Glenn Beck: Vets for Freedom

GLENN: Well, let me introduce a couple of people.  One you know because we've had on the program several times, Marcus Luttrell.  Hi, Marcus, how are you?

LUTTRELL:  Good, good, how are you?

GLENN:  Author of Lone Survivor.  And David Bellavia who is also now with us, are you up in Buffalo, David?

BELLAVIA:  I'm in Florida actually.

GLENN:  I thought you were on your way to Buffalo.  I thought you were going home.

BELLAVIA:  We got detoured.  It turns out the people want more stories of the good news that's happening out here.  So I'm in Florida now.

GLENN:  Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.  So you're not in Buffalo.  You are a he in Florida.

BELLAVIA:  Buffalo's a beautiful, beautiful city, though.

GLENN:  Oh, come on.

BELLAVIA:  My heart's in Buffalo.

GLENN:  Oh, yeah, your heart's in Buffalo.  We're going to start dropping out of the sky just giant bundles of food from the UN.

BELLAVIA:  Glenn, they love you in Buffalo.  They love you in Buffalo.

GLENN:  So David, I want to start with you because there's been some controversy and I didn't bring it up on the show last night because honestly I didn't realize how out of control this thing is getting and when I found out what's really happening, it was already too late for the TV show and I said, you know what, I'll put you on radio because this is such an unbelievably horrific thing to do to somebody like you or to do to anybody, but it is the perfect example of what we've been talking about on this program about how people will use anything for power and to get elected.  Tell me the story of what happened when you were down in Washington along with the Vets For Freedom and you introduced John McCain.

BELLAVIA:  Well, what it was, I was with the organization Vets for Freedom.  Recently, about two weeks ago my congressman in the 26th district of New York decided not to run.  I threw my name in the race.  So I will announce my candidacy for congress.  As soon as that happened with my war pedigree, I just, I knew that I was in the target and on the radar.  I introduced John McCain at this rally and what I basically said was, was that I was making a comparison of heroes, that all ages and races can look up to, referring to Senator McCain as more -- someone that, you know, should be on a pedestal for my two little boys to look up to, someone like Marcus Luttrell, Michael Mansoor.  These are American heroes, compared to professional athletes or entertainers.  I looked in the audience.  I saw a guy with a Callaway golf hat on and I automatically thought of the most famous golfer who is Tiger Woods and I said, you can have your Tiger Woods as your heroes.  We have men like Senator McCain.  That's who my boys will look up to.

GLENN:  Okay.  And what it's been turned into by, what a surprise, the ultra left NBC, what they have turned this into is we have a white guy; you have the black guy.  Right?

BELLAVIA:  Exactly.  And just the fact -- just not going to play that game.  The first response was, you know --

GLENN:  Are you there?  Oh, boy.  Belle sorry about that.  Are you there?

GLENN:  Yeah.

BELLAVIA:  Yeah, the first response --

GLENN:  Dick Cheney, if you're on the phone, hang up the phone!  Stop listening.

BELLAVIA:  I must have set off a keyword.  The first response I thought was ridiculous and then it just got more and more absurd with these bloggers getting my personal information out there calling me a bigot.  In my world, I have an 8-year-old and a 1-year-old and I'm raising these kids to know that a man who sacrifices.  You know, Marcus Luttrell could right now be in a ranch somewhere.  He could be in Texas, he could be going to medical school.  He chose to serve his country and he sacrificed for his country.  So you know what?  I want a baseball card on Marcus Luttrell.  I want my kids to know what he went through and why he is important and how they should guide their life after him.  And I'm sorry, but, you know, Brangelina and Britney Spears are not important.  They are not important people and I made the mistake of mentioning African-American to people who are morally and ethically bankrupt and they turned this whole thing around to race.

GLENN:  David, have they really, they've actually targeted your children, your family?

BELLAVIA:  Yes, sir.  They have been not only the e-mails that come pouring in but someone leaked, you know, phone numbers and everything else and locations of where people attend school and how they want to educate my kids and save them from their bigoted father.  It's just absolutely ridiculous.  But you know what?  I can deal with that.  I can deal with that.  I'm a big boy.  I've known what it's like to fight.  I can handle that.  What annoys me, though, is the fact that I've got to go on a Glenn Beck program and defend.  We are fighting as Americans.  We're bleeding next to African-Americans.  I fought with Muslim Americans, Glenn, in Iraq.  This was never about religion or ethnicity.  It's about Americans defending our culture and our way of life and I am proud to say that our legacy, we are the greatest humanitarian organizations ever lived in the United States military and we have nothing to apologize for and I'm not going to apologize for saying that Tiger Woods -- I don't think it was the Masters, by the way, but you know what?  He's a golfer!  He's a golfer!  He's a golf ball.

GLENN:  We've made this point on the program over and over and over again.

BELLAVIA:  And by the way, Tiger Woods' father was a hero.  Tiger Woods' father was an American hero that I want my kids to look up to.  But Tiger Woods, until he puts -- gets a bad haircut and throws a rug sack and starts to shoot bad guys like your in-studio guest there --

GLENN:  Notice you're playing yourself down because you've done nothing.

BELLAVIA:  Well, no, what I'm getting at is, you know, look the reality of the matter is that we have so many people that have stories.  I mean, some of the stories are fantastic but the reality is, Glenn, we've had two female silver star recipients for the first time since World War II.  There are people on the left that go, what are women doing in the war.  They are taking down bad guys is what they're doing.  Why are we debating gays in the military and women in the military when the reality is they want to kill us in an equal opportunity manner.  I just don't get it.

GLENN:  David, are you really running for congress?  You announced that last, what was it, last week, two weeks ago?

BELLAVIA:  Yeah, the official announcement's going to come on next week.

GLENN:  Have you sincerely thought about that?  I mean, how are you going to keep yourself, seriously?

BELLAVIA:  I've got to shave every morning.  I understand that.  You know what it comes down to?  It comes down to the Fact that our generation needs to start bringing out these guys that return from the war since World War II.  The 1948 generation.  We've got to get guys.  You know, Marcus and his peers did what they did.  Now it's time to move that generation, that we elected them for one reason and then they get to Washington and all of a sudden it's, hey, I want to go to a party on the weekend.  I can't really stand behind my principles as a conservative and my whole thing is, look, man, I faced down six guys in a house.  That's my -- you can have your Princeton degree.  I got my Ph.D. from the university of Fallujah and to me it's like if I'm not going to back down from Islamo terrorism, I'm certainly not going to back down from a special interest group.

GLENN:  Yeah.  Well, I mean, it would be easier, though, if the special interest groups, you know, had guns.  I really think because I think you get into -- I think these good people get into Washington and they will compromise a little bit because then they can help me on this and before you know it, your soul is gone.  I mean, it's going to take some people like you and like Marcus and certainly not like me.  I mean, I'm an alcoholic.  You just, people who just won't lose their soul.  That's hard to do.

BELLAVIA:  But, you know, guys like you are giving us the compass and telling us the right and left limit and that's what's important.  You know, like it or not, when you come up and you're successful, I mean, they're going to come heavy at you.

GLENN:  Oh, I know.

BELLAVIA:  What I love about this whole thing is obviously we intimidate them.  Obviously having that rally in front of the people that we have it with Senator McCain and, by the way, Senator Lieberman was there, Jim Marshall, a Democrat from Georgia was behind us.  This is intimidating to them because they don't want to hear from Marcus Luttrell.  Marcus Luttrell would put his valor awards on a table and automatically silence everyone on the left that uses their war pedigree as subject matter expertise.  So I'm saying, look, man, I'll see your John and raise you Marcus Luttrell.  And we win.

GLENN:  You know what?  Can I tell you something, David?  And Marcus, I don't mean to continue to embarrass you here because I know you're a humble guy and if that ever changes, I'm going to send somebody bigger than you to beat the snot out of you.  You're a humble guy.  So I don't mean to make you more uncomfortable but, you know, I was having a conversation with somebody after you guys visited and there was one guy that came down and said "I've got to meet these guys, just got to meet these guys.  I want to watch these guys, I want to meet them," and he's new to the Glenn Beck world and so he had never seen, you know, what happens when there's celebrity on the set or something.  Usually nobody comes down, but there's been a couple of times when there's been a celebrity on the set and it was a baseball player, if I'm not mistaken, where everybody just lined up to see him.  He said to me afterwards, he said, I have to tell you my heart is broken.  And I said, what do you mean?  He said, there was nobody, there was nobody that lined up to see these guys.  These guys are remarkable.  They're heroes and there wasn't anybody that lined up to see them.

But Marcus, you guys have gone out now and you've seen the regular people.  Do the regular people, do they know who you guys are?  Do they understand?  Are you guys starting from scratch and saying, look, guys, stop being brainwashed by the media, here's what's really happening?

LUTTRELL:  Both actually.  You get out there and sometimes people line up and sometimes they won't.  Sometimes people turn their back and walk away.  But, you know, so what, I don't get any heartburn over it or anything like that.  But -- and it is nice when people come up and actually thank you for what you're doing.  And not all -- you know, we don't -- actually it's kind of embarrassing to me, when people come up and shake my hand, thank me for my job.

GLENN:  David, you just brought this up a minute ago.  You guys aren't doing your job now.  What are you doing, Marcus?  What does your future hold for you?

LUTTRELL:  What am I going to do personally?

GLENN:  Yeah, what are you going to do personally.

LUTTRELL:  Losing my mind.

GLENN:  That was a little awkward, wasn't it, David?

LUTTRELL:  No one's ever asked me that before.

BELLAVIA:  I think he's going to start a wrestling career.

GLENN:  Wait, wait, wait.  Answer that question.  Go ahead.  What are you going to do?

LUTTRELL:  I want to be a doctor.  I want to go to medical school.  That was my dream for a long time.  I want to go and serve my country and I wanted to go to medical school.  So that's what I'm going to do.

GLENN:  Do you find that -- I guess on the surface almost diametrically opposed but then, David, your words come to mind that the military is the biggest charitable organization ever on the Earth.  We're not killing people just to kill people.  We're killing them, you know, for a reason because they're trying to kill us.  It's strangely your first part of your career has been --

LUTTRELL:  To kill people?

GLENN:  Yeah, to kill people.

LUTTRELL:  Going from that to being a doctor?

GLENN:  Have you ever thought of that?

LUTTRELL:  It crossed my mind a couple of times but, you know, I was good at what I did then and now I want to be good at this.  You can only do that for so long, I guess, before it catches up with you and I just, I couldn't do it anymore.  If I could go back and be a frogman again and keep doing the job and be over with my brothers right now, I would.  I'd do it in a heartbeat, I swear to God.  I think about it every day.  It was the most funny ever had in my whole life and being around those guys and being a part of the team.  But I had to do it.  I couldn't do it anymore.  So I had to move on and now it's time for me to (inaudible).

GLENN:  Let me ask you a question because I saw this story, I think it was in the New York Times and I have never, ever seen it before, ever where the interview was done with a bunch of military people over in Iraq and they asked them, who are you supporting for President.  You guys aren't supposed to answer that, are you?

LUTTRELL:  I don't think so.

BELLAVIA:  No, that's definitely in uniform against the rules.

GLENN:  Yeah.  But they asked these serving over in Iraq, who are you voting for, and they were quoted in the paper as saying, all of them, every single one said Barack Obama and, you know, I asked my nephew who is in special forces and just -- anyway, he spent a lot of time over there.  And when I said, you know, what do you think of, you know, your mother.  I said, you know your mother is going to vote for Barack Obama.  And he said, oh, "I have to talk to her."  Is there a movement?  According to this article, it was almost like there was a movement towards Barack Obama and antiwar and everything else.  I know you guys can't speak for the military, but did you sense that?

LUTTRELL:  I know with my group of guys, we don't really, I don't think they are concentrating too much on that.  I think they are concentrating on the mission at hand and worrying about what we're doing over there.

GLENN:  Right.  But is there an antiwar sentiment with the military?

LUTTRELL:  I don't think so, not on my end, not that I'm aware of.

GLENN:  Because these guys were saying things like, I just want this to be over, I just want to go home.

BELLAVIA:  But Glenn, all those polls, I remember I was actually in the country when they asked me and it was part of a ABC News poll and they asked our soldiers, myself, I was in the group, do you want to go home at the end of the year.

GLENN:  Yes.

BELLAVIA:  Of course I said I want to go home at the end of the week.

GLENN:  Right.

BELLAVIA:  And then they strapped on that information to be, these troops want to go home now.  They don't want to see the mission completed, this he want to throw away their fallen brothers', you know, memories and say, hey, look, cut it as a loss and let's repeat the shame that was brought upon the Vietnam generation unnecessarily.  I don't think that anyone that says who they're looking for -- I didn't have time to even know when election day was in 2004, let alone vote.  I mean, ask -- you know, we're not exactly talking about the price of oil per barrel when we're getting rockets shot over our head, you know?

GLENN:  Yeah.  By the way, I just want to point out to the listener, this is the way I think professional soldiers answer the question.  Did you notice neither of them have said who they were for or what their politics are or anything else.  Neither one of them have said that.  That is the way.  That is the exact opposite of what the left has been saying about Vets For Freedom:  Oh, they're so political, they're so blah, blah, blah.  I just asked them and neither one of them would say it.  And it wasn't, I don't think it was intentional on either one.  You guys just don't get into that.  Good for you.  Good for you.

BELLAVIA:  Well, thanks.  You know, I don't --

GLENN:  Well, David, I'm not talking to you.  You're clearly a racist.

BELLAVIA:  Oh, my goodness gracious.  Glenn Beck is piling on.  You see that?  I knew.  You are a cut-and-runner.

GLENN:  Hang on just a second.  David, I want to talk to you guys both a little bit more here.  I want to talk about Lone Survivor being a movie.  The other part, the other thing I want to talk about is I met Jesse Ventura the other day and this guy made blood shoot out of my eyes.  So I just want to talk to you because he talked down to me like, "You're not a SEAL, you've never blown anything up."  You guys have.  So let me ask you some questions.  We'll do that in just a second.

(Bonus audio: The insider audio for this transcript contains the remainder of the interview)

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.