Glenn Beck: God Bless America




Glenn Beck is seen here on the Insider Webcam, an exclusive feature available only to Glenn Beck Insiders. Learn more...

GLENN: There have been many times in our nation's history where we needed somebody to stand up and say, wait a minute, guys, we're good, we're okay. Gas prices, I listened to John McCain this morning on television. He's the worst speaker I've ever heard. He was talking about something he calls the Lexington project. All of the details sounded fantastic, but I wanted to hang myself when he was giving them to me. I'm like, oh, jeez. He could have been saying, "And I'm going to personally come over to Glenn's house and feed him chocolate cake every 15 minutes, "and I would have been saying, shut up, John. I've got to look into his Lexington project. Sounds pretty good. Finally a politician talking about doing something about gas prices. And I don't mean like, well, we're going to take those evil capitalists and roll them up a flagpole.

As we are looking at our jobs and going in and looking at milk, up 265% and gas up 700% in the last seven years, America's pretty tired. America's pretty tired of having common sense and nobody doing anything about it. We all know. You know. I know. John McCain, while Barack Obama flies over to Europe -- oh, yeah, like I giving a flying crap what those clowns think. While he's over flying over to Europe and then finally to Afghanistan and Iraq -- good for you -- John McCain is in Mexico and, what, Colombia? He wants to talk about the drug problems that we have down on the border. Oh, really, John? Now you're on to the drug problems? Apparently there's some sort of problem with our border and drug lords? Huh. Who would have thought of that? America has been so far ahead of these clowns that think they run the country, that I wanted to spend some time and do a couple of things, remind them that they don't run the country, you do; that we don't need to listen to them for answers because we have them.

The whole thing from the beginning has been about we the people, and I'll tell you a few stories that you've heard before. You have heard, "The British are coming, the British are coming," but you've never heard the real story. Most likely the only name you can name in that story is Paul Revere. Paul Revere played a pretty small role in that. That story involves women's underwear, actually saved three patriots' life on that ride. Did you know that? You will after today's show.

American history is being mistaught. American history, our kids roll their eyes because they're being taught what date this happened on, what city, where did this battle happen, what was the name of the general. Can I tell you something? I can't tell you what date Paul Revere got onto his horse and said, "The British are coming, the British are coming," but I can tell you the details. The details of that night speak volumes of who we are and how we get out of the messes that others have caused.

The other thing I want to do is start a little fire, not a fire that I think a lot of us would like to have, you know, torch and the other side of our body, the arm and the hand would be extended and we would have a pitchfork. Instead, a spark in another kind of torch, the torch, the lamp that Lady Liberty holds that guides the way. When the clouds are thick and the seas are rocked with storms, Lady Liberty holds her torch as a beacon, as a lighthouse saying "This way. Everything is going to be okay. Just follow the light."

In today's world I think we're being taught that, "Don't look at the light! Don't walk towards the light. I think it could be bad down there. Uh-oh, the light, that may be a train." The light, the light is where we should be looking.

Right after 9/11 do you remember when all of these politicians suddenly became human beings and they stood on the steps of the capitol and they all sang "God Bless America." Remember that? You're like, my gosh, they're real people! Maybe we can solve something! Look at that! Wow! The antichrists from both parties joining hands and all of a sudden being decent human beings! They became just like us, and we were all together. It didn't last long but, boy, wasn't that amazing. It's really appropriate that that song was played right after 9/11. The first time, the first time it was heard was in 1938, and storm clouds were gathering again and a woman who I think sounds strangely like a man sang it. You've heard this version a million times.

("God Bless America" playing)

GLENN: What you probably don't know about this song is that it was first heard by Americans in 1938 but it was actually written 20 years before. It was written after World War I. It was written by Irving Berlin. He wrote it for a play called Yip Yip Yaphank, which is a super, super classic that I wish I could see again. He felt the song was inspired and came from God but because of that, maybe it wasn't appropriate for Yip Yip Yaphank. But he also had a problem with the song. So he put it in a drawer and there that song sat for 20 years until Kate Smith. Kate Smith, she walked into Irving Berlin's home and she said the anniversary of Armistice Day which was the end of World War I, was coming up. And they all sensed that World War II was right around the corner. Nobody would know it better than Irving Berlin. He was a young Jewish man who lived in Siberia. He immigrated here to the United States. He loved the country. He was an immigrant. She said, "Irving, I need a song. World War I was over and that was the war that was supposed to end all words and now, Irving, you feel it and I feel it. War is coming again and great evil is gathering on the shores of Europe." She said, "I need a song. I need a song. I want to sing it for the anniversary of Armistice Day, she said, but I want something that will convince America that America's going to be okay. It doesn't matter if war is coming. It doesn't matter if Hitler is coming." He said, "Kate, I don't really have anything like that." She said, "Come on, Irving." He thought back. He said, "You know, I wrote a song about 20 years ago. I don't know." He said, "I don't feel comfortable with it." She said, "Why not?" He said, "It's not right. I don't have it down yet." And he said, "The lyrics are more of a prayer than anything else." And he said, "As I wrote it, I just -- Kate, I don't think it's right." He went into the drawer and he dug it out. It was at the bottom of everything. He dug it out and she looked at it. She could sight read. He didn't need to play it on the piano. She read the lyrics and hummed it to herself. She said, this is perfect. He looked at her and said, "It's boastful. It assumes that America is blessed and that God continues to bless it." Kate Smith looked at Irving Berlin and said, "Irving, it is, he does, I'm singing it." He reluctantly gave it to her but on an understanding. He said, "Kate, I can't take money for this song." She said, "Irving, but who's going to get the rights because I'm telling you right now this is going to be a huge hit. Everybody in the country is going to want a copy of this song. Who do you want the money to go to?" He said, "It was inspired by God. I can't take money for it." He said, "You know what? I know who to give the money to. If this thing does sell, I know who to give the money to."

Well, she sang it. It didn't just sell. Within a week it was sold out in copies all across the country. People were going into music stores and buying the sheet music. They were buying anything they could get for "God Bless America." It has sold and sold and sold and sold.

So who got the money? Well, let me play this and enhance the resources of the Boy Scouts of America.

("God Bless America" playing)

GLENN: It's amazing that a young Jewish man from Siberia wrote such a powerful song. Well, it's amazing to some people. I don't find it that amazing when people fall in love with America, when people come to America. It's because of her promise. It's because we understand that it's not today that we're living for. It's not the promise of yesterday. It's the promise of a brighter tomorrow that makes America so great. And that promise for a brighter tomorrow is not for money. It's that people, when they come here, can see and believe that they can become anything, that they can do incredible things, even if they want to keep those incredible things in a drawer for 20 years.

On Wednesday's TV show, Glenn Beck sat down with radio show host, author, political commentator, and film critic, Michael Medved.

Michael had an interesting prediction for the 2020 election outcome: a brokered convention by the DNC will usher in former First Lady Michelle Obama to run against President Donald Trump.

Watch the video below to hear why he's making this surprising forecast:

Use code BECK to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

On Thursday's "Glenn Beck Radio Program," BlazeTV's White House correspondent Jon Miller described the current situation in Virginia after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and banned people carrying guns at Capitol Square just days before a pro-Second-Amendment rally scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jon told Glenn that Gov. Northam and the Virginia Legislature are "trying to deprive the people of their Second Amendment rights" but the citizens of Virginia are "rising up" to defend their constitutional rights.

"I do think this is the flashpoint," Jon said. "They [Virginia lawmakers] are saying, 'You cannot exercise your rights ... and instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, we are putting pressure. We're trying to escalate it and we're trying to enrage the citizenry even more'."

Glenn noted how Gov. Northam initially blamed the threat of violence from Antifa for his decision to ban weapons but quickly changed his narrative to blame "white supremacists" to vilify the people who are standing up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.

"What he's doing is, he's making all all the law-abiding citizens of Virginia into white supremacists," Glenn said.

"Sadly, that's exactly right," Jon replied. "And I think he knows exactly what he's doing."

Watch the video to catch more of the conversation below:

Use code BECK to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Ryan: Trump Louisiana Finale

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

At the end of Trump rallies, I would throw on my Carhartt jacket, sneak out of the press area, then blend in with everyone as they left, filing out through swinging doors.

Often, someone held the door open for me. Just 30 minutes earlier, the same person had most likely had most likely hissed at me for being a journalist. And now they were Sunday smiles and "Oh, yes, thank you, sir" like some redneck concierge.

People flooded out of the arena with the stupidity of a fire drill mishap, desperate to survive.

The air smacked you as soon as you crossed the threshold, back into Louisiana. And the lawn was a wasteland of camping chairs and coolers and shopping bags and to-go containers and soda cans and articles of clothing and even a few tents.

In Monroe, in the dark, the Trump supporters bobbled over mounds of waste like elephants trying to tiptoe. And the trash was as neutral to them as concrete or grass. They plodded over it because it, an object, had somehow gotten in their way.

It did not matter that they were responsible for this wreckage.Out in the sharp-edged moonlight, rally-goers hooted and yapped and boogied and danced, and the bbq food truck was all smoke and paper plates.

They were even more pumped than they had been before the rally, like 6,000 eight year olds who'd been chugging Mountain Dew for hours. Which made Donald Trump the father, the trooper, God of the Underworld, Mr. Elite, Sheriff on high horse, the AR-15 sticker of the family.

Ritualistic mayhem, all at once. And, there in Louisiana, Trump's supporters had gotten a taste of it. They were all so happy. It bordered on rage.

Still, I could not imagine their view of America. Worse, after a day of strange hostilities, I did not care.

My highest priority, my job as a reporter, was to care. To understand them and the world that they inhabit. But I did not give a damn and I never wanted to come back.

Worst of all, I would be back. In less than a week.

Was this how dogs felt on the 4th of July? Hunched in a corner while everyone else gets drunk and launches wailing light into the sky? configurations of blue and red and white.

It was 10:00 p.m. and we'd been traveling since 11:00 a.m., and we still had 5 hours to go and all I wanted was a home, my home, any home, just not here, in the cold sweat of this nowhere. Grey-mangled sky. No evidence of planes or satellites or any proof of modern-day. Just century-old bridges that trains shuffled over one clack at a time.

And casinos, all spangles and neon like the 1960s in Las Vegas. Kitchy and dumb, too tacky for lighthearted gambling. And only in the nicer cities, like Shreveport, which is not nice at all.

And swamp. Black water that rarely shimmered. Inhabited by gadflies and leeches and not one single fish that was pretty.

Full of alligators, and other killing types. The storks gnawing on frogs, the vultures never hungry. The coyotes with nobody to stop them and so much land to themselves. The roaches in the wild, like tiny wildebeests.

Then, the occasional deer carcass on the side of the road, eyes splayed as if distracted, tongue out, relaxed but empty. The diseased willows like skeletons in hairnets. The owls that never quit staring. A million facets of wilderness that would outlive us all.

Because Nature has poise. It thrives and is original.

Because silence is impossible. Even in an anechoic chamber, perfectly soundproofed, you can hear your own heartbeat, steady as a drum. A never-ending war.

I put "Headache" by Grouper on repeat as we glided west. We were deadlocked to asphalt, rubber over tarface.

And I thought about lines from a Rita Dove poem titled "I have been a stranger in a strange land"

He was off cataloging the universe, probably,
pretending he could organize
what was clearly someone else's chaos.

Wasn't that exactly what I was doing? Looking for an impossible answer, examining every single accident, eager for meaning? telling myself, "If it happens and matters the next year, in America, I want to be there, or to know what it means. I owe it to whoever cares to listen."

Humans are collectors and I had gone overboard.

Because maybe this wasn't even my home. These landmarks, what did they mean? Was I obvious here? When I smiled, did I trick them into believing that I felt some vague sense of approval? Or did my expressions betray me?

Out in all that garbage-streaked emptiness — despite the occasional burst of passing halogen — I couldn't tell if everything we encountered was haunted or just old, derelict, broken, useless. One never-ending landfill.

Around those parts, they'd made everything into junk. Homes. Roads. Glass. Nature. Life itself, they made into junk.

I cringed as we passed yet another deer carcass mounded on the side of the road.

As written in Job 35:11,

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?

Nobody. Look at nature and you feel something powerful. Look at an animal, in all of its untamable majesty, and you capture a deep love, all swept up in the power of creation. But, here, all I saw were poor creatures who people had slammed into and kept driving. Driving to where? For what reason? What exactly was so important that they left a trail of dead animals behind them?

So I crossed myself dolorously and said an "Our Father" and recited a stanza from Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart"

you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

Out here, nothing but darkness. Needing some light, by God. Give me something better than a Moon that hides like an underfed coward.

Jade told me about some of the more traumatic things she'd seen while working at the State Fair.

"Bro, they pull roaches out of the iced lemonade jugs and act like nothing happened."

"All right but what about the corn dogs?"

"You do not want to know, little bro."

She looked around in the quiet. "Back in the day, the Louisiana Congress refused to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21," she said. "They didn't want to lose all that drunk gambler money. So the federal government cut off funding to highways."

We glided through moon-pale landscape for an hour before I realized what she had meant. That there weren't any light poles or billboards along the road. Nothing to guide us or distract us. Just us, alone. And it felt like outer space had collapsed, swallowed us like jellybeans.

Like two teenagers playing a prank on the universe.

In the cozy Subaru Crosstrek, in the old wild night, brimming with the uncertainty of life and the nonchalance of failure, we paraded ourselves back to Dallas. Alive in the river silence that follows us everywhere.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Next, the Iowa caucuses. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

The Iowa primary is just around the corner, and concerns of election interference from the last presidential election still loom. Back in 2016, The Associated Press found that a majority of U.S. elections systems still use Windows 7 as an operating system, making them highly susceptible to bugs and errors. And last year, a Mississippi voter tried multiple times to vote for the candidate of his choice, but the system continuously switched his vote to the other candidate. It's pretty clear: America's voting systems desperately need an update.

That's where blockchain voting comes in.

Blockchain voting is a record-keeping system that's 100% verifiable and nearly impossible to hack. Blockchain, the newest innovation in cybersecurity, is set to grow into a $20 billion industry by 2025. Its genius is in its decentralized nature, distributing information throughout a network of computers, requiring would-be hackers to infiltrate a much larger system. Infiltrating multiple access points spread across many computers requires a significant amount of computing power, which often costs more than hackers expect to get in return.

Blockchain voting wouldn't allow for many weak spots. For instance, Voatz, arguably the leading mobile voting platform, requires a person to take a picture of their government-issued ID and a picture of themselves before voting (a feature, of course, not present in vote-by-mail, where the only form of identity verification is a handwritten signature, which is easily forgeable). Voters select their choices and hit submit. They then receive an immediate receipt of their choices via email, another security feature not present in vote-by-mail, or even in-person voting. And because the system operates on blockchain technology, it's nearly impossible to tamper with.

Votes are then tabulated, and the election results are published, providing a paper trail, which is a top priority for elections security experts.

The benefits of blockchain voting can't be dismissed. Folks can cast their vote from the comfort of their homes, offices, etc., vastly increasing the number of people who can participate in the electoral process. Two to three-hour lines at polling places, which often deter voters, would become significantly diminished.

Even outside of the voting increase, the upsides are manifold. Thanks to the photo identification requirements, voter fraud—whether real or merely suspected—would be eliminated. The environment would win, too, since we'd no longer be wasting paper on mail-in ballots. Moreover, the financial burden on election offices would be alleviated, because there's decreased staff time spent on the election, saving the taxpayer money.

From Oregon to West Virginia, elections offices have already implemented blockchain voting, and the results have been highly positive. For example, the city of Denver utilized mobile voting for overseas voters in their 2019 municipal elections. The system was secure and free of technical errors, and participants reported that it was very user-friendly. Utah County used the same system for their 2019 primary and general elections. An independent audit revealed that every vote that was cast on the app was counted and counted correctly. These successful test cases are laying the groundwork for even larger expansions of the program in 2020.

With this vital switch, our elections become significantly more secure, accurate, and efficient. But right now, our election infrastructure is a sitting duck for manipulation. Our current lack of election integrity undermines the results of both local and national elections, fans the flames of partisanship, and zaps voter confidence in the democratic system. While there's never a silver bullet or quick fix to those kinds of things, blockchain voting would push us much closer to a solution than anything else.

Chris Harelson is the Executive Director at Prosperity Council and a Young Voices contributor.