Don't Die: Glenn Talks With Former Addict and Founder of National Addiction Foundation

UPDATE: Aaron Brower followed up to correct a misstated fact. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America, not opiate addiction. Drugs abuse is one and a half times more likely to be the cause of death than any other accidental or unnatural cause.

Aaron Brower, former addict and founder of the National Addiction Foundation joined Glenn on radio this week to talk about the staggering opioid epidemic in America. In 1980, there were 6,000 deaths attributed to drug overdose. Fast forward 35 years, and more than 52,000 people died from drug overdose in 2015. An estimated two million Americans are dependent on opioids, with an additional 95 million using prescription painkillers within the past year.

"This is an epidemic. Where do we go from here? How can we help? Stop looking to the government," Glenn said.

The importance of help and information cannot be overstated. That may seem simple, but many people, including family members of addicts, don't know where to turn or how to navigate the complex health care system. That's where the National Addiction Foundation comes in.

"There is help available. It's just that people don't know how to access it or know that it's available to them," Brower explained.

The most important thing, Brower emphasized, is getting connected to the right care, as well as exploring treatment and insurance options.

To learn more, visit the National Addiction Foundation online.

GLENN: I will tell you that at one point in my life, I was addicted to opioids and -- just through medical use. And it is horrendous. It is -- you know, there's something to say about drug users who are going out and storing drugs and everything else. Another about being addicted to opioids because of pain. And you -- you want to get off them. You can't get off them because of pain. And you can't get off them because you're addicted to them. And it is horrendous. It is horrendous.

I have been addicted to alcohol. And I've been addicted to opioids. I think I would take alcohol any day of the week over opioids. Aaron Brower is here. He runs the Southern California Addiction Center. And knows a little bit about it. He sounds very much like me, growing up. Began using alcohol and marijuana as a copying mechanism to deal with a traumatic event. And then in his mid-20s, he became somebody who was jumping in and out of court.

Welcome to the program, Aaron, how are you?

AARON: I'm doing great. Thanks for asking. Thank you for having me on. I appreciate it.

GLENN: You bet. Give us some stats. Because this is something that is going around on TV. But I don't think people know how bad this really is.

AARON: Yeah, I agree with you, Glenn. I mean, it is absolutely the number one medical issue in America. You know, when looking at just the statistics you rattled off, which is just staggering when you really think about it, is you're looking at, you know, in opioid overdoses, not counting all the other alcohol and drugs and cocaine and all that. In 2015, you know, it was four people an hour overdosed on opioids alone. You know, overdoses on opioids alone. When you're looking at 2016, when you're looking at the overdose deaths just like you talked about, it jumped almost 20 percent. I mean, when you go all the way back from 1980 to 2015, in 1980, there was 6,000 total drug overdose deaths, and now you fast forward to 2015, and there was 52,404 deaths.

GLENN: Jeez.

AARON: I mean, it's 1.5 times greater than any other killer of Americans.

GLENN: Than any other killer of Americans?

AARON: Any other killer of Americans.

PAT: Heart disease and all that?

GLENN: That doesn't include heart disease.

AARON: It includes accidents, cancer, heart disease. Everything. The number one killer of Americans.

GLENN: Wow.

PAT: Wow.

AARON: Five times greater than the second place killer.

GLENN: You know, in looking at this, you see in places like Ohio, where heroin has really -- the heroin overdoses has gone almost to zero. That fentanyl is now the -- the killer, not heroin, says something.

AARON: Yes, it does. And fentanyl is basically just a -- it's a thin -- a synthetic painkiller. And most of the fentanyl that's coming in is produced by Chinese companies. And then, you know, the Mexican cartels or whatever are mixing it in everything. When you're looking in 2016, there have been over 35,000 drug possession charges -- you know, where they've actually seized drugs and then tested it. In 35,000 different cases, they're finding fentanyl and cocaine, heroin, everything. But what it is, is it takes very little heroin mixed with a little fentanyl. And then you get a drug that's super potent. And the reason why it's killing so many people is because it's so hard to gauge. I mean, these guys are mixing it up in some warehouse or some back alley somewhere. They're mixing it up. It is absolutely not an exact science. That's why you get some doses that are extremely strong and some doses that aren't.

GLENN: I will tell you, that fentanyl -- I had surgery. This is years ago. And I had never even heard of fentanyl. And I -- I have a system of a horse. You just can't put me out. I've actually woken up on the operating table. I mean, they almost have to kill me to take me out of pain.

And I woke up and I was on a cocktail that included the fentanyl patch.

AARON: Right.

GLENN: And that patch scared the hell out of me, especially after my wife read that it said for end-of-life use only. But that is now being prescribed -- my niece, who was in her 20s, at one point, was prescribed fentanyl patches.

AARON: Yeah, absolutely.

GLENN: It's not something you hand out.

AARON: It's staggering. Glenn, one of the scariest reasons you're seeing this switch is I was in New Jersey at the New Jersey Hospital Association Summit. And I was there with my friend, Dr. Drew and Bob Forest. And then Governor Christie was there and Patrick Kennedy. All just absolute champions for this cause. And what's interesting is Dr. Drew gave a talk and talked about the big lobbying. The Big Pharma and all that kind of stuff. And one of the biggest things that made this pandemic grow so rapidly is when Big Pharma was able to lobby and get pain as the fifth vital sign. I mean, think about that. You know, and so what happened is, back in the '80s, doctors were being sued for underprescribing. Can you imagine ignoring a vital sign? You know, and so they got the fifth vital sign to be pain. And so with that, doctors that were underprescribing. You know, they were getting sued for underprescribing. And that sort of thing. Some of them in California actually lost their licenses.

GLENN: For underprescribing?

AARON: Underprescribing.

GLENN: Now we -- do you believe we have a problem of overprescribing?

AARON: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.

I mean, it is just staggering. When you are looking at some of the communities that are just ripped, like Ohio. You're looking at -- in certain cities in Ohio and other places across America, certain counties, there are almost three prescriptions for Oxycodone per one citizen or, you know, per one resident. It's just absolutely staggering. The overprescribing is just absurd. And it reminds me of a kid that -- for example, this kid, Riley, here in Southern California, he was just a beautiful, beautiful 20-year-old boy. You know, went to Aliso Niguel High School. He was a football star. Had an injury in high school. Was prescribed Oxycotin. And then came across -- and then obviously that turned into an addiction. And he was struggling with it and couldn't quite kick it like you were talking about in your intro here. And what happened is he came across a doctor. Her name was -- Dr. Lisa is what she went by on the streets. And, you know, this one doctor prescribed over a five-year period, prescribed over 27,000 prescriptions for Oxycodone and made over $5 million, killing 12 kids.

GLENN: Wow.

AARON: And you might have read about her or heard about her. She was the doctor that was sentenced just recently to 30 years to life in prison. And, you know what, we need to see more of this.

GLENN: So, Aaron, which -- what's really happening? Is it people trying to get high? Or is the -- is the epidemic also include high numbers of people who are in pain, have had problems, maybe still have problems, but they just can't get off of it?

AARON: Yeah, well, it -- mainly, the more common story that we see in all of our addiction centers and that sort of thing and also at the National Addiction Foundation is you see just the story like I just said. You know, you see more so the cases of people having surgery, getting -- you know, having an injury. And what happens is people have what you and I talk about or what you talk about, as far as core issues, whether it's sexual trauma or whatever that is as a young adult. You have the unresolved issues.

GLENN: Right.

AARON: What happens is, there -- it's way more likely to have an addiction issue, you know, let alone just national statistics say one in four people that are prescribed Oxycotin, for example, one in four with will struggle with addiction issues.

GLENN: The -- the problem is I think the stigma that nobody wants to talk about it, nobody wants to admit that they are addicted to it. And then nobody knows what to do about it. So let me tell you --

AARON: That's right. Yeah, absolutely. And that's why I appreciate you, Glenn. Like, you wear your story of recovery like a badge of honor on your arm. I do the same. I've been sober now 15 years, coming up on 16 here. You know, recovering intravenous heroin addict and that sort of thing. And prescription pills and been there and done that. And we do. It's the stigma. The stigma that comes about this is a moral choice. This is something that they're just acting bad. No, it's a disease. You know, it's been diagnosed as a disease. And it is a disease. And so, you know, crushing that stigma. Guys like you and I and that sort of thing is one of the most important things we can do.

GLENN: So, Aaron, I'm going to ask you for -- if somebody is listening and they are addicted or they have somebody who is addicted, what can they do? You know, yesterday, with the national health care garbage, you know, we're not going to find an answer in Washington. We need to find it ourselves. So what can people do? I'll come back to you with that in just a second.

[break]

GLENN: Welcome back to the program. I'm so glad that you have tuned in today.

All right. So -- so, Aaron -- Aaron Brower from the Southern California Addiction Center. So what does somebody that is listening do if they are addicted through a prescription or if they know somebody that is addicted? What do they do?

AARON: Well, you know, Glenn, thanks for asking that question. Finding the right kind of care for somebody, if you're addicted and you're trying to find the right kind of care, to see what kind of options are out there for you. It's just -- it is a web. And insurance companies make it very, very difficult. You know, as difficult as they can in order to get -- to allow people to access their benefits.

I founded this National Addiction Foundation. This nationaladdictionfoundation.org. It's a nonprofit. And what's interesting is, there is help available. It's just that people don't know how to access it.

Or know that it's available to them. And so what happens is, for example -- I mean, the most important thing, Glenn, is to get connected to the right care. You want to make sure that if somebody is struggling, that they get connected to the appropriate kind of care. Like, for example, if somebody has a sexual trauma from an early age or something, they need to get connected to a place that has trauma therapy. You know, if they are -- if they can't -- if they have recently had what's called a triggering event, there's lots of different options for them.

When I'm talking about that, a lot of people don't know a lot of the things we know in the industry and have learned over the years. Like, for example, you know, people don't know that, let's say your son or your daughter gets arrested. They end up going to jail for a drug possession. Then they're released from jail. Well, that's a qualifying event to get insurance year around. Okay?

So you no longer to have wait for the open enrollment period for insurance. Like, for example, other triggering events. A divorce. Going to jail. Moving from state to state. Those are all qualifying events that get insurance year around. And most these kids -- what's amazing is you have these families call in to our foundation, and we just guide people through that process.

And you see such a high percentage of them. Let's say, you know, little Cindy gets arrested. And then all of a sudden you tell the mom, hey, without release paperwork from jail, you put it together with an application for an insurance company, you submit it. And then within 30 days, you know, your insurance is available to help them.

There are also a lot of free resources available to people, okay? So what we've done is we've created a large database, a nationwide database, if somebody is calling from San Francisco. You know, we can help guide them through that process in getting connected to the indigent facilities around, if they haven't had a qualifying event --

GLENN: Yeah, I don't think we have any of those in San Francisco. So don't worry about that one.

(laughter)

AARON: Yeah. So there are ways to get help. It's just a matter of having the knowledge to be able to access it. There are grants. There are all sorts of stuff out there that can help people obtain coverage in order to get -- to get care.

GLENN: You know, this is what killed my mother. She was addicted to prescription drugs. And she needed to move away from the doctor. Because she knew the doctor, you know, would continue to prescribe. This is in the '70s.

And so we moved away. And then she switched her drug of choice. And within a year was -- was dead because, you know, there was no help. She tried to do it by herself. And, you know, depending on where you are, you can't do it by yourself.

AARON: No, you can't. And that's why help is so important. And things like the National Addiction Foundation and other great resources out there -- I mean, there is help available for people -- you know, passionate people like ourselves that will hold their hand, walk them through the process.

And a lot of times, what's kind of interesting is a lot of times, you know, the addict is not ready or the alcoholic is not ready. And so one thing that we love to do through our foundation is we -- you know, we'll call -- if they call in and they're not ready, we'll talk to them for another 20, 30 minutes. And then we'll call them back in three days and just shower love upon them. Because what happens is the families and everyone around them, it's a painful thing, addiction is. Okay?

They steal. They lie. They -- you know, when you're in active addiction, those sort of things happen. Are they thieves? No. They're in active addiction. Are they liars? No. They're in active addiction. And so what happens is the addictive process just isolates these people. As you know and I know, it just isolates these people and puts them on an island alone. And that's why it's so difficult. Because half the time they're on an island alone.

GLENN: All right. Nationaladdictionfoundation.org. Nationaladdictionfoundation.org. Aaron, thank you so much for your time. Really appreciate it.

AARON: Thank you so much, Glenn. I really appreciate it.

GLENN: You bet. God bless.

As somebody who has gone through addiction, I want you to know I understand how hard it is. And I know what you probably feel about yourself today. And I want you to know that there is help. There are ways to stop this because I know you want to stop it. You just don't see a way around it. Please, reach out and get help because what's waiting for you on the other side is unbelievably great and warm.

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.