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Bill O'Reilly: George Washington's 'Strength of Leadership' Is Important for Americans Today

During a time when people are debating which parts of the U.S. are racist and whether or not history should be obscured, Bill O’Reilly has released a new book that examines the Revolutionary War.

“Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence” looks at history from the perspectives of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Great Britain’s King George III. On radio Friday, Glenn and O’Reilly talked about the new book and the life of America’s first president.

Washington’s men appeared to witness miracles on the battlefield when their leader had narrow brushes with death and survived over and over.

“The men begin to look at him as absolutely invincible,” Glenn said. Continental soldiers saw his miraculous escapes as God’s intervention protecting him. “He’s having horses shot out from underneath him, but he lives,” Glenn described their accounts.

O’Reilly pointed to Washington’s strength of character as a motivation for sharing this story and making sure Americans are aware of our history.

“Washington was an amazingly brave man,” he said. “The strength of leadership is what I think Americans need to know about.”

Glenn added that it’s vital to look at all of history – and not gloss over the negative parts.

“I want to know the bad and the good,” he said.

GLENN: Bill O'Reilly has a lot to say. But so do I.

And one of the things I want to talk to him about is his new book out called killing England. The brutal struggle for American independence. I have not read much of it. But I have skipped around in it. And it is -- it's an easy read. It's a really good read. And I know a lot about the American Revolution and George Washington. As you know, I wrote a book on George Washington.

This is fantastic. And just -- just tremendous. And it's available now. Killing England, by Bill O'Reilly. We talk to him, right now.

(music)

GLENN: Now, here's the great thing about America: Bill O'Reilly and I can have fundamental disagreements on things -- and we do. We have a different look at things, a different approach on things, and a very different viewpoint on things. But we are friends. We get along because we both know that what we both want in the end is a strong America and a -- a country that can come together again on some basic principles. So as I say this now, I bring on the Antichrist himself, Bill O'Reilly. Hello, Bill, how are you?

BILL: I'm weeping. I'm weeping after that introduction, sitting here in my short pants, and I'm weeping.

GLENN: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

BILL: I have to correct you though, one thing, Killing England will be released to the marketplace on September 19th. Of course, I sent you an advanced copy. But you can order -- preorder on Amazon and BillO'Reilly.com.

GLENN: Oh. That's really good.

BILL: And I was lucky. And I'm glad you referenced your George Washington book as well. I have that in my house. I'm going to reread it now. I had read it a long time ago.

But I was lucky because this whole statue thing, which is much bigger than statues -- much bigger than statues. And I hope we're going to talk about that today.

GLENN: Yes. Yes. Yes.

BILL: That ties into Killing England because you're going to know exactly who George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Ben Franklin were as men and how they conducted themselves throughout their lives. And then you can determine whether statues of them should be pulled down, all right? Because they are coming for Washington and Jefferson.

GLENN: I know they are.

BILL: Here in New York City, as you know, Christopher Columbus -- Peter Stevenson is the latest. They're running wild. They, the far left. And I mean wild.

So there we go. There's my opening remark --

GLENN: So let's start here on the -- let's start on the statues. Because you're exactly right. This is not about -- this is not about oppression and pain, that these statues are calling.

If you want to have a real discussion about the Confederacy and what that was really all about and whether, you know, Bedford -- what's his name? Nathan Bedford Forrest is a guy that we should have a statue on, we can have that discussion. The answer is no. But we should have that discussion on who this -- this guy was and who others were.

BILL: Absolutely.

GLENN: But this is really about taking and tearing down the entire American story and discrediting the entire American story.

BILL: It's even more than that. This is about naked power. Naked power.

So you're seeing now the rise of the far left. You know, you can call it the alt-left. Whatever you want to call it. Antifa. You're seeing them rise up because the media will not challenge anything they do. So we now know that there are college professors, the latest is the guy in Clemson, in South Carolina, who is calling for violence. Violence. Overthrow the country. And if you have to burn down stores or kill cops, go ahead and do it. Why is that man still working? Why is he still working at Clemson University? Why hasn't the press made him a front-page story? This is a college professor.

So the far left, the Antifas understand they can do whatever they want now, with impunity. Because the hate Trump -- media is 100 percent focused on getting President Trump out of office, so they're going to let everything else go.

Now, as far as your point is concerned, the far left hates the country. Yes, we have to start there. They think America is exploitative. It's white supremacy. It's abused minorities, ever since its inception. And it has to be torn down. The whole thing has to go, almost like Czarist Russia and the Soviet Union. Everything has to go. All right?

Well, the first thing that has to go is any remnants of what happened to this country and how it evolved into what it is. And that means history. History has got to be revised, okay?

So we'll revise it in public schools. We're already doing that. And now we'll tear down all the statues and demonize people with whom we disagree. So we're going to demonize Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, you know, historical figures that fought for the Confederacy. That's our starting point.

But then we'll go get Columbus. And after we get Columbus, we'll get Jefferson. Jefferson was a slaveholder. And then Washington.

GLENN: Okay. So help me -- help me separate the Confederacy. Because I personally -- I don't believe that the Confederate flag is anything, but a racist symbol. I'm sorry. I know a lot of people don't agree with that because they have been talked into, that's their heritage.

But if you read the Confederate constitution, it was not state's rights. You had no right to join the Confederacy if you wanted to abolish slavery. You needed to expand slavery. So it wasn't about the defense of our US Constitution. It was about a new constitution and defending slavery. That's historic fact.

Now, with that being said, I am bothered -- I understand because, you know, people have to justify in their own head, you know, were my people years ago bad people, good people, where do I come from? That screws with people. And so they do want to look at it as their heritage. And so they have glossed over a lot of things.

But I have a -- I don't have a problem teaching these guys in proper context. I don't have a problem looking at them as all as individuals. But all of them were traitors to the US Constitution. And all of them in the end were -- whether they wanted to admit it or not -- fighting for the evils of slavery. Agree or disagree?

BILL: I agree on the hierarchy level, the Jefferson Davis level. Okay? But I don't agree on the troops on the ground level.

So let me give you a little -- quickly, a little perspective: About 10 percent of Southerners owned slaves or were trapping slaves, and a lot of them had one or two. Okay?

GLENN: Uh-huh.

BILL: So 90 percent of the South didn't have slaves.

GLENN: Correct.

BILL: In the Civil War, the guys who were fighting on the side of the Confederacy were mainly between the ages of 15 and 22.

GLENN: Uh-huh.

BILL: Many were illiterate. They really didn't know much. And they rallied to a cause that said, "You have to defend Virginia. You have to defend South Carolina. You have to defend Alabama." That's what the rallying cry was.

GLENN: Right.

BILL: So you give them a pass? Yeah.

GLENN: So hang on. I'll agree with you on that. I'll give you that.

BILL: Right.

GLENN: This is the kind of discussion, by the way, America should be having.

I will agree with you on that, that the average person didn't know, didn't buy into it.

BILL: No.

GLENN: It is the difference that we made between talking about Germans and Nazis. We were not against the Germans, we were against the Nazis.

BILL: That's right. And German soldiers were not prosecuted after World War II.

GLENN: Correct.

BILL: So then --

GLENN: Hang on just a second. Those who were directly involved and knew what was going on, they were prosecuted. But if you didn't know what was going on, you were not part of the atrocities. You weren't -- you weren't held responsible for those atrocities.

However, Germans were very clear themselves: We do not appreciate you holding up the Nazi flag and saying, "Well, yeah, but my family -- they didn't fight for the death of all the Jews." That's a no-go zone. We don't glorify --

BILL: Right. And, in fact, it's outlawed -- any Nazi symbols are against the law in Germany.

GLENN: Correct. And I don't agree with that here.

But we don't need to glorify that movement.

BILL: That's a good word, "glorify." I think that's key. So people who are running around saying that, oh, it was the war of Northern aggression. And we were, you know, unfairly treated. That's just crazy. In fact, Abraham Lincoln was really responsible for all of this. Because Lincoln basically said, "Look, war is over. I'm not going to have war crimes trials. I'm not going to hang Lee and all the generals. I'm not even going to do anything to Jefferson Davis. Okay? Except, you know, make him a pariah."

All right. So Lincoln, he was the guy that said, if we want to have a country, all right? We're going to have to have reconciliation. All right? And reconstruction.

Now, he was assassinated by Booth, who was a fanatical Confederate. And then Johnson came in and didn't know what he was doing.

And the whole thing deteriorated for decades into strife. However, right now, what we have to deal with is that the South and Texas and parts of the Midwest are not bad people --

GLENN: Correct.

BILL: Their descendents aren't bad people. They shouldn't be demonized.

GLENN: Correct.

BILL: Lee conducted himself after the war in a very, very honorable way. He was a West Point graduate. People should know about Robert E. Lee. His statue doesn't offend anybody.

However, the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest in New Orleans does. He's the start -- he started the Ku Klux Klan.

GLENN: Correct.

BILL: It should be taken down.

GLENN: We can't get people in the media on the uber, uber, uber right. And I don't even go into the alt-right. I mean just up against that line of the alt-right. They're still holding up William Bedford Forrest. Or was it Nathan? I don't remember.

BILL: Nathan.

GLENN: Nathan Bedford Forrest.

They won't even admit that he was the key that unlocked the door to the Klan. That he was skinning people alive. He's a very different --

BILL: Why are you even talking about fringe groups? See, here's the difference between the alt-right and the Antifas, all right?

The media, all right? Has demonized anybody, not only far right people, but conservative people. I mean, the mantra last week was, if you voted for Trump, you're a racist. Okay?

So the media has already done that.

On the left, you can be Josef Stalin's first cousin --

GLENN: Correct.

BILL: -- and be going for the overthrow of this government and the media is not going to do anything to you.

Now, American people, they don't want extremism in any way, shape, or form. They reject both groups. All right? And both groups' numbers are very, very low.

GLENN: Yep.

BILL: I said on the BillO'Reilly.com podcast, I've been in this business 42 years. Beck's been in about 65. I've been in every city, every country, I've never met a white supremacist, other than covering that kind of stuff. But never. Never.

GLENN: Yes. Yes. Yes.

BILL: I don't know any. I've never seen any. So where are they if they're taking over the world? I mean, it's just insane.

GLENN: All right. Back with Bill O'Reilly. From BillO'Reilly.com. You can hear his take on the news every day on his No Spin News podcast. He's doing some really exciting things. And I do want to talk to him about Killing England which comes out in a couple of weeks. And I've just -- I've read only a few chapters, kind of skipping around. And it's really, really well written.

Bill O'Reilly, Killing England. And his podcast at BillO'Reilly.com.

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