Walter Heyer: Transitioning Is Not an Effective or Proper Treatment for Childhood Troubles

Monday on radio, Glenn was joined by Walter Heyer, who has become a noted voice on the struggles facing transgender people. Walter suffered childhood abuse then transitioned to a woman following decades of struggling with gender dysphoria. After living as a woman for eight years, Walter transitioned back to living as a man. He now works with others walking a similar path.

"Walter, I have to tell you, I think America has changed from when you were young. And I think we saw it with Bruce Jenner when he came out and said he's been feeling this way his whole life. I don't know anybody --- none of my friends at least said anything --- but I can't imagine going through that and the empathy [people have] for [others] feeling that way," Glenn said.

Walt's reply was frank and refreshing.

"Well, yeah, my heart breaks for everybody who is struggling with it today. I'm fortunate because I've come out the other side. I've been married now for 20 years. And I'm working with transgenders who want to be transitioned, after they found out, as I did, that it was not effective or proper treatment for things that happened during early childhood," Walt said.

His statement caught both Glenn and co-host Pat Gray by surprise.

"That must be politically incorrect for you to be working with other transgendered people," Pat said.

"To even say that you can come out the other side . . . I mean, that's a nightmare, politically," Glenn said.

According to Walter, it happens quite a bit.

"Two teachers, who are struggling to, you know, come out with the union and tell them, gee, I need to go back after they got such support. So it's much, much more difficult to de-transition because of all of the efforts that went into transitioning. So this is the tough part, is to step up and come back," Walt said.

GLENN: Walt, how are you, sir?

WALT: Yes. Well, what a pleasure and honor to be on your show, Glenn. Thanks so much for inviting me on today.

GLENN: You bet. I will tell you, Walt, that you have a remarkable story, and I don't know how much you're comfortable sharing. But can we start at the beginning of your story?

WALT: Oh, absolutely. Sure. Any questions you have, I want to answer right here for your audience.

GLENN: Okay. So, Walt, start with your childhood and your grandma and your dad and your uncle and everything else.

WALT: Yeah. Well, I started out, you know, four years old. Interested in female things and cross-dressing. And my grandmother helped me by making me a purple chiffon dress, which we both delighted in. And it was our little secret. She did this while babysitting me. So that started the journey of gender dysphoria. Journey of transgenderism. Journey of confusion over gender. And then when my dad found out a couple years later, when the secret was out, and both my mom and dad found out -- my dad obviously was furious. And he -- you know, not knowing what to do -- keep in mind, this is, you know, before 1945. Because I'm 76 years old.

GLENN: Uh-huh.

WALT: So there wasn't much out there about this. So he was -- you know, he's a part-time police officer. Industrial goods salesman. Strong guy.

And I'm sure inside him was just turmoil. And so he decided that, you know, to toughen me up, he was going to exercise real strong discipline. And when the secret got out, my uncle, who was an adopted uncle, decided that, you know, it was appropriate to tease and sexually molest me.

So, you know, before you get very old in life, you're cross-dressing, and you've got some heavy discipline, and then you're molested.

GLENN: My gosh.

WALT: So it's not the best way to start.

GLENN: So at 13, you were told you had multiple personalities.

WALT: Well, it wasn't quite that early. I did start changing my name. I became -- I changed my name at 13 to Crystal West. And people began to wonder that I was confiding in, which was a small group of people. And so I didn't know what was going on. All I knew was I had these very, very strong feelings. And it just didn't go away, Glenn. They went on literally every hour in my head. I kept thinking that I was in the wrong body and that I should change to be in a female.

GLENN: Walter, I have to tell you, I think America has changed from when you were young. And I think we saw it with Bruce Jenner when he came out and said, he's been feeling this way his whole life. I don't know anybody -- none of my friends at least said anything but, I can't imagine going through that. And the empathy of feeling that way. I mean, I -- do you feel America has changed? When you can tell your story and -- I mean, I think the vast majority of people just their heartbreaks for you.

WALT: Well, yeah, my heartbreaks for everybody who is struggling with it today. I'm fortunate because I've come out the other side. I've been married now for 20 years. And I'm working with transgenders who want to be transitioned, after they found out, as I did, that it was not effective or proper treatment for things that happened during early childhood.

PAT: Wow.

WALT: You know, so I'm quite comfortable with who I am as Walt today.

PAT: That must be politically incorrect for you to be working with other transgendered people.

GLENN: My gosh. And to even say that you can come out the other side and this is not --

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: I mean, that's -- that's a nightmare politically.

WALT: Oh. Well, quite frankly, it happens quite a bit.

PAT: Hmm.

WALT: I've had as many as three people in a week contact me. Some of them are doctors, physicians that are changing, airline pilots.

PAT: Wow.

WALT: Two teachers, who are struggling to, you know, come out with the union and tell them, gee, I need to go back after they got such support. So it's much, much more difficult to detransition because of all of the efforts that went into transitioning. So this is the tough part, is to step up and come back.

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: Okay. So, Walt, you -- at what age did you decide to become a woman and begin to transition?

WALT: Yeah, well, at about 40 years of age, I went and saw a psychologist up in San Francisco who specialized in this. And he diagnosed me with having gender issues and said that I needed to undergo hormone therapy and wait the two appropriate years and then have surgery then by Dr. Biber in Colorado. And so I thought, "Well, this is pretty radical, but, you know, I've been struggling with this now for 36 years," by that time.

And so the feelings are extremely strong. And my heart goes out to anybody who is struggling with them. But I listened to the guy as though he was an authority on it. And two years later, you know, I got my second letter of approval. Went and had the surgery in 1983. I was an executive for American Honda Motor Company at the time. And they promptly terminated me, which was I think appropriate actually.

GLENN: Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.

PAT: Why?

GLENN: Why?

WALT: Well, you know, when somebody is struggling with that depth of issues, personal issues, they're not going to be effective in doing their work. I totally understand that. And so I -- I've never begrudged people for not wanting me -- and I went and interviewed for over 200 jobs, Glenn, and couldn't get a job because I was one of the early people who went through this. And I understood it. I told my counselor in California at the time, "You know, I understand that." It's a confusing issue. And people should have the right to not employ anybody who they don't want to employ.

GLENN: Where did you get --

PAT: What a hatemonger.

GLENN: Here's a guy who has been abused. You have every reason to be, you know, cut me some slack. Where are you getting this Christ-like attitude of, "Hey, I just need to do my thing. And I understand if you disagree." Where are you getting that kindness?

WALT: Jesus.

PAT: Just as you said, yeah.

WALT: I get it from Jesus. I totally understand that people are confused. Listen, I was a little confused for a while. Frankly, now it's nice to have my feet on the ground.

GLENN: Okay.

PAT: Especially Walt, at that time, because the only person I can think of that I knew about when I was growing up, that was in your situation, was Renee Richards, the tennis player, who went from man to woman.

WALT: Right.

PAT: And then there was the big controversy of, should she be allowed now to compete against women, when she's -- she just came from being a man. That had to be a really difficult time period because America wasn't socially where it is now.

WALT: Oh, yeah. Yeah. And keep in mind, Renee Richards has come out later and said -- regrets, I have a few.

PAT: Really?

WALT: Oh, yeah.

PAT: Wow.

WALT: So, you know, these are the stories that don't get talked about. And Renee doesn't suggest anybody have it.

In fact, Renee stays very quiet about it. But I don't. I -- I'm troubled by the fact that we have a population of people that are changing genders.

And from 1979 to this day, Glenn, they've been reporting extremely high rates of suicide.

GLENN: I know.

WALT: And suicide attempts at over 40 percent. So if this is so good and so effective and so wonderful, why are 40 percent of this population attempting suicide? That's a question I ask all the time.

GLENN: Well, it's interesting to me, when we talked about this last week and we spoke about how the, you know, pre-surgery suicide rate is 46 percent. Post-surgery it's 45 percent. So it's the same. So obvious, this does nothing to those feelings at all.

WALT: Yeah.

GLENN: And so it's -- it's not a life-saving surgery by any stretch of the imagination. And we are just -- we are just -- just throwing in with this and saying, "Yeah. This is all good." And if -- if I'm not mistaken, the numbers for suicide for, you know, people under 30, are -- are even higher than that.

WALT: Yeah. The suicide attempts -- I don't know what the actual rate of suicide is. The suicide attempts are at 50 percent. And at lower age-groups, children especially, 12 to 24, 28, somewhere in there.

So, you know, this is just not a healthy thing psychologically or emotionally. And what we do know is that, according to the studies, that 60 to 70 percent of the population are struggling from what's known as comorbid disorders. That's separation anxiety, dissociative disorders, body dysmorphic disorder. And schizophrenia and a whole bunch of other disorders that we are totally ignoring. And the treatment of modality of -- of people who are suffering.

We should sit these people down. And what I do is actually talk to them and say, what do you think was the trigger mechanism that set this in motion?

And 100 percent of the time, Glenn, every one of them, over a period of time, when we have this discussion, can identify the moment of trauma or event or situation that caused them to not want to be who they are and attempt to be someone who they can never be.

GLENN: Walt, we're with Walt Heyer, somebody who transitioned from male to female and then back to male. We'll continue with him here in -- in just a second.

(OUT AT 10:23AM)

GLENN: We're glad to have Walt Heyer on. He is a guy who has had really an amazing life. Started out in the 1940s with his grandmother cross-dressing him, his father physically abusing him, and his uncle sexually abusing him. Then he was diagnosed with a personality disorder and then gender dysphoria. He had a sex change to a man. Walt --

PAT: To a woman.

GLENN: Sorry. To a woman.

Can you tell me, Walt, what that is like, going through that?

WALT: Well, I -- you know, when I went from male to female, there was a period of euphoria, where, I thought, wow, I finally solved all the problems. And that all of this stuff that I had gone through and suffered was going to be behind me.

You know, the truth is, it's only a temporary reprieve because early childhood issues, when you have any event happen that you're struggling with, you need to go to psychotherapy and get it done. So I -- you know, within eight years of trying to suppress what had happened in my early life, I finally started going -- well, I went to -- as I went to UC Santa Cruz and studied psychology, I realized, you know, the whole gender thing is really built on a foundation of psychological issues, and they're trying to cure psychological issues by giving people hormones and surgery, which are defective.

GLENN: So, Walt, before you have transgender surgery, no one is recommending to you to have serious psychological work done on your childhood to see where those scars are? Is that just too politically incorrect now too?

WALT: Oh, that is really politically incorrect. In fact, in California and other states, it's actually against the law for a therapist to -- if the kid is under 18 years of age who comes in and said, I want to change genders. It's against the law for him to probe into what might have stirred this idea that --

GLENN: So wait.

PAT: Wow.

WALT: Yeah.

GLENN: So teachers -- teachers can -- are required to probe on sexual abuse and anything else if they have any inkling. Yet, a psychiatrist cannot probe a child who is having gender dysphoria?

WALT: Well, no. That's -- I know it sounds totally absurd. When I had -- just got an email yesterday from a mother who said, "My daughter is getting hormone blockers. She's 12 years old." I think it was. And I know there is something wrong because my child was sexually abused by her father. But they don't care. So they're going to give the child hormone therapies and send them down the track of changing genders. This is so common today. They don't want to acknowledge early childhood trauma in the transgendered population. They do not want to do that.

GLENN: Why, Walt? I mean, that's what Freud has been all about. That's what the progressive movement has been all about, you know, these hidden sexual fantasies and problems.

WALT: Glenn, if they allowed in-depth effective sound psychotherapy for people who struggled with gender issues, it would collapse the entire hormone and surgery procedure. Because they would be able -- to do effective psychotherapy, they would be able to pinpoint what the psychological issues are and would make surgery and hormones --

GLENN: But, Walt, you're -- I mean, I just have to play devil's advocate and push back here. What you're saying is, is that there are no doctors out there that are in this that don't -- that just say, this -- you know, I don't care about the money. We're talking about people here.

I mean, the whole industry is okay with doing that?

WALT: Well, I think there are some really good doctors. Because I've had people report to me that, you know, they would do it because they -- the doctor found that they did have coexisting disorders and wouldn't approve them. And, you know, whether it's a condition called autogynephilia, which people don't talk about. That's a sexual disorder. And so there are some excellent therapists out there that do provide good therapy.

GLENN: All right. So I want to pick it up there. I mean, you would have to get rid of other issues first and then go in. I want to talk to you about what is -- what it was like. And then your transition back into a man, which they say is a very rare procedure, when we come back.

(OUT AT 10:32AM)

GLENN: Walt Heyer is with us. WaltHeyer.com. H-E-Y-E-R. A guy who has just led an incredible life. Started off young. Grandma cross-dressing him. He says that planted the seed or fanned the flames of desire. Physically abused by his father. Sexually abused by his uncle. Was diagnosed with personality disorders. Then was a very early adopter of being transgendered, back in the 1980s, when it must have been -- you were remarkably alone, Walt.

This was the time, wasn't it, where -- I mean, that's early for America doing this. I think growing up, when I was growing up in the '70s, it was all in Sweden or someplace. Wasn't it?

WALT: Right. Yeah. Dr. Biber in Trinidad, Colorado, was kind of the sex change capital of the United States. And by the time I had gone there, he had -- he had done -- it sounds like a lot then, but about 2800 or 2700. So he was well on his way. He had started in the late '70s doing the procedure. So he was pumping them out almost daily.

GLENN: So when you had a sex change. I don't need to get graphic here. But all the parts were changed. What is that like, Walt?

WALT: Well, you know, at first, you think this is good. And this is the way you should be. And then you realize that you just have been mutilated totally unnecessarily because people didn't look at the early childhood issues. So that's devastating. And it's hard to deal with. And then you realize, back in those days, they didn't have, you know, good surgeons who could do anything to replace the destruction and was extremely expensive. And I was financially destitute. And so, you know, there's some things you just weren't able to do. So you transition back in as many ways as you possibly can. But even today, many of the -- what they call phalloplasty, which is putting things back together, isn't totally -- it's not going to function as it once did. And so that can actually be another deeper psychological issue after you detransition and have the surgery. Some of them -- reports are that they work fairly well. Other reports are that they don't. So it's kind of a mixed bag.

GLENN: Well, you wouldn't have any feeling down there. And you've taken away, I mean, chemically in many ways, some of the things that make you a man.

WALT: Well, you know, one of the things, Glenn, that I came to the conclusion, that appendage did not make me a man.

GLENN: No, I understand. I mean, I just don't want to get graphic.

WALT: Right.

GLENN: But there are things involved that, you know...

WALT: Yeah. Yeah. So it isn't -- it isn't totally replaceable, let's just put it that way.

GLENN: Yeah. So, Walt, what was it -- when you had transitioned to a woman, you say it lasted for a while, this euphoria. And then it kind of started to go back to the way it was, to where you're like, I am -- what? Because you had thought you were a woman, or you would just be happier as a woman beforehand?

WALT: I thought I would be much happier as a woman. But then you realize that -- the same thing, Glenn, kind of happens again. I don't remember at what point it was, but a point on down the road, you realize, now you're a man trapped in a woman's body. How do you fix that? And this is the reason for this. Is because you never really resolved the original issues that caused you to not want to be who you are. And so I think that's the core issue. We need to look at this as people not being who they really are and attempt to be somebody who they cannot be.

GLENN: I have to tell you, I can't -- I cannot imagine -- I mean, look, you know, I said this last week. And we've had this for a long time. You know what, that is between you and your maker and whatever -- you know, I just am not going to judge people. And I can't imagine living the life that you have lived. I thank God I haven't had to.

But you have come out of it on the other side happy and whole and finally at peace. But there are -- I can't imagine that people wouldn't say, hey, let's overturn every stone before we start doing this. Let's just make sure that this is what's really going on with you before we take some really dramatic -- to push that all underneath the rug is -- is sickening to me. But at the same time, Walt, you have said more things -- I know this show is going to show up on all of the lefty sites and going to say that I've had a hatemonger on and that I am bigoted and everything else, when I've not heard anything but compassion from you, compassion from us, and you -- but you have said some controversial things that nobody wants to say like, it's -- you're not born that way.

WALT: Right. Yeah.

And, you know, Glenn, I would be here today -- let's just take it for what it is. It's Jesus and my 31 years of sober living that make this possible. And so once I came to know the Lord and got sober, things began to fall into place. So I understand that people -- and I struggled when I didn't have those two things in place.

GLENN: Me too.

WALT: So I know there are a lot of people who are not going to like what I have to say. But I'm concerned about the number of people who are attempting suicide. And that's why I speak out. Because I hate to see that. I was one of them who attempted suicide. And my heartbreaks for them, that they become so confused and so -- just entrenched into this whole transgender life that they just want to kill themselves. I mean, that to me should stop the hormones and surgeries right in their tracks until, like you've said -- basically, turn over stone. You're so correct on that, Glenn. They should turn over every stone.

GLENN: Well, until you go to AA, I mean, as a recovering alcoholic, you know, you'll go to a doctor and they'll treat you with all kinds of stuff. They'll give you all kinds of drugs and everything else, to help you through whatever it is. But until you -- until you turn and find a higher power and you start doing the 12 steps and realize there's something in you, you know, you could say it's a disease all you want, I don't care. I don't care if I was born this way.

There are tons of alcoholics in my family. And there are tons of people that have committed suicide or at least it seems like that, in my head, in my family that have killed themselves. If I was born that way. Fine. I'm born that way. But it doesn't matter to me. Because I know what has helped. And AA and going through and plowing through the whole life and making peace and then serving is the answer, at least for me and millions of other people. It sounds like it's the same kind of thing that you're saying.

WALT: Exactly.

You know, and in AA, we talk about doing the same thing over and over again. It's insanity. Well, here we are, with the transgender surgeries and hormones. They've known since 1979 that people attempt suicide, and they're still attempting suicide today, and they're still giving hormones and surgery to people. I mean, that's insanity.

PAT: Walt, are you completely comfortable in your own skin now, do you feel like a man?

WALT: Oh, absolutely.

PAT: So those feelings -- none of that lingered. You've overcome that?

WALT: No! No lingering.

PAT: Wow.

GLENN: How -- when did you meet your wife? And how did you go through all of this with her?

WALT: Well, I was actually speaking at an AA meeting, a recovery meeting. And she had nudged a friend that she was there with and said, that's the kind of guy I want. He's been through all this stuff, and he's out the other side, you know.

So we started seeing each other. And so we knew each other for about five years before we got married. And so -- like I said, we were married in May, 20 years. So it's wonderful. I mean, she is, you know, just my -- my companion. My rock. She edits all my books and all my writing. And -- and is so supportive of what I do. And she's just fantastic.

GLENN: You know, I looked at your website during one of the breaks, and I see the people who are there who are -- you know, have transitioned to women and now want to transition back. And the -- the heartbreak there.

WALT: Right.

GLENN: At what point, Walt, did you -- I just talked to somebody who said to me, you know, I don't talk about my alcoholism, Glenn. I know you do. But I don't really talk about it at all. I don't see any good that comes of that. And I said, well, to each his own. For me, I've seen tremendous good from that. Because I'm not hiding it and I don't care. And it helps other people.

And at what point in your life did you say, I don't care if people know that I want to be a woman. I don't care if people know that I want to go back to being a man. And I don't care that the world seems against me on political correctness. I'm going to say it.

Was there one turning point in your life?

WALT: Well, yeah, I think when we started the website about 12 years ago -- and I thought I was probably the only person in the entire world that regretted it. And then all of a sudden, you know, within that first year, we realized -- we had 700 people came to the website that first year. And, you know, one person contacted us. And I thought, okay. Well, I'm not alone. Well, to give you an idea, in 2015, 350,000 people came to the website.

GLENN: Wow.

WALT: And now we have people contacting us frequently from around the world and United States, Canada, Australia, Italy, everywhere, who are struggling with these issues. Because we're really giving them the wrong information about what and how to treat gender issues. And so I'm excited today that I can lend an ear to it. You know, I can't change, you know, what the powerful groups are doing. But if I can help one person, if I can prevent one person from committing suicide, which I've already done -- if I can prevent somebody from totally unnecessary surgery, then, you know, my life has meaning. And that's why I'm here.

GLENN: If you had one message for somebody or a parent that was struggling with this, what would the message be?

WALT: Well, any time somebody is announcing that they are transgendered. Someone needs to look back and see when that onset of that desire, that feeling, that struggle, and begin to explore what caused it. Was it a traumatic event? Was it an illness? Was it -- something always has happened in somebody's life that caused them to not want to be who they are, and then they began looking around for a way to escape. And what I want to do is let people know that they don't need to escape. They need to face whatever issue it is. Get effective sound psychotherapy and avoid hormones. Avoid unnecessary surgery. Turn your life around. And you're going to be far better off than struggling with the issues of a lifetime of hormone therapy and surgery that mutilated your body.

GLENN: Walt Heyer, thank you very much for talking to us today. I appreciate it, sir. God bless.

WALT: Thank you.

GLENN: Remarkable life.

STU: Yeah, whether you agree with him or not, I mean, what an experience to go through.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh. And he's going to be bashed. So are we for having him on, I'm sure. But you can't say that that guy hasn't lived it. I mean, that guy has as much right to say what he believes as Bruce Jenner.

STU: Sure.

GLENN: When he came out and announced -- I have the same feeling about Bruce Jenner, you know, when he was Bruce and he came out and said, I've -- I'm Caitlyn. I mean, I feel the same way. How are you going to argue with somebody's, you know, life experience? You can't.

He may not be a super hero like he plays in the movies, but Chris Pratt is proving once again why he's a hero to so many. The silver screen protector of the universe announced on his Instagram page a contest that will benefit the Brain Treatment Foundation, who is a partner of Mercury One that does amazing work with veterans. The Brain Treatment Foundation specializes in helping combat veterans who are suffering from traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The contest asks fans to donate $10 to the foundation for a chance to win a trip to drop in on the Guardians of the Galaxy star on the set of his new film Tomorrow War.

Watch his video below to hear all the details.


Ryan: The Ascent of Kanye West

Photo by Caroline Ryan

Apollo, god of poetry, light, prophecy, dance. Star of Greek mythology, rivaled only by Zeus, his father. God of justice. God of purification, knowledge, healing. God of the Sun. But most of all, god of music. So they called him the Leader of the Muses.

And on a bright Sunday morning midway through November, at the tail end of a decade, Kanye West looked out at the congregation of Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church, a 16,000-seater originally built for the Houston Rockets, and said, "Jesus has won the victory: Now the greatest artist God ever created is now working for him."

Photo by Caroline Ryan

Kanye's newest album, Jesus Is King, had been out for three weeks, and like every Kanye album, it was controversial, as adored as it was unaccepted.

Critics had shown a mostly tepid response, but nobody could tell if their disinterest was genuine, or if it was politically motivated.

After all, for the past year, Kanye had once again managed to penetrate the epicenter of American society. The last two Presidents had literally shamed and cursed Kanye, but, still, who could've guessed he would befriend this one?

Photo by Caroline Ryan

The week after Kanye's Olsteen appearance, at the House impeachment hearings, as the entire country watched and listened, Congressmen and diplomats would mention longtime Kanye collaborator A$AP Rocky no less than five times, in casual reference to the Kardashians and the deal between Trump and Sweden, struck at the urging of Kanye West.

Meanwhile, Jesus is King became the ninth consecutive Kanye album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 — a feat he shares with Eminem and The Beatles — and the sixth time in the 2010s alone. And, to be fair, his only studio album not to debut at number one was The College Dropout, his first, which went triple platinum and earned the third-most Grammy nominations in one night, winning Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song with "Jesus Walks."

Photo by Caroline Ryan

Jesus is King was also the first record ever to top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, Rap Albums, Christian Albums, and Gospel Albums simultaneously. All eleven tracks charted on the US Billboard 100, joining the other 96 Kanye songs to have landed on the Top 100.

Photo by Caroline Ryan

This album was different, and not just because of Kenny G. For the first time, Kanye was not a god or a self-destructive fallen angel. He was a father, a husband, a son, and, most important, a man full of belief, with his hands outstretched, surrounded by a choir.

"I remember sitting in the hospital at UCLA after having a breakdown," he told the congregation, "and there's documentations of me drawing a church and writing about starting a church in the middle of Calabasas."

That night, following an afternoon of ice-skating at the Galleria, Kanye returned to Lakewood Church and performed a concert. Imagine hearing a his electro-gospel opera in an arena designed, acoustically, for professional basketball games. Only better, because everything had been padded. With LSD graphics on the swirly blue carpet.

Photo by Caroline Ryan

When we experience art, it changes us.

So there I was, four rows from the stage, crying in front of FoxNews. Because Kanye had brought his Sunday Service choir with him, and they were singing "Ultralight Beam," one of the few perfect songs ever made, a song that played during my wedding ceremony, the song my daughter, God willing, will be born to, a song I have never once listened to without at least tearing up.

“Jesus Is King" A Sunday Service Experience at Lakewood Church with Kanye West youtu.be

"This is a God dream, this is a God dream. This is everything."

Kanye was the only person onstage dressed in his own clothing, a neatened blazer. The choir were draped in grey, like holy silhouettes.

Photo by Caroline Ryan

So who cares about FoxNews and their snotty reporters in their shoulder-padded blazers. The rest of us had drifted into the immediacy of it all. And I wasn't about to play stoic journalist here. I wasn't a reporter first and a human or an American later.

The choir zigzagged on the loft flanking the stage. Each of them had a headset microphone, like Garth Brooks.

God only knew how they sang so perfectly. How did they project their voices like that? More beautiful than anything we had ever heard, more beautiful than water.

After "Ultralight Beam," it was "Every Hour," the mesmeric opening track of Jesus Is King.

Sing every hour, Every minute, Every second, Sing each and every millisecond, We need you

Every Hour youtu.be

The performance felt all the more sacred because this was church, where people gathered to lose themselves, to sing as a chorus, to confront who they really are.

Across the street, one protestor stood hollering.

Meanwhile thousands of people waited at the entrance, giddy to get in. They would join us in no time. Soon, they would fill every seat in this church.

*

That morning, Kanye told Olsteen,

"It's like the devil stole all the good producers, all the good musicians, all the good artists, all the good designers, all the good business people and said, 'you gotta come over and work for me.' And now the trend, the shift, is going to change."

Jesus Is King was the result of a new cultural and artistic movement that more or less started with 2016's Life of Pablo, Kanye's closeted gospel album. Which was a surprising departure from 2013's Yeezus, with its tangled social commentary and fashionable solipsism. And that drum sound, the one every half-decent producer has spent the last six years failing to emulate.

The 2010's saw him grow more cerebral. He even teased a book of philosophy titled Break the Simulation.

Then, in 2018, he released Ye, the second of five albums in a Kanye-produced series, all recorded at his Wyoming studio. In keeping with the criticisms of hip-hop he voiced on "Ye vs. The People"

Photo by Caroline Ryan

Kanye eschewed many of the themes he'd embraced for so long, replacing them with meditations on mental illness, fatherhood, suicide, love, and addiction. The album's working title had been "LOVE EVERYONE."

On "I Thought About Killing You," he raps,

The most beautiful thoughts are always beside the darkest.

The title "Ye" is not just the diminutive of "Kanye."

As he said in an interview

I believe 'ye' is the most commonly used word in the Bible, and, in the Bible, it means 'you,' so it's [saying] "I'm you, I'm us, it's us." It went from being Kanye, which means the only one, to just ye – just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything, that I'm just more of a reflection of who we are, just as beings.

Philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer wrote that

All individuality is a manifestation of universal life, and hence everyone carries a tiny bit of everyone else with him, so that divination is simulated by comparison with oneself.

In the months following the release of Ye, Kanye would live out this idea, and build his own movement, a reflection of who we are, then begin his church in Calabasas.

*

At 10:30 that morning, the three of us — Samantha Sullivan, my wife Caroline, and me —- strolled into the arena and claimed seats in the media section.

That place resembled the inside of an ant colony. We were three ants.

The service began with errorless music, then shifted into a quick, stirring message by Osteen, who always seemed to appear onstage from nowhere, privvy to the kind of big-money stage tricks you find at a Shania Twain concert.

The entire place and all the Jumbo-Trons and all the people, it all had a cinematic presence.

Photo by Caroline Ryan

A preliminary giddiness spread through the room. Then, Kanye emerged, there on the stage, and the place erupted.

A man in a "Jesus is King" shirt danced around his seat.

Photo by Caroline Ryan

Everyone took their seats, but one man standing in the crowd shouted affirmations. "Speak truth my brother," he shouted.

The man shouted several more times, then Kanye politely told the guy to hold off on the support because it wasn't helping, because Kanye needed relative quiet to capture and release his flow.

The ceiling glowed in skittish purple.

Photo by Caroline Ryan

Kanye described the corrupting force of the media. A chill came over the room. Behind him, the unapologetic blue of Jesus Is King.

It was my first encounter with Joel Osteen, and I was surprised and somewhat baffled to find him likeable, based on everything I'd ever heard about the man.

Kanye said as much, that Osteen is nothing like the version of Osteen many people have broadcast.

Photo by Caroline Ryan

Osteen laughed, "When you've got Kanye defending you, you've made it, man."

Rays of light danced through the arena. I'm talking Pink Floyd light show levels.

Photo by Caroline Ryan

With 21 Grammys, Kanye is tied with Jay-Z as the most decorated hip-hop artist of all time.

Osteen asked Kanye what he would say to his younger self, if he could go back in time.

"You know, it's nothing I can say to the younger Kanye through words," he said. "I could speak to the younger Kanye through music."

*

Osteen played the middle section of "God Is," arguably the focal point of the album.

And Kanye danced and rapped along with it. And the surreality of the situation was daunting. Was that really Kanye West up there? with Joel Osteen? dancing to his gospel song?

Six or seven years ago, I saw Kanye a mile away at the Toyota Center — coincidentally, the current home of the Houston Rockets — for his and Jay-Z's Watch the Throne tour. It was a much different experience than this.

Photo by Caroline Ryan

When Kanye finished, the media flooded out. As did a quarter of the people in the congregation. This bothered many of the regulars.

Security and ushers yanked big grey mop buckets from cabinets, and dispersed them down aisles, and money music played.

Photo by Caroline Ryan

Then the time for prayer. Prayer leaders lined the walls and pews. And anyone could walk over to them and pray. Men and women clung to strangers, crying sometimes, hugging. Holding hands, whispering phrases.

*

One of the media coordinators pulled us out of the sermon, led us through passageways and elevators, past classrooms and security guards, through a black sheet, then behind a barricade.

This is where all the media had rushed off to like old folks trying to get the best seat for bingo.

Each news outlet was allowed one question.

After 15 minutes, the energy changed and you could tell they were near.

Then, Kim Kardashian-West was walking our way, holding her daughter's hand, followed by Kanye, who was followed by Osteen.

Photo by Caroline Ryan

"Nice tags," Kanye said, referring to my "GOOD" necklace.

Then:

Brief interview with Kanye West and Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church, Nov. 17 in Houston, TX www.youtube.com

Some of the outlets asked more than one question, but that was on them. They were the ones sinning in church.

*

As Kanye and Olsteen shuffled away, down the line of journalists, I said hello to a small crew from FoxNews as they packed their equipment.

"We're from TheBlaze," I said, smiling. To which they sneered and glanced at one another then got back to their conversation.
Samantha rolled her eyes and the three of us wandered around for an exit.

"Did we just get stiff-armed by Fox News?" Said one of us. "I didn't think they were allowed to look down on anybody."
"I've had that with people from Fox on several occasions," one of us replied.

"I mean, I thought I was doing them a favor a favor by acknowledging them. Nobody else does."

Then it happened again, a few minutes later, this time with someone we had worked with, someone who knew us.
You bet we were salty.

Bad as it felt to be judged like that, it was good to be underestimated. A relief. It meant we could perform without anyone caring or watching.

They had no idea who we were or what we were really doing. Good.

*

In November 2007, Kanye's mother died during a routine surgery. He and his mom, Dr. Donda West, had always been incredibly close. She raised him alone, after Kanye's father left, when Kanye was three.

A few months later, his engagement with Alexis Phifer abruptly ended.

He was 30 at the time.

Oddly, this tragic sequence of events would cause the birth of auto-tune in rap. Broken-hearted, Kanye wanted to sing. So he ran his voice through a vocoder.

Kanye's album 808s & Heartbreak, which like Jesus is King has no curse words, shoved music ahead at least two decades, into a world of synth-driven robotic R&B/Rap love songs belted out in janky auto-tune. That description doesn't sound ridiculous today. But that's only because Kanye eschewed the stale hip-hop of the early 2000s and reinvented the genre, something he has accomplished with every album.

Photo by Caroline Ryan

Then, he went on tour. But he never took off any time following his mother's death. And, by the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, he'd fallen to what he calls his sunken place.

He and then-girlfriend Amber Rose brought a bottle of Hennessy with them to the award show. They took slugs in the limo. Then on the red carpet.

When Taylor Swift won the award for Best Female Video, Kanye stormed the podium, sunglasses on, and grabbed the microphone, said "Imma let you finish," then let everyone know the award should've gone to Beyoncé, for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)."

He was kicked out immediately. He tweeted, "Everybody wanna booooo me but I'm a fan of real pop culture... I'm not crazy y'all, I'm just real."

Followed by an apology. Then a few days later, during an appearance on debut episode of "The Jay Leno Show"

Leno asked Kanye, "What do you think [your mom] would have said about this?"

That hit Kanyelike a punch to the jaw. He teared up, froze.

He publicly apologized to Swift. Several times.

But it did little to quell the blowback. Once again, it felt like the entire nation hated Kanye. Compounded by a hot-mic recording of Barack Obama — the country's first black President — calling Kanye a jackass.

So the embattled Kanye retreated to Hawaii to record a masterpiece, 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

*

"We are a Christian country," Kanye said at one point, to uproarious applause.

The vast majority of Americans, 90 percent, believe in a higher power.

Photo by Caroline Ryan

And America has the largest number of Christians in the world, with roughly 167,000,000, comprising 65-to-70 percent of the population. But that's down from 80 percent, as part of a downward trend over the last two decades.

The percent of Americans who attend a religious service of any kind — church, synagogue, or mosque — is even lower, less than half.

Photo by Caroline Ryan

One political scientist blamed the public's growing distrust in institutions. Another blamed conservatives. A writer from New York Magazine took it a step further.

Meanwhile, David French.

As always, the issue is far more nuanced than either side will admit.

Somehow, in the last twenty years, church and religion had become not just uncool, but slightly villainous.

All day, every time I looked around — at people singing, at people dancing, at people crying in joy or in the relief and recognition of their pain — I thought, "How could this ever be a bad thing?"

Photo by Caroline Ryan

I had spent my life going to concerts, had seen Kanye West numerous times, and this was something other than a concert, and unlike anything I'd seen from Kanye. It was also more than just religious or spiritual.

A family of strangers in a city of 6 million, in a world of 7-and-a-half billion, broadcast live, led by a man who fought off the devil in front of us for years. Who struggled with life just like we do, only we could nitpick through the one-way mirrors of our phones and our TVs.

But, now, he had been baptized in public.

Photo by Caroline Ryan

Some people were still negative about Kanye's recent faith, especially Christians. As Kanye raps on "Hands On"

What have you been hearin' from the Christians?
They'll be the first one to judge me
Make it feel like nobody love me

Consensus was, they couldn't believe him. As a Kanye fan since I was 13, I can tell you that he is genuine. It's really his only setting. Plus, his spiritual transformation has been building for quite some time.

*

By the time we returned to Lakewood that evening, the sky had turned dark blue, and frantic with airplanes.

The sidewalks around the arena overflowed with people. Police cars jutted out in crooked lines to block entrances or exits, the strobe of red-white-blue whirling onto pedestrians' faces.

Across the street, facing the giant arena, a man with a bullhorn ranted about the evils of sinful music.

Earlier that day, sheepish protestors had occupied the spot, holding red poster-sized letters that spelled out "I M P E A C H." There were only four of them, though, so they had to double up and share, and sometimes the "H" slanted down or the "I" slipped loose.

"Impeach Kanye?" one of us said, laughing.

"Kanye 2020," shouted someone.

The air was electric. People bounced when they stepped, or walked faster than normal, or turned oddly as they spoke like a third-year professor.

They sang along as they passed traffic-jam cars, most of which were blasting Kanye.

A chorus of police whistles and the usual rumble of semi-trucks passing on US-59. Just down the street, porn shops and strip clubs and a Ferrari dealership. Immediately Southwest, the Mahatma Ghandi District. West, the Galleria, home of the opulent Galleria mall, where Kanye and Kim and family gone ice-skating earlier.

Inside the arena, a different world, low-lit and glowing. A dreamscape of lambent crimsons and violets, a deeper, warmer, slower take on the lights atop the police cars outside. Globular squares of blue were arrayed along the ceiling.

Photo by Caroline Ryan

When the musicians emerged to their instruments, the arena was still half-empty. The show had already been delayed 40 minutes. The demand to get in was so ferocious that the security gate was jammed up like a glass Ketchup jar.

Then, like spirits, men and women drifted onstage in all-grey uniforms and matching hats that looked like they should say "VIETNAM VETERAN" but actually said "Sunday Service."

Every single member wore brand-new grey YEEZY Boosts.

From the start, the performance was cinematic, a sort of new-world opera sung by a chorus of young American muses with nose rings or gold chains or dreadlocks or pink hair.

Photo by Caroline Ryan

From the huddle, a young man rose, and began reciting a poem. It was the invocation of the muse.

Gadamer wrote that poetry "becomes a test of what is true, in that the poem awakens a secret life in words that had seemed to be used up and worn out, and tells us of ourselves"

*

After a whirling rendition of Carl Orff's "O Fortuna," the choir began "Ultralight Beam."

They let the song spread. It grew enormous.

The air swirled as the song widened.

Kanye waited out of view, then appeared without ceremony.

A collective gasp when people recognized the melody of Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed." Which sounds like a dream already, with all that wilderness.

So it was even stranger when the song morphed into SWV's "Weak," a skating rink anthem written by Charlie Wilson of the GAP Band. A classic.

The choir were their own countervailing force. Yet they also connected us to the drama of the performance.
Looking back, I wish I could live in those moments forever.

*

Then came their cover of "Father Stretch My Hands" by Pastor T.L. Barrett And the Youth for Christ Choir.

Father Stretch My Hands www.youtube.com

Kanye has paid homage to Barrett's track on two different songs, from two different albums.

It was his prayer.

Pastor T.L. Barrett, a man who's lived an exciting and at times difficult life, only to become a Pentecostal preacher on Chicago's south side, and form a choir of 40 teenagers from his weekly choir practice.

If you dive into Barrett, you'll better understand what Kanye is doing.

*

Ten seats from Kim Kardashian-West, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (TX) stared ahead in a neat grey suit, occasionally poking at his phone and blasting people on Twitter.

Which means there were at least two people in the building who have appeared on Saturday Night Live.

There were other politicians, including Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick. And even more at the earlier service. You could tell they were politicians the same you can tell a vegan burger from a real Whopper. Several times, Kanye held up his phone up and read the words from his newer songs.

Like "Selah," which built into "Hallelujah"s at the end, intoxicating and perfect, like being sucked into an undertow. Which led into "Follow God," a continuation of "Father I Stretch My Hands."

Kanye uses the image of stretched hands to express his own submission and the process that leads to his healing. As a reference to John 21:18

Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.

But the song is also about Kanye's literal father, and an argument they had. Then, under it all, he adds a sample of "Can You Lose By Following God" by Whole Truth. He ended the song with his Kanye shriek, somewhat confusing and abrasive with a choir present.

Then — something I did not expect. The thumping bass of Cajmere's "Brighter Days (Underground Goodie Mix)."

And now this was cosmic gospel.

It felt like a rave. Have you been to a rave? It's people dancing, taking MDMA. That is what it felt like.

Flourishes like that were part of Kanye's genius. No other gospel performance would dare. You won't find that kind of diversity at any other hip-hop show, either. The acoustic instruments, the choir. Maybe during a set by electronic musicians like Moodyman or DJ Koze. But, no choir. Yet here Kanye was, at Joel Osteen's church, blasting classic techno.

Oddly enough, though, the most popular song of the night was "Closed on Sunday," Kanye's ode to Chic-Fil-A.

Everyone in the arena knew the words. So then there were two choirs, in a dialogue. I didn't think it was possible, but the collective harmony got even more intense and engulfing than it had all night. So much so that the house speakers started to peak in one corner of the arena.

Photo by Caroline Ryan

The Ancient Greeks were the first to use a chorus. In the 5th Century B.C., 50 actors would gather in the orchestra pit and sing in unison, commenting on the action of the play, describing scenes to the audience. They were a collective force. They represented one character, who was able to connect the audience to the characters and events onstage.

Kim Kardashian was front and center filming with her phone, as two of the West kids jumped around on the trippy blue carpet.

The performance was nearing its end, and suddenly Kanye was dressed like everybody else in the choir. Grey Yeezy kit and the Sunday Service hat. His transformation. From Kanye West to Pastor Ye, stretching hands.

Then, he was gone.
One by one, the choir began fluttering off the stage, to the Clark Sisters' "You Brought the Sunshine."

Half were gone, when I noticed the singer with braided hair crying. With every exhale, she collapsed her hands into the floor. Let them fall like tired flowers. Arrayed in fitful blue. She gasped. She heaved her shoulders like a wingspan. For a moment it was like she would actually take flight.

A security guard peered over the railing from above the stage. He looked like God.Symbolically, he was.

New installments of this series on the 2020 elections come out every Monday and Thursday. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@mercurystudios.com

Don't believe in time travel? Think it's just a wild conspiracy theory reserved for late night alien radio programs? Well, we have unearthed bombshell evidence that will blow you away and have you questioning everything!

A 120-year-old photo PROVES climate change activist teen Greta Thunberg is actually a time traveler warning all generations of the dangers of global warming.

Glenn did some exhaustive research and found several other photos and subjects in historical paintings. Check them out here and see if you are now a believer:

Warning Elvis fans

Ryan: Suction energy, pt. 1

Photo by Sean Ryan

After his speech at the Boone County fairgrounds, Joe Biden nodded and people engulfed him like he was their oxygen. Journalists shouted questions, photographers shoved people aside. Biden's bodyguards even drew closer. I found a good oak tree and hid out in the shade, 100 yards from the chaotic huddle.

Photo by Sean Ryan

They shoved closer and closer and closer, with a vacant urgency to their eyes. They had to get as close as possible. It was like some force of nature had taken control of everyone, and now their only goal was to merge their lifeforce with Biden's.

The frenzy of writhing arms and contorted bodies reminded me of Shark Week, when the hulking Great White breaks through the protective cage and how's the diver gonna make it out alive this time?

*

A need for convergence, often leading to upheaval.

Most of the Democratic candidates caused this effect. As did their opponent, to a far greater degree. Because he was the president, and he was Donald Trump, so, for the time being, he embodied this magnetism more fully than anyone else in the entire world.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Every time Trump entered a room or a building or a space of any kind, every person within a reasonable distance felt it. And they couldn't help but bob their head around, and arch up on their tiptoes, scouring till they saw him, and then all they could do was lean forward and wonder if it was actually him.

Some of the Democratic candidates had a stronger magnetism than others. Which meant the gravitational pull had laws that guided it. The term I started using for it was "suction energy."

It was something you could physically feel.

At the Iowa State Fair, Bernie Sanders' suction energy was so intense, so visceral that it reminded me of a hurricane.

Photo by Sean Ryan

People wanted to be as close to the man as possible. They wanted a picture. Proof that it happened—that they had actually seen someone that famous.

And they were perfectly right. And their reactions were understandable and lovely even, and altogether innocent. Encouraging. Because they were genuine.

Even journalists were susceptible to suction energy. In fact, they could spazz even harder. Unlike the public, they were there as workers.

*

Suction energy is an art, something you cultivate. But it's also a result of luck and reality. Some people will just never have an ounce of it.

Take, for instance, Jay Insleey, who was apparently a Democratic presidential candidate in the 2020 election. At some point in my travels, I wound up in the same place as him.

Maybe it was a couple times. A couple, two, three. I can't remember.

All I know is that I went to Clear Lake, Iowa for the Democratic Wing Ding, to see Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren and the 20 other candidates, and this guy Jay Insless ... sorry, I mean Inslee took the stage at some point. It's hard to say when exactly because, as I mentioned, he was impressively forgettable, like a human thumbtack.

Wing Ding featured Jay Insee?Photo by Sean Ryan

He was yammering about something, and, man, he looked and sounded like P.C. Principal, from South Park, and that was pretty funny.

I told my dad, and then we were both laughing. Then my dad did an imitation of P.C. Principal, and we were really hooting.
Then all I could think about was P.C. Principal. So I ducked out into the hall to watch a P.C. Principal clip compilation, and I laughed and laughed and nobody went "Shush!," because there were plenty of others like me.

Photo by Sean Ryan

And, boy, I laughed. I was actually a bit sad when the clip was over. I'd forgotten where I was, and when I caught a glimpse of the guy onstage, my sadness deepened into pity. The feeling you get when you realize that the amateur thinks he can beat the professional. When the replacements think they will know valor. When your dog thinks they're going to the park, but really it's the vet, and they wake up without balls.

Do we have an obligation, a moral imperative, to tell a Square when she's trying to shove into a Triangle hole? How much teeth-lettuce does a person lodge into their incisors before you are inclined to alert them?

Like, after this speech, that guy John Insley, would wander around the walkways of the Surf Ballroom, same as Kamala Harris and Andrew Yang, only he'd lack their glow.

Crowds flocking to Kamala HarrisPhoto by Sean Ryan

At one point, he'd clench his jaw into what must have been a smile, ready for any nearby journalists to sneak a candid photo or rush forward for a quote.

Photo by Sean Ryan

If any of the others noticed, they didn't let on. So here was this chubby kid in a costume knocking on the front door, and I know full well Halloween was weeks ago, but who's gonna feed the harmless lie if I don't?

Photo by Sean Ryan

Nobody, that's who.

So I groaned and shrugged and told my dad, "Let's give the tubby kid some Starburst."

"Wha?" he asked.

Then I asked would he get a picture of that candidate over there.

"Who," he replied. As in, "I can't see an important person over there, which one is running for president?"

In other words, Insleep had absolutely zero suction energy. To a near-magical extent.

Within a few weeks, he would announce the end of his campaign on The Rachel Maddow Show.

Yet there he was, somehow center stage, looking out at the packed Surf Ballroom, where, on February 2, 1959, Buddy Holly played his last show.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Buddy Holly, now there's a man with suction energy. So much suction energy that, when he died, music went with him.

*

When I saw Kamala during the week of the Iowa State Fair, she was at the height of her campaign, having climbed to second place, within nine points of Biden.

Everywhere I went, there was Harris, with her personalized KAMALA bus, and her chartered press pool, and her entourage of staff and fans and media.

Photo by Sean Ryan

On the first Saturday of the Fair, my dad and I wound up seeing Harris five times. Five times! In part because she could hustle. She wanted that job. But also because she understood power and optics.

Before her speech at Jasper Winery, (when she played savage 4D chess with Andrew Yang, she spoke to several hundred people packed into the atrium of Valley Southwoods Freshman High School in West Des Moines, her fourth rally of that day.

Photo by Sean Ryan

When she finished her speech, a horde surged straight for her, eighty or so.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Just a month earlier, The New Yorker had run a glowing profile on Harris. That was huge. As of the release of this story, Harris was the only 2020 presidential candidate that The New Yorker had featured.

Photo by Sean Ryan

At that point of the election, excitement for Harris was so intense that it seemed obvious she would get the nomination, or close to it. So I wrote five pieces about her.

But by the time I finished all five stories and added them to the publishing schedule, Harris had sunk 11 points to 4 percent, which put her in 8th place. In New Hampshire, the first state to hold primaries, she was polling at 1 percent. By comparison, Biden, Warren, and Sanders were locked at 19.

Now, the only headlines were about her foundering campaign and her dwindling cash and her downsized staff. In each case, the sentiment was the same, "Whatever happened to Kamala Harris?"

Which answer a question I posed in my first story. Would Harris "I got this one in the bag" attitude help her or ruin her? Turns out the ostentatious bus and the unnecessary press accommodations had been a premature move, and now she just seemed cocky.
Because suction energy can, and often does, vanish in an instant.

A Bernie can always become a Jay InslepInslee. Nobody is immune, no matter how powerful they appear. Look at Bill Cosby. Harvey Weistein. Both were godlike in their power. Both had a gravitational pull so intense that they raped women for decades and nobody did a thing. Cosby's suction energy was so intense that he collected honorary degrees like a vacuum collects dog hair. 70 of them. Then, off to prison to eat pudding in the dark.

By the time I saw Harris at the Democratic Debate in Houston, a month after she stormed Iowa, she'd begun transforming into Joe Biden, focused on all the wrong things, laughing at her own jokes, without realizing that nobody else was laughing.

New installments of this series on the 2020 elections come out every Monday and Thursday. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@mercurystudios.com