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Glenn's 'Really Weird Life' Led Him to You—And He's Listening

Starting in radio at the tender age of 13, Glenn's best friend used to be a microphone---because it never rejected him, never judged him. Radio has been his therapy, allowing him to process and think out loud. While that has gotten him into trouble at times, there's been a huge silver lining.

"I did Top 40 radio most of my life, and I was pretending. I hated it back in the '90s. I was done because it was fake. And then I started saying some risky things, trying to destroy my career --- and I found my career, because I wasn't saying risky things just to say risky things. I was just telling you how I really felt. And I found you. I found that there are millions of people that feel exactly like I do, but we never say it out loud because we feel alone," Glenn said on radio.

Glenn opened the phone lines Wednesday to listen to the people who have forever changed him for the better.

"You have inspired me. You are the best --- and I mean this sincerely --- you are the best group of people I have ever met. I will put you up against the greatest flock of church people, the greatest flock of environmentalists. I'll put you against anyone, and you will be there --- quiet, humble, kind, serving each other, serving others," Glenn said.

Looking for a new way to serve his audience, Glenn has done a lot of introspective thinking of late. While all of the answers aren't clear just yet, one thing revealed itself.

"I believe in you, but I haven't been good at listening to you," Glenn said. "My job is to try to solve things, to tell you what things mean. And in trying to do that, I've failed to listen. So today, I want to listen to you," Glenn said.

Enjoy the complimentary clip or read the transcript for details.

GLENN: Hello, America. Welcome to the program. Phil Donahue said earlier this week -- he was talking to the media, and he said, "The best thing the media can do is start listening." He said, "In particular, people need to listen to the angry Trump voter."

I love that. Listen to the angry Trump voter. How many people in America are angry? I would say, I don't know, 90 percent.

We need to start listening, no matter who they voted for, to the people who feel disenfranchised. Who feel oppressed. And not because of their gender, not because of something that happened to their great, great grandfather. Not because they can't afford school. But people who actually feel oppressed because their voice is never heard. And there isn't anybody really representing them. And they've tried. And they've tried to lead a decent life. And they've tried to be a good person. They've tried to play by the rules. And now those rules are being turned upside down, and they're going, "Wait. What -- what have I done?" That's going to get worse. As pensions start to go down -- you've worked your whole life, your union and your politician told you, your pension is going to be fine. And they kept promising more and more. And you paid -- you paid into that. And you trusted.

And now if you live in places like Illinois, the entire state budget is taken up by the pensions. That's not going to work. That's not going to happen. How are those people going to feel? How are you going to feel? My pension, if you will, the only thing I've ever paid into was Social Security. When I was eight, I knew I wasn't going to get a Social Security payment. The math doesn't work. An eighth grader could figure that out. I've never counted on my Social Security. But, boy, my parents did. And it screwed them at the end of the life. And that's when it was still, quote, working.

You know, I live a really weird life. A really weird life. I have done radio since I was 13 years old. This little piece of now aluminum, I used to describe it as my best friend because it never rejected me. It never judged me. I could say anything to it.

In some ways, this radio program is a therapy session for me. Because I think out loud. It gets me in trouble a lot. I say the things I'm thinking. And my staff knows when we're writing a book or I'm working like I'm working now, I'm working on some theories, I will say the same thing over and over and over again, but it will be slightly different every time because I'm thinking it through.

And in that process, I found you. I did Top 40 radio most of my life. And I was pretending. I was -- I was -- I would watch radio shows from all over the country and listen to radio shows. And I would emulate -- I would make it into a formula. I would write, and I would spit out lines. And play the hits. "Hmm. That's great!"

And I hated it back in the '90s. I was done because it was fake. And then I started saying some risky things, trying to destroy my career. And I found my career. Because I wasn't saying risky things to say risky things. I was just telling you how I really felt. And I found you. And I found, there are millions of people that feel exactly like I do. But we never say it out loud because we feel alone.

You have inspired me. You are the best -- and I mean this sincerely -- you are the best group of people I have ever met. I will put you up against the greatest flock of church people, the greatest flock of environmentalists. I'll put you against anyone, and you will be there, quiet, humble, kind, serving each other, serving others. And then when we all leave, the place will be cleaner than it was before. I think I've actually been with you, and someone has a lawn mower in their purse because the lawn seemed to be mowed after we leave.

I've always said, after 9/11 -- and I don't know what made me say this, but I know it to be true. This audience is going to be the audience that historians and time will remember as the key -- as the group of people that turn the corner in the darkest of nights and saved freedom.

I don't know how that happens. My life has become this weird thing where I can't trust anybody. Tania recently has banned all new people and -- and -- and non-family members from our house. And it's like, I've seen my wife's heart harden in the last year. And I hate it.

I had a businessperson come up to me in my company the other day, about three weeks ago. Said, "Glenn, you can't change who you are." I'm a really trusting guy. You know this from interviews. I actually like everybody the first time I meet them. I love them.

Al Sharpton, I liked him. And then I met him more than once, and I'm like, "Okay. I can see the good in you, and you can't see the good in you, Al. You've -- you've become this guy who is just -- there is good in you. And you've traded that good, because you don't believe in it enough. You don't think you're powerful enough. And so you're -- you've traded it."

I haven't been able to travel the country and be with you. You know, we used to, oh, some -- what? Forty nights on the road every year. Fifty nights on the road. Sometimes twice a year we would do it. And I loved meeting you and being close to you because I could hear you. We don't take phone calls usually on this program. Rarely.

That has to change. I believe in you. But I haven't been good at listening to you.

I learned this from my wife. I'll come home and she'll say -- she'll say, "Oh, my day, blah, blah. And then the kids at school. And then this happened. And then I had to go here." And I'll listen and I'll be like -- halfway through, I'll be like, "You know what, honey, you know what we need to do. Blah, blah, blah." And she just looks at me, like, "What the hell you doing?" And then now because, I mean, I'm an expert in marriage. I've been married twice. Okay? I have twice the experience with women! So trust me, I know.

And what I realized is men try to solve things. Women don't want you to solve it. Just listen to me.

My job is to try to solve things, to tell you what things mean. And in trying to do that, I've failed to listen.

So today, I want to listen to you. And here's what I really want to know from you now: I want to know what's changed in your life since 2006. Has your life gotten better? Your life gotten worse? Do you feel more informed, less informed?

Is there anybody or anything that you trust anymore? Who are the people that you trust? Where do you find hope? What are you feeling about social media? Is there anywhere you go that you feel like, "Now I'm with friends?" I asked this on Facebook a couple nights ago, some of these questions and more. I'd like you to go read, but I'd really like you to post.

Mac Ryan wrote, he said: I feel like somebody whose opinion doesn't matter. I'm 27. I'm a conservative in Austin. I'm a Christian. It's been very difficult to find and hold down a job that's sustainable. I battle pretty bad depression on a constant basis since I was 12. I came to faith in the spring of 2012. Best decision I've ever made.

However, there are things that haven't been so great for me, health-wise. When I was financially able to, I would donate my paycheck every two weeks to the Nazarene Fund.

You know how many people in this audience I hear things like that from? People who serve and sacrifice, beyond ways that I even understand.

If war truly breaks out, I will fight for my faith, I will fight for my country. But I've lost friends. Not physically. My father and I now don't talk at all. I'm really introverted.

Being conservative here in Austin is extremely difficult. The city is a liberal's paradise. I guess I'll be moving soon. As far as trusting the media, I don't, for the most part.

That's the kind of story that I'm hearing over and over again. And the other thread that I'm hearing every single time: I can't afford my health insurance anymore.