Glenn interviews legendary sportscaster

GLENN: Third most listened to show in all of America. Hello, you sick twisted freak. Welcome to the program. We have Bob Costas that's going to join us here in just a second. I have to tell you, if you listen to this program, you know I don't know jack about sports. I don't watch it, I don't know anything about it, never have, never followed it. But Bob Costas is probably the one guy, in fact not probably, is the one guy. If I hear his voice, if I'm flipping around on the channels and I see or hear Bob Costas, I stop because, A, I know it must be important; and B, I know it's going to be entertaining. He's beyond a sportscaster. He is just a great storyteller. Bob Costas, is he on with us? Bob, welcome to the program.

COSTAS: Glenn, after that introduction, I refuse to go on with you. Couldn't you be any kinder to me?

GLENN: Well, not really. I don't think so. We spent hours working on that, Bob.

COSTAS: More than I deserve.

GLENN: I have to tell you, I don't know if you know this. I do not know anything about sports. So you're going to have to excuse me from the getgo.

COSTAS: I do know that because in the brief encounters we've had, the very first time I met you, that was sort of your apologetic introduction and I say the same thing, I'll say to somebody when, you know, you're out to dinner and one party or another in the group apologizes to me and says, I know nothing about sports. And not only do I honestly say no apologies needed but at times it's almost a respite because sports is such a common denominator, everybody has an opinion on the Super Bowl or whatever and sometimes I'm more than happy to talk about almost anything else.

GLENN: Yeah, you've got to be the kind of guy that's like a doctor. When you go to cocktail parties, everybody's like, hey, listen, I got this thing growing on my foot.

COSTAS: Right.

GLENN: And the doctor's got to be, oh, jeez, come on, I'm just -- more cocktails, please. It's got to be that way at times where you're just like, can we just stop talking to me about sports?

COSTAS: Yeah. And you know, not only does that happen, and it's almost always good-natured but someone will come up to me on a plane and they will say, Bob, who's going to win the final four? And then I give them my best guess and then they act pained like, oh, no, I wanted it to be UCLA, as if I knew. And I always said, look, if I knew for sure instead of just guessing like you'd be guessing, I wouldn't be on a night to St. Louis. I'd be on my way to Vegas.

GLENN: What's the worst Bob Costas star thing that's ever happened to you? Like we -- I saw you in the bathroom the other day and I remember reading Paul Newman and he said, "I'll never give autographs because I was standing at a your natural and somebody said, you're Paul Newman, can I have your autograph." So we were in the rest room. I didn't say a word, we were in the rest room because, you know, what is the worst Paul Newman, you know, kind of Bob Costas event you've had?

COSTAS: Gee. You've got me stumped now. Oh, I'll give you one and this isn't really the worst. It was actually endearing and entertaining. I'm sitting literally on a bus bench waiting for some NBC colleagues to pull up and pick me up after a practice, the Chicago Bulls practice during the Michael Jordan era and they were playing in Los Angeles and it was a hot Saturday afternoon and they had gone to get a car and I had kind of lingered behind and they were going to swing over and pick me up. So while I'm waiting for them, I sit down at the curve on a bus bench and a homeless guy comes ambling up and he looks as ragged as sometimes those folks do with four or five layers of clothes and he's wearing a Dodger cap and the L.A. insignia's black with grime and he's got sneakers with no laces and he sits down at the other end of the bench and I kind of glance at him and he glances at me and about five seconds go by and he says, so Bob, you think the Lakers have a chance? And now I'm talking to this guy who's homeless but apparently he's got a TV. And I say, well, you know, blah, blah, blah, stop Michael Jordan, whatever. I swear, Glenn, this story's true. And he says to me, so you live in New York, huh? And I said, well, I grew up in New York, I do a lot of work in New York but actually I live in St. Louis. And the next words out of this guy's mouth are, so help me, St. Louis, huh? Are they going to put a Lord and Taylor in that new Galleria there? A homeless guy. I'm mind boggled. So now, now Ahmad Rashad and Marv Albert pull over and they honk the horn and I say, hold on, I've got to interview this guy now. I've got to get to the bottom of it. And I have my own thoughts. I'm thinking maybe he's considering relocating to the midwest and wants to make sure his favorite stores are represented. And I ask him what the deal is and he says, you know, he's only temporarily down on his luck, a business major graduate of USC and every day he reads the business section of the L.A. Times and he had just read an article a few days before about how local economies were being boosted by the building of malls and Gallerias, first with the construction jobs as they went up and then with the service jobs after they open. And I guess the guy just tucked it away as a possible conversational ice breaker in case he bumped into someone from St. Louis who he recognized from doing basketball games on TV. And that's when I say to myself, you know, the switch is such a common denominator, it cuts across everything.

GLENN: Do you have any idea what's happened to this guy since?

COSTAS: You know, I offered him games the next night, I gave him tickets to the game and we have since lost, we have since lost contact. On another occasion I was having dinner in Little Italy and John Gotti and some of his henchmen came in, early 1990s and they had been sitting there just a couple of minutes and the maitre d' came up and said, Mr. Costas, Mr. Gotti would like to buy you a drink and I'm thinking, I may have had enough to drink already but this is in the category of an offer you can't refuse. And I said sure.

GLENN: Yes, sir.

COSTAS: Another bottle of Chianti. And they bring it over. I swear to you, I was with a bunch of friends. So I look over at them, I raise my glass and I say, Mr. Gotti, thank you. He says, Bob, I like your work. I'm thinking, now what am I supposed to say? I like your work, too?

GLENN: I'm a big fan, John.

COSTAS: I'm a big fan. Nice rubout at Sparks Steakhouse?

GLENN: That's great, that's great. Let me take you to Beijing for a second.

COSTAS: Yep.

GLENN: You know, you are going over. You're going to do the Olympics. What do you -- I mean, going back to Munich, this has the potential of being a real powder keg.

COSTAS: It does.

GLENN: What are your thoughts on this?

COSTAS: Well, we generally think -- hope this is true -- that regardless of the other problems that one of the byproducts of the kind of airtight government control that the Chinese exercise is that it's less likely than in some other places, less likely that there will be a specific act of terrorism directed at the games, not impossible but less likely. What seems --

GLENN: Do you think there could be not even, not even necessarily terror but some real bad riots or --

COSTAS: Yeah, there could be. That's just what I was about to say. There almost certainly will be political protests. Some of it will come from within China. Others may come from people outside who look at this as the single best chance to shine a meaningful light on whatever problems they have with the Chinese government. The IOC maybe should have taken this further into account when they granted the games to Beijing. Part of the argument at the time was, look, this is going to actually act as a spur to them to reform. They won't want to look bad on the international stage and this will help to further democratize and modernize their society.

GLENN: Are you going to be able to -- do you have any idea what the television contracts are like? Are you going to be able to cover that stuff if it's not live? Are you going to be able to take a camera out and cover anything that's happening around? Or are they going to shut you guys down?

COSTAS: Well, they talked about denying access to any journalist, denying access to Tiananmen Square among other places. I know negotiations are underway right now to see if they can get that lifted. NBC news is going to be there in full force, Nightly News, the Today Show, MSNBC, CNBC. So we certainly have the resources to cover not just the sports aspect but the news aspect and if the present tone continues or is even heightened, I don't see how you could possibly separate the two. We want to present the events and the pageantry because that is part of the Olympics but if the other sub text is there and it's kind of in our faces, then I don't think we can deny it. On the other hand if people tune in to watch the 100 meter dash final or the platform diving final and one guy in Row Z is holding up a placard of protest, I don't think you need to note that every single time. I don't think that the Olympics and prime time have to be Nightline or 60 Minutes. But when the politics kind of merges with the competition, then I think it's only common sense and responsible to cover that, too.

GLENN: I mean, in a way I feel -- and I feel torn because I think China is damn near evil, if not full out evil. It's kind of good that this has happened because people have gone along, seems like in America people are just like, oh, yeah, well, they're not that bad. Hey, they make products for us. This is a communist regime that is enslaving many of their people. It's not good. And this is a way really it's working out and I think what China was trying for. The people are starting to look at it and go, okay, wait a minute, maybe we shouldn't be involved. Do you think we should boycott the opening ceremonies or boycott all of it or just disregard?

COSTAS: We're not going to boycott all of it. I don't think that's going to happen. I think the President of Jimmy Carter's boycott with the '80 Moscow games of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the feeling is that it penalized a lot of athletes and it really didn't do much good. We understood what Carter's motivation was but the outcome didn't back up what his objective was. I think it's still possible that the U.S. and other nations could boycott the opening ceremony but I think President Bush's approach right now is that he would rather use it as a carrot to say, look, don't make me boycott this opening ceremony, don't make me join those nations that are already saying they are going to step aside. Make these changes, give me a good faith understanding that you are going to do some things that we'll be comfortable with and then I'll show up.

GLENN: I mean, Bob, they were sending us lead-covered toys and we didn't do anything. They were sending us toys covered in lead paint.

COSTAS: Yeah, you know, the whole world quivers at the thought of what happened if they were cut out of the Chinese economy.

GLENN: Yeah.

COSTAS: You've got a fifth of the world's population, an economy growing at the rate of more than 10% a year. Without Chinese involvement, if you were to remove that, think of the impact on the American economy and a number of American corporations who are already linked with China. So it's a complicated situation.

GLENN: Hey, let me change the subject to Tiger Woods who I think is the ultimate male. I mean, he's rich, he's good looking, he's a good guy, married to a supermodel, lives a lot of time on a boat. I mean, how sweet is that life?

COSTAS: You can find much to criticize about that.

GLENN: No, you really can't. Let me ask you this. I saw this story last week and it was in, I think Advertising Age or something like that. I didn't even know they did this. Is it really, is it like this with all golfers? This is right from an advertising agent. Nike has already scripted what Tiger Woods is going to wear each day at the Masters. Thursday it's a pink and khaki striped polo shirt with khaki pants, today is a mock black turtleneck with gray plaid pants. Saturday Tiger will wear a white striped polo shirt with black pants. On Sunday a magenta and pink polo with pink vertical stripes and black pants. He is wearing a white hat for the first three rounds and a black hat on Sunday. His wear will be available retail, blah, blah, blah. Final decision has also been made for what he's wearing at the U.S. open. Is it really that scripted for everybody?

COSTAS: Not for everybody. Most of the tough golfers have some kind of connection with one company or another and you'll see they're wearing caps or shirts that promote that company. But Tiger's in a world of his own. When Tiger isn't in a tournament or when he's not high on the leader board, the television ratings plummet. His mere premise jacks the television ratings up and he is -- Nike has taken to the -- I mean, they don't give Tiger Woods, "Hey, what do you wear, Tiger, you wear a large, an extra large, a medium, here it is off the rack." No, they make these things for him form-fitting. He is in perhaps the best physical shape of any golfer we've ever seen. They make these things almost like a superhero outfit for him. You can't take your eyes off of him. He just has such a striking physical presence and they know that in addition to selling golf equipment and what not, people are going to look at Tiger Woods and these outfits and say, hey, where do I get one of those. And Nike will happily sell it to you. The difference is you will not look like Tiger Woods once you put it on.

GLENN: Yeah. You know what, have you noticed he is starting to look more and more like his dad?

COSTAS: Well, I notice he's losing a little bit of hair, which is the one flaw maybe in his physical appearance. When he takes his hat off in celebration times, you can see that, but --

GLENN: I saw a picture. Look at -- let's see. This is the New York Times. Look at the sports page, front sports page of the "New York Times," him at the Masters. I think he is starting to look more and more like his dad. Maybe it's just the shot. Is he the most dominant athlete of all time?

COSTAS: You know, you can make a case that no one has ever been better at their sport than Tiger Woods. As great as Michael Jordan was and he won the six titles and all the scoring championships, I don't think other people felt like they had almost no chance to beat him. The other golfers know that if Tiger has his A game, they're cooked, that they're playing for second place. I don't know that Babe Ruth at his best or Wayne Gretzky at his best or whomever you want to note was better at their sport or as good at their sport as Tiger Woods at his best is to golf. Now, some people would argue that even though golfers clearly aren't athletes, they are not the same as Olympic athletes or basketball players or football players, that maybe it's in a different category. But if we consider them all the same, then I couldn't put anybody ahead of Tiger Woods.

GLENN: Bob, I have to tell you and I don't even know if I want the answer to this one. We had a guy on yesterday and he was introducing John McCain at a rally and he was talking about how heroes now are sports figures and, you know, there are real heroes out there, and sports figures are, you know, guys that, you know, they make money. That's their job. They are not real heroes. And he used Tiger Woods, he said, you take Tiger Woods, I got John McCain. Tiger Woods is probably an exception to that rule. He's a guy that I wouldn't mind my son looking up to because he's worked hard, he's really studied it. He has worked on his craft. He's a decent guy, et cetera, et cetera.

COSTAS: Yeah.

GLENN: Is he really that guy?

COSTAS: Well, I don't know him that well, but from what I know of him, I think he's certainly admirable in many ways. Some people criticize him as they've criticized other black athletes of his generation for not being as outspoken on social issues as some of their predecessors. You know, in that respect he's not a Muhammad Ali or a Bill Russell or a Jackie Robinson or Arthur Ashe or someone like that, although societal conditions have changed and maybe the issues aren't as stark now as they were then but that is one criticism that you'll hear of Tiger Woods or of Michael Jordan. You know, I'm always very reluctant to label a sports figure a hero. You know, when I was a kid, I loved Mickey Mantle. He was a baseball hero but even when I was 10 years old, I wasn't thinking to myself, how can I be like Mickey Mantle as a person. I didn't know Mickey Mantle as a person. He was my favorite baseball player and he was in that context a heroic baseball player. I think what you can do with sports figures is the best of them are metaphors for excellence and determination and you can take something from that. But I don't think you should make the leap that the whole array of human qualities automatically attach themselves to someone who's good at a game.

GLENN: Bob Costas, what a pleasure to have you on. We'll talk to you again soon. Thanks, man.

COSTAS: Bye.

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.