Observations of an Irishman: American Culture Is Different

A Phony Narrative

In a strict ideological sense, I share a lot of values with both conservatives and libertarians. All of my beliefs stem from the idea that our rights are God-given, and while it's government’s job to protect those rights, people should have as much control over their lives as possible.

There's one issue about which I find myself in full disagreement with a growing number of those on the “right” today. That is their dismissive treatment of young people and college students. It is so frustrating to see the narrative online that "young people suck" and that they are nothing more than precious "snowflakes." It is frustrating because this attitude goes against a founding principle that made America exceptional and different to other nations --- the principle of believing in the individual and that you judge people by the content of their character and not some label you think they belong to.

American culture is about lifting people up and not putting them down.

The second reason it is frustrating is this attitude is the exact opposite of the American culture I love so much. American culture is about lifting people up and not putting them down, inspiring people to be better and to reach for the stars, not condemning them and saying, "you are the problem."

I was honored to be invited to speak with several colleges during this trip and I was excited to learn the truth for myself. While speaking to a group called Young Americans for Liberty on the campuses of both Duke University and the University of North Carolina, I discovered the narrative that dismisses young people was exactly that --- a phony narrative.

I met with some amazing young people aged between 18 and 21 who knew more about free market economics than most people twice their age as they quoted Hayek, Von Mises and Smith to me. While we did not agree on every issue, it was clear to me that these young kids were well educated and well thought out on their positions, and they were humble enough to know that not everyone will agree with their positions.

Now, people will correctly point out that these students are in the vast minority on their campuses, but those kids standing for freedom on campuses need our support and encouragement, not our insults. We also need to encourage those brave young kids to speak out and try to grow their numbers. If we give that support, their numbers will grow and those young minds that survive college will be battle-tested and ready to take on more responsibility in the real world.

Lastly, if we owe younger people anything, it is a sincere apology. They cannot be blamed for the state of the debt, the size of government, advancement of government regulations, a society where innovation and entrepreneurship have lessened and socialism has become more acceptable. Young people today are the product of an environment where politicians on both sides, the media, the culture and Hollywood have advanced a phony narrative of their potential.

We need to help reverse this.

Count Your Blessings

America is such a unique and exceptional country and there is no other country you could compare it to. Sadly, I think a growing number of Americans don’t appreciate how many opportunities they have that others do not. I want to point out some differences in our societies that you may have never spent any time thinking about.

BIGGER Is Better!

When I arrive in America, one of the first things I notice is how big everyone's cars are, and how many people drive SUVs, Jeeps and trucks. It is not uncommon for the “average” American car to have a two-liter engine. In Europe, we have cars that are two-liter engines but they are not owned by many. The average engine size is around 1.6 and engines come as small as one-liter.

This also continues into the size of houses. It is not uncommon for an American home to be in excess of 2,000 square feet. In places like Ireland and the U.K., the average size is less than 1,000 square feet.

Choices Unlimited

In America, there are always multiple brands competing for your dollar. Capitalism grants Americans the opportunity to make choices in all aspects of their daily lives.

If you are reading this now, stop, take a moment out and think of the number of places you could eat at right now. Now think how far you would have to travel to get to your favorite outlet. How does that compare to Ireland, you might ask? Sure, we have places like McDonald's, Burger King, KFC and Subway, but they are few and far between and America has a lot more choices.

Believe it or not, Americans also experience significant competition in the area of religion. Growing up in Ireland, my choices were to be a Catholic or Atheist. Things have gotten better over the years as we now have several Protestant churches, a couple of Baptist churches and one Mormon church in Dublin. When I was stateside, though, I had my pick of those, with the addition of various non-denominational Churches and many other faiths.

Competitive Advantage in Gas Prices

America and its people have one major competitive advantage over a large part of the rest of the world and that is the price of gasoline. The average price of gas in Ireland right now is roughly $6.50 a gallon (€1.39 per liter), but that is cheap because of a favorable exchange rate. Can you imagine the reaction in America if gas was even $5 a gallon? Can you imagine the impact on your economy? Yet this is cheaper than what Irish people and most of Europe pays every day.

On this trip, I drove a lot of miles (in the thousands) and drove cars much bigger than my Irish one and the most expensive trip to the pump I had was $31, and that was because the tank was empty. Several years ago when oil prices when at their highest in Ireland, it used to cost me nearly $100 to fill my car, which made it hard to have a full tank of fuel.

Making a Difference

I always love hearing stories about successful people; especially those where the people involved came from nothing or overcame a big obstacle. They inspire me to be better and give me hope that maybe one day with hard work I will have some of the success they achieved.

According to a recent study, America is the second most charitable nation (beyond Myanmar) in terms of donating time and money. It is always inspiring to hear about “ordinary” people seeing a need in society and stepping up to make a difference through fundraising or awareness.

American culture at its finest.

But the perfect combo, in my opinion, is when you can mix business with charity.

During this amazing trip, I found one of these amazing combos. I was given the opportunity to speak in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and wanted to meet with some dear friends for food beforehand. They introduced me to a restaurant called Mission BBQ. This is a company that serves amazing BBQ food with incredible staff at affordable prices and donates some of their profits to both police and military charities. While I was there, they were raising money for a 9/11 charity by selling branded hats and cups. During the Christmas season, they helped lay wreaths at the graves of those who had paid the ultimate price for freedom.

I am officially a fan. I don’t the next time I will get the opportunity to get stateside, but I know if I am near a Mission BBQ I will be there, and hopefully more than once.

It's just one example of American culture at its finest.

Jonathon Dunne is an Irishman with a lifelong dream of becoming an American citizen. After waiting for over 13 years, Dunne received a job offer from Glenn Beck so he could achieve his dream, but unfortunately, he did not meet the requirements to apply for a visa. Unless laws change or Dunne decides to break the law (he won't), his American dream is dead. Despite this setback, he still loves America and seeks to be a positive influence on society by promoting the idea of America and God-given freedoms. While on a recent vacation, Dunne delivered sixteen presentations (for free) in eight different states across the U.S. During this time, he kept notes and we asked him to share some of his experiences. As you read the column below, imagine the words are being spoken in a thick, Irish accent. If you're having trouble imagining how that sounds, you can hear it for yourself by tuning into Dunne's free weekly podcast, "Freedom's Disciple," on TheBlaze Radio, available on SoundCloud, iTunes, iHeart Radio, Google Play and Stitcher.

On the Basis of Sex. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you probably didn't expect those five words to come out of me this morning. No, that's not my version of a clickbait headline to get you to pay attention — although that probably just happened — but this is the title to the new movie based on the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

RELATED: Here's the Problem With the New Ruth Bader Ginsburg Documentary

Progressives and liberals have been hovering over YouTube like a pack of rabid wolves, anxiously awaiting the first trailer to drop. And — three days — they got their wish. Something in the last few seconds caught my ear. Watch:

Now my first thought after hearing that went something like this: The word "freedom" is literally the fifth frigging word in the first sentence of the First Amendment. It shows up for the second time just two sentences later. How do you screw that up? I always assumed that liberal Hollywood movie makers had never really read the Constitution, but this is just sad.

But my second thought was that maybe they don't consider the Bill of Rights actually part of the Constitution. However, according to the National Constitution Center, the Bill of Rights officially became part of the Constitution — not a separate document — when it was ratified in 1791. This is rather easy to fact check, so there's really no excuse here.

But then I had another thought. Either liberal Hollywood forgot that the Constitution changed in 1791, or they actually prefer the vaguer pre-1791 version of the Constitution where God-given rights can be excluded if the state so pleases. Think about it. The Bill of Rights is the single greatest roadblock to the radical Left's "progress." Do you hate the fact that private gun ownership encourages self reliance and personal freedom? Do you also hate the fact that dissenting views, opinions and speech can't be silenced and crushed? Then the Bill of Rights is a clear and present danger to your agenda. It's enemy number one.

The new Left that is radically moving toward the extreme absolutely abhors the year 1791.

You see, the new Left that is radically moving further toward the extreme absolutely abhors the year 1791. They wish it never happened. The Bill of Rights is a constant reminder that some FREEDOMS can't be given by the government, they're granted by GOD. And that thought — you being aware of that — scares the hell out of them.

Now, it's possible I thought too much into this. It's also possible the screen writer made a simple mistake and thought Ruth Bader Ginsburg was actually born before 1791, figuring it would be a nice tip of the hat to her longevity. I can actually see how you could make that mistake. But it's also possible that this is a sign of the times we live in.

The Bill of Rights is under attack, maybe more now than ever. It's never been more important to let the Constitution of 1791 be our guide, true north and lighthouse.

UPDATE: Here's how the discussion went on radio. Watch the video below.

How did this slip by?

The Left has been foaming at the mouth waiting for this movie to drop and when the trailer finally hit the interwebs, it ended with an embarrassing factual error about the Constitution.

What will happen when the Titan kneels?

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

You can tell that the NFL season is approaching because you can hear the whining from highly-paid athletes as they prepare their kneepads for some kneeling.

In May, the NFL instated a policy that penalizes players who take a knee during the national anthem.

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"A club will be fined by the League if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem," the statement said. "The Commissioner will impose appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem."

Tennessee Titan's defensive end Jurrell Casey has decided that he will continue his whining and kneeling.

"I'm going to take my fine," Casey said in an interview. "It is what it is, I ain't going to let them stop me from doing what I want to do. If they want to have these battles between players and organizations, this is the way it's going to be."

Maybe Casey can find work elsewhere. I hear that Universities love to hire self-righteous ranting lunatics.

He added that "At the end of the day, we got to do a job, but I will continue to use my platform to keep on speaking up."

Yes, he does have a job to do. And that job is playing football. His bosses have made it clear that political activism is not part of the job. Who knows, maybe Casey can find work elsewhere. I hear that Universities love to hire self-righteous ranting lunatics. There's also Starbucks. They need a self-righteous CEO.

All anyone can talk about right now is Russia and collusion, and for good reason. Special Counsel Robert Mueller just indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for cyber attacks and the hacking of cyber-systems in energy, nuclear, water, and manufacturing sectors which you can read about here.

RELATED: There are three tribes when it comes to Trump and Russia: Which tribe do you belong to?

The Trump-Russia scandal, in a word, is maniacal. There are many moving parts that are very hard to solve — or simply don't want to be solved. All of these are "mysteries wrapped in an enigma," asserted Glenn on Wednesday's episode of "The Glenn Beck Radio Program."



From the curious case of Imran Awan to the hacking of DNC servers to "Russian" meddling in elections via social media, all of these deserve scrutiny.

On today's episode, Glenn examined seven scandals that make up the Russia connection:

  1. Russian operatives who used social media to divide Americans during the 2016 election.
  2. The meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
  3. The Fusion GPS Dossier funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
  4. Voter fraud in Illinois.
  5. Hillary Clinton's emails.
  6. Imran Awan. Awan was an IT staffer for Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives who was part of a federal investigation and was arrested on bank fraud charges.
  7. Lastly, the 2016 DNC email leaks.

For the entire explanation, tune into the podcast below:


This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

When it comes to Donald Trump, Glenn Beck argues that there are three tribes that categorize the way people examine him regarding his foreign and domestic policy.

Tribe one is the #Resistance. They are the ones who believe that everything President Trump does is bad. They're also the ones who call for impeachment and who label President Trump a "treasonous traitor" even before a summit with a foreign leader takes place.

RELATED: Russia hacking Hillary's emails is no laughing matter

Those, according to Glenn's analysis, include groups like Think Progress, who published an article suggesting that women's rights would be rolled back if the President's SCOTUS nominee is confirmed by the Senate. This tribe also includes progressive talking heads and far Left publications and politicians like The New York Times and Hillary Clinton.

Tribe two are those who defend the President and his actions at all costs. He can do no wrong. These are the people who deny the President's mistakes. They believe the President is a master chess player and everyone else is a pawn in Trump's game.

Both who operate in tribes one and two maintain a "win at all costs" mentality. They don't care what happens as long as their side wins. Glenn calls this a "cult of personality madness."

Tribe three are those who are "free thinkers." These people question the President with boldness and aim for intellectual honesty when evaluating the President's policies and behavior.

Glenn believes tribe one and tribe two are smaller than tribe three.

So, what do all these tribes have to do with Trump and the Russians? Find out in the clip below.

Where do you fall when it comes to Trump and Russia?

When it comes to Donald Trump, Glenn argues that there are three tribes that categorize the way people examine him regarding his foreign and domestic policy.


This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.