Ryan: Donald Trump’s genuine hyperbole

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two.

Trump rallies officially begin with a prayer, spoken by some local clergyman. That day, the pastor seemed giddy and nervous as he strolled down the long long red-carpeted walkway. By the time he introduced himself, he had found composure.

As the prayer was about to begin, a man on the south side of the arena shouted, "Don't forget about Jesus."

He said it with conviction, as if didn't realize the entire arena was about to join in prayer, an act that signifies the intentional remembrance of Jesus. Either way, I assume that made the Good Lord happy.

NOTE: All pictures are from the Shreveport-Bossier City rally that took place the following week. Jim Dale, the photographer, will run an account of his experience.Photo by Jim DalePhoto by Jim Dale

Then, the prayer, a dialogue with God and Jesus, and the Holy Spirit also. So I bowed my head. And in the breathy pauses between words, in each brief, perfect, angelic silence, I could hear journalists clacking at their MacBooks.

Good thing they didn't accept me as one of their own, or else I would sever all ties with those blasphemers.

*

The arena was cozy and drab like a decaying small-town gymnasium. It had that sweat odor buried in the walls. Wrestling tournaments. Basketball. Today would not be its first circus. Conventions. Trade shows. Conferences. The stench of past-due.The kind of place that had clearly held tons of indoor rodeos, so add the smell of dirt and livestock.

And third-rate sports teams nobody actually cares for, also known as the Bayou Beast indoor football team, since you really have to know. And probably some no-name musicians. And if I had to guess, the odd wedding or high school prom or reunion or mayor's funeral.

NOTE: All pictures are from the Shreveport-Bossier City rally that took place the following week. Jim Dale, the photographer, will run an account of his experience.Photo by Jim DalePhoto by Jim Dale

Capacity of 7,600, and every seat would soon be taken.

Before the rally, I spoke with a dramatically pregnant Kayleigh McEnany, National Press Secretary for Trump's 2020 campaign.

She had a D.C. sharpness. Well used to appearances on network TV.

Photo by Jim Dale

Consensus was, Louisiana was in the bag. All of it was. All in the bag.

Much noise had been made those past weeks and months about the Governor, John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, about how he had to go. Louisianans felt conflicted. Same as they have since the end of the Civil War. Bel Edwards supported Hillary in 2016, but he is the son of a Sheriff, and, if you judged by his policies, he'd be a Republican in most other states.

Trump had come to Monroe endorse Bel Edward's opponent, Eddie Rispone, 70 years old, rich as hell, a construction contractor from Baton Rouge, and a Republican, first and foremost. Who, when he's not campaigning, shovels dirt and lays cement and, in hotter months, he'll do some tiling or even fire a nailgun into a roof. That week, he'd been digging up the concrete below a Murphy USA station.

As one Trump supporter told me, off-the-record, because they may or may not have been a member of law enforcement, "Eddie is loyal to our President and our borders and beholden to God as we know and believe him." Then the gentleman said something I cannot put in writing and remain baffled by.

An arena full of Trump rally-goers does the "Y.M.C.A."Photo by Jim Dale

A month earlier, in October, John Bel Edwards and Eddie Rispone faced off, and nobody's too sure what happened, only that Louisiana sure does live up to its reputation as a never-ending source of corruption. Now it's November, round two of the gubernatorial runoff, and the President of the United States is flying in to straighten the kinks.

It was almost enough to make Louisianans forget about the devilishly high murder rate, number one in the nation. For 30 years in a row. Thirty years with the highest murder rate in the country! No challengers, every single year since 1989, when that poor space shuttle exploded.

Second highest incarceration rate in the nation. Barely. With 719 per 100,000 residents locked up. Unemployment is 3rd highest. Earlier, outside, people had nodded to a little-known Lynyrd Skynyrd song titled "Heaven or Hell."

Will it be Hell or Heaven on earth the choice is up to you
Look to the sky, the answer is clear
Are you gonna live life for all it's worth
Choose Hell, or Heaven on earth
If you live it right, there's nothing to fear'
Cause you'll find Heaven right here

*

The Duck Dynasty crew shuffled to the podium like a biker gang on vacation. Think Hawaiian shirts designed by gun aficionados and ripped jeans from American Eagle circa 2003. Hometown heroes, no doubt. There to endorse Eddie Rispone. And theirs is a hell of an endorsement in the Pelican State.

I'm not being funny, but it was hard to differentiate the Duck Dynasty lads from much of the crowd, a few of whom had hints of camouflage paint on their faces as Cee-Lo's "Crazy" blared from the massive speakers.

Jade and I rambled about "the idea of extinctions." Told her that I got real big into mass extinctions a few months ago, around the time my wife and I learned we'd be parents. As I yapped about the timeline of snails, "Live and Let Die" came on.

Photo by Jim Dale

Yes, it was an animal moment. Full of animal sweetness. And for that instant, blessed by the ghost of Axl Rose, wailing and snakelike, I believed that none of us would ever go extinct.

In anticipation of Trump's arrival, men and women and children in American-flag regalia tossed a MAGA hat around like it was a beach ball. Like in Brazil when the shoeless kids play soccer with balled-up trash bags.

Later, Trump would describe the crowd as "proud, hard-working, freedom-loving American patriots." He would nod, say, "that's what you are."

Photo by Jim Dale

Thirty minutes before Trump took stage, people rose to their feet, gasping every time a song ended, and gyrated to Michael Jackson's "Beat It." An anxiety intensified with each song that ended and Trump still wasn't there.

Is private ritual possible? For Freud, private ritual meant neurosis. A lot of the time, people don't mean what they're saying.

*

On the other side of the media pen barricade, a larger man in a heavy-fonted t-shirt that read "GOD. GUNS. AND TRUMP," with "TRUMP" in the form of an American flag. In another part of the arena, a woman had the same shirt, tucked into spangled black jeans held up by rhinestone clippies.

A 20-something with a pouched lip strutted the floor, holding a SURGE bottle full of Skoal spit. He was hunting, a predator with no threats.

Section 226 was especially rowdy. They needed Trump. It meant everything. They writhed under a sign for "Johnny's Pizza House."

Trump 2020 Campaign Manager tosses MAGA hats to rally-goers in Shreveport, LA.Photo by Jim Dale

All the other media had planted themselves on the risers, safely inside the media pen. CNN and CSPAN and FoxNews and MSNBC and all the other important networks, cameras trained on Trump's podium. And all the camera operators, expressionless. Some of them stared ahead like veterans occasionally do. Others rolled their eyes.

*

"Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the 45th President of the United States. President Donald. J. Trump," then his entrance track, that Lee Greenwood song.

President Trump emerged like an apparition. The entire crowd thrust their phone in the air, all the red blinks of recording. Chants of "four more years."

Every person in the place had their eyes trained on him.

Look, it doesn't matter what your politics are, this was the President of the United States of America. Every citizen of any country ought to see their leader in person. Without any interference. Without the pollution of someone else's account.

Photo by Jim Dale

I cannot tell you how captivating it is to feel tens of thousands of people, including yourself, including the media who pretend that Trump is a monster, involuntarily surge forward all at once, darting their heads around like Santa Claus is real again, and there he is, there he is, just down there, there he is, it is actually him.

He gripped the podium, mouthed "Thank you," tilted his head, then told them, "Wow do you have spirit."

*

It was beastly hot in that arena. Beastly hot, almost tropical. At one point, Trump joked that it had to be 100 degrees, so yes, a little hot. He joked that it was so hot, he'd lost about nine pounds.

But hot as it was, Trump still beamed. "Is there any place you'd rather be than a Trump rally, on a beautiful, wonderful evening in Louisiana?"

You know darn well how they responded!

Photo by Jim Dale

Then he asked would they rather be here at this Trump rally, or at the upcoming football game between their own Louisiana State University and their loathsome rival, Alabama Crimson Tide?

It was clearly a jocular statement, a softball hypothetical that most people would realize was not an actual question. Yet, as you can hear on the footage of the rally, much of the audience was truly baffled it, almost troubled. Perplexed, stricken, eyes bulging and hands limp and voices yodeling in uncertainty.

They did not know how to answer.

Three days later, Trump would attend the game, to a standing ovation.

Donald Trump given huge ovation at Alabama. Both teams entered the game undefeated, with 8 wins and somebody had to lose. And, would you believe it, LSU won. 46 to 41.

Meaning, the solution to the Trump-LSU dilemma was much like so many other Trump dilemmas. Somehow, Trump wound up the winner either way. Depending on the metrics.

Because Eddie Rispone, the man Trump traveled to Louisiana three times to endorse, would lose.

*

From the back, section 203, a man screamed "We love you Trump." Followed by a group of women on the second tier shouting "We love you Trump."

He used the "the status quo isn't working" approach, and it landed every time.

Photo by Jim Dale

Without prompt, a lady on the first level yelled "Democrats suck!"

Step into his diorama. His world made of gold and tinted glass, where the embattled billionaire fights for a civilization that has fallen. Listen carefully to his dialectic game, gaze at his sideshow of power, his postmodern kingdom. A televised empire, where high culture and low culture fornicate like germs.

Look at the horizon of skyscraping condos, five times the size of the Statue of Liberty. His face superimposed onto Mt. Rushmore, which turns out to be a Las Vegas replica. Who cares! A trophy is a trophy!

All flash and capital. And now, the White House. The United States of America. The people of Earth. With Trump at the helm, gripping the steering wheel the way rappers in videos do, still calling people losers like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

*

In his book "Art of the Deal, he writes,

[W]hen people treat me badly or unfairly or try to take advantage of me, my general attitude, all my life, has been to fight back very hard. The risk is you'll make a bad situation worse, and I certainly don't recommend this approach to everyone. But my experience is that if you're fighting for something you believe in — even if it means alienating some people along the way — things usually work out for the best in the end.He describes the importance of thinking big.

Most people think small because they are afraid of success, afraid of making decisions, afraid of winning.Trump speaks the superlative language of competition. Of winning and losers. Of records and embarrassments and pitiful upsets. Of heroes and — what's an ugly word for douchebags? Of a nation in peril, desperate for a savior, but he is here so don't worry.

Photo by Jim Dale

It's a matter of playing the game, which Trump describes in "Art of the Deal" as "the real excitement." The game is what he loves. Money, he writes, is only useful because it's a way to keep score.

This might explain how and why he has repeatedly commodified objects, events, and people that we hadn't realized could be price-tagged, let alone sold for a whopping profit.

He shields himself with provocation, flamethrower style. He uses tactical hyperbole to win followers and agitate enemies. And he has weaponized the media in his favor.

Photo by Jim Dale

Combine all of these elements and you have the shoddy blueprint of Trump's strategy for the game.

A man who uses combat and grandiosity and the intoxication of fantasy to succeed. So of course it was only a matter of time before he tackled politics. And, in accordance with his doctrine of going as big as possible, it had to be President.

Which is part of his non-performer performance style, like an unforced cool that took years to choreograph.

Yours truly in the media penPhoto by Jim Dale

I did not fully understand this until I saw Trump in person, especially at his rallies. He plays what's most likely a version of himself, same as anyone famous or powerful. The suave, brash New York who-knows-how-rich-llionaire who has a penchant for the spotlight and a colorful history which is tragic in parts, and often ridiculous, and unbelievably ostentatious, and oh so full of beautiful women, literally the most beautiful women in the universe.

And now he'd made it into the White House, the first President — ever — to be elected to the office without a single day of formal experience. His debut to politics was the Presidency, the most unattainable job in politics. A position that men and women have spent lifetimes vying for, often unable to make it past the local or state levels.

If that's not proof that politics is a game, I don't know what is.

*

Trump's influence on large groups is sociological in complexity. He literally fills arenas. A human tsunami, a comet that could wipe us out, but it could also deepen the oceans and that's a good thing, right?

He says "Yes."

He says a lot of things.

In Art of the Deal, he wrote

The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people's fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That's why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It's an innocent form of exaggeration, and a very effective form of promotion.

I can think of no single quote that better explains Donald Trump. It's the best quote, maybe of all time. Maybe Ever.

This is why his followers hear themselves in much of what he says. Maybe because that's what he believes, or maybe because he uses an innocent form of exaggeration to say what they want to hear, or just the way they want to hear it.

Same goes for the people who hate him. Do they hate him for who he is, or because they see hating him as their only option? But, in their hatred, are they actually promoting him?

Is this love or hatred a measurement of Donald Trump, as President or person? Or a reflection of ourselves in relation to Trump's ability to harness power, insight into what we admire or despise about ourselves? And does anyone care about this distinction anymore?

*

At rallies, one of Trump's routines is to pull a sheet of paper from his inside blazer pocket, then wiggle it in the air like a mystical artifact. Then confide in his audience. This was important stuff he had, did they want to hear about it?

Extend that offer to anyone, all mysterious like that, and their ears will perk. But entice a group of people who love the man with great pride and have waited all day to see him? He wins them over every time.

Photo by Jim Dale

And when Trump waved the paper around, I automatically needed to follow it, like a cat trained on the red dot of a laser. This was the work of a magician. Didn't matter what was on the paper.

But if you looked close enough, Trump resembled the "yellow cake" routine on Chappelle's Show.

To get to the White House, he needed to play the game with more intensity than ever before. This meant building an army.

*

Humans can't live in a wasteland for long, even if it's only the perception of a wasteland. And the cleverest person will spark the revolution and off we go in the opposite direction.

In Monroe, Trump thrived with the drama of this maneuver.

"And here's the story," he told the penitent crowd, "we're winning."


That. I think I understood. It wasn't just about winning, not for the people in the audience. It was about not losing any more. They latched onto Trump's each word and superimposed their own values. Facilitated their willingness to help him however they could.

When Trump talked about guns and abortion and fake news and Democrats and AntiFa and climate change and socialism, it stirred the crowd. A nifty provocation. But maybe what they really heard were incantations of meaning. Words of affirmation. Phrases that validated them and their beliefs and their hopes and futures, acknowledged their existence in a place that most of the country has forgotten, or never even cared about to begin with.

Maybe that's why many of Trump's followers don't mind his contradictions. His tactical hyperbole.

In Political Tribes, Amy Chua writes

What elites don't see is that Trump, in terms of taste, sensibilities, and values, actually is similar to the white working class. The tribal instinct is all about identification, and Trump's base identifies with him at a gut level: with the way he talks (locker-room), dresses, shoots from the hip, gets caught making mistakes, and gets attacked over and over by the liberal media for not being politically correct, for not being feminist enough, for not reading enough books. His enemies, they feel, are their enemies.

There in Monroe, I could consider theories about them all day and it wouldn't change the world that they called their own. Like how, in real life, in person, kids see a hundred different Santa Clauses — outside WalMarts, at malls, on TV, in books — yet they still believe in Santa. It doesn't occur to them that there can only be one. And, clearly, there are a lot of them, so maybe it's mom who buys the bike and dad who eats the cookies.

Photo by Jim Dale

On the other side of the media pen barricade, a man in tattered clothes was fanning a young girl in tattered clothes as she hacked a loose cough and snugged into his neck. She looked feverish and anxious and miserable, deathly ill. Noosed confetti glued to her sweat-damp face. Night over. Last laugh had. You're the punchline, kid.

Or, worse, the discarded set-up.

Somebody wins, but not you.

Air Force One, just up the street. Ten times the size of your house and it's not even where the MAGA Guy lives. Existence itself conspired against you and now, here in northern Louisiana, the audience is clapping and all you want is home.

Why had this father brought his sick child to a Trump rally? Why take her anywhere that wasn't a doctor's office, maybe even a hospital? We all know that the only place to take a sick child is somewhere with a cure. Was that how the father saw this? Not as an elaborate game, but a cure? Was that how the whole arena felt?

Everyone deserves the terror and joy of knowing that you matter.

The final two installments of the Trump Louisiana Saga will come out Wednesday and Thursday. Then it's on to Iowa. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com NOTE: All pictures are from the Shreveport-Bossier City rally that took place the following week. Jim Dale, the photographer, will run an account of his experience.

4 signs that PROVE Americans are hitting rock bottom

Spencer Platt / Staff | Getty Images

As we approach the presidential election in November, many Americans are facing dire economic straits.

Glenn has shown time and time again that Bidenomics is a sham, and more Americans than ever are suffering as a result. Still, Biden and his cronies continue to insist that the economy is booming despite the mounting evidence to the contrary. But who is Biden fooling? Since the beginning of the year, gas has gone up an average of 40 cents a gallon nationwide, with some states seeing as much as a 60-cent per gallon increase. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Foreclosures and bankruptcies are on the rise, evictions are surging, and America is experiencing a record amount of homelessness. We can't survive another Biden term.

Americans across the country are hitting rock bottom, and here are four stats that PROVE it:

Evictions

John Moore / Staff | Getty Images

Across the country, people are being evicted from their homes and apartments. Between 2021 and 2023, evictions increased by 78.6 percent. With inflation driving up prices and employers struggling to raise wages to compensate, rent is taking up an increasingly larger percentage of people's paychecks. Many Americans are having to choose between buying groceries and paying rent.

Foreclosures

Justin Sullivan / Staff | Getty Images

Renters aren't the only ones struggling to make their monthly payments, foreclosures are on the rise. This February saw a 5 percent increase in foreclosures from last year and a 10 percent increase from January. More and more Americans are losing their homes and businesses.

Bankruptcies

Chris Hondros / Staff | Getty Images

High interest rates and inflation have driven bankruptcies through the roof. Total filings have risen 13 percent and business bankruptcies rose 30 percent in 2023. It's getting harder and harder for businesses to stay afloat, and with California's new law requiring most restaurants to pay all employees a minimum of $20 an hour, you can expect that number to keep climbing.

Homelessness

FREDERIC J. BROWN / Contributor | Getty Images

The result of all of these issues is that it is getting harder and harder for Americans to afford the basic necessities. January of 2023 saw a record-breaking 650,000+ homeless Americans, a 12 percent jump from the previous year. More Americans have hit rock bottom than ever before.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on TheBlaze.com.

I want to talk to Generation Z. I’ve seen some clips of you complaining about your 9-to-5 jobs on social media and how life is really hard right now. To be honest, my first reaction was, “Suck it up, buttercup. This is what life is really like.” In a sense, that’s true. But in another sense, I think you’re getting a bad rap. You are facing unique problems that my generation didn’t face — problems that my generation had a hand in creating.

But I also think you don’t understand the cause of these problems.

I would hate to be in your position. When I was your age, we didn’t have to deal with any of the challenges you’re facing. In one sense, your life has been tough. At the same time, compared to previous generations, your life has been very easy. Everybody was rushing to save you, to protect you. You were coddled, which makes your life harder now.

You’ve grown up with social media and the definition of narcissism: somebody gazing into the pond looking at themselves all the time. I don't mean this as an offense, and I am not just including you in this. We’ve become a culture of narcissists. It’s all about “me, me, me, me.”

If you end up thinking more collectivism is the solution, then you haven't done enough homework.

You’ve been in territory that my generation never had to enter. You’ve already navigated a landscape that we didn't have to, where nothing is true, and you can’t trust anybody. I wouldn’t trust anybody either if I were in your position. But I do know a few things to be true and a couple of things I can trust.

First, life is worth it. Life is tough, but it is worth it in the end.

Second, life is not about stuff. As a guy who is kind of a pack rat, I can tell you that none of that stuff will create happiness in your life. In fact, I think your generation has a better handle on happiness in some ways than anybody in mine. You’re starting to realize that pharmaceuticals may not be as good as natural solutions in a lot of situations, that the huge house may not be as satisfying as just having a smaller house, that living your life instead of having to work all the time may be a better way to live.

I want to talk to those of you who feel like it’s not worth even trying to go to work because you’ll never get anywhere. You work 40 hours a week or more, and you still can't afford a place to live. You’re still living with your parents. You can’t afford food. I think you're right to feel frustrated because the problems you're facing weren't always the case.

I blame a lot of the current problems we’re facing today on the hippies. That may be wrong, but I hate hippies. Hippies have been screwing things up since the 1960s. While on their socialist march, they have become everything that they said they were against: lying, greedy politicians. They just won’t let go of their power even though their time has passed.

These are the people who have come up with policies that make you feel like this is the way the world is. I hope I can convince you that it doesn’t have to be this way. This isn’t the way our country has always been. We don’t have to keep these people in power. Actions have consequences. Votes have consequences. These people allow crime, looters, squatters, riots, and somebody needs to pay for that.

You say you can’t afford health care. I understand. Since Obamacare passed, the cost of individual health insurance has doubled. You need to remember that politicians promised that if we passed this massive health care overhaul, it would mean a savings of $2,500 per family. You're in school. You must know that $2,500 savings is not the same as an 80% increase. Moreover, the cost of hospital stays is up 210%. I understand when you say you can't afford health care at these costs. Who could afford health care? Who could afford insurance?

The generation coming of age is right to feel frustrated.This mess — with high costs and a massive debt burden — was not of their making.

Iwant to talk to Generation Z. I’ve seen some clips of you complaining about your 9-to-5 jobs on social media and how life is really hard right now. To be honest, my first reaction was, “Suck it up, buttercup. This is what life is really like.” In a sense, that’s true. But in another sense, I think you’re getting a bad rap. You are facing unique problems that my generation didn’t face — problems that my generation had a hand in creating.

But I also think you don’t understand the cause of these problems.

If you end up thinking more collectivism is the solution, then you haven't done enough homework.

I would hate to be in your position. When I was your age, we didn’t have to deal with any of the challenges you’re facing. In one sense, your life has been tough. At the same time, compared to previous generations, your life has been very easy. Everybody was rushing to save you, to protect you. You were coddled, which makes your life harder now.

You’ve grown up with social media and the definition of narcissism: somebody gazing into the pond looking at themselves all the time. I don't mean this as an offense, and I am not just including you in this. We’ve become a culture of narcissists. It’s all about “me, me, me, me.”

You’ve been in territory that my generation never had to enter. You’ve already navigated a landscape that we didn't have to, where nothing is true, and you can’t trust anybody. I wouldn’t trust anybody either if I were in your position. But I do know a few things to be true and a couple of things I can trust.

First, life is worth it. ≈

Second, life is not about stuff. As a guy who is kind of a pack rat, I can tell you that none of that stuff will create happiness in your life. In fact, I think your generation has a better handle on happiness in some ways than anybody in mine. You’re starting to realize that pharmaceuticals may not be as good as natural solutions in a lot of situations, that the huge house may not be as satisfying as just having a smaller house, that living your life instead of having to work all the time may be a better way to live.

I want to talk to those of you who feel like it’s not worth even trying to go to work because you’ll never get anywhere. You work 40 hours a week or more, and you still can't afford a place to live. You’re still living with your parents. You can’t afford food. I think you're right to feel frustrated because the problems you're facing weren't always the case.

I blame a lot of the current problems we’re facing today on the hippies. That may be wrong, but I hate hippies. Hippies have been screwing things up since the 1960s. While on their socialist march, they have become everything that they said they were against: lying, greedy politicians. ≈

These are the people who have come up with policies that make you feel like this is the way the world is. I hope I can convince you that it doesn’t have to be this way. This isn’t the way our country has always been. We don’t have to keep these people in power. Actions have consequences. Votes have consequences. These people allow crime, looters, squatters, riots, and somebody needs to pay for that.

If you end up thinking more collectivism is the solution, then you haven't done enough homework.

You say you can’t afford health care. I understand. Since Obamacare passed, the cost of individual health insurance has doubled. You need to remember that politicians promised that if we passed this massive health care overhaul, it would mean a savings of $2,500 per family. You're in school. You must know that $2,500 savings is not the same as an 80% increase. Moreover, the cost of hospital stays is up 210%. I understand when you say you can't afford health care at these costs. Who could afford health care? Who could afford insurance?

You are also starting your life with thousands of dollars in debt. Your parents didn't have that burden. People used to be able to work their way through college and graduate debt-free. Others were able to get jobs that quickly paid off their debt. You can't do that now. Once the government said that they were going to guarantee all student loans, university costs skyrocketed, and it hasn't stopped. You can thank the progressive President Lyndon B. Johnson for that.

The people who created this mess cannot fix it. But it can be fixed.

You are also starting your life with thousands of dollars in debt. Your parents didn't have that burden. People used to be able to work their way through college and graduate debt-free. Others were able to get jobs that quickly paid off their debt. You can't do that now. Once the government said that they were going to guarantee all student loans, university costs skyrocketed, and it hasn't stopped. You can thank the progressive President Lyndon B. Johnson for that.

Once the government said that they were going to guarantee everybody’s college tuition, universities found out that they could just charge more because the government would give you virtually any amount in your loan. And they have been charging more and more ever since. In 1965, the average college tuition was $450 a year. Adjusted to inflation, that's $4,000 a year. You're currently paying an average of $26,000 a year as opposed to the inflation-adjusted $4,000.

What happened? The answer is always the same: government regulations. Gas is up. Why? Government regulations. Can't afford a house? Well, that's due to several things. Many of them revolve around the fed and our national debt. But the simple answer is the same: government regulations.

Moreover, the U.S. government has run a staggering national debt. We have been concerned about it forever, but the people in power haven't been listening to your mom and dad and people like me. A lot of other people just thought, "Oh, well. We could get away with it. We're the United States of America, after all. Somehow or another, it will all work out."

People like me have been saying, "No. We can't pass this on to our children." You're now seeing what we have passed on. When you say that the adults are responsible for creating this world of problems, in some ways, you’re right. We were lied to, and as many people do, they want to believe the lie because it makes them feel better.

There are big lies being pushed in your generation as well. You're being told that a man is a woman and a woman is a man. At the same time, you’re being told that gender doesn't even exist at all. It makes us feel better to go along with the lie because we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

My generation believed the same kind of lie about our national debt. We were told that we could spend all this money on subsidized programs because it would provide you, our children, with a better life. Some people warned, "Wait, how will they pay this off? This will cost them." We didn't want to believe them. The lie sounded better, and it was easier to believe that than the truth. We never saw the consequences, and even if we did, they were always way out in the future. Nobody wanted to listen to the doomsday people saying, "No. It's going to come faster than you think."

And that time is right now. Our government now is printing $1 trillion every 100 days. That's never been done before. We have more debt than any country has ever had in the history of the world. But we’re not alone. Every country is doing this. They’re going into debt like we’ve never seen before, and we’re all about to pay for that. It’s going to make your life even harder.

There are Democrats and Republicans who still believe in spending all kinds of money and getting us involved in every global conflict. Then there are constitutional conservatives who believe that we should conserve the things that have worked and throw out the things that don’t and follow our Constitution and Bill of Rights. You haven't really learned about those most likely. But you should. All of our problems are caused by the government and the people who feel they can bypass the Constitution. That's what this election is really all about.

You might say, “I don’t really care. I don’t like either of the political parties.” I know a lot of people who don’t like either of them, but one is going to try to cut the size of this government and one is going to spend us into collapse.

The people who created this mess cannot fix it. But it can be fixed. You need to learn enough about the truth, about why this has happened to us, and about how our Constitution lasted longer than any other Constitution in the world. The average is 17 years. This thing has lasted hundreds of years. Why? How? And why is it falling apart today? That's what you should dedicate some of your time to figuring out today.

You can complain about the way things are. I complain. Everybody complains. But don't wallow there. Learn what caused this. And if you end up thinking more collectivism is the solution, then you haven't done enough homework. They always end the same way, and that's exactly where we're headed right now. We can either repeat the dreadful past of nations that have tried it before us, or we can choose freedom, liberty, and prosperity. The ball is in our court.

Glenn recently had Representative Thomas Massie on his show to sound the alarm about an important yet often overlooked issue affecting what we eat. Whether you're trying to be prepared to weather a catastrophe or just trying to keep food on the table without resorting to eating bugs, it's more important now than ever to source local food. Unnoticed by most, our right to eat home-grown or locally-sourced foods is under attack. The government doesn't just want a say in what you eat; they want you vulnerable and dependent on their system, and they are massively overstepping their bounds to ensure your compliance with their goals.

How did the attack on your food begin?

Government overreach on food can be traced back to 1938 under the autocratic eye of FDR with the Supreme Court case "Wickard v. Filburn." The case was pretty straightforward, but the results were devastating. The case began with the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, which sought to control national food prices by placing limitations on how many crops farmers could grow in a season.

Filburn was one such farmer, who was allotted 11.1 acres of wheat to plant and harvest annually. Filburn planted and harvested 23 acres, arguing that the extra acres were not headed for the market, but were used for personal consumption. After being penalized for over-harvesting, he fought his case all the way up to the Supreme Court, arguing that Congress did not have the authority to regulate crops that never left his farm.

Unfortunately for Filburn (and the rest of us), the Supreme Court didn't agree. They ruled that the mere existence of that extra wheat—whether it left Filburn's farm or not—had an effect on the national value of wheat. Congress assumed the power to regulate just about anything that could be roped under the umbrella of "interstate commerce."

Under the precedent set by Wickard v. Filburn, Congress might bar you from growing tomatoes in your backyard, because it could affect national tomato prices. This was a major blow to our right to feed ourselves, and that right has been eroding ever since.

How is our right to feed ourselves under attack today?

Last June, the Virginia Department of Agriculture shut down Golden Valley Farms, a small Amish farm owned and operated by Samuel B. Fisher in Farmville, Virginia. Golden Valley Farms had started out selling dairy products, primarily, and processed some meat for personal consumption. However, by popular demand, Fisher began selling meat.

Fisher initially hauled his animals to a USDA processing plant, paid to have them processed, and then hauled them back. This process was time-consuming and costly, and Fisher's customers didn't want the meat processed by the plant. A survey done on Golden Valley Farms customers found that an overwhelming 92 percent preferred meat processed by Fisher. So naturally, Fisher began to process more and more meat for his customers.

Moreover, COVID shut down the USDA plant, which made it impossible for Fisher to process the animals by the USDA anyway, though the demand for meat was greater than ever. Fisher made the call to process 100 percent of his animals himself and didn't look back. That was until June when the Virginia Department of Agriculture caught wind of Fisher's operation and shut it down. The VDA seized all of Fisher's products, and he wasn't allowed to process, sell, or even eat his meat. Then they loaded it up in a truck and left it at the dump to rot.

Nobody ever got sick from eating meat from Golden Valley Farms. This was NOT about "health and safety." This was about control. The fact is that informed adults were not allowed to make a simple transaction without the government sticking its slimy fingers into Fisher's business and claiming it was somehow for "our benefit." But it's not for "our benefit." It's so they can regulate and control what we buy and what we eat, and they cannot stand it when we operate outside of their influence.

What comes next?

Where does this end? With so much of our ability to feed ourselves already eroded, is it too late? Is it going to get worse? Before long, will it be illegal to eat eggs from your chickens or pick vegetables from your garden without getting government clearance first? Fortunately, a solution is already in the works.

Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie recently told Glenn about a new constitutional amendment designed to limit government overreach regarding food production. The proposed amendment reads as follows:

And Congress shall make no law, regulating the production and distribution of food products, which do not move across state lines.

The amendment is still on the drawing board and has not been formally introduced to Congress yet. But this is where you come in. Call your representative and tell them to support Massie's amendment and take a stand for your right to provide sustenance for you and your family.

If we can build skyscrapers, we can rebuild bridges

Kevin Dietsch / Staff | Getty Images

Editor's note: This article was originally published on TheBlaze.com.

I am sick and tired of hearing about our limitations. The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge this week is an amazing hero story of the cops and first responders who saved an untold number of lives by doing exactly the right thing quickly. But I’m really tired of hearing about how long it’s going to take us to recover from this catastrophe and how bad it’s going to be.


The immediate impact for Americans regarding this bridge collapse seems dire. If you're waiting for a new car to come in from overseas, prepare to wait longer. The Port of Baltimore stands as the nation’s leading import-export site for cars and trucks. It’s also the leading nexus for sugar and gypsum, which is used in fertilizer, drywall, and plaster. A record 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo was transported through Baltimore just last year.

To expect more from our leaders is rational. But to expect the most from ourselves is essential.

The bustling port is now cut off after the 1.6-mile-long bridge crumbled and fell into the river early Tuesday, blocking the only shipping lane into the port.

The officials have said the timeline for rebuilding the bridge will be years. The Port of Baltimore creates more than 15,300 jobs, with another 140,000 jobs linked to the activity at the port. This is a major disaster and will continue to cause significant problems on the East Coast for U.S. importers and exporters.

The bridge collapse means it will not be possible to get to the container terminals or a range of the other port terminals in Baltimore. Maryland Secretary of Transportation Paul J. Wiedefeld told reporters on Tuesday that vessel traffic in the port would be suspended until further notice but noted the port is still open to trucks.

Michael Mezzacappa, an attorney and expert on property damage cases in the shipping industry, told the New York Post that the collapse will have a major impact on shipping and traffic routes in the East Coast for the foreseeable future. “It’s not going to get fixed any time soon,” Mezzacappa said. “It’s going to take a lot longer than anyone expects. This is going to be a major problem for the Northeast.”

Remember the American spirit

I am absolutely sick to death of all of these stories that say things like that. Have we forgotten who we are? Have we forgotten what we’ve done?

Let me remind you of the American spirit, a spirit so potent and so vibrant that it has scaled towering mountains, mountains nobody thought they could cross.

It’s the spirit that constructed marvels of engineering. Have you ever been to the Hoover Dam? Have you seen the New York City skyline? The skyscraper was invented here for a reason. Here we are on the threshold of tomorrow, and none of us knows what is going to happen. But I'm getting the impression that we’ve been so beaten down that we believe we’re not going to make it tomorrow.

Have we forgotten who our ancestors are and what they did? If you look through our history even briefly, you will see a group of people who never take no for an answer. You will see a people who can do anything.


I want to stop just briefly in 1930. The Great Depression had its icy grip on us. It was a time that felt like a flickering candle in the vast darkness just barely holding on. Yet, it was in this crucible of adversity that Americans did great things.

The Empire State Building rose. It wasn’t just a structure of steel and stone. It was a beacon, a beacon of hope and American resilience and ingenuity. The way that thing was built — no one has ever seen anything like it before and since. In a record-shattering one year and 45 days, an army of workers, as many as 3,400 men on certain days, transformed this audacious vision into a cowering reality.

If you look through our history even briefly, you will see a group of people who never take no for an answer.

The Empire State Building wasn’t constructed. It was conjured into existence with a symphony of clanging metal and roaring machines and the inexhaustible spirit of its builders. The men perched on steel girders that were being flown in by giant cranes whispered tales about how they could still feel the warmth of the freshly poured metal beneath them. That beam was still warm, even though it was poured in Pittsburgh, put on a train, then put on a boat, then on a truck, then hauled up into the air.

They could fill the warmth because we moved that fast. It was a feverish pace of construction. It seemed to defy the laws of time and physics.

For a long time, it was the tallest building in the world — an architectural achievement. It was also a declaration to the world that America was a land where the impossible became possible, that we are a people of determination, innovation, with a relentless will to succeed.

These aren't merely historical footnotes. They are blazing torches illuminating our path forward. They remind us that when we're faced with adversity, we don't just endure it. We overcome it. We don’t wait for history to chart our course. We write it with the sweat of our brow and the strength of our backs. That’s who we are. Have we forgotten that?

What are we waiting for?

We find ourselves at another crossroads faced with the challenges that threaten to dim the bright future that we all dream for our nation, for our children. The spirit that built the Empire State Building, laid down miles of railroads, cut through the Rocky Mountains, and sent astronauts to the moon is still inside of every heart of every American, somewhere.

Awaken that spirit. Scale new mountains. It's not just rock and earth. Scale the mountains of innovation. Build. Not just physical structures but a future that upholds the spirit of adventure, hard work, and ingenuity. Stop tearing everything down. Let's start building.

Why are we waiting? If this isn't a national emergency, I don't know what it is.

And I don't just mean the bridge. I mean all of it. You might say, “Well, our government has to lead.” Really? Does it? Maybe that’s our problem. America is led by its values and principles that are found in the souls of those who still remember who we are and who we serve. Americans lead the way. The government always follows.

You might say again, "Well, we can’t act without the government." Nonsense! Where are the bridge builders who will stand up today and say, “I'll get it done!” As soon as that happens, you’ll see who is leading and who is stalling. The government is the one that stalls the engine out. To expect more from our leaders is rational. But to expect the most from ourselves is essential.

There is nothing we can't achieve when we all stand together, united by our dreams, and driven by the will to see them fulfilled. Don't listen to anybody else who tells you differently.