will “help the poor” and lock them in cycles of poverty, we need to develop other solutions in our own communities. There are many important issues to address. We have forgotten whose job it is to address them. When we fail to love our neighbors, the government steps in as a poor and destructive substitute.

7. Say “republic” more than “democracy.”

You can’t turn on the news without someone telling you about the fragility of our “democracy.” In President Biden's Inauguration Day speech, he broke the record for the number of times the word “democracy” was used in an inaugural address. When politicians call for abolishing the Electoral College, they call it “undemocratic.” A Pew Research study found that 58% of U.S. adults think the Constitution should be amended so that the presidential candidate who receives the most votes nationwide wins. This would no doubt make America more democratic. But America is not a democracy. We don’t live in a democracy for good reason. The founders understood that “majority” does not mean “right.” That isn’t to say our founders didn't infuse our system with the best of the democratic values, but they ultimately decided in favor of a new system – a very delicate order of checks and balances and delegated power and representation. This was to provide protection against the whims of faction or, as we call it today, “the mob.” It’s the leaders of our modern mob who love to exchange the word republic, which is what we really are, for democracy. Words have meanings. Many young Americans believe they live in a democracy. When discussing America, make sure to use the word republic.

Federalist No. 10

From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions. A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking.

8. Learn from people you disagree with.

Perhaps this needs no explanation. We have so much we can learn from each other in the honest pursuit of truth. Our forefathers didn’t ensure our freedoms of conscience and association for nothing.

Here's how the conversation went on radio Thursday:

Follow THESE 8 STEPS so we can REVIVE our republic youtu.be