Couple Whose Baby Has Same Genetic Condition As Charlie Gard Speak Out and Raise Glenn's Spirits

A couple whose son has the same debilitating condition as Charlie Gard shared their story on radio Tuesday.

Russell Cruzan II and Michelle Budnik-Nap in Kalamazoo, Michigan, had no idea that their baby Russell would be born with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. In a one-in-a-million coincidence, both parents carry the same gene, and their baby had a very small chance of inheriting the gene from both of them.

“[Russell and Charlie] both have mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome; it’s just different gene mutations causing it,” Budnik-Nap explained.

Unlike Charlie, who was not allowed to leave the U.K. hospital that said he needed to die, baby Russell has options.

“We have the capability to get treatment wherever we want to right now,” Budnik-Nap said.

Cruzan and Budnik-Nap are working to get him to doctors doing experimental work with children who have this rare condition; one option is Boston Children’s Hospital.

“We were told there was no treatment and to take our son home to enjoy the time we have with him, as the disease typically takes children in early childhood,” the couple said on their crowdfunding page. “We have since learned that there IS experimental treatment out there that has shown GREAT success in others with similar conditions.”

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GLENN: Charlie Gard is this incredible story. In case you missed it, let me just quickly recap. He just died. It was a week before his first birthday. Chris Gard and Connie Yates had a son born. Everybody thought he was fine. He was normal. And then symptoms started to have an onset. And because they lived with socialized medicine, the hospital said, "There's nothing we can do," even though there is experimental and somewhat successful experimental procedures done here in America.

The hospital wouldn't let Charlie go. They fought in court. By the time the court case was coming to an end. It was too late. Doctors said here in America, it's too late for him. There's no more time left.

The parents sued the hospital said, "Please, let us just take him home so he can die at home." The hospital took them to court on that one and fought against it and somehow or another won, and he died in a hospice center.

But he did die with the parents. And both of them said, "We took Charlie out for a walk in a pushchair in the hospice park." We dressed him in babygrow with stars on it. He looked so beautiful and innocent. This is according to mom, Connie.

The hospital staff popped in. Those last five hours just flashed by. A woman said the moment we dreaded would happen in the next five minutes. Chris and I were both crying. We laid on the bed with Charlie between us, each of us holding a hand. We were both telling him that we were there and that we loved him and how proud we were of him.

Charlie opened his eyes at that moment and looked at us one last time and then closed them and passed away.

This story, the beginning of it, as far as the diagnosis is playing itself out again in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Russell and Michelle are two parents of a four-month-old. Russell Cruzan III. They refer to him as Bubby. He was born just like Charlie. Great, cute, healthy, and then he wasn't gaining weight. He wasn't eating. And doctors couldn't figure it out. And then finally diagnosed with the same disease that Charlie Gard had.

We have Russell Cruzan and Michelle Budnik-Nab on the phone. Parents of Bubby. How are you guys?

RUSSELL: Good how are you?

MICHELLE: Good. Good.

GLENN: Very good.

Can you tell us, first of all, how is Bubby doing today?

MICHELLE: He's doing pretty good. He's taking a nap right now. He -- yep.

GLENN: Okay. When you first found out -- had you -- did you know who Charlie Gard was?

MICHELLE: Not originally, no. Very shortly afterwards, yes. As soon as we -- you know, we were trying to do research into his condition, which, you know, they -- they both have mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. It's just different gene mutations causing it. They're both encefalomyopic (phonetic). But as soon as we Googled, you know, his condition, of course, Charlie popped up. And we started looking into his story.

GLENN: Have you talked to the -- Charlie's parents?

MICHELLE: We did. We did originally when we first found out, me and Connie talked a lot back and forth. But obviously things have been very overwhelming for them. And, yeah, they're quite busy.

GLENN: So hopefully you were going to tell me that things are quite different here in America than they are overseas. Can you tell me about --

MICHELLE: So far, yeah, we have definitely found that things are quite different. We have the capability to get treatment wherever we want to right now. We've been inpatient at our local hospital a few times, and we love them.

And, you know, if we think that he needs to go somewhere else, or he thinks -- or, yeah, he needs to go somewhere else, and they're very willing to work with us to make that happen. Also, we're just -- we're free to make an appointment wherever we want, for him to see any specialist that we want.

GLENN: Have you reached out to the specialist that the Gard parents were trying to have take care of Charlie?

RUSSELL: Yes, yes, yes, we have. And he doesn't believe treatment of that sort at this time would do any good at all.

GLENN: So does that mean that it might later, or it just doesn't apply to yourself?

MICHELLE: As far as we know, it doesn't apply to -- to Russell. We're still hoping to look at it as an option. Right now, we are pursuing BCA treatment with Boston's Children's Hospital. We're hoping that he can be considered for a -- for a trial of the medication there.

GLENN: So what is the prognosis, Russell?

MICHELLE: The prognosis, I mean, with no treatment, the prognosis is pretty grim. With the prospect of treatment, we -- we really don't know because it's all experimental. But we're hoping that it could help preserve the healthy mitochondria that he has and help keep some of the toxic levels in his body down, the lactic acid and ammonia down, because those are kind of our number one dangers right now.

GLENN: So what is this? How did it first manifest? And what is the body doing?

RUSSELL: Basically, how it all starts is me and his mother are both carriers of a gene, a chromosome that's bad. Being one bad, one good.

GLENN: Did you know that in advance?

RUSSELL: No. The only way you can figure that out is through genetic testing, which nobody gets genetic testing unless there's an issue.

GLENN: Okay. Yes.

RUSSELL: But -- so we're both carriers for a bad chromosome, and we have a good chromosome. And then we both have the same bad chromosome, just a different mutation of it. So that's how he got it. There's like a one in a million chance that two people meet each other that they're like that. And then it's still like, oh, a 25 percent chance that one of your kids can get it.

GLENN: So when it started to manifest -- because I've seen pictures of Baby Russell. And, you know, he looks healthy. Like he's supposed to. A little porky. A little fat. You know, babies are supposed to.

And then I've seen recent pictures, and he's thin. Is that how it first -- you first noticed, was he wasn't eating? Or?

RUSSELL: Well, he actually -- he started out thin.

MICHELLE: Yeah.

RUSSELL: And then he just got -- he's porky now.

GLENN: Oh, so I've seen the pictures in reverse. Okay.

MICHELLE: When the disease originally started manifesting itself, it manifested as failure to thrive first. He wasn't eating on his own. We started with the NG tube. Now he has a G tube placed in his stomach, and that has really helped him thrive and get to the point to where he's a nice, chubby, plump little guy now.

GLENN: So do you guys have insurance?

RUSSELL: Yes, I carry insurance through work. And we also have Medicaid through the state.

GLENN: So does your insurance cover this?

RUSSELL: They have started to pay something.

(chuckling)

We're working on the treatment. That's what they're working on. Prior authorization for us to go there to be seen. And then the work on -- it all depends on how it's billed. If it's billed as experimental, more than likely not.

GLENN: Can I ask -- you don't have to tell me: Can I ask what insurance carrier it is?

RUSSELL: Yes, I carry Priority Health.

GLENN: I'm sure Priority Health wants to do the right thing and help you out.

RUSSELL: From everybody I've talked to, they're doing pretty good so far. They're trying.

MICHELLE: They're trying.

GLENN: Yeah. The -- the Medicaid is kicking in, for what?

RUSSELL: Anything state-wise. In-state. They've said they don't pay out of state.

MICHELLE: But they're being helpful -- very helpful right now picking up copays, deductibles.

RUSSELL: I haven't had to pay anything out-of-pocket yet.

GLENN: Good for you. What have you -- what do you guys do for a living?

RUSSELL: I -- well, she's a stay-at-home mother now because he requires so much work.

GLENN: Yeah. Right.

RUSSELL: But I do -- I'm in construction.

GLENN: And how is business?

RUSSELL: We're busy. We're busy. I don't know if I'm getting 60, 70 hours a week.

GLENN: Good. Good.

Is there a way to donate if people wanted to help, you know, cover any of the bills as they begin to mount up?

RUSSELL: Yes. There's a YouCaring. It's -- and if you go on YouCaring, you can just search up Bubby or Russell Cruzan. Russell Cruzan should get you directly to it.

GLENN: Okay.

MICHELLE: Right now, we're fundraising to cover some of the travel costs to Boston. If we are accepted into -- into the treatment trial, there would multiple trips to Boston. So, you know, those travel costs add up very quickly. We live in Michigan.

GLENN: You guys sound -- I mean, I have to tell you, I read about your story a couple of weeks ago. And so I've got about you. And as a family, we have prayed for you all. And I thought to myself, you know, gosh if -- if -- if my son was diagnosed with something that Charlie Gard had, at the time of the Charlie Gard story, I think I would lose my mind. And you guys both seem happy.

MICHELLE: We lose it all the time.

RUSSELL: Yeah, we do.

MICHELLE: We put -- we put on this brave face. I'm used to putting the brave face on for the specialists because I can't -- you know, when a specialist, doctor is trying to tell me what's going on with my son, you know, I can't be emotional. I have to put on my brave face and say, "Okay. Tell me what I need to do. Tell me what needs to be done to keep him as healthy as possible." So we try.

GLENN: And, Russell, how are you doing it?

RUSSELL: I look at my other three kids and see how they react. And I don't want them to be upset by seeing me upset. So, I mean, it's pretty much the other -- to see how strong he is. He's this -- I mean, he's the strongest person I've ever seen in my life.

MICHELLE: He's our superhero.

RUSSELL: So everything he's been through. And he still puts a smile on his face and laughs. That's how I do it.

MICHELLE: We cry in the shower.

(laughter)

Yeah.

GLENN: Hmm.

What a -- what a great couple. And thanks, strangely, for lifting my spirits. Thanks for making me feel good in talking to you both. We will keep you in our prayers. And please check in with us if there's something that you need or something we can do to help. Please feel free to call. You have our -- you have our -- all of our digits and our email. So you can get a hold of us.

If you would like to get involved and help the family, you can go to youcaring.com. If this just helps you remember, Bubby. B-U-B-B-Y. Bubby.

STU: We tweeted out from @worldofStu. It's up there. We're going to tweet it from @GlennBeck as well.

GLENN: Yep. And we will have it at GlennBeck.com. But please, if you -- if you can, help the family not have to worry about any kind of expenses so that they can do what they have to do. Guys, thank you so much. God bless.

MICHELLE: Thank you.

RUSSELL: Thank you.

GLENN: Isn't that great?

STU: You're right. Their attitude is like so positive. They are putting on a brave face if that is --

GLENN: They said -- you know, there's a difference between putting on a brave face and finding your way to joy.

STU: Hmm.

GLENN: They sound to me like it's not a brave face. It is -- and maybe it was just nervous laughter. Maybe that's what it was. But it seems to me that they have found a way to joy. And, boy, that's hard to do. Hard to do. God bless them.

It's time for our April 29, 2019 edition of our Candidate Power Rankings. We get to add two new candidates, write about a bunch of people that have little to no chance of winning, and thank the heavens we are one day closer to the end of all of this.

In case you're new here, read our explainer about how all of this works:

The 2020 Democratic primary power rankings are an attempt to make sense out of the chaos of the largest field of candidates in global history.

Each candidate gets a unique score in at least thirty categories, measuring data like polling, prediction markets, fundraising, fundamentals, media coverage, and more. The result is a candidate score between 0-100. These numbers will change from week to week as the race changes.

The power rankings are less a prediction on who will win the nomination, and more a snapshot of the state of the race at any given time. However, early on, the model gives more weight to fundamentals and potentials, and later will begin to prioritize polling and realities on the ground.

These power rankings include only announced candidates. So, when you say "WAIT!! WHERE'S XXXXX????" Read the earlier sentence again.

If you're like me, when you read power rankings about sports, you've already skipped ahead to the list. So, here we go.

See previous editions here.

20. Wayne Messam: 13.4 (Last week: 18th / 13.4)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

A former staffer of Wayne Messam is accusing his wife of hoarding the campaign's money.

First, how does this guy have "former" staffers? He's been running for approximately twelve minutes.

Second, he finished dead last in the field in fundraising with $44,000 for the quarter. Perhaps hoarding whatever money the campaign has is not the worst idea.

His best shot at the nomination continues to be something out of the series "Designated Survivor."

Other headlines:

19. Marianne Williamson: 17.1 (Last week: 17th / 17.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Marianne Williamson would like you to pay for the sins of someone else's great, great, great grandparents. Lucky you!

Williamson is on the reparations train like most of the field, trying to separate herself from the pack by sheer monetary force.

How much of your cash does she want to spend? "Anything less than $100 billion is an insult." This is what I told the guy who showed up to buy my 1989 Ford Tempo. It didn't work then either.

Other headlines:

18. John Delaney: 19.7 (Last week: 15th / 20.3)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Good news: John Delaney brought in $12.1 million in the first quarter, enough for fifth in the entire Democratic field!

Bad news: 97% of the money came from his own bank account.

Other headlines:

17. Eric Swalwell: 20.2 (Last week: 16th / 20.2)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The Eric Swalwell formula:

  • Identify news cycle
  • Identify typical left-wing reaction
  • Add steroids

Democrats said there was obstruction in the Mueller report. Swalwell said there “certainly" was collusion.

Democrats said surveillance of the Trump campaign was no big deal. Swalwell said there was no need to apologize even if it was.

Democrats said William Barr mishandled the release of the Mueller report. Swalwell said he must resign.

Democrats say they want gun restrictions. Swalwell wants them all melted down and the liquid metal to be poured on the heads of NRA members. (Probably.)

16. Seth Moulton: 20.6 (NEW)

Who is Seth Moulton?

No, I'm asking.

Moulton falls into the category of congressman looking to raise his profile and make his future fundraising easier— not someone who is actually competing for the presidency.

He tried to block Nancy Pelosi as speaker, so whatever help he could get from the establishment is as dry as Pelosi's eyes when the Botox holds them open for too long.

Moulton is a veteran, and his military service alone is enough to tell you that he's done more with his life than I'll ever do with mine. But it's hard to see the road to the White House for a complete unknown in a large field of knowns.

Don't take my word for it, instead read this depressing story that he's actually telling people on purpose:

"I said, you know, part of my job is take tough questions," Moulton told the gathered business and political leaders. "You can ask even really difficult questions. And there was still silence. And then finally, someone in the way back of the room raised her hand, and she said, 'Who are you?' "

Yeah. Who are you?

15. Tim Ryan: 21.6 (Last week: 14th / 20.7)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

When you're talking to less than sixteen people in Iowa one week after your launch, you don't have too much to be excited about.

Ryan did get an interview on CNN, where he also talked to less than sixteen people.

He discussed his passion for the Dave Matthews Band, solidifying a key constituency in the year 1995.

Other headlines:

14. Tulsi Gabbard: 25.2 (Last week: 14th / 25.9)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Tulsi Gabbard torched Kamala Harris in fundraising!!!!! (Among Indian-American donors.)

No word on who won the coveted handi-capable gender-neutral sodium-sensitive sub-demographic.

She received a mostly false rating for her attack on the Trump administration regarding its new policy on pork inspections, a topic not exactly leading the news cycle. Being from Hawaii, the state which leads the nation in Spam consumption, she was probably surprised when this didn't go mega viral.

Other headlines:

13. Andrew Yang: 27.2 (Last week: 12th / 27.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Yang has a few go-to lines when he's on the campaign trail, such as: "The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math." Another is apparently the Jeb-esque "Chant my name! Chant my name!"

Yang continues to be one of the more interesting candidates in this race, essentially running a remix of the "One Tough Nerd" formula that worked for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

I highly recommend listening to his interview with Ben Shapiro, where Yang earns respect as the only Democratic presidential candidate in modern history to actually show up to a challenging and in-depth interview with a knowledgeable conservative.

But hidden in the Shapiro interview is the nasty little secret of the Yang campaign. His policy prescriptions, while still very liberal, come off as far too sane for him to compete in this Stalin look-alike contest.

Other headlines:

12. Jay Inslee: 30.4 (Last week: 11th / 30.4)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

If you read the Inslee candidate profile, I said he was running a one-issue climate campaign. This week, he called for a climate change-only debate, and blamed Donald Trump for flooding in Iowa.

He also may sign the nation's first "human composting" legalization bill. He can start by composting his presidential campaign.

Other headlines:

11. John Hickenlooper: 32.2 (Last week: 10th / 32.0)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

John Hickenlooper was sick of being asked if he would put a woman on the ticket, in the 0.032% chance he actually won the nomination.

So he wondered why the female candidates weren't being asked if they would name a male VP if they won?

Seems like a logical question, but only someone who is high on tailpipe fumes would think it was okay to ask in a Democratic primary. Hickenlooper would be better served by just transitioning to a female and demanding other candidates are asked why they don't have a transgendered VP.

Other headlines:

10. Julian Castro: 35.7 (Last week: 9th / 36.2)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Lowering expectations is a useful strategy when your wife asks you to put together an Ikea end table, or when you've successfully convinced Charlize Theron to come home with you. But is it a successful campaign strategy?

Julian Castro is about to find out. He thinks the fact that everyone thinks he's crashing and burning on the campaign trail so far is an "advantage." Perhaps he can take the rest of the field by surprise on Super Tuesday when they finally realize he's actually running.

Other headlines:

9. Kirsten Gillibrand: 38.1 (Last week: 8th / 37.8)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Gillibrand wants you to know that the reason her campaign has been such a miserable failure so far, is because she called for a certain senator to step down. The problem might also be that another certain senator isn't a good presidential candidate.

She also spent the week arm wrestling, and dancing at a gay bar called Blazing Saddle. In this time of division, one thing we can all agree on: Blazing Saddle is a really solid name for a gay bar.

Other headlines:

8. Amy Klobuchar: 45.1 (Last week: 7th / 45.5)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Klobuchar is attempting a run in the moderate wing of the Democratic primary, which would be a better idea if such a wing existed.

She hasn't committed to impeaching Donald Trump and has actually voted to confirm over half of his judicial nominees. My guess is this will not be ignored by her primary opponents.

She also wants to resolve an ongoing TPS issue, which I assume means going by Peter Gibbons' desk every morning and making sure he got the memo about the new cover sheets.

Other headlines:

7. Elizabeth Warren: 45.3 (Last week: 6th / 46.0)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Elizabeth Warren is bad at everything she does while she's campaigning. I don't really even watch Game of Thrones, and the idea that Warren would write a story about how the show proves we need more powerful women makes me cringe.

Of course, more powerful people of all the 39,343 genders are welcome, but it's such a transparent attempt at jumping on the back of a pop-culture event to pander to female voters, it's sickening.

We can only hope that when she's watching Game of Thrones, she's gonna grab her a beer.

Other headlines:

6. Cory Booker: 54.9 (Last week: 5th / 55.5)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Booker is tied with Kamala Harris for the most missed Senate votes of the campaign so far. He gets criticized for this, but I think he should miss even more votes.

Booker is also pushing a national day off on Election Day—because the approximately six months of early voting allowed in every state just isn't enough.

Of course, making it easier to vote doesn't mean people are going to vote for Booker. So he's throwing trillions of dollars in bribes (my word, not his) to seal the deal.

Bookermania is in full effect, with 40 whole people showing up to his appearance in Nevada. Local press noted that the people were of "varying ages," an important distinction to most other crowds, which are entirely comprised of people with the same birthday.

Other headlines:

5. Robert Francis O’Rourke: 60.2 (Last week: 4th /62.6)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Kirsten Gillibrand gave less than 2% of her income to charity. The good news is that she gave about seven times as much as Beto O'Rourke. Robert Francis, or Bob Frank, also happens to be one of the wealthiest candidates in the race. His late seventies father-in-law has been estimated to be worth as much as $20 billion, though the number is more likely to be a paltry $500 million.

He's made millions from a family company investing in fossil fuels and pharmaceutical stocks, underpaid his taxes for multiple years, and is suing the government to lower property taxes on a family-owned shopping center.

He's also all but disappeared. It's a long race, and you don't win a nomination in April of the year before election day. If he's being frugal and figuring out what he believes, it might be a good move.

But it's notable that all the "pretty boy" hype that Bob Frank owned going into this race has been handed over to Mayor Pete. Perhaps Beto is spending his time working on curbing the sweating, the hand gestures, and the issues with jumping on counters like a feline.

Other headlines:

4. Pete Buttigieg: 62.9 (Last week: 3rd / 62.9)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

When we first put candidates in tiers earlier this year, we broke everyone into five categories from "Front Runners" to "Eh, no." In the middle is a category called "Maybe, if everything goes right," and that's where we put Pete Buttigieg.

Well, everything has gone right so far. But Mayor Pete will be interested to learn that the other 19 candidates in this race are not going to hand him this nomination. Eventually, they will start saying negative things about him (they've started the opposition research process already), and it will be interesting to see how Petey deals with the pressure. We've already seen how it has affected Beto in a similar situation.

The media has spoken endlessly about the sexual orientation of Buttigieg, but not every Democratic activist is impressed. Barney Frank thinks the main reason he's getting this amount of attention is because he is gay. And for some, being a gay man just means you're a man, which isn't good enough.

When you base your vote on a candidate's genitals, things can get confusing.

Other headlines:

3. Kamala Harris: 68.6 (Last week: 1st / 69.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

There are a couple of ways to view the Harris candidacy so far.

#1 - Harris launched with much fanfare and an adoring media. She has since lost her momentum. Mayor Pete and former Mayor Bernie have the hype, and Kamala is fading.

#2 - Harris is playing the long game. She showed she can make an impact with her launch, but realizes that a media "win" ten months before an important primary means nothing. She's working behind the scenes and cleaning up with donations, prominent supporters, and loads of celebrities to execute an Obama style onslaught.

I tend to be in category 2, but I admit that's somewhat speculative. Harris seems to be well positioned to make a serious run, locking up more than double the amount of big Clinton and Obama fundraisers than any other candidate.

One interesting policy development for Harris that may hurt her in the primary is her lack of utter disgust for the nation of Israel. There's basically one acceptable position in a Democratic primary when it comes to Israel, which is that it's a racist and terrorist state, existing only to torture innocent Palestinians.

Certainly no one is going to mistake Harris for Donald Trump, but a paragraph like this is poison to the modern Democratic primary voter:

"Her support for Israel is central to who she is," Harris' campaign communications director, Lily Adams, told McClatchy. "She is firm in her belief that Israel has a right to exist and defend itself, including against rocket attacks from Gaza."

Just portraying the rocket attacks as "attacks" is controversial these days for Democrats, and claiming they are responses to attacks indicates you think the Jeeeewwwwwwwws aren't the ones responsible for the start of every hostility. Heresy!

Someone get Kamala a copy of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' before she blows her chance to run the free world.

2. Bernie Sanders: 69.2 (Last week: 2nd / 68.3)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

If Bernie Sanders hates millionaires as much as he claims, he must hate the mirror. As a millionaire, it might surprise some that he donated only 1% to charity. But it shouldn't.

It's entirely consistent with Sandersism to avoid giving to private charity. Why would you? Sanders believes the government does everything better than the private sector. He should be giving his money to the government.

Of course, he doesn't. He takes the tax breaks from the evil Trump tax plan he derides. He spends his money on fabulous vacation homes. He believes in socialism for thee, not for me.

Yes, this is enough to convince the Cardi B's of the world, all but guaranteeing a lock on the rapper-and-former-stripper-that-drugged-and-stole-from-her-prostitution-clients demographic. But can that lack of consistency hold up in front of general election voters?

If Bernie reads this and would like a path to credibility, clear out your bank account and send it here:

Gifts to the United States
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Funds Management Branch
P.O. Box 1328
Parkersburg, WV 26106-1328


Other headlines:

1. Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.: 78.8 (NEW)

Joe has run for president 113 times during his illustrious career, successfully capturing the presidency in approximately zero of his campaigns.

However, when the eternally woke Barack Obama had a chance to elevate a person of color, woman, or anything from the rainbow colored QUILTBAG, he instead chose the oldest, straightest, whitest guy he could find, and our man Robinette was the beneficiary.

Biden has been through a lot, much of it of his own making. Forget about his plagiarism and propensity to get a nostril full of each passing females' hair, his dealings while vice president in both Ukraine and China are a major general election vulnerability— not to mention a legal vulnerability for his children. But hey, win the presidency and you can pardon everyone, right?

His supposed appeal to rust belt voters makes him, on paper, a great candidate to take on Trump. The Clinton loss hinged on about 40,000 voters changing their mind from Hillary to Donald in a few states—the exact areas where victory could possibly be secured by someone named "Middle Class Joe" (as he alone calls himself.)

No one loves Joe Biden more than Joe Biden, and there's a relatively convincing case for his candidacy. But we must remember this unquestionable truth: Joe Biden is not good at running for president.

He's a gaffe machine that churns out mistake after mistake, hoping only to have his flubs excused by his unending charisma. But, will that work without the use of his legendary groping abilities? Only time, and a few dozen unnamed women, will tell.

Also, yes. Robinette is really his middle name.

If only Karl Marx were alive today to see his wackiest ideas being completely paraded around. He would be so proud. I can see him now: Sprawled out on his hammock from REI, fiddling around for the last vegan potato chip in the bag as he binge-watches Academy Awards on his 70-inch smart TV. In between glances at his iPhone X (he's got a massive Twitter following), he sips Pepsi. In his Patagonia t-shirt and NIKE tennis shoes, he writes a line or two about "oppression" and "the have-nots" as part of his job for Google.

His house is loaded with fresh products from all the woke companies. In the fridge, he's got Starbucks, he loves their soy milk. He's got Ben & Jerry's in the freezer. He tells everyone that, if he shaved, he'd use Gillette, on account of the way they stand up for the Have-Nots. But, really, Marx uses Dollar Shave Club because it's cheaper, a higher quality. Secretly, he loves Chic-Fil-A. He buys all his comic books off Amazon. The truth is, he never thought people would actually try to make the whole "communism" thing work.

RELATED: SOCIALISM: This is the most important special we have done

Companies have adopted a form of socialism that is sometimes called woke capitalism. They use their status as corporations to spread a socialist message and encourage people to do their part in social justice. The idea of companies in America using socialism at all is as confusing and ridiculous as a donkey in a prom dress: How did this happen? Is it a joke? Why is nobody bursting out in laughter? How far is this actually going to go? Does someone actually believe that they can take a donkey to prom?

Companies have adopted a form of socialism that is sometimes called woke capitalism.

On the micro level, Netflix has made some socialist moves: The "like/dislike" voting system was replaced after a Netflix-sponsored stand-up special by Amy Schumer received as tidal wave of thumb-downs. This summer, Netflix will take it a step further in the name of squashing dissent by disabling user comments and reviews. And of course most of us share a Netflix account with any number of people. Beyond that, they're as capitalist as the next mega-company.

Except for one area: propaganda. Netflix has started making movie-length advertisements for socialism. They call them "documentaries," but we know better than that. The most recent example is "Knock Down the House," which comes out tomorrow. The 86-minute-long commercial for socialism follows four "progressive Democrat" women who ran in the 2018 midterms, including our favorite socialist AOC.

Here's a snippet from the movie so good that you'll have to fight the urge to wave your USSR flag around the room:

This is what the mainstream media wants you to believe. They want you to be moved. They want the soundtrack to inspire you to go out and do something.

Just look at how the mainstream media treated the recent high-gloss "documentary" about Ilhan Omar, "Time for Ilhan." It received overwhelmingly bad ratings on IMDb and other user-review platforms, but got a whopping 93% on the media aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

This is exactly what the media wants you to think of when you hear the word socialism. Change. Empowerment. Strength. Diversity. They spend so much energy trying to make socialism cool. They gloss right over the unbelievable death toll. BlazeTV's own Matt Kibbe made a great video on this exact topic.

Any notion of socialism in America is a luxury, made possible by capitalism. The woke companies aren't actually doing anything for socialism. If they're lucky, they might get a boost in sales, which is the only thing they want anyway.

We want to show you the truth. We want to tell you the stories you won't hear anywhere else, not on Netflix, not at some movie festival. We're going to tell you what mainstream media doesn't want you to know.

Look at how much history we've lost over the years. They changed it slowly. But they had to. Because textbooks were out. So people were watching textbooks. It was printed. You would bring the book home. Mom and dad might go through it and check it out. So you had to slowly do things.

Well, they're not anymore. There are no textbooks anymore. Now, you just change them overnight. And we are losing new history. History is being changed in realtime.

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You have to write down what actually is happening and keep a journal. Don't necessarily tell everybody. Just keep a journal for what is happening right now. At some point, our kids won't have any idea of the truth. They will not have any idea of what this country was, how it really happened. Who were the good guys. Who were the bad guys. Who did what.

As Michelle Obama said. Barack knows. We have to change our history. Well, that's exactly what's happening. But it's happening at a very rapid pace.

We have to preserve our history. It is being systematically erased.

I first said this fifteen years ago, people need clay plots. We have to preserve our history as people preserved histories in ancient days, with the dead see scrolls, by putting them in caves in a clay pot. We have to preserve our history. It is being systematically erased. And I don't mean just the history of the founding of our country. I mean the history that's happening right now.

And the history that's happening right now, you're a problem if you're a conservative or a Christian. You are now a problem on the left, if you disagree and fall out of line at all. This is becoming a fascistic party. And you know what a fascist is. It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican or an independent. If you believe it's my way or the highway, if you believe that people don't have a right to their opinion or don't have a right to their own life — you could do be a fascist.

Christianity might seem pretty well-protected in the U.S., but that's not the case in many parts of the globe.

On Easter Sunday, suicide bombers made the news for killing 290 innocent Christians in Sri Lanka and injuring another 500. On Tuesday, ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacre. Of course, the Western world mourned this tragic loss of life on a holy day of worship, but we forget that this isn't an isolated incident. Indeed, Christians are discriminated at extreme levels worldwide, and it needs to be brought to light. And whenever we do highlight brutal persecutions such as the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, we need to call them what they are — targeted attacks against Christians. Sadly, many of our politicians are deathly afraid to do so.

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A 2018 Pew Research Center study found that Christians are harassed in 144 countries — the most of any other faith — slightly outnumbering Muslims for the top of the list. Additionally, Open Doors, a non-profit organization that works to serve persecuted Christians worldwide, found in their 2019 World Watch List that over 245 million Christians are seriously discriminated against for their religious beliefs. Sadly, this translates into 4,136 Christians killed and 2,625 either arrested, sentenced, imprisoned, or detained without trial over the year-long study period. And when it comes to churches, those in Sri Lanka were merely added to a long list of 1,266 Christian buildings attacked for their religion.

These breathtaking stats receive very little coverage in the Western world. And there seems to be a profound hesitation from politicians in discussing the issue of persecution against Christians. In the case of the Sri Lanka bombings, there's even a reluctance to use the word "Christian."

After the horrific Pittsburgh Synagogue and New Zealand Mosque shootings, Democrats rightfully acknowledged the disturbing trend of targeted attacks against Jews and Muslims. But some of these same politicians refer to the Sri Lanka bombings with careless ambiguity.

So why is it so hard for our leaders to acknowledge the persecutions Christians face?

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, for instance, certainly did — calling the incursions "attacks on Easter worshippers." Understandably, the term confused and frustrated many Christians. Although, supporters of these politicians argued the term was appropriate since a recent Associated Press report used it, and it was later picked up by a variety of media outlets, including Fox News. However, as more Democrats like 2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro and Rep. Dan Kildee continued to use the phrase "Easter worshippers," it became clear that these politicians were going out of their way to avoid calling a spade a spade.

So why is it so hard for our leaders to acknowledge the persecutions Christians face? For starters, Christianity in democratic countries like the U.S. is seen differently than in devastated countries like Somalia. According to Pew Research, over 70% of Americans are Christian, with 66% of those Christians being white and 35% baby boomers. So while diverse Christians from all over the world are persecuted for their faith—in the U.S., Christians are a dominant religion full of old white people. This places Christians at the bottom of progressives' absurd intersectional totem poll, therefore leaving little sympathy for their cause. However, the differing experiences of Christians worldwide doesn't take away from the fact that they are unified in their beliefs.

By refusing to name the faith of the Sri Lankan martyrs, politicians are sending a message that they have very little, if no, concern about the growing amount of persecution against Christians worldwide.

Martyrs don't deserve to be known as "Easter worshippers." They should be known by the Christian faith they gave their lives for. Decent politicians need to call the tragedy in Sri Lanka what it is — a vicious attack on the Christian faith.

Patrick Hauf (@PatrickHauf) is a writer for Young Voices and Vice President of Lone Conservative. His work can be found in the Washington Examiner, Townhall, FEE, and more.