Glenn interviews Ty Pennington




Good Design Can Change Your Life: Beautiful Rooms, Inspiring Stories


GLENN: From Radio City in Midtown Manhattan, third most listened to show in all of America. Hello, you sick twisted freak. Welcome to the program. My name is Glenn Beck. Last night I filled in for Larry King and had Michael Savage on. And he has said some things about autism that I want to get into here in just a little while, but I think his point is that we are an overmedicated, overdiagnosed society. Now, this is something that I wrestle with in my own family and with my friends because as you know if you listen to this program for more than 10 minutes, I'm riddled with ADD and in fact, when I first was diagnosed, the doctor said, so do you think I -- and he just laughed and he said, are you kidding me? Ask the people you work with.

Now, I have tried different medications, et cetera, et cetera, and don't like most of them and it is really an odd thing to mess with, especially at my age, mess with what a lot of -- I believe a lot of my ADD has led to my success. But to be able to regulate it in such a way to where you don't drive everybody out of their mind crazy around you, I started taking something called Vyvanse. It's a new drug, and it has -- if I may point out my staff knows when I'm not on ADD medicine. True or false? I called Chris Balfe when I was on tour and he was -- and he's our president of our company and I said, you know what, I just realized something, I'm off my medication and that's why all of this stuff is going on in my head. And he said, Glenn, you're telling me like this is a surprise? I was on the other side of the country. I hadn't seen him in a week. And he said, Glenn, day one every member of the staff called and said, could you please get Glenn back on his medication? Because I was keeping people up at 3:00 in the morning going, no, no, wait, wait, wait, I got a better idea.

Ty Pennington also riddled with ADD. He's the star of Extreme Home Makeover and yada, yada, yada. Welcome to the program.

PENNINGTON: Just from listening to you, I can definitely tell you're riddled, my friend.

GLENN: See, that's just not necessary. This isn't -- I mean, this isn't necessary. I didn't know you -- I didn't know you had ADD.

PENNINGTON: Are you kidding? Wow, what are some of the signs? Maybe erratic behavior. No, honestly I'm kind of the poster child, man. It's funny because a lot of parents come to me and say thanks for coming out and, like, saying that you have it. Because a lot of people are embarrassed or whatever kind of, you know, not proud of the fact that they might have some type of disorder, you know. But as you obviously know, you know, it does affect your work, it does affect your whole life and, you know, if it's not treated early, it can really affect, you know, the whole outcome of your life. I mean, I --

GLENN: Are you at all -- sorry to cut you off.

PENNINGTON: No.

GLENN: But, you know, you understand more than most. Are you at all torn? Because I believe that my success in business is because I can process a million things at a time and move very rapidly but my failure at home is because of ADD. Are you at all torn by ADD or do you only see it as a bad thing?

PENNINGTON: You know, that's the thing. It's like -- well, here's what I will say. And you keep calling it ADD. Now, what I have is ADHD. That's the hyperactivity disorder. And that's easier to recognize in somebody. They are usually the kid that's, you know, bouncing up and down, probably making a necklace out of a desk, climbing out of windows. It's pretty obvious from that extent. But yeah, I mean, the whole thing is like changing your mind constantly going, wait, wait, wait, wait, I got another one. But they also can't focus on one thing. But, you know, usually in that situation you are not the first person someone's going to pick to get the job that's going to be the one that they say doesn't get it done. You are the one that doesn't finish the projects. You keep going down the line, down the line, down the line. And what happens is my confidence just kept waning and waning until it wasn't until I finally got treated literally in college that I realized, hold on a second, you know what, I actually do have a talent, I can put myself through school and I actually can make something of myself. But what I want you to know as for me is that, you know, even though I've been treated -- I'm glad that you're on Vyvanse because that's really fantastic for adults with ADD and what really helps is that it's long-lasting. For me my personality doesn't go away. You were explaining some of your success comes from ADD because I think, you know, we as human beings, especially when we have ADHD, we are creative, we have great ideas. But the problem is can we express and finish our sentences. Now, that personality doesn't go away because I got treatment, you know. I'm still that kind of guy but I can actually complete the tasks. I can actually finish a sentence and actually finish the projects that I've got on my to do list. And the fact --

GLENN: Is it amazing to you that I never finished a project, ever, in my life, ever. Everybody -- the big joke on me was that I never, ever continue on a -- I mean, the big joke this last week, correct me if I'm wrong, Stu, is the McCain/Obama headline battle. They produced all of this stuff for the show and they always do it. They produce it and then I do it for, like, two days and I'm bored with it and I move on. And we just pointed out just the other day, been doing it now for, like, seven days. And every day I'm the one going in, hey, we're going to do the headline battle today? I mean, it's really, it's amazing. I've never finished a project before in my life until I started, you know, taking Vyvanse and straightening, you know, straightening my head out.

PENNINGTON: Well, yeah, that's the big change, though, man. I mean, look, the way I see it is this. I didn't really -- up until the point that I was in my first year of college, I had not been treated for it. That's when my doctor, you know, just accepting that I might have some kind of disorder was disturbing enough but then once I was put on lasting medications like Vyvanse, next thing you know, bam, it's like somebody gave me glasses and all of a sudden I could see, you know, not only what I couldn't see before but I could see the mistakes I made and how I could correct them and how, you know, like my grades are well, really focusing, my grades went from D's to A's, I'm putting myself through art school, instead of doing one project, I'm actually completing three, could show just how talented I am because I'm also very competitive. Next thing you know instead of having the idea, I'm actually completing it and saying, this is what I mean, you can see. They can actually see it instead of me trying to explain the thought. Until then people were just like, huh? What are you saying.

GLENN: You know, my family makes fun of me because I have a 3-year-old son and he will be in the middle of a conversation and be like, dad, I was fighting a dragon last night and... sticks! But we make fun of it. I look at him and I just laugh because it is so funny the way he is just so -- he is a 3-year-old. He is not ADD. He is a 3-year-old and my family -- I say that is so funny when Raphe -- they say, yeah, it's funny when you're 3, Dad. That's the way you are all the time.

PENNINGTON: My dad used to call me the king of non sequitur because I'd be in the middle of a story and I was like, I was going to be a clean driver and (inaudible). And exactly, just like that. It's like you go to a completely different story. And then you go on and finish the sentence you started a minute ago because you hadn't lost track, you just decided to take another avenue and people are like, what are you talking about? Are you talking about your soccer game or are you talking about -- what is this? You know, I don't have time for this gibberish.

GLENN: Let me ask you this. Because I've said on the air before if I had an 8-year-old or a 10-year-old, I found that it is extraordinarily difficult to find the right medication for you, and I took some medications that my personality just changed and I took -- I have to know when to take it, I have to know when to use it, when not to use it. There are times that I need those skills, times that I don't want those skills. And I don't think I would give it to my 8-year-old because I don't think they're self-aware enough. And I'm afraid that we do look at anything that we used to say, you know, settle down, or, pay attention or whatever, that sometimes we are overdiagnosing or we're overmedicating. Do you have any thoughts on that?

PENNINGTON: Well, you know, I think what counts to kids, it's really your parents' choice there. You know, I mean --

GLENN: But what I'm asking is, parents, if you don't have ADD or ADHD, you have no idea what it is like. And when you take this medication, it does change the way you think and the way you function. And I was on some medicine, I don't remember even what it was, but I hated it. It totally stripped me of personality.

PENNINGTON: Well, sure.

GLENN: Where Vyvanse has been great for me, others were horrible.

PENNINGTON: That's what it is. I think with each human being we all have different chemicals in our system and I think that's why you have to go see a doctor, talk to your doctor, talk to, you know, a specialist to find out really what is good. But what's great is that Vyvanse is working for you and, you know, that's the thing. Once you find something that works and it does seem to, like, make a difference but it doesn't change you as a human being and you don't feel different, that's what you are looking for, something that keeps you you, the next thing, it's you that's actually completing the task and actually getting the things done you've always wanted to get done. Most of us as you know until you actually get treatment and none of that is actually possible. And that's why it is such a huge thing, man. I've never been -- you know, I noticed I was like, oh, my God, this is like the great thing that -- because I was so, you know, -- I was kind of worried. I didn't want to be that guy that had to take any kind of medication and then all of a sudden, you know, then I realized, oh, my God this is -- it's a completely different me. I was still the guy that would do crazy things but I was accomplishing things I never thought I could. And, you know, I mean next thing you know I'm confident saying, hey, wait a minute, I might have a talent I could actually make money at, have a successful career someday.

GLENN: I haven't reached that point yet.

PENNINGTON: What's that?

GLENN: I haven't reached that point yet but someday I will.

PENNINGTON: Yeah, yeah. You're right, though. I'm glad that Vyvanse has worked out for you. It shows --

GLENN: The first time that I took any kind of ADD medicine -- boy, is this a frustrating interview for anybody that's listening that's not riddled with ADD. The first time I took ADD medication, I wept because I played with my son on the floor for 40 minutes and I had never done that with any of my children. It was, it was night and day.

Let me switch subjects with you.

PENNINGTON: Okay.

GLENN: Let's talk a little bit about Extreme Home Makeover. I think I saw the first episode that you guys ever did and I went on the air the next day and I said, this is the perfect idea. This is capitalism and the media making something really entertaining and doing good. You are, to me you're one of the poster Childs for good capitalism, to where you can do something great.

PENNINGTON: Well, you know what, it's great because everybody wins.

GLENN: Right.

PENNINGTON: First of all, I've said this before but, you know, I've got the perfect job. But good thing about it is we actually do things for good people. You are right, the way media is and we have to, you know, we have to get advertising out there, the network has to make their own. In this particular thing what's great is everybody wins. The family wins, the builder gets a little bit of exposure, the companies that want to give away their product get that exposure, you know, the ratings are good. You know, everybody wins. In a way it's the perfect storm for, I don't know, good television in my opinion, you know. But it's a hard job. But it's so worth it because you get to see the gratification immediately. Not only that, you impact someone's life. It's not like, you know, you really do make a difference.

GLENN: Have you ever thought about finding a family, like nobody had a face? That way you just didn't have to -- they couldn't see it, they couldn't speak out or anything, so you could just bring them into the same house and go, hey, there's a new computer over here.

PENNINGTON: That's really, really horrible.

GLENN: But I mean, it would be great. Think of the money you could save.

PENNINGTON: Oh, my God. Yeah. I'll write that down as a future thought.

GLENN: I'm just saying if the economy goes south, you might want to look at people without faces.

You have a new book coming out in September?

PENNINGTON: I do, yeah.

GLENN: What is it?

PENNINGTON: Well, it's basically how good design can change your life. The designs I do for the people that I do and, you know, what inspires me to do it and how I do it and why I do it.

GLENN: Is that like a feng shui or --

PENNINGTON: No, it's about, really it's about change in your life and it's the stories that inspire me, it's the people that I've done the rens for. But the time we have on the show, you don't really see all the details that go into it. So this is really how and why and the cool things that I've actually done and the detail of how I did it. But also why I did it and the stories and the people that inspire me. What's great about my job is like, you know, after we leave, it's not over. Like I still stay in touch with some of these people. You find out just how much of a difference you've actually made.

GLENN: What is the one family or the one story that you, to your dying day you will remember?

PENNINGTON: You know what, that's a tough one, you know. There's so many. I mean, there's -- you know, there's, wow, there's the police officer out in California who is in a wheelchair because she was working the tough beat in L.A. and almost died but now I meet her and she's like punching her legs because she hates to be a victim and she just wants to -- now she just wants to survive it all and be a mom that can actually hold her kid. It's also like an 8-year-old girl named Belle who was fighting the worst thing in the world which is cancer and, you know, she didn't quite make -- she didn't quite beat that battle. But before she left, she ended up impacting other kids' lives that were facing the same thing. She knew how horrible it was and what a sad place the hospital was and she would bring toys to these kids to make your days before. I don't know, man. It's not so much -- it's these moments that you have with these people and the fact that they share their stories with me. That's the best part of my job is I really get to really see the human spirit, man, and get to see. It could be an 8-year-old, could be an 80-year-old. It's somebody that inspires you to do better as a person.

GLENN: Have you found that the people that, because they are also inspiring, have you found that the people you build houses for and get involved in their life, that because they're survivors, because they are so amazing that they are not victims, they don't like the victim mentality that these are -- that that's part of the reason why they are so special?

PENNINGTON: I think you have to look at things like that is that, you know, you're not going to be -- I just met a little girl named Brooke. We just finished the second build on our sixth season which is going to air in September. But I met this little girl named Brooke who is battling something called SMA which is a really horrible disease that really is incurable and she's had to have countless operations and surgeries and she's not even 8 yet. But this little girl's got this spirit. She's just so happy. She will point you around and direct you how to do things. She's like a leader. She must be an old soul, you know, just coming back. I don't know. It's just an amazing little girl who's got this driving spirit. And it's people like that, that they know what they're going through but they don't see themselves as a victim. She was actually more worried as a victim because her mom's having to pick her up and carry her and she's more worried about her sister who's got the same disease but she's hoping it's not as bad as what she has. It's those people that are going through something horrible like that but want to make sure other people around her has a better life. Somebody who can have that much thought of other people amazes me. I think that's the beauty. I mean, that's the greatest part of my job is meeting people like that that make you realize what an inspiration is, what, you know, a person that you will always be inspired by and like, you know, sometimes it comes in the shape of a young girl.

GLENN: Ty, great talking to you. Sticks! Talk to you later, man.

PENNINGTON: Okay, man. Bye.

GLENN: Ty Pennington.

Well, it's officially official… Michael Avenatti is the worst lawyer in the history of ridiculously bad lawyers. I'm trying to figure out what "National Day" this should be, because with Avenatti it really could go either way. Right now it's a toss up between "The No Good Very Bad Lawyer Day" or "The No Good Very Bad Political Operative Day."

A federal judge yesterday seemed to be confused on that as well. Avenatti has been representing Stormy Daniels in a defamation lawsuit against President Trump. It all started when Avenatti, with his infinite superstar lawyer awesomeness, decided to build his case off of - get this…. A TWEET from the president. Trump tweeted this back in April regarding a man, allegedly sent by Trump, that had threatened her not to come forward with her story:

A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!

BOOM, Avenatti let loose the hounds of… well, a defamation suit.

But the judge yesterday couldn't tell if this was just bad lawyering or some kind of game of political football. Either way, he opted to rule it as both. The judge stated that the president's tweet was "rhetorical hyperbole", protected under the first amendment, and all or part of the quote "politics and public discourse in the United States."

So forget for a moment that a federal judge has just highlighted that a defamation lawsuit between a sitting U.S. President, a pornstar, and a political activist - masquerading as a lawyer - is now considered normal and business as usual. Consider for just a second that this "lawyer", is actually considering running for president. A man that has shown no qualms at all with parading women (first Daniels and then Swetnick) in front of the entire world, embarrass them, and do it all for his own ugly political greed.

To everyone that donated, you just paid President Trump's lawyers over half a million dollars.

The federal judge ordered the case closed, and Stormy Daniels to pay for all the president's legal fees. And this might be the funniest thing to come out of all this. Daniels set up a Crowd Justice page, kind of like a Go Fund Me, back in April to pay for all her legal fees. As of today that page has raised five hundred and eighty-six thousand dollars. So, to everyone that donated, you just paid President Trump's lawyers over half a million dollars.

As the kids these days say… L-O-L

Wait, 'white woman' is now a disparaging term? I can't even.

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Feminism began in the 1830s as a revolution by affluent white women who wanted birth control and the right to vote. As feminism developed, it expanded its focus so that women of every sort were included. It has even expanded further beyond women, to "marginalized communities." Lately, it's gone a step further and started doing some "marginalizing" of its own.

The madness of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing was a watershed event. The entire country got an up-close view of what feminism has come to. It has become remarkably anti-truth, or at least unconcerned with truth. Instead, it's about destruction.

RELATED: Kavanaugh might be the force to turn back the blue wave

A lot of women sided with Dr. Ford, because they saw Ford as a symbol of womanhood, just as many people saw Kavanaugh, not just as a man, and not just a white man, but as the symbol of the system they claim to fight, the patriarchy.

For many reasons, the term "white man" has become derogatory, an honest-to-God insult that is not applied to any other race or gender, not in that openly insulting way. The indenting-obsessed feminists and activists have led an untiring charge against white men, and, until now, he's faced the outrage alone, quietly. White women, on the other hand, were part of that struggle against white men. They, like their fellow marginalized people, were the victims of white straight cis-gendered men. But postmodernism and social justice don't stop until the entire house collapses, so now they're going after white women as well.

A recent article in National Review titled "'White Women' Becomes a Disparaging Term" examines this shift.

Today, white women are being lumped together into a giant bloc subject to absurdly broad stereotyping and vitriolic condemnation. They're being told to step back and know their place by writers in the New York Times ("white women benefit from patriarchy by trading on their whiteness to monopolize resources for mutual gain"), The New Yorker ("despite the enduring legacy of testimony by black women, white women have often played the protagonists in the history of sexual violence, and black women have been relegated to the supporting cast") and NBC News ("white women who voted for Trump . . . clearly have no issue with the president's openly misogynistic behavior, his demeaning of female reporters and his mocking of [Christine Blasey] Ford).

The author adds that:

A writer for The Root castigated Taylor Swift because "like some white women, she uses her privilege to not be involved until she's directly affected." Talia Lavin, the New Yorker fact-checker who resigned in June after erroneously suggesting that an ICE agent (who turned out to be a combat-wounded Marine Corps veteran) had a Nazi tattoo, continues to contribute to The New Yorker and tells her 51,000 Twitter followers, "patriarchy won't protect you no matter how hard white women fight for it." "White women use strategic tears to silence women of colour," ran a headline in the Guardian. On the basis of five phone calls, plus the story of what happened to Emmett Till in 1955, Rolling Stone published an essay entitled, "Why White Women Keep Calling the Police on Black People," blaming them for "a new 21st-century version of Jim Crow."

The mainstream media, like 4th wave feminists—and, believe me, there is a serious overlap—has become interested in activism. They want to destroy everything that they disagree with—the most horrible person to them would be the cis-gendered straight, able-bodied, financially-independent white man who is politically conservative and Christian, especially if he voted for Trump and listens to Kanye.

The Left's kind of activism is dangerous, too, because it's a postmodern form of activism, so truth doesn't matter and language is a weapon used to attack whoever is deems "oppressors," which has, until now, been mostly white men and anyone who tries to defend them and anyone who disagrees with the postmodern politics of the Left. Anyone who has tried to stand up and say, "This isn't right, you're being sexist and racist by accusing 'white men' of all these things, and calling them sexist and racist." But that doesn't matter. And it doesn't work. These people have literally accused Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew, of antisemitism, and called Candace Owens and Kanye West, who are black, white supremacists. They call Christina Hoff Sommers, who is a feminist woman, a misogynist. We could spend all day going through examples, but you know plenty already.

These activists can say whatever they want and attack whomever they please and nobody can stop them.

These activists can say whatever they want and attack whomever they please and nobody can stop them. As anyone who has so much as disagreed with them will tell you, they are ruthless. White women used to be part of their tribe. But now, they are finding out how ruthless their former allies can be. Hopefully, there's enough sanity left among enough people in that tribe to realize what's going on. Hopefully, they realized that maybe they'll be next.

Go to the polls and keep mob rule at bay

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November is nearly upon us, and polls are starting to come out. The most recent was a poll conducted last week by the Washington Post and ABC News that showed Congressional Democrats have an 11 point lead heading into the midterms. The biggest swing, as expected after the Kavanaugh circus, is Independent women who are sliding Democrat 52% to 38% Republican.

This is a significant build on the lead last reported back in mid September. Real Clear Politics took the average of eighteen total polls, minus Rasmussen - because it's uh… Rasmussen - and it showed Democrats holding on to a slim lead of six and a half points.

RELATED: Kavanaugh might be the force to turn back the blue wave

If this trajectory holds, it appears that the Left got exactly what they wanted when they tried to destroy a man's life all in the disgusting name of politics. They wanted a repeat of the 1991/92 Clarence Thomas fallout - later dubbed "The Year of The Woman - and they're on pace to get it.

How is it that we are so easily played by these awful people we call politicians? This is something I realize everyone listening right now already knows, but if your first thought is emotion every time someone in Washington opens their mouth… take a step back! Do some research and ask yourself, "Why am I feeling so outraged?" This has never been more important than right now. The left is abandoning the rule of law and moving towards mob rule. There's a reason why they all want to abolish the Electoral College. They want to work you up into a frenzy, and then they want to unleash you on the polling booth. But it's all fake. It's a con.

If fiscal responsibility is this bad now, imagine how bad it'll get with a Democrat controlled House, Senate and Executive Branch. The Mercatus Center at George Mason University just released their annual report on fiscal accountability, showing which states are run the most efficiently. Over the past several years, these are the worst run states in the entire Union: Illinois, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Mexico, New York and Rhode Island. Notice a common denominator here? Every single one is a blue state.

We cannot hand power over to mob rule.

On the other hand, these are the most efficiently ran states: South Dakota, Tennessee, Nebraska, Florida, Utah, Alaska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Montana. Umm, yeah… ALL Red states.

The facts and numbers are there, but the Left doesn't want you to see them. They don't want you doing your own homework… they just want you pissed off! Don't give in to the outrage. We cannot hand power over to mob rule. There's too much at stake.

"May you live in interesting times" it seems, is actually not an ancient Chinese saying, blessing or curse. The strongest match one can find to its origins comes from the Yorkshire Post in 1936:

Sir Austen Chamberlain, addressing the annual meeting of Birmingham Unionist Association last night, spoke of the "grave injury" to collective security by Germany's violation of the Treaty of Locarno.

Sir Austen, who referred to himself as "a very old Parliamentarian," said:

It is not so long ago that a member of the Diplomatic Body in London, who had spent some years of his service in China, told me that there was a Chinese curse which took the form of saying, 'May you live in interesting times.' There is no doubt that the curse has fallen on us. We move from one crisis to another. We suffer one disturbance and shock after another.

I like the quote, Chinese or English, as it gives us a correct or new perspective on strife, should we care to view our struggles as neither blessing nor curse. My father taught this to me as a small child. But I only really learned it in one of the darkest chapters of my life. Alcoholism and divorce. There is nothing that life can hand to you that is in itself bad. It all depends on what you do with it. Will you allow it to change you in destructive ways through anger, bitterness and despair? Or will you allow it, whatever it is, to strengthen you through enlightenment, correction, humility?

There is nothing that life can hand to you that is in itself bad. It all depends on what you do with it.

We have a desperate need for humility in our society from DC to Hollywood. Everyone left and right is convinced that either they are or their side is absolutely right. And if someone on their side strays from the pack, then they must be "a traitor to the race, party or cause". They are wrong and we remain right. Scientific atheists "know that there is no God" even though almost everything they now believe or "know" in science now proves that the scientists that came before them were wrong. How can those whose field has been built on enhancing, evolving, or outright proving that others and their theories were wrong, be so certain? If those who should be the least certain of final truth are now calling heretic for those who disagree, we are indeed living in interesting times.

But it isn't a "them" problem even though that is what the world is currently trying to sell each of us. It is instead a simple "us" issue. Perhaps we don't see it because we are so busy staging, filtering, or enhancing the colors on our Facebook or Instagram pics that we can no longer recognize or even like the simple truth about us and what our life really is. Much of our life is a lie. We have been marketed to since we were born, told that we are not complete unless we wear, consume, own, vacation at or buy product 1 or 2. It has gone so far as telling us that not only are we not good enough if we don't have all of that, but now, we cannot even be a part of the great new society unless we believe and champion (product, politician or party) A, B or C. Opinions have become products.

Now, however, we are in the next and perhaps final stage. We ourselves are the product. Companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and YouTube no longer see us as the customer, but what we do, think and believe are now commodities. If you cannot fill this line in: "I am ____________ , Someone will always be there to fill it in for you. Buy this makeup to use the word beautiful. This label to let others know "I AM cool, or in style," or even "I AM rich.'

Buy Democrat to be "compassionate," "smarter than others," or "science-minded." It doesn't matter if you really are any of those things in reality, the label is all you need. Buy Republican if you want to be patriotic, support our troops or for family values. We now buy and believe labels and always judge a book by its cover. Buy the label "Christian" and you can love any life you want but you now can use religion to excuse either yours or anyone else's behaviors. Buy the label progressive and you believe in science even though you deny it in basic biology.

Even labels that were never for sale like "courage" come with a price tag, and its price keeps going lower and lower. Now, this once time revered label can be yours for simply saying things out loud to a room full of people who agree with you and will all cheer when you say it.

Labels and words are experiencing a fire sale and it seems "everything must go."

What comes next is always tough.

Heaven knows the proper price to attach to something so celestial as freedom. — Thomas Payne.

Each generation, except for the last, has had to earn and renew their freedom. They did not buy or sell the label the "greatest generation." In fact, it wasn't even them that came up with that title. It was the "boomers." At the time, there were no labels - they just saw themselves as people, as Americans. They saw the crisis not as anyone's fault, but rather as their turn to stand and do the right thing. It is what they did with their "crisis" that made others bestow the "greatest generation" title on them, and only years later.

We are living in a time of great crisis, not much different or of smaller scale than the great struggles of the past. All of the labels we think we have now, will fall away. Those that we have bought will become worthless and every new label will be purchased with blood, sweat, tears and courage.

Barack Obama and Donald Trump are neither the problem nor the solution. They are a symptom.

What we will face, in the end, will not be smaller than what many of our grandparents or great grandparents faced in the World Wars. No less frightening than the global economic unrest of the 1930's. Nor will it be any greater. It will just be ours. And just like the generations past, it will be our choice on whether or not we survive. What a blessing. The boomers feasted off the crisis of their parents and never truly had to choose life or death, freedom or slavery. They never had to push themselves as a group beyond what humans thought possible to achieve something as valuable as freedom.

The crisis we are just now beginning to see is a blessing our parents never received. Each of us will have to pick between black and white, slavery or freedom, good or evil, and life or death. We will all know in the years to come who we really are, if we chose carefully or if we simply allowed ourselves to become. We can become, through this struggle, exactly who we were born to be. Our best and highest selves.

If each of us were honest and began to see this struggle in the proper light, we would admit that it is the softness of our foundations that have caused these struggles. Barack Obama and Donald Trump are neither the problem nor the solution. They are a symptom. Look all around you. No matter whom you voted for, you will admit that the country, and perhaps the entire world over, is sick.

We are all feeling it and each of our political doctors are seeing the same symptoms and prescribing the opposite medicine. Each of us, as patients, all so desperate to cure what is killing us, become more and more vested in our own "doctor's cure." Our doctor is right and yours is wrong! At the same times each doctor knows that he or she has everything to lose if his patients begin to seek another opinion, diagnosis or remedy. It is their best interest to keep their patients busy looking at the other side. Meanwhile, none of us stop and ask if the diagnosis is even correct. I guess we are just too busy fighting for what our doctor said.

I am not sure about you, but when I am sick or in pain, I am usually at my worst interpersonally. We all snap at others. We act as our lesser selves. When I am sick, fearful or angry, it is almost always followed by a time where I begin conversations with, "I am so sorry for what I said or did, I was just having a really bad day."

We are all having a really very bad, most difficult day. Everyday, it seems.

While it is true that there are difficulties and dangers that lie ahead of us, we must not assume that we will lay down and watch our country go to ruin. Many, if not most of those who voted for democrats and those who voted for republican have much in common with those who voted for neither. While parties and politicians try to convince us otherwise, and many of us may have believed it or even engaged in this "warfare," it is becoming more and more clear that our neighbors are not our enemies.

While it is true that there are difficulties and dangers that lie ahead of us, we must not assume that we will lay down and watch our country go to ruin.

If you are finding this a difficult concept to reconcile, simply ponder what our ancestors came here for, be it three months or three centuries ago. To make a better life, in a country that would allow you to follow your dream, work hard and keep what you built so your children could live a better life than you did and achieve even more than you did. That opportunity came not from this land, or even its people, but rather from its mission statement: "all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and pursuit of happiness." While that mission statement was and always be aspirational, it has never been fully achieved. It is shaped and given the best chance to succeed when it is protected by the guardrails of the constitution and bill of rights. It is indeed our laws, which come from our American Thesis, that has created the modern world. It is indeed why people still die trying to get on this side of our border.

Is it too much of a stretch to believe that you and I are not alone in our doubt of our doctors? Are we the only ones left that think our neighbor, who knows how sick we all are, really wants everyone who disagrees with their doctor to die? Maybe they have seen flaws in their practitioner as we have. Maybe if we stop spending all our time looking at what is wrong with "them" and what's wrong with America, we can begin to see the things that are right and good.

Perhaps we are not as sick as some of these doctors tell us we are. Perhaps they are more akin to bad, crooked chiropractors that have done more damage to our spine than good and will bilk us for every dime week after week until we finally say no or are broke. We haven't wanted to listen to our friends, or those who tell us differently, because we feel the fool.

Perhaps we are beyond help and only have months to live, but, I don't think it needs to be this way. If we are going down, I want to go down with my friends and family around me. All of them, even those who told me not to listen to my doctor or the one I angrily chased away because I just knew they were wrong.

It is easy to jump on the bandwagon and light fires. It is harder always to put them out.

It is easy to jump on the bandwagon and light fires. It is harder always to put them out. Easy to lose friends and harder to make them. In the end, our founding documents are just an idea. I think a really good idea. One that says we can and should all be who we choose to be and live the life we build for ourselves with dignity and security.

But that idea fails if no one remembers it or believes in it.

I still do.

I am not a doctor but I think our illness is all in our heads. We have been convinced by those who suffer from some sort of societal Munchausen by proxy, that we are fatally ill and will only survive because of them. I think they need us to be sick and I for one think we as a people have had enough bed rest.

Once we choose to see things the way they are, coupled with who we always strived to be — our best selves — we will be fine and perhaps stronger than ever. I believe if we can once again see the best in each other — put our past in the past, and our strife and crisis in the right light — down the road, some other generation will name this one — I believe it will be good.

But one thing is sure, it will not be one we choose but rather the label we earned.