The New Republic: America's Future Recap

All week on radio and TV Glenn asked the tough questions -- because our republic is being transformed before our very eyes. The time for silent dissent has long passed, and now the hard questions need to be asked. Maybe there are perfectly logical explanations for Obama's 'Civilian National Security Force' he wants funded as well as the military. But what is it? Who are the radical Czars in the White House, and why are they there? Does the President actually listen to Communist ideas? Here is the ENTIRE RECAP of this weeks shows -- the monologues, the questions, the amazing interview with Rush Limbaugh and more. Please, read it and pass it around to all of your friends. These questions need to be asked and answered. Get started!

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Question with Boldness

You need to start asking questions:

Day 1

-  Can we survive this debt? If yes, how?

-  Why the rush on health care reform, cap-and-trade?

-  Who is writing these bills?

-  Will Washington read and understand the bills?

-  Why are you called "grassroots" if you are for, but "Astroturf" if you are against?

-  Our unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is close to $100 trillion. Is there any way to pay for these programs without bankrupting America?

-  We are in so much debt, why spend more borrowed money on cap-and-trade and health care programs before we stop the flow of red ink?

-  The stimulus package funneled billions of dollars to ACORN: How does giving billions of dollars to ACORN stimulate the economy?

-  If it was so important for Congress to pass the stimulus bill before they even had time to read it, why has only a fraction of the stimulus money been spent six months later?

-  Former President Bush said he had to abandon free market principles in order to save them; how exactly does that work?

-  Why won’t member of Congress read the bills before they vote on them?

-  Why are citizens mocked and laughed at when they ask their congressman to read the bills before they vote on them?

-  Was the "cash for clunkers" program meant to save the Earth or the economy? Did it accomplish either?

-  How did Van Jones, a self-proclaimed communist, become a special adviser to the president?

-  Did President Obama know of Van Jones’ radical political beliefs when he named him special adviser?

-  The Apollo Alliance claimed credit for writing the stimulus bill; why was this group allowed to write any portion of this bill?

-  If politicians aren’t writing the bills and aren’t reading the bills, do they have any idea what these 1,000-page plus bills actually impose on the American people?

-  If the "public option" health care plan is so good, why won’t politicians agree to have that as their plan?

-  If town hall meetings are intended for the politicians to learn what’s on our mind, why do they spend so much time talking instead of listening?

-  Politicians are refusing to attend town hall meetings complaining, without evidence, that they are scripted. Does that mean we shouldn’t come out and vote for you since every campaign stop, baby kiss and speech you give is scripted?

-  Why would you want to overwhelm the system?

-  Is using the economic crises to rush legislation through Congress what Rahm Emanuel meant when he talked about not letting a crisis go to waste?

-  What are the president's "czars" paid? What is the budget for their staffs/offices?

Day 2

-  Who is "surrounding" the president in the White House?

-  Do any of the president's advisers have criminal records?

-  Are the president's advisers working to better the country or their own ideals?

-  Who are the anti-capitalists in Washington?

-  What role do they have in crafting bills?

-  What was "STORM"? What happened to the founders; where are they now?

-  What qualifications must one have to be a presidential adviser?

-  What is the difference between a community organizer and a community activist?

-  Do the "czars" have power?

-  Should a communist have the ear of the president of the United States?

-  What role did the Apollo Alliance play in crafting bills?

-  Does the president know the co-founder of the Weather Underground is a board member of the Apollo Alliance?

-  How many people in the administration are connected to the Movement for a Democratic Society?

-  What role does George Soros play... constitutionally?

Day 3

-  Why does the FCC have a diversity "czar"?

-  Who is Mark Lloyd and how does he plan to "balance" the airwaves?

-  Will he bring back the Fairness Doctrine or worse?

-  Cass Sunstein once said he wants to balance the Internet; is that next?

-  Will broadcasters who leave the airwaves be allowed to go to satellite or Internet without government regulation?

-  Is there any place (that has a mass audience) where the government wont regulate free speech?

-  Why does it seem every member of the Obama advisory team hates capitalism, unless those companies (like G.E.) are in bed with the administration?

If Lloyd has his way, stations who don't comply to the governments definition of the "public interest" will have to pay a massive fine — that helps support public broadcasting:

-  What will be the definition of "public interest"?

-  Who defines "public interest"?

-  Why should it be balanced? Because it's public airwaves? (Well, there are public roads that go by my house and I don't count how many Republicans and Democrats are driving on them)

Day 4

-  Why do we need a civilian force?

-  Who is posing a threat to us?

-  Who will this "force" be made up of?

-  Who is the real enemy?

-  Does the president know of a coming event? If not, who builds an army against an unrecognized enemy?

-  Why won't the media get off their butts and look into these radicals in the White House? And into this civilian army?

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All the President's Men



Watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5p & 2a ET on FOX News Channel

This is probably the hardest week of broadcast in my life.

I have been trying to figure out what's going on with my country since President Bush argued — with a straight face — that he could protect America while keeping our borders wide open. You and I both knew at the time that was a lie. You were angry, but you also had a life (family, job) and probably didn't start watching things closely. Because of my job, I did.

Over the last few years, I have come to believe things that I don't want to believe. They are uncomfortable and have made me — much to the aid of Jon Stewart's wallet — weep for my country.

I told you on Monday that there are three principles this show will drum through:

Question with boldness

Hold to the truth

Speak without fear

Let me focus on the second one for a bit.

If you truly ask what Jefferson called honest questions, with a sincere heart, the answers may take you to very uncomfortable places.

Nobody wants to think our president is a bad guy; President Obama actually seems like a likeable guy. And he may be the greatest guy ever. But is he in step with you and what you believe this country is?

When you hear the evidence, you have a decision to make: Will I bury my head in the sand, refusing to believe because it doesn't fit my agenda or my comfort level? Or will I hold to the truth whatever it is, so I may be a part of the solution and not an enabler to the problem.

On Monday night's show, I asked the tough questions on the president's special advisers — his "czars." They have the ear of the president of the United States; we should know more about them. What are they telling him? Does he listen to them? Who are they?

The first one we talked about was Van Jones — a self proclaimed radical, revolutionary communist; a man who co-founded an organization, whose own concluding documents said:

"Mobilizing young people of color into militant direct action — and combine it with more deeply-rooted organizing in our communities."

When we asked the White House if they knew about Jones' radical roots and if it gave them pause to make him a special adviser, the White House told us he was "focused on only one issue."

That is not an answer to the question. And beyond that, he's a communist… focused on job creation? What jobs does a communist create?

Let me continue to ask: Who has the president surrounded himself with?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THEN PRESIDENTIAL-CANDIDATE BARACK OBAMA: Let me tell you who I associate with. On economic policy, I associate with Warren Buffett and former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker. If I'm interested in figuring out my foreign policy, I associate myself with my running mate, Joe Biden, or with Dick Lugar, the Republican ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, or General Jim Jones, the former supreme allied commander of NATO. Those are the people, Democrats and Republicans, who have shaped my ideas and who will be surrounding me in the White House.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

We already know of at least five radical leftists currently advising our president — and these are just the ones who are open about their radical beliefs and far-left ideas:

Van Jones, green jobs "czar" — admits he's a communist

John Holdren, science "czar" — proposed "compulsory sterilization" and forced abortions to control population

Cass Sunstein, regulatory "czar" — proposed bans on hunting and eating meat and proposed that your dog to be allowed to have an attorney in court. And a fairness doctrine for the Internet, which he has since stepped away from

Carol Browner, global warming "czar" — was part of Socialist International, a group for "global governance"

Ezekiel Emmanuel, health care adviser — proponent of the Complete Lives System, which puts values on lives based mostly by age

How many Marxists, communists and anti-capitalists do you have around you on a daily basis?

But President Obama doesn't just have socialists and communists advising him. On Monday night I told you about the people who helped write the stimulus: the Apollo Alliance.

Jeff Jones, one of the leaders of the Apollo Alliance, may or may not have ever advised the president — we don't know because we can't get the entrance records at the White House.

But we do know this: Jones' organization, which he chairs in New York, had a lot to do with the stimulus bill — according to Harry Reid:

"This legislation is the first step in building a clean energy economy that creates jobs.... The Apollo Alliance has been an important factor in helping us develop and execute a strategy that makes great progress on these goals and in motivating the public to support them."

Does the president know he's had two pretty big encounters with the founders of the Weather Underground? A group that bombed government buildings?

We asked the White House — we are still waiting on a response.

By the way, we've also told you that the White House has tried or wanted to go around the FBI to have vetting done by the White House. I would think that based on what's happening here at the White House, it's pretty important to have an outside eye vet some of the people who may be advising our president.

How many times do we have to find a Marxist, communist, socialist, a revolutionary or, what seems amazing to me, a simple anti-capitalist near, around or advising the president of the United States before we ask the question, when he promises this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Is he promising to transform us into something unrecognizable to most Americans, but not unrecognizable to Hugo Chavez: "Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama! Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to his right!"

Is it un-American, hateful or outrageous to sincerely and honestly ask this question when the communist president of Venezuela says that?

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Speak Without Fear



Watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5p & 2a ET on FOX News Channel

We're halfway through the week and here are just a few of the things we've learned so far:

Congress, beyond not reading these bills, is not even writing these bills. They are being written by a vast network that is not conspiratorial — it is completely out and wide open — yet the media refuses to report on them.

Organizations that are filled with socialists, communists, revolutionaries. Organizations that pull their members from legitimate businesses, politicians and from groups that most Americans have never heard of, like Movement for a Democratic Society — a group started by members of the Communist Party USA, other radicals and Socialists of America.

I have demonstrated these radicals are not only instrumental in shaping legislation that's being jammed through, but are also -- by invitation -- personally advising the president of the United States.

And again the media remains silent.

These are facts — not opinions. I want to point out the silence; no one has challenged these facts — they just attack me personally.

Day 3 and the White House remains silent. Yet they have e-mailed my show during the broadcast, only to refute that these people are not "czars," they are "special advisers." One would think if all of this weren't true, they would worry about the labels "communist" or "revolutionary," not "special adviser."

I've also showed you the framework that — to quote Barack Obama — is "fundamentally transforming America." But this is much bigger than Barack Obama. Powerful special interest groups began to lay this framework over the last few years.

Remember the Green Jobs Act during the Bush administration? Many on Capitol Hill voted for it because they claimed it was unfunded with meaningless language, tucked into a 900-page bill. Heck, it only asked for $125 million (requested by the special interest group, the Apollo Alliance).

Now, that meaningless, unfunded, green act doesn't have $125 million, but rather $500 million that was — to use green jobs "czar" Van Jones' word — "smuggled" into the stimulus bill.

That money is now being funneled by Van Jones (a self-proclaimed revolutionary communist) to organizations and programs of his design and choosing. Oh, and he sits on the board of the Apollo Alliance.

What new "harmless compromises" do we have to look forward to in the health care bills with these radical wolves that are about to devour our republic?

I've told you the three mottos that I have personally adopted: Question with boldness; hold to the truth, and speak without fear.

This information is not being reported on just because the media can't be piece together quickly enough what is happening or they somehow agree with this revolutionary agenda — but fear also plays a big role. People have too much to lose.

As a recovering alcoholic, I've already lost everything once; I'm better and stronger for it. I didn't need a bailout; I needed to rediscover my principles. I've told my audience for years after I sobered up that I was a dirt-bag — I try my hardest not to be now, but I still make mistakes. They can take my job or my wealth — that's OK because I've been rich and I've been poor. But I was only truly miserable when I was lying to myself or others. And because some of those principles that I've rediscovered and applied to my life are the founding principles of this country.

I know that even if the current powers that be succeed in making me poor again, I will only be stronger for it. And American ingenuity will find another way to get this message out on a platform 1,000 times more powerful.

Because of my faith, I know how this story ends: America prepare to witness mighty, powerful miracles in your lifetime.

I am going to offer up evidence that part of the strategy of the fundamental transformation of America is to silence dissent.

Let me show you one of the most diabolical hidden parts of the plan, that quite honestly when I finished my research on it last week, I wrote to a friend that for the first time, I am truly frightened.

It involves the new diversity "czar" at the FCC.

I have told you for a long time: Pay no attention to the Fairness Doctrine that would shut down voices like mine on the radio or voices like mine and Bill O'Reilly on TV. It's too obvious. They will do it through what's called "localism" and "diversity." The final piece of the argument will be against these giant corporate broadcast groups that have too much power (one of which will never be G.E.)

This has been my warning and my theory. A week and a half ago, I began to look into our FCC diversity "czar" Mark Lloyd. In his 2006 book, "Prologue to a Farce: Communications and Democracy in America," Lloyd wrote:

"It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of speech or the press.... This freedom is all too often an exaggeration.... At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies."

Freedom of speech... is a distraction?

Localism boards are being created. Our diversity "czar" has just proposed that radio companies pay 100 percent of their operating budget, yearly. A 100 percent tax which would then be transferred to the state-run radio of NPR. If you can't pay that, you'd lose your license and it would be sold to minority group.

(In a completely unrelated fact, the FCC just approved the sale of another radio station — this one on Long Island — to ACORN.)

Speak without fear.

On global warming, people didn't speak because they didn't want to be seen as a Holocaust denier or a flat-Earther. So they passed "harmless legislation." Now we have half a billion dollars in the hands of a communist revolutionary, who describes his job as:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VAN JONES, GREEN JOBS CZAR: What I do, to kinda make it simple, I'm basically a community organizer inside the federal government.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

And now because no one in their right mind is against diversity, people will be afraid of being called a racist or a bigot or a hatemonger.

Speak without fear or more "harmless legislation" will be passed and you will not be able to speak and you will experience the kind of fear that no one in this country has experienced before. All it will take is an "emergency."

God help us all.

------

Barack Obama's Civilian Army

1:01 ET



Watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5p & 2a ET on FOX News Channel

Thursday's show, I believe, it's the most controversial of all the shows this week — and maybe ever.

I will give you some facts, some history but also some of the future.

The reason Thursday's show is the last before Friday's solution, I wanted you to see who was advising the president and what they are doing, before I could ask you to look at this phrase from Barack Obama and think he meant it literally:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BARACK OBAMA: We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

I don't know how anyone will respond to the facts I am going to present, because they really haven't responded to any of our questions or challenged any of the facts in our last few shows other than "Hey, don't call him a 'czar!'"

But I can't make this piece of the puzzle fit, unless this piece is about building some kind of thug-ocracy.

All week we've been asking tough questions — here's one more, Mr. President: Why do we need a civilian national security force that is "just as strong, just as powerful" as the military?

Here's why I ask this question: Who are we fighting? Who internally is threatening our security?

It's clearly not because we feel there is a threat from illegal aliens crossing the border, because anyone who would say that has been deemed a racist. A civilian national security force on the border is called The Minuteman and the attitude from this administration — as well as the Bush administration — is that they were "vigilantes." So it's not for the border.

It can't be a civilian national security force against Islamic extremists, because according to this administration we aren't even at war against Islamic extremists anymore. Is this administration really going to ask the American people to profile and call-in tips on Muslim Americans who act suspiciously?

So, who's left? Is it possible we are seeing the beginnings of another enemy?

Mr. President, is your civilian national security force to protect us from things the Missouri State Police, your own Homeland Security and the liberal Southern Law Poverty Center have come out and said were a threat: militia groups; tea party goers; folks with "Don't Tread on Me" flags; me; Sarah Palin?

Think about this: Is it unreasonable to think this government would ask you to spy on your neighbors, in light of these recent stories:

— Flag.gov e-mail asking for tips on "fishy" behavior

— Cookies on your computer that track whenever you've been on a government Web site — this used to be illegal but that was changed

— The government is using outside companies to track and contact you. Are they gathering information on you? I know that on "cash for clunkers" they didn't trust the dealers.

To me, all of this sounds like a sci-fi movie, but again I have to ask the reasonable question, in these unreasonable times: Who will the civilian national security force protect us from?

Maybe a better question to ask is, Mr. President: Do you know of a coming event?

Or maybe we should ask Joe Biden, who said:

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

THEN-VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOE BIDEN: Mark my words, it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America.... Remember I said it standing here, if you don't remember anything else I said: Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

Is this civilian national security force just preparing for what Joe Biden predicted?

Who builds an army against an unidentified, unrecognized threat? Because we can't answer that question — or any of the others just proposed — then it's up to us to look for clues.

Maybe we have to start with the company whose CEO is a close financial adviser to the president of the United States, who helped write the health care bill and cap-and-trade bill and who has billions of dollars at stake: Jeffrey Immelt.

Immelt has been appointed by president to the board of directors to the New York Federal Reserve. Does he have any information? Let's look for what they may be saying the threat will be that we will need a civilian national security force against.

It would seem to me the network that sells "Yes We Did" dolls, mugs and t-shirts and is obviously extraordinarily close to the president in seven different ways — is it possible to watch their network and their news, to see if they have any inside information as to what this threat may be? Immelt's network seems to be the leading network in predicting a lot of trouble, but they're not alone:

(BEGIN VIDEO MONTAGE)

ED SCHULTZ RADIO SHOW: Folks, these people are psycho. That's what they are. Sometimes I think they want Obama to get shot. I do. I really think that there are conservative broadcasters in this country who would love to see Obama taken out.

FRANK RICH, NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST: I'm just old enough, I was a kid, I remember I woke up in 1963 to the horrible events in Dallas. Even as a kid, I happened to be growing up in Washington, D.C., it was palatable to me all this hate talk about Kennedy and this sort of crazy fear.... But there were a lot of threats. There was a lot of stuff going on that in tone resembles this.

SEN. BARBARA BOXER, D-CALIF.: All of this is a diversion by the people who want to, frankly, hurt President Obama. And by the way I saw some of the clips of people storming these townhall meetings. The last time I saw well-dressed people doing this, was when Al Gore asked me to go down to Florida when they were recounting the ballots, and I was confronted with the same type of people. They were there screaming and yelling, "Go back to California! Get out of here!" and all the rest of it.

CONTESSA BREWER, MSNBC: "A man at a pro-health care reform rally just outside, wore a semiautomatic assault rifle on his shoulder and a pistol on his hip.... The Associated Press reports about a dozen people in all at that event were visible carrying firearms.... There are questions about whether this has racial overtones. I mean, here you have a man of color in the presidency and white people showing up with guns strapped to their waists.

(END VIDEO MONTAGE)

Is it reasonable to ask the question — based on these clips — do they think that a good portion of the American people are the enemy? They are such a danger we need a civilian national security force as well-funded and well-trained as the military?

That's who they think the enemy is and, once again, the media has it completely wrong.

So who is the real enemy?

"Common Sense" has been No. 1 for the last 10 weeks. One of the last chapters is "The Enemy Within" — I wrote it months ago. It doesn't take a genius to figure this out — let me give you this quote:

"It's not just the political class who has mastered the art of deception. There are other potentially deadly masters who will seek to exploit your frustration and sense of desperation. Many will warn you of government tyranny; they'll talk of secret societies, vast conspiracies, shadow governments, and the need for violent action. I urge you to stay away from these individuals and those ideas."

We've showed you the radicals in this administration. Now I'll show you the radicals outside the administration who are being used and will be used by the media and by this administration:

There was the Obama Joker poster creator; the right tried to take advantage of this and added the word "socialist" under it. But the creator of the poster is a Kucinich supporter who doesn't like Obama because he's not left enough.

Then there was that clip on MSNBC: The racist white person (according to MSNBC) who brought a rifle to the Obama town hall — wasn't even white! He was black.

In Denver, Maurice Joseph Schwenkler and an at-large accomplish smashed in windows at the Democratic Party HQ in Denver. Both parties accused Schwenkler of supporting the other, but he's a "trans-gendered anarchist" who belongs to the radical anarchist protest group Denver Bash Back.

While the radicals in the White House may not be connected to the radicals just mentioned, they are connected by the fact that they are radicals.

Remember, Obama adviser "czar" Jones created STORM who believes: "Revolutionaries need to be militant in street actions. As leaders in the fight for liberation, we should be role models of fearlessness before the state and the oppressor."

These are the sort of tactics some of Obama's "czars" know best.

So when we've got a president creating a "civilian force" as strong as the military and an admitted far-left radical in the White House doing this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VAN JONES, GREEN JOBS 'CZAR': Actually, my job is not so dissimilar than my job was before.... What I do, can I make it simple, I'm basically a community organizer with the federal family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

How else am I supposed to read this? I'm happy to hear any other explanation than "don't call him a czar."

------

A Call to Action



Watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5p & 2a ET on FOX News Channel

What a week.

The president said he was going to fundamentally transform America. Since January 20, he's been racing full steam ahead toward doing just that. This week, can you feel a pivot point? Doesn't it feel like, as a nation, we are waking up?

We've showed you some amazing, frightening facts and the White House hasn't challenged any of it.

Unfortunately, I guess that means they agree with the information we've presented on people like green jobs "czar" Van Jones. He's an avowed communist and radical activist who co-founded the communist group STORM — a group that describes themselves and their activities as:

"We upheld the Marxist critique of capitalist exploitation. We agree with Lenin's analysis of the state and the party. And we found inspiration and guidance in the insurgent revolutionary strategies developed by third world revolutionaries like Mao Tse-Tung and Amilcar Cabral."

The White House hasn't bothered to even spin the information we presented on FCC diversity "czar" Mark Lloyd. This guy actually lamented the fact that non-state-run radio stations prevented the "incredible" revolution in Venezuela:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK LLOYD, FCC DIVERSITY CHIEF: In Venezuela, with Chavez, really an incredible revolution — a democratic revolution — to begin to put in place saying that we're going to have impact on the people of Venezuela the property owners and the folks who were then controlling the media in Venezuela rebelled — work frankly with folks here in the U.S. government worked to oust him and came back and had another revolution. And Chavez then started to take the media very seriously in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

That pesky private sector! It's just littered with that non-propaganda talk.

Lloyd has talked about balancing out the airwaves — and that's not just conservatives, that's everyone who doesn't agree with the state. Again, the White House is not disputing any of this. That should frighten you. Especially in light of the story on Drudge today about the bill that would give Obama emergency control of the Internet. Wait, that sounds familiar... oh yeah, that's "czar" Cass Sunstein's idea.

How about the New York chair of the Apollo Alliance — the people who designed the stimulus package? His name is Jeff Jones. Before deciding who to give your tax money to, Jones co-founded the Weather Underground with Bill Ayers. The Weather Underground is a domestic terrorist group that came out of the communist revolutionary group Students for Democratic Society of the 1960s.

Does that bother the White House? Apparently not because they haven't denied any of this, nor have they fired anyone or even denounced these radical backgrounds. And the radical Jones is currently helping New York spend more of the stimulus.

Yet, the White House does seem pretty concerned about you.

The Department of Homeland Security warned of the rise in "right-wing militia" groups — their report said if you are concerned about "legislation on tighter firearms" you could be in a "white supremacist militia movement."

They are name-calling you.

Saul Alinsky's big strategy was to take the enemy out of their comfort zone. Van Jones and all of these "czars" know this; they are radicals. To quote Van Jones: "We need to be about the whup-a**. Somebody's f****ng up somewhere. They have names and job descriptions. You have to be creative about how you engage the enemy, because if you do it on his terms, the outcome is already known."

You are fighting on their level. We're taking it. We're being called greedy hate-mongers who only care about profits whatever else and we cower.

Tonight, I am going to lay out a plan.

Step 1: Fear not and take them on.

We've been fighting on their terms — afraid to say anything. It's time to forget that! Let's make them uncomfortable with the facts:

— You think I want to starve inner-city children? Really? Let's look at the policies where radical progressives have had control. The cities with the top 10 poverty rates in America have been run by Republicans only 8 percent of the time since 1965 and eight out of the 11 have been run by Democrats 100 percent of the time.

— Am I the one that hurts education? Washington, D.C., has long been controlled by progressives. They spend $15,000 per student (the national average is $10,000), yet they are still ranked among the worst in the country: Only 60 percent of the kids graduate and only 9 percent will complete college within five years of graduating.

— Am I reckless for supporting gun rights? In England they banned guns in 1998. For the next seven years, the number of deaths and injuries from gun crimes increased 340 percent — because, guess what, criminals aren't going to wait on a background check on their way to shoot someone.

— I'm "unpatriotic" and "cold-hearted" and even part of "the mob" for opposing government-run health care? When was the last time, in America, you saw patients in hospitals so thirsty they had to drink water from the nearby plants or 4,000 new moms being forced to give birth in hallways because of a shortage of rooms or see someone have their supposedly removed spleen suddenly rupture? Because all of those things did happen in the U.K., where they do have government health care.

The argument isn't about the facts anymore. When the shouters — on either side — are wrong, instead of admitting it, they just call you a hatemonger. They try and shame you into silence.

We need to screw our courage to the sticking place and, without fear, force them to face the tough questions — no matter what name you're called or what threat you face because the truth shall set you free.

Sure, groups will come after you. If you disagree with man-made global warming the radicals will attack you and call you a flat-Earth believing, Holocaust-denying, selfish jerk who would rather drive an SUV than save the planet from certain destruction.

But the IPCC report that they so love to quote says the best way to fight global warming isn't by getting a Prius, it's by not eating meat. How many of your Earth-loving green friends are vegans? From here on out, when they start lecturing you about the planet, ask: Do you eat meat? Do you have leather shoes? If they say anything else other than "absolutely not," tell them to sit down and shut up. And when they stop doing more supposed damage with their steak, then you can talk to me about my SUV.

And maybe we'll also talk about the green jobs "czar," who sees green jobs like this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VAN JONES, GREEN JOBS 'CZAR': We want a green economy that is strong enough to lift people out of poverty. We're not leaving anybody behind. We don't want an eco-elite economy.

We're talking about people that don't have a home. How do they get to be part of this green economy?

What good is a green economy if at the end of the day, it's just eco-apartheid anyway?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Which is it: We need green jobs because the Earth has a temperature (like Al Gore said) or we need green jobs for social justice?

By the way, that's Marxist code language. Social justice equals "take from him and give to him."

America, don't you see it? This isn't about Republicans vs. Democrats. This is about Republicans and Democrats and Independents against radicals, revolutionaries and anti-capitalist nut jobs.

Almost all Americans love the Constitution and we may disagree with this policy or that, but the fundamental transformation — the change that 80 percent of America was looking for — was a driving out of the money changers — those in bed with special interests, global corporations, Wall Street fat cats and political party hacks.

In the coming weeks on this program I'm going to ask you to continue to watch with a piece of paper because I'm going to continue to expose these connections and plans that are out of step with almost everybody in this country — unless you live in the basement of Nancy Pelosi's house in the most radically progressive neighborhood in the country while eating arugula and roast beef sandwiches!

But we're also going to arm you with facts. It's time to be unafraid and stop fearing name-calling, because sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

And just so you know, for those of you who are working for this revolution at the White House and SEIU and ACORN and Americorps, you should go back and listen to The Beatles' "White Album." Listen to a song, co-written by your progressive friend, John Lennon — who got it.

Even during the peak of 1960s radicalism, the Beatles understood:

"You say you want a revolution.


Well, you know,


We all want to change the world.


You say you'll change the Constitution,


Well, you know,


We all want to change your head.


You tell me it's the institution,


Well, you know,


You better free your mind instead.


But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao,


You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow.


Don't you know know it's gonna be all right."

• Is Beck right? Click here to sound off

— Watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5p & 2a ET on FOX News Channel

Ryan: Making of an Ant Queen

Photo by Kevin Ryan

The embattled, Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning author Liu Xiaobo wrote that "Life is priceless even to an ant."

An ant colony can only survive for a few months after the death of its queen. On average, queens live 10 to 15 years. Some, up to 30 years, one of the longest insect lifespans, hidden deep within the colony, protected, unable to use her wings because she's a little bigger than she used to be.

Plus she's very busy.

The majority of ants are female. Wingless, sterile worker ants. They build nests, they forage, they hunt.

Theirs is a far briefer life than the queen's, ranging from a few weeks up to a year. But they see more of the outside world than any other ant.

The bigger they are, the farther they travel. And they release pheromones along the way so that they have a trail home.
Drones — winged male ants whose primary function in life is to mate with the queen — die after mating and rarely make it out of the colony.

Then, there are the soldier ants. They protect the colony and attack.

To quote philosopher Bertrand Russell, "Ants and savages put strangers to death."

They go on raids.

The attacking colony rarely loses, so most colonies flee as soon as an invasion begins. But they sometimes remain and fight.
Ants on both sides of the battle die in droves.

Henry David Thoreau describes an ant battle in Walden: "On every side they were engaged in deadly combat, yet without any noise that I could hear, and human soldiers never fought so resolutely."

If the attackers succeed in overtaking a colony, they pillage the eggs. Some are eaten, fed to larvae. But others become victims of slave raiding. Meaning that the victors return home with their enemy's unborn, feed them, nurse them. Then, when the eggs hatch, the victors force them into slavery.

Often, the slaves even develop an allegiance to the colony which ransacked their home and enslaved them. They'll even help raid other colonies and either die pointlessly or help with the seizure of the next generation of slaves.

Sometimes, however, the slave ants rebel.

In the words of Persian poet Saadi, "Ants, fighting together, will vanquish the lion."

Flying ants, both male and female, leave the colony to form another colony. Once they find a suitable place, the males's wings fall off and they mate to their death. Then one or more of the females becomes queen.

*

It felt odd, any time I sat with a roomful of media, a few hundred journalists from all over the world, as they simultaneously, silently, decided "Yep, that's newsworthy. We should hammer that."

It wasn't like everyone turned to each other and said, "Let's agree on the narrative."

It was an energy.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Like in Houston, at the third Democratic Debate, after Biden misused the word "record player," you could hear chatter spread through the room, people muttering the words "records" and "record player."

In Houston, the media watched the debate from a gymnasium around the corner from the auditorium. So I could contrast the crowd's reactions with the media's reactions.

Nearly every time, there was a disparity between the two. The media were more relaxed — during the debate at least. The audience enjoyed any mentions of identity issues. There were a lot. But the media barely reacted at all.

This was a good thing, probably.

*

It's impressive to see how politicians force their stump speeches into a new form, depending on the context. How they say it like an epiphany.

That night brought the opposite for the ever-fledgling Kamala Harris. I could not believe it. Was this the same woman who'd made Iowa hers, just a little over a month ago?

All night, she was so loyal to the tactic she'd premeditated that she didn't realize it wasn't working, like she kept putting on a puppet show on some busy sidewalk.

At one point, she declared, proudly, "We're not talking about Donald Trump enough."

The most talked-about man in the world, perhaps in our country's history.

In five weeks, she became an entirely different candidate. Her latest version resembled a Xanax-fueled stepmom. It was like she was transforming into Joe Biden.

She kept laughing at her own jokes. And the entire media room cringed every time.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Amy Klobuchar's pre-formed jokes and half-zany dad jokes fell short every time, too. Most of the media saw Klobuchar's long rants as a chance to chat with a neighbor or jet off to the nearest bathroom, which was likely a locker-room full of plastic flight containers and padded camera cases and journalists who curse like sailors.

During the debate, the press was stoic. So if a candidate got a reaction from them, it carried a certain authenticity.

They laughed at things that the audience ignored or disliked or didn't notice. In part because the audience didn't do a whole lot of laughing. But the media laughed like professionals laugh. In-jokey and staid yet ready for anything unexpected.

They loved it when Booker said the thing about "Let me translate that to Spanish … 'No'." And Yang's opening handclaps. As well as Pete Buttigieg's reaction to Yang's raffle.

The biggest laugh of the night in the media center, surprisingly, was when Yang said, "I am Asian, so I know a lot of doctors."

*

Early scientists believed that ants adhere to a complicated hierarchy, which biologist E O Wilson compared to the Hindu caste system. The idea was, ants and humans have a lot in common, and ants belong to a society divided by class and determined by labor.

In the Wealth of Nations, father of capitalism Adam Smith wrote: "It is the great multiplication of the productions of all the different arts, in consequence of the division of labour, which occasions, in a well-governed society, that universal opulence which extends itself to the lowest ranks of the people."

Ants have been organized into colonized societies since the Cretaceous Period, 140 million years ago, when dinosaurs still dominated the Earth. All of that changed 74 million years later. Which was about 66 million years ago. When a comet slammed into what is now the Yucatan Peninsula, resulting in the KT mass extinction.

80 percent of all plants and animals died. The ash and dust and debris polluted the air, blocked the sunlight, transforming the Earth into a dark, frozen wasteland full of asthma.

Insects, carrion-eaters, and omnivores all survived. Any purely carnivorous animals starved to death, while mammals and birds fed on insects and worms until the earth repopulated itself with more animals that could be eaten.

The K-T Mass Extinction ushered in a new era of life. Species that had lived in constant retreat from predators were suddenly able to form more elaborate purposes.

After these lifeforms thrived for tens of millions of years, certain mammals started to become vaguely humanlike.
Early humans popped up about 300,000 years ago.

Meaning, ants have existed for 140 million years, which is 139.7 million years longer than humans.

For reference, if you counted to 300,000, it would take you roughly three-in-a-half days. To get to 140 million would take about four-and-a-half years.

Humans only began developing language about 100,000 years ago.

Yet we're the ones with libraries and governments and ABBA and iPhones. What did ants have? Other people's sugar?

*

Before the debate, I wandered out of the gymnasium and onto bustling sidewalks with makeshift security fencing on each side. And hopped over the massive yellow tubes that belonged in E.T. and pumped cold air into the building. Past dozens of police and security, through an elaborate weave of temporary checkpoints and wires bigger than a fire hose.

On the street, I passed a group of six-or-so teenagers flipping DELANEY signs around like those cardboard "WE BUY GOLD" banners which actual people bob around while dressed as Elvis or Lady Liberty or a Banana.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

The sun cast a delightful orange over Houston, glitter in the humid air.

Those kids were having a blast with those signs. Laughing so hard they had to stop occasionally and slap their legs.

On the other side of the fence, some of the most powerful people in the world were readying for battle, and these kids could not have cared less.

*

The protestors had gathered just outside the gates of the campus entrance.

Far as I could tell, it was me and no other journalists present. The rest of the media were in the gymnasium, preparing for the debate or networking or already on-air. Once they got into the media center they stayed put. For many reasons, I assume.
The air collapsed under a wave of heat unique to Houston.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Gnarled blockades served as borders on both sides of the street. Locked into steel fencing, flanked by rows of police cars with their lights on but their sirens off.

Worse than the humidity, and more intense, was the energy bouncing out of the protestors on Cleburne Street. The opposite of suction energy, shoving out with tension and panic and elation.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Curtis Mayfield's "Move on Up" blared from a Bluetooth speaker. I envisioned a slow zoom from above, beginning with the top of my head and rising, up and up and up. Drawing in the greater scene. Up past Trump's message-board plane. A panorama of city, then county, then state, capturing the topography and nuance of each snapshot of nature.

The higher the camera rose, the more I resembled an ant. One more wingless worker or obedient soldier rushing from place to place on a mission.

And when you got far enough above, you saw the colony that each of us belongs to.

Then it shrank like a passing bobsled, and Earth itself resembled an ant.

The scale of it is daunting.

For thousands of years the sky has filled humans with romance and humility and wonder. A restive impulse that strikes when we gaze up at the moon, the stars, the galaxy, the quiet.

But at ground level, I was a man in the throes of a great human drama. And my job was to document it as neutrally as possible.

The 120-odd protestors on the south side of the street spilled onto the sidewalk and into a lawn, and they chanted as the Trump plane groaned overhead.

They were crowded together, and they were all fighting for different causes. Lots of contradictions under the same banner.
Next to a group of Beto supporters with pro-choice t-shirts, several women chanted

We.
Want.
A pro-life.
Dem.

Chaos itself occupied the south side of the street. The protestors weren't sure how to handle it. So they chanted and sang and probed for the problem. Like so many tiny creatures hauling an orange slice.

Across the street, facing that horde of supporters, two men gripped pro-life signs.

They were the counter-protestors. Their barricade was far wider than needed. The grass around them looked sad, like the trail a dog makes along the fence when it wants to escape.

Behind the two counter-protestors, a mini-bus covered with photos of aborted babies, tangled fetuses, severed and indistinguishable chunks.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Photo by Kevin Ryan

I squinted and gasped and felt downright unwell.

Two days earlier, my wife and I found out that she was pregnant with our first child.

At the very moment I stared at images of tiny human shapes contorted and grey, our baby was the size of a pea.
A few weeks later, we'd see its heartbeat pulsing like a strobe.

I'm not making a statement on abortion. That's not my job as a journalist.

It's more my admiration for the impeccable depth of life. The timing. How messages and symbols confront us all the time, with unmatchable creativity.

Because there I was, literally in the middle of two opposing factions. Again. In the divide. Tangled into so many dichotomies. Life and death. Freedom and oppression. Order and chaos. Activity and stagnation. Creation and loss. Art and nature.

And I had once again remained in the middle.

This brought me tremendous satisfaction. It signified personal and journalistic success.

It was also a bit ridiculous.

As a reporter, I never wanted to pick a side. I already had a side. My side was America, and Ireland. My side was humanity.

My side was life.

New installments of this series come out every Monday and Thursday morning. Check out my Twitter or email me at kryan@mercurystudios.com

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak.Not to act is to act."
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The cost of discipleship can be daunting and few people are willing to sacrifice and stand in the face of evil to do what they know God is asking of them. The "Bonhoeffer Angel Award" is awarded to someone with the vision and courage to act when others only talk, to dig in and listen to the whisperings of the spirit when others turn a deaf ear. It is only fitting the inaugural award go to the visionary founder of Mercury One, Glenn Beck.

The award was presented by the Board President of Mercury One, David Barton and CEO of the Nazarene Fund, Tim Ballard. There was a touching video tribute as well including the likes of Penn Jillette, Senators Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and Joe Liberman, Congressman Loui Gohmert and Rabbi Daniel Lappin.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:

Glenn will be hosting the annual Operation Underground Railroad gala Saturday, November 2nd with keynote speaker Tim Ballard. If you are able to join us, tickets are still available and donations of all sizes are welcome.

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

For one night only at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, on December 7th, join internationally-acclaimed radio host and storyteller Glenn Beck as he walks you through tales of Christmas in the way that only he can. There will be laughs, and there might be a few tears. But at the end of the night, you'll leave with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.

Reconnect to the true spirit of Christmas with Glenn Beck, in a storytelling tour de force that you won't soon forget.

Get tickets and learn more about the event here.

The general sale period will be Friday, August 16 at 10:00 AM MDT. Stay tuned to for updates. We look forward to sharing in the Christmas spirit with you!

Ryan: Donald Trump goes to Dallas

Photo by Sean Ryan

Donald Trump leaned into the rostrum like a bartender. He loved to rile his patrons.

"They. Wanna. Take. Your Guns. Away," he said, in his trademark staccato.

They stomped and hollered, 18,000 strong in the American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Mavericks, on a Thursday in October, and another 5,000 people waited outside, desperate to join.

"At stake. In this fight. Is the survival. Of American democracy itself," he said, then went off-script. "Don't kid yourself, that's what they want, they are destroying this country, but we will never let it happen, not even close."

Photo by Sean Ryan

Here it was a few weeks from Halloween, with more autumn in the air each day. And 23,000 people roamed Dallas in costumes. All dressed up like American flags. They were happy. You could feel it all around.

It was ice-cold in that arena, but I had my bulky tan Carhartt jacket. It had been an hour since I chuffed down a travel-sized Crown Royal and some Sativa gummies, and I felt an unerring contentment.

Photo by Sean Ryan

So my eyes shot wide when Trump jerked his hand toward the media pool for the third or fourth time that night and dealt a few jabs, and the audience hissed.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Every time it happened, I struggled to keep from laughing. Not in a condescending way. Neutral amusement. The drama of this wild setting full of energized people, the stadium lights, the narrative in motion. Hero versus Bad Guy.

Next minute they were cheering again. Because Trump told them about his plan to bring jobs back to America. It was just a matter of overcoming so many evil forces. But, he assured them, he was the only man who could guide us.

He listed off the enemies. The media, obviously. China, Obama, Democrats, Socialism, politicians, ISIS. I gasped, "Oh shit, I forgot about ISIS!"

*

There were five of us at the rally representing BlazeMedia. Writer Samantha Sullivan, cameraman James Baier, producer John Ruggio, and photographer Sean Ryan, my father.

James plays on the drumline at Mavericks games, so he gave us a proper tour of the arena, all the long passages and gaping walkways and cramped stairwells.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Then we prowled around outside, looking for protests.

It was a different world out there on the street. A nun in diabetes socks strolled past MAGA vendors by the W Hotel. Valet spots crowded with Secret Service vehicles.

Photo by Sean Ryan

An all-women Pro-Trump county/rock band chanted on the massive stage, where, an hour later, Fox News live-casted. We were the only media outside, besides the odd cameraman tip-toeing through the curving rows of Trump supporters in line.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Samantha conducted man-on-the-street interviews. Nearly every time we walked away from someone we'd just interviewed, the people around them said a version of, "Now you're famous."

*

There were a dozen merchants selling Trump merchandise outside the arena, at least a dozen. One of them told me that they travel to all of Trump's rallies. From his cart, a flag billowed with the words "2020: Make Liberals Cry Again."

Photo by Sean Ryan

As we followed the curves of the snaking line, I overheard a drunk man in his dark tan blazer exclaim, "All right, I'm gonna get us on television again."

We flashed past thousands of faces, thousands of people, driven to be there, standing in line. And happy no less. Blatant under the red-winged sky with planes that float silently, graceful and astounding.

Photo by Sean Ryan

A young woman strolled down the street with a sign that read, "I might be gay, but I'm not stupid."

She told us her story. Her message was compassionate. Her face was relaxed.

Photo by Sean Ryan

A little further down, plumes of smoke rose from a group of protestors with signs that said "We Vape We Vote.""Are you guys protesting Trump," I asked one of them.

"No," he said, "we all have different opinions about Trump. Not really worried about that. Right now we just want to protest the new vaping laws."

Photo by Sean Ryan

*

At 7:44 p.m., "Proud to be an American" came on and Trump emerged from the guts of the arena, strolling through the tunnel like Michael Jordan. Game 6.

Some people teared up, placed a hand over their eyes or their heart. Others nodded for too long, as if they couldn't believe what they were seeing. Was that really him up there?

Even a few of the police had that resplendent look.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Trump walked the stage. He clapped and waved. He waited till the end of the Lee Greenwood song to speak. The audience cheered as he braced the podium and said, "Thank you." And they kept cheering. He waited. 20 seconds or so. But the applause kept going, so he turned around and clapped some more and waved and smiled that certain way he smiles.

*

"I am thrilled to be here," he said, "deep in the heart of Texas." And people cheered even louder than before, because Texans love Texas. "Where we just opened a beautiful new Louis Vuitton plant."

Life in America was now constantly surreal. Donald Trump, who actually became President, was talking at a packed rally. In a basketball arena. About the opening of a factory. For a luxurious French fashion brand. In Keene, Texas, population 6,400.

*

Trump peeked at one of his teleprompters. Grinning halfway. Then he jabbed his finger into the air, aimed it at the media section, and said "They're worse now than they ever have been," his shoulders raised and hands gesticulating. "They're crooked as hell. They're worse now than they've ever been. They're crooked."

Photo by Sean Ryan

His supporters booed. Jeered.

They pointed their fingers. They hocked.

A "CNN sucks" chant whispered down from a corner section on the 3rd level, but it never caught on. The audience's hissing tactic worked better anyway. No words. Words were the problem.

*

There was a musicality to Trump's sentences. He started with clipped phrases spoken in couplets. Then he let the words slide into an almost freeflow.

Photo by Sean Ryan

He would start on-script, "The radical Democrats want to destroy America as we know it. They wanna indoctrinate our children." Then, halfway through the next sentence, he would pivot into an aside, spoken in vernacular.

"And teach them that America is a sinful nation, you see that happening all the time. And I know it from personal experience. What they want to teach your kids, not good. They come home, 'Mommy, daddy, this is what I learned,' and you're going 'Oh, no, don't tell me. Let's get 'em into another school, fast.'"

*

Bleacher Report ranked American Airlines Center the 7th loudest arena in the NBA.

The crowd's reaction to Trump's comments about guns and the 2nd Amendment created one of the loudest sounds of the night, louder than Tina Turner's "The Best," which played about 8 times. Must have been 100 decibels. Some people were stuffing their ears with whatever fit.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Nearly every one of Trump's punchlines got an audience reaction.

I mean these folks were revved up.

I spoke to a lot of people that night. Not a single solitary one of them was anything less than kind.

Look, I might as well say it now. The crowd was more diverse than I'd expected. Race, ethnicity, age, sex. Probably less diverse than the demographics of the country. But that's to be expected. Every one of the events so far brought a completely different crowd.

Photo by Sean Ryan

What mattered most was how the candidates swayed any given crowd at any given place. What was different about a Bernie Sanders townhall at a Hilton and a Kamala Harris sermon at a Baptist Church?

Nobody was ever rude at any events. But nowhere was there as much excitement as at the Trump rally. It felt like a sporting event or a music festival.

Photo by Sean Ryan

More than anything, it felt like WrestleMania. Professional wrestling. World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

So many times I looked around at the engulfed arena and thought, "This is WWE."

*

Especially when Trump told stories. The way he added both vitriol and triumph to his sentences. Turned them into journeys, much like the interwoven plot lines of a WWE drama, each scene and victory or failure leading to WrestleMania.

The more outrageous or scandalous the story, the better. The less believable, the more dramatic it became. Because all any of it had to be was compelling.

Photo by Sean Ryan

To be compelling was more important than to be literal or judicious. Supercharged with human drama. Betrayal. Contempt. Dalliances. Mockery. Danger. Love. Confoundment. Anxiety. Celebration. Occasionally even death.

All of it was WWE to the hilt. But it was also the polluted clouds in an otherwise sacred dream. Water and adolescence, all the magnets spinning and spinning. Each huff from the street. The reckoning of life, how maybe it could have happened differently but this is how it went.

*

He seemed to use a kind of operant conditioning on his audience, as if to make it easier for them to communicate in shorthand.

Fewer words, fewer, few.

Photo by Sean Ryan

For instance, here's his first mention of the media, at the start of the rally.

"Although the fake news back there, they don't wanna talk about it." That drew the boo's all right.

He leaned back, as if handing them the mic for a moment.

Photo by Sean Ryan

"They don't wanna talk about it." He stared at the media area for a few seconds, then squinted cartoonishly and lifted his palm over his forehead like he was blocking out the sun. Then he leaned into the podium, and the pitch of his voice rose. "Look at all those cameras, can you believe it? Look at all those red lights."

Then he pointed at the press pool. The cameras were set up directly across the arena floor, so when you watch it on video it's like Trump is bursting out of your monitor.

Photo by Sean Ryan

"Don't worry, I won't say anything bad about your network."

Then he — immediately — said something bad about the networks.

"Cuz' a lot of times I get ready to do a number on these phony networks and, you know, I see those red lights go off, off, off, off, off. They don't want their viewers to see, but that's okay. I'm not gonna say it tonight. I'm gonna say, 'You're legitimate media'."
Aside, "I don't actually mean that."

He grimaced.

Photo by Sean Ryan

"But you look at that," he said, pointing, then lifted his palm to his forehead again, like he still couldn't find the puny thing he was looking for. "That's like the Academy Awards used to be, it failed. You know why it failed? Because they came after us. That's why it failed. It failed because it had stupid people saying horrible things about us."

Then he pointed to his temple wiggling his finger, "Stup-id." Shook his head. "Stupid people. They are stupid people. And their ratings have dropped like a rock. And I love seeing it, I'm telling you. Love it."

He reared his head back.

"But no matter how. Hard. They. Try. They will fail. Because the people of Texas, and the people of America, will never. Surrender. Our freedom. To those people. Right there."

Photo by Sean Ryan

Later in the speech, he said much less, mostly variations of "and in the back you'll see the fake news." Repetition, a little briefer each time. Down to an occasional off-handed, "Those phonies in the back." Then, eventually, all he had to do was point, grimacing.

Two K9 police took stance in front of the grey barricade separating us from them, which amounted to separating us from ourselves.

*

Security at the rally was unlike anything I'd seen. An entire military apparatus that floated here from Washington D.C., subsuming downtown.

Two wax-shined helicopters hovered over the arena, unmoving, like geckos ready to snap on a fly. I'd never seen a helicopter float perfectly still like that. It was terrifying.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Secret Service everywhere. Different ranks. Outside were the Navy Seal types in body armor, hoisting MP5s with silencers. The Secret Service inside, nearest Trump, had the same jagged stare and well-trained unease. But they glided around in immaculate, boring suits, each with a gold square pin on the lapel. They either stealthed around in a blur or stood perfectly still like the Queen's Guard.

I'd been to the American Airlines Center twice before. A few years ago, for Kanye West's Saint Pablo tour, when he performed solo on the levitating stage. And last summer, to review a Shania Twain concert under the influence of LSD.

Oddly, the Trump rally was a mixture of both.

*

In nearby Grand Prairie, at the Theatre at Grand Prairie, Texas Democrat Beto O'Rourke held a competing rally. There were about as many people at O'Rourke's rally as people outside the Trump rally.

Obviously, Trump loved that. But, for good measure, he hurled a few Beto-jabs into his speech, referring to him as "a very dumb Democrat candidate for president."

Photo by Sean Ryan

Then he compared him to one of those wacky inflated dancing noodles you only ever see at used car dealerships.

Then he did an imitation of above-mentioned contraption. It was bizarre to see a President imitating a dancing noodle. But he didn't care what a President should or shouldn't do. He was the anti-Politician President. And his followers loved that about him.

Photo by Sean Ryan

"The flailer," he said. "Remember he was flailing all over the place? I said, 'Why is this guy hot? John Cornyn's gonna win so easily. Just like Ted Cruz won. He's gonna win. No matter what happened." Then he scoured, like a falcon in a painting. "In a few short weeks, [Beto] got rid of guns then got rid of religion. Those are not two good things in Texas to get rid of."

*

Stomping his balled-up hand, Trump said that his office, the Oval Office, was our office, too. The crowd roared. Some of these people had driven hours for the rally. There were farmers and truck drivers and teachers and nurses. A lot of people there had never had an office of their own, and here was the President saying his was theirs.

Trump is the hero of his stories. It's part of his success, and, I suspect, a useful defense mechanism. At first glance, his journey and his character are riffs on the classical literary model, a thirsty figure who gnashes through dangerous territory, down into the unknown, through death and onto rebirth.

Photo by Sean Ryan

But Trump is not classic in the slightest. He's nothing like Odysseus or Dante or Gilgamesh or Don Quixote. Instead, he is a postmodern antihero, like Clint Eastwood in "A Fistful of Dollars" or Tony Soprano or Beyoncé or Homer Simpson. In the summer of 2015, I asked a former professor to define postmodernism.

"Donald Trump," he replied. "He contains all of it. Chaos. Hyperreality. Lots of chaos. A constant sense of 'This is so surreal.' The rejection of tradition and assumptions. Rejection of divisions between high and low culture. Rejection of rules and styles and genres. Use of pastiche. Satire. Irony. Playfulness. Paranoia. Fragmentation. A total lack of boundaries."

*

Any time the place got quiet, some random person, usually near the rafters, hollered out phrases, and it just sound like the South Park rednecks saying "They took our jobs!"

To be fair, hecklers on the left don't sound much better.

*

A week earlier, at Trump's Minneapolis rally, protestors and activists formed a moshpit outside the Target Center, not too far from the Mississippi River.

Tensions in Minneapolis had been high, and as Trump was about to board Air Force One Mayor Jacob Frey insisted that Trump pay the $530,000 security fee in advance. A last minute effort to keep him out of Minneapolis.

In response, Trump tweeted that the "lightweight mayor is hurting the great police and other wonderful supporters. 72,000 ticket requests already. Dump Frey and [Minnesota Rep. Ilhan] Omar! Make America Great Again!"

Photo by Sean Ryan

Conservative networks reported that, after the rally, members of AntiFa attacked at least one Trump supporter. Moral panic or not, it didn't augur well for the next year.

The following day, Trump appeared in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The South. No army of AntiFa down here, not like in Portland or New York or Seattle.

AntiFa has a decent presence in Dallas, and a reporter friend of mine interviewed a group of them outside the Trump rally. But there were hardly any there. A dozen or so. Which is nothing compared to the tens of thousands of Trump supporters, coiled all through downtown Dallas with its neon green outline.

*

I worked as a soccer referee for years. So I've broken up countless fights, dealt with manic egos, endured adults prone to outbursts, taken every kind of verbal abuse, faced absolute mutiny. In these chaotic situations, when people around you are losing their minds, the two greatest solutions are kindness and humor.

*

Halfway through a sentence Trump stopped reading from the prompters, stopped talking, pivoted, beamed at the crowd, then lifted his hand.

The entire arena fell silent.

It was the captivating hush of the final moments of an important game, as the ball floats through the air toward the goal or net or end zone, and fate is no longer within our grasp.

Imagine being able to freeze an entire arena into abrupt silence with one tilt of your hand.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Trump was quarterback and they were the defensive line. He sang the melody and they hummed the backbeat. He was the skipper and they were deckhands. Although he seemed concerned that his supporters never felt belittled by this arrangement.

"[Democrats] come after me, but what they're really doing is coming after the Republican party. And what they're really really doing is they're fighting you, and we never lose."

Photo by Sean Ryan

Every time he dropped a line like that, the crowd erupted with the kind of visceral intensity usually reserved for good news and sports.

The man who Evil Knievelled into arenas and said he'd never be conquered.

The closing of his speech was like the ball-drop in Times Square. But instead of kazoos and fireworks it was the words "Make America Great Again."

"Four more years," people shouted, "four more years."

Photo by Sean Ryan

Then the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" blasted to life.

For some reason, one verse stood out more than the others.

And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, "We're gonna vent our frustration
If we don't we're gonna blow a fifty-amp fuse"

In all that hissing and mania, all the flag-waving intensity — as the arena peeled and shook with the song and so many stomping feet — Trump looked in one direction, waved. Then another, and turned, waved. Until he had looked in every direction and waved.

Before he ducked out, he pointed toward the crowd one last time. A blaring sea of reds, blues, whites. A living representation of the American flag. All three colors boiling around under the Jumbotron and disco balls.

Little by little, people streamed into the aisles. They filed up the concrete steps, and out into a familiar chaos.

New installments of this series come out every Monday and Thursday morning. Check out my Twitter or email me at kryan@mercurystudios.com