A President's Day conversation with Senator Mike Lee

With President Donald Trump dominating news cycle 24/7, many Americans are happy to forget politics and spend President's Day relaxing. It has become just another three-day weekend to go to the movies or take the family on a quick vacation. Not for Utah Senator Mike Lee. In a recent phone interview, Lee shared his feelings on this particular holiday --- President's Day.

Strong Roots

From his childhood, Lee developed a deep reverence for the Constitution, love for the Republic and respect for the office that continues to this day.

"As a Latter-day Saint (Mormon), I was taught by my parents that these were wise men raised up by God for that very purpose," Lee said. "Those involved in writing the Constitution --- not to say every word was inspired or infallible or their words were flawless, but on the whole --- the government they devised was absolutely brilliant. And it is a document that to the extent that we follow it, it has led to the greatest civilization the world has ever known."

Earliest President's Day Memory

While attending various Lincoln Day dinners in Utah and around the country, Lee's thoughts drifted back to his kindergarten days and the lessons he learned about the Constitution and two of our greatest presidents.

"My teacher made us a cake the Friday before President's Day, and it was decorated with this elaborate frosting depicting the faces of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington," Lee said.

His teacher taught Lee and the other children about the sacrifices these two presidents and their families made for a great cause and the Constitution.

"I always reflect back on that on President's Day," he said.

Respect for the Office

Throughout Donald Trump's presidential run, the Utah senator made no secret of his opposition to Trump's candidacy. But now, because of his deep respect for the office, Lee is looking for common ground with the President.

"There's nothing that will weigh a person down faster, more relentlessly than contempt for another human being," Lee said. "When you respect people who hold that office, even when you disagree, it actually makes life better. It causes you to look for ways to be constructive."

Favorite President

Because of his reputation as one of the most conservative members of the Senate, you might think Lee's favorite president would be someone like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, right? Possibly Ronald Reagan?

Nope.

While he agreed all three of those belong on Mount Rushmore, leave it to Sen. Lee to choose one of the more obscure and widely ignored presidents of the last century to add to the group.

"Calvin Coolidge is not treated fairly by historians --- not even remotely," Lee said. "He's not treated well, perhaps in part because of his political philosophy, but he is the type of president we should always aspire to have."

One of the things Lee said he admired most about Calvin Coolidge was his deep respect for the Constitution.

"He was going to recognize limited power for the federal government at a time when it was rapidly becoming more fashionable to advocate for more government," Lee said.

Coolidge fought back against powerful interests within his own party advocating for bigger government, for higher taxes. He even went to war with large entities like the Chamber of Commerce who wanted higher taxes, while Coolidge wanted to reduce the tax rate. They fought him on this aggressively, but he won and convinced Congress to lower the rate.

"As he did that, even though he was mocked and ridiculed at every turn for taking this position, he was ultimately proven right," Lee said. "As they reduced the tax rate, the economy flourished and they actually brought in more revenue."

Coolidge was not only fiscally conservative but also knew the power in leaving things well enough alone. Sen. Lee referred to Amity Shlaes biography of Coolidge and his belief that government could cause harm with poor legislation.

No-Good Government Solutions

"Once a bad law is put in place it takes on a life of its own, it has its own inertia. It's there and it will continue, absent some other action," Lee said. "So it can be very hard to get rid of a bad law."

Ronald Reagan was famously quoted as saying: "The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

Reagan would be spinning in his grave to know how much faith has been put in those people who are "here to help." Lee discussed the type of president we need to fix that problem.

"In an era over the last hundred years or so, we've seen the rise of the progressive movement in America. We've seen the American people put an almost religious-like faith in the government," Lee said. "Coolidge stands out in open defiance against that both for constitutional reasons and policy reasons that had to do with the need to protect the common man."

Optimism About Trump's Presidency

Now that Trump has been elected, his apparent reverence for the office has Lee optimistic.

"I'm hopelessly optimistic," Lee said with a chuckle. "I always believe that someone who believes in that kind of approach is willing to stick with it even though it's difficult, is willing to remain consistent with it, needs to be president and will be president. Our current president has just taken office and he could decide to be that type of president and I would be thrilled if he did."

Conservatives are often heard pining for the next Ronald Reagan, but according to Sen. Lee, America might be even better off with another Calvin Coolidge. Whether Trump can be that type of president remains to be seen. But we can all take a page from what a young Mike Lee learned back in kindergarten: Respect the office, reinforce the fabric of our great nation and be optimistic.

Elected in 2010 as Utah's 16th Senator, Mike Lee has spent his career defending the basic liberties of Americans and Utahns as a tireless advocate for our founding constitutional principles.

Critical race theory: The education trap

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

The fall semester isn't far away. If you aren't prepared for that, someone else is. Predatory behavior. The most important takeaway from this piece is, whatever is happening on campuses right now is what is going to play out through the rest of society in about 30 years. We're seeing it right now with Critical Race Theory.

It started on the campus. It started in the classroom. And our children are set to be the next victims in the cultural warfare for a nightmare that seems like it will never end.

Colleges are manipulating the system.

It's a little ironic that colleges are overflowing with Marxist professors who preach the Gospel of Karl Marx in their classrooms, because academia in America is the perfect example of capitalist achievement. If anything, colleges are manipulating the system in a way that should make Marxists furious. And they hurt the people that Marxism is supposed to rescue.

Colleges are an enterprise. They are Big Business. It means nothing to them to send thousands of students into debt—not if it means the campus will get a new fountain or another office for the Diversity and Inclusion department.

They'll never admit it, but a big part of their problem is that they have put so much into the myth of progress. They can't even admit that it's a myth. Because it's useful to them.

Roger Scruton once said:

Hence the invocations of "progress", of "growth", of constant "advance" towards the goal which, however, must remain always somewhere in the future.

In reality, they don't give a damn about actual progress.

That's how they have turned academia into instruments of social engineering. They use college to change society.

Their purpose is no longer educational. It's social. They're using the classrooms to cause social change.

This post is part of a series on critical race theory. Read the full series here.

On Monday's radio program, Glenn Beck and Stu Burguiere were joined by Pat Gray to discuss "woke" Olympic athletes.

In this clip, the guys discussed how "bravely" some athletes are for threatening to protest the national anthem, for twerking on stage, and for showing off how woke they are.

Glenn reminded America of actual bravery at the Olympics when Jesse Owens won the gold medal at the Berlin Olympics. "He [Owens] was oppressed," Glenn said.

Watch the clip to hear Glenn tell the full story. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

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Political commentator Bill O'Reilly joined the Glenn Beck radio program on Friday made an important prediction about President Joe Biden's chance of reelection in 2024.

O'Reilly told Glenn that former President Donald Trump was brought down because of COVID. "if COVID had not appeared, O'Reilly stated, "he [Trump] would have won reelection."

O'Reilly went on to predict that like Trump, President Joe Biden would lose reelection because of COVID. People saw a president who could not put out an intelligent fact-based message about COVID and people will remember that," he explained.

O'Reilly later added that "Trump and Biden are one-termers because of COVID."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Critical race theory: Marxism is a religion

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Marx didn't actually tell his followers that the system needed to be destroyed. And it's not what Marx actually believed. Very few Marxists actually understand what Marx laid out.

Marxism isn't a list of demands and instructions. It's Marx's attempt to tell the future. Some of it he got right, most he got wrong. For example, he predicted the rise of automation.

Believe it or not, Marx was not an anti-capitalist. If anything, he revered it.

In a letter to Engels, he complained that too many people misunderstood his message, that his plan is to merge with capitalism. To make it new. He wanted to reify his brand of socialism, reify is a Marxist term, actually. It basically means to make an abstract idea concrete.

Marx didn't hate capitalism. He actually thought it was necessary. And he knew communism would never happen without the aid of capitalism.

Marx didn't hate capitalism. He actually thought it was necessary.

From there, he takes these ideas to some weird conclusions. Horrible conclusions. The main one being revolution.

What does the first phase of the Marxist revolution look like? How will we know if it has started? How can we tell if it's already begun? Marx's idea of the "dictatorship of the proletariat," where the working class would rise up in revolution and earn their freedom.

But what did Marx mean by freedom? Like so much of Marxism, it involves giving up your individuality, in service to the collective: "Only in community with others does each individual have the means of cultivating his gifts in all directions; only in the community, therefore, is personal freedom possible."

That's from his book The German Ideology, which he co-wrote with Friedrich Engels, the guy who paid all of his bills: "Free competition, which is based on the idea of individual freedom, simply amounts to the relation of capital to itself as another capital."

His idea here is that capital ruins any idea of freedom or individuality. And competition is what he uses as proof. In other words, Marx's definition of freedom has nothing to do with actual freedom, freedom as we know it.

He wrote, in Capital: "It is not individuals who are set free by free competition; it is, rather, capital which is set free."

He's saying that Capital manipulates our individual freedom and forces us to exploit ourselves. For someone who didn't believe in God, he sure had some fanciful ideas about the forces that control the universe.

For someone who didn't believe in God, he sure had some fanciful ideas about the forces that control the universe.

Marxists have always argued that capitalism is a religion. That our debt to capital is no different than our debt to God. Critical Theorist Walter Benjamin wrote an entire book called Capitalism as Religion, and wrote that capitalism is "the first case of a cult that creates guilt, not atonement."

There were many strains of socialism before Marx. There were entire movements, named after socialist and anarchist philosophers. But Marx was the one who figured it out, with the help of a rotating cast of people paying for his sloth, of course.

Marx's influence on socialism was so profound that socialism was practically re-named in honor of Marx. Marx has been deified.

He created a utopian society. Very hypothetical. It requires a working class that is devoted to daily readings of The Communist Manifesto.

This assumes that people who work all day — at a real job, where they can't just sit on the couch all day as Marx did — even have the energy to read dense theory when they get home.

Marx made a religion.

This post is part of a series on critical race theory. Read the full series here.