Bernie Sanders and the Second Great Depression

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During the 1930s, the Great Depression made many Americans, especially among the elite class, question the merits of capitalism. Progressives of that era thought the Soviet system might provide some answers. Membership in the American Communist Party grew almost tenfold during the Great Depression (from 6,933 members in 1929 to 66,000 in 1939). While America stopped short of handing the Executive keys to an outright communist, it did elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, the most blatantly socialist president in U.S. history so far.

The rise of the cult of Bernie Sanders indicates something similar is going on today as happened during the Depression of the 1930s. Democratic Socialists of America membership grew almost tenfold over the past decade, with around 5,500 members in 2009 to over 55,000 now. A recent Economist/YouGov poll finds 60% of Democrats under 30 support either Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

Why the socialist surge? One factor is the absolutely dismal U.S. history and civics education throughout our nation. That's not to say the classes or teachers themselves are dismal – there are still many non-Marxist history teachers in public and private education across the U.S. But the cumulative time spent on U.S. history/civics in school is woefully inadequate to create a thriving electorate. Typically, before a student graduates from high school, they may have a couple years of U.S. history – one in middle school, one in high school – and maybe one year of government/civics. Remarkably, 82% of U.S. colleges don't require a single course in U.S. history or government to earn a degree. And then, even when it is taught, especially in college, it's frequently not the truth: like teaching that the U.S. committed acts in Vietnam almost as bad as things Hitler did (Bernie Sanders actually said this once to a group of ninth graders).

In his farewell address in 1989, President Reagan said: "An informed patriotism is what we want. And are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world?... We've got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It's fragile; it needs protection… If we forget what we did, we won't know who we are. I'm warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit."

The embrace of socialism by the Democratic Party is evidence that this "eradication of the American memory" that Reagan talked about has already happened.

The embrace of socialism by the Democratic Party is evidence that this "eradication of the American memory" that Reagan talked about has already happened. If we're not taught to appreciate the genius of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, it is so much easier to drift toward, and fall for, socialism.

Another factor explaining the modern socialist surge is the American university system. We take America's young people, largely starved of any real foundation in our constitution and history, and send them to college, ripe for reprogramming. For decades, our universities have been the training ground for the perpetuation of Marxism and zealous anti-American philosophy. Every day, millions of young, impressionable adults march into the lion's den like the pale prisoners of Ridley Scott's famous 1984 Macintosh ad, to receive their dose of Marxist indoctrination. America already has thousands of re-education camps – we call them colleges. And the twisted brilliance of this system is that we actually pay the Marxists to re-educate us.

Stark reminders of the effects of this indoctrination can be seen in a series of recently released videos of Bernie Sanders campaign field organizers. In these videos, several young, self-described Marxists discuss their dreams of communist revolution in the U.S. In one rant, a South Carolina field organizer talks reverently about how he learned the "truth" about the Soviet system from one of his college professors. The young man speaks glowingly about the former Soviet Union, as if it was some kind of golden era for humanity and something to aspire to now. America's impressionable students are similarly lied to every day about their nation by very convincing professors (coincidentally, many resemble Bernie Sanders).

So, our U.S. history and civics education is woefully inadequate and too-often tainted by the America-is-evil influence of Howard Zinn's absurd propaganda. And our universities are stocked with Zinn-like priests of the progressive-communist religion, daily molding disciples from the malleable minds of their captive audience. These are certainly serious factors helping create the revolutionary fantasies of Bernie's core supporters. But there is an even more dominant factor causing young adults to put their faith in socialism: the Second Great Depression.

The Second Great Depression is not economic. It is a spiritual depression resulting from erosion of the traditional family, lack of purpose, isolation, and the diminishing influence of religion. And the depression is exacerbated by the effects of technology and social media. The easy drug of tech/entertainment can temporarily numb the depression by distraction. Every time one's mind might veer into thinking about existence, the meaning of life, the state of one's own soul, just reach for that smartphone and scroll those pesky thoughts aside. But this distraction drug is a dark placebo, leaving people feeling even emptier. Our culture is surely the most vapidly distracted culture in world history. And it is also surely one of the most depressed.

Something must fill the spiritual void and, historically, socialism often rushes in.

Something must fill the spiritual void and, historically, socialism often rushes in. We saw it happen around the world, throughout the 20th century. A charismatic "prophet" of socialism comes along when people are hurting, touting the solutions to what people think are the biggest threats, and in short order tyranny makes itself at home.

Traditionally, the spiritual anchor for broad swaths of America has been religion. God provided meaning, identity, morality, and hope amidst uncertainty. Now our culture says you can't be sure of any of those things. It says we can't even know if those things exist (much less God). It says you must find your own truth, find your own meaning. Don't follow God – follow your heart. This is now one of the most common missives our culture aims at its youth. Follow your heart is one of the most dangerous lies our culture preaches. The Old Testament book of Jeremiah says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jer. 17:9).

The follow your heart culture yields to feelings above all else. And no political philosophy caters to feelings more than socialism, especially the feeling of feeling sorry for yourself. Socialism provides the glass-half-empty view of America. It delineates clear villains – the rich and corporations! And it promises instant solutions. It will knock those villains down to size by seizing the means of production and the power of taxation. Forget praying to God for anything, just pull the lever for your local socialist in the voting booth and you'll get instant answers to your greatest needs. Got student debt from your years at re-education camp? Poof! Wiped away. Can't make ends meet with that minimum wage job? Poof! Here's double the money. Having apocalyptic nightmares about climate change? Poof! Green New Deal to the rescue. For young, depressed, spiritually famished socialists, Bernie is a Moses-figure, descending the mountain with his concise list of oppressions and solutions, ready to lead them to the Promised Land. They call it "revolution."

Ever wonder why Democratic Socialists, Bernie supporters, and affiliated groups like Antifa are so enraged? In the absence of God, pressure is put on his replacement to bring fulfillment. Socialism, and ushering in a Green New Deal, and achieving their vision of real justice, simply must work or else. Because there is no alternative for them. These young American socialists regularly frame the importance of these things in existential terms. They've put all their faith in the socialist religion and if they can't force it on everyone – to the streets!

The desperation young Americans feel today is real, but it's very different from the desperation felt by Americans their age during the first Great Depression. The current desperation is borne of affluence – gaining the whole world but losing your soul. It's like a version of survivor's guilt. Having your physical needs met in such abundance, that you become restless and miserable without a spiritual compass to steer you into serving humanity. It's truly mind-boggling that so many young Americans could be raised with a roof over their head, clothes on their back, never missing a meal, and a college education to boot, yet develop contempt for the nation that built such an environment for them. "Bernie Bros" doesn't quite capture the reality of this skewed, self-indulgent Democratic Socialist perspective – it's more like Bernie Brats.

Socialism has always thrived in this gap of hopelessness and despair, because it is people looking to government as God.

Socialism has always thrived in this gap of hopelessness and despair, because it is people looking to government as God. Yet, perhaps the easiest trend to spot in world history is that government makes a terrible, disastrous, and often blood-soaked substitute for God.

We are in the Second Great Depression, but it's not physical starvation this time – it's spiritual starvation. And that makes this Depression even more dangerous to America. A young generation of Americans may have to learn the hard way that socialism will never satisfy their hunger, it will only make it worse.

Be sure to watch the latest Glenn TV Special – Bernie's Radicals: The Fires of Revolution – available now on demand, exclusively at BlazeTV.com.


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On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck blasted the Democrats — and anyone else on the left — who have been so eager to open our southern U.S. border for the past several months, but also willing to turn a blind eye to the Cuban people in need of help today.

"While we are welcoming people from any country, all over the world, without any kind of information, and setting them into our country, putting them on American planes paid for by American taxpayers," Glenn began. "And our Coast Guard Cutters are turning these [Cuban] people away. Shame on you! Shame on you!"

Glenn said that he's "sick and tired" of hearing about "brave" leftist activists like Colin Kaepernick, who protest the America flag while wearing Che Guevara and Fidel Castro t-shirts. Meanwhile, the Cuban people are risking their lives by taking to the sea to escape their oppressive regime and come to America.

"Anybody who glorifies Che doesn't know their ass from their elbow. You can't call them a human rights activist. You're protesting the American flag, because you so deeply believe in the right to be free? And yet, you wear a Che T-shirt?" Glenn said.

Glenn went on to argue that, even though the left has "bastardized" the meaning of our country, he still believes America is the best nation on Earth. In fact, he'd give up his citizenship "in a heartbeat" if another country could prove to be better, more noble, and more free. But no other nation exists like ours, he said, which is why it's so imperative we fight for freedom here, in Cuba, and around the world.

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn explain:

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There's a new "reality" spreading, and the mere act of questioning it has become incredibly dangerous, Wall Street Journal investigative journalist Abigail Shrier told Glenn on the most recent episode of "The Glenn Beck Podcast."

Shrier's book, "Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters," exposes the radical gender activism that — like critical race theory — has overtaken our children's schools and culture. But even worse, she warned, it could end your parental rights for good.

Shrier made it clear she is by no means "anti-trans," but simply speaking up against the extremes of this new "reality" has made her enemy No. 1 to many activists. Her book has been bashed so hard by the Left that Target has stopped selling it twice, Amazon once banned ads for it, and the American Booksellers Association even called sending it to others "a serious, violent incident."

In the clip below, Shrier explained why she believes "there may be no hope for the public school system."

"You have teachers behaving like activists across the country who have no interest in actually teaching. They believe their job is to remake your child," she asserted. "We're seeing so much evidence of that, I think it's fair to say that it may be too deeply rooted in the ideology being taught in public school. I'm not sure that the public school system is redeemable at this point."

Watch the video clip below for more or find the full podcast with Abigail Shrier here:

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What is actually in Texas' new GOP-led voting bill? Nearly every Texas House Democrat fled the state to block its passage, calling it racist and oppressive, and President Joe Biden backed them as well.

But Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Friday to set the record straight and call out the lies: All of these claims are "completely false." He also explained his promise to "arrest" the Texas House Democrats when they return to the Lone Star State.

"What is in the bill is completely different than what they're saying, what Kamala Harris is saying, what President Biden is saying. What's in the bill actually increases the number of hours that people have to vote in the state of Texas. In the state of Texas, we have at least 12 days of early voting, and we are adding hours to those days. And on top of that, we are giving people time off from work to be able to vote. Bottom line, we're making it easier to vote in the state of Texas," Gov Abbott explained.

"In comparison, Delaware — the state that President Biden votes in — has exactly zero hours of early voting," he added. "That said, there is one thing that we're doing in the state of Texas, and that is we're making sure we tighten the reins on mail-in ballots that can lead to voter fraud. And it's not me saying that. It's a federal judge, appointed by Barack Obama, in Corpus Christi, Texas, who wrote in a legal opinion that voter fraud occurs, quote, in abundance as it concerns mail-in ballots. We know. Texans know. There is fraud in mail-in ballots in the state of Texas. It must be fixed. That's one thing we're trying to do. That being said, all these claims that we're denying people the right to vote and yada, yada, yada, are completely false."

Abbott went on to discuss the much-debated voter ID laws in Texas and to explain why Democrats insist on calling basic voter ID requirements "racist."

"When Democrats do not have truth on their side, they resort to one single word and that is 'racism' ... Texas implemented voter ID almost a decade ago, and when we went through that fight, what word did they use? Racism," he said. "Guess what? After Texas imposed voter ID requirements in the state of Texas, there have been more people voting and more people of color who went to vote. Voting didn't get harder. It got easier and more abundant in the state of Texas. And so, once again, Democrats have absolutely no legal standing, other than to say, 'racism.'"

Glenn asked Gov. Abbott to explain his pledge to "arrest" the Democratic lawmakers that fled once they return to Texas.

"Let me explain how this works. So, whenever there is a break of quorum, which is what is happening now — meaning there is not a sufficient number of people who are showing up to the Texas House of Representatives for the Texas House to engage in business. Whenever there's a quorum break like that, the House issues what's called a 'call on the House.' And when that happens, the sergeant-at-arms is authorized to work with the Texas Department of Public Safety, to — you can call it arrest, apprehend, whatever you want to call it — any of the members who are not in the Texas House of Representatives and bring them to the Texas House where they will be 'cabined' with no ability to leave the Texas House chamber, without a permission slip from the speaker."

Watch the video clip below for more details:

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Our Fourth Amendment, which protects our right to privacy, has never been in more danger. Journalist Lara Logan joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday to explain how the digital world has given leaders — both in government and corporations — the ability to not only spy on Americans, but to track their patterns of behavior, too.

Lara explained why, even if you think you have nothing to hide, you should be very concerned. Because these digital "human terrain maps" could be used to manipulate you in any way those in control see fit.

"The purpose of your privacy is much more than just being out of public view," Lara said. "There is really nothing that's more central to our democracy than the right to privacy. I mean, all of the rights in the Constitution have a real purpose, and a real value, and if we allow people to take them away from us, we voluntarily are surrendering that. We are lambs to the slaughter.

"They're not just looking at what you have to hide. They're looking to manipulate you into doing what they want. These are control systems. That's what they are," Lara explained. "What they do with the information is they create a 'human terrain map' for every single person on the planet, anyone within a digital signature or within their reach. They are creating a human terrain map that can be used against you, by anyone."

Watch the video clip below for more details:


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.