Glenn Beck: Convicted Felon calls in...


Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government


by Glenn Beck


GLENN: Joe in Ohio, you are on the Glenn Beck program.

CALLER: Hello, how are you doing?

GLENN: Good, how are you?

CALLER: I'm pretty good except I'm a little ticked at you.

GLENN: Oh, boy. Stand in line. Now serving number 483.

PAT: Thousand.

CALLER: And the reason I'm ticked is I'm tired of you talking about the convicted felons the way you do. I know you are talking about the one individual gentleman who's in the White House and you say was a convicted felon there and every you know, my wife and I watch your show every day.

GLENN: Oh, boy.

CALLER: You are always like a convicted felon and you point out

GLENN: You are a convicted felon, aren't you?

CALLER: Yes, I am.

PAT: Joe, we just don't want you writing policy for the country. That's all. Is that too much to ask?

CALLER: Yes, that is too much to ask.

PAT: Is it really?

GLENN: Really?

PAT: What were you convicted of? Let's find out what he was convicted of.

GLENN: All right. What were you convicted of?

CALLER: Well, this is what I'm going to tell you. I'm going to tell you that

PAT: Well, come on, full disclosure. You are calling us on the carpet. Tell us what you were convicted of.

CALLER: Well, if you'll let me finish talking first.

PAT: Well, I'm asking you the question first. Just answer the question and then you can finish talking.

GLENN: Why are you so why are you so upset?

PAT: Well, I want to find out. Just hold on.

GLENN: He is very angry. He's got an issue with something. Go ahead, Joe.

CALLER: Okay. What I'm saying is it's irrelevant to the issue because I represent every

PAT: No, it's not.

GLENN: Could you please let let him finish.

STU: Let him finish, Pat.

CALLER: I represent, I represent every convicted felon out there. So you can think of any crime you want and you can put that on me because I believe this. I believe there's absolute truth. And I believe that the mistakes that a person made doesn't affect the truth that they speak.

GLENN: Okay. May I Joe, Joe.

CALLER: Yes.

GLENN: Let's just say you are a convicted felon. Let's just say that you were embezzling from banks, okay?

CALLER: Okay.

GLENN: That's what Robert Creamer had done.

CALLER: Okay.

GLENN: There is no one that understands or appreciates forgiveness more than me. I needed the atonement, and I'm not a convicted felon but, you know, give me more time. I could have been. May I? Joe, may I? May I? May I have the floor now?

CALLER: I'm sorry.

GLENN: Thank you. So there's nobody that understands redemption more than me. But what is the key to redemption, Joe?

CALLER: The key to redemption is change.

GLENN: Okay. Well, that's part of it. What comes before change?

CALLER: Brokenness.

GLENN: Good. Good. You've got to be a broken, contrite person that says, I've made a mistake, right?

CALLER: I agree, 100%.

GLENN: Good. Robert Creamer never has. He wrote the book, he calls his prison time a sabbatical. He wrote his plan, his manifesto in the prison. He still to this day doesn't think that there was a problem with him embezzling from the banks. Now, when you are a convicted felon, I am not I mean, I'm a huge fan of have you ever read Les Miserables?

CALLER: No, I have not.

GLENN: You are a very smart man because it's about 14,000 pages and you want to hang yourself because it has a very sad ending. But the whole point of it is this guy went to prison for stealing a loaf of bread. He gets into prison, he was guilty for it, he was starving, nobody would listen to him. He goes to prison. He serves. It's awful. He tries to escape. Now he gets 19 years. Now he's in prison again. It's awful. He gets out after serving his time. After he serves his time, he has to carry around what's called a yellow ticket of leave, which means every place he goes, every employer he has to go, every place he wants to go and live, he must show them by law, I'm a felon; I was convicted; I was in prison.

CALLER: So he's the sex offender of our day?

GLENN: Yes. And he was never able to get forgiveness, okay?

CALLER: Okay.

GLENN: That's the basic that's the opening part of Les Miserables.

CALLER: Okay.

GLENN: It shows how unjust that system is because you must be able to forgive people. That doesn't mean that you necessarily forget. If I'm a bank, I'm not going to hire Robert Creamer even if he says, "Wow, did I make a mistake! I'm not stupid!" Forgiveness is forgiveness but not in my bank. This man never asked for forgiveness.

CALLER: Now, may I say something?

GLENN: Yes.

CALLER: I understand that completely. And the issue that I have is, okay, I read some good books. I read Pilgrim's progress which was written by a gentleman who was in prison at the time. And I look at my prison experience as one of the best things that ever happened to me because God crushed me while I was in there and gave me time to think about what I've done and changed my life and has given me great opportunity since then. So I agree with you 100% that it takes brokenness and contriteness. And if the guy has not shown that, then

GLENN: He has not.

CALLER: If you'll let

PAT: But it's also something Joe, you also can't serve as president of the United States now. I mean, there are consequences to your actions. Yes, you've been forgiven; yes, you've been obviously given great blessings since. And you can go on and enjoy the fruits of those blessings. But there are certain things because of your actions that you can't now do.

CALLER: Right.

PAT: One of them is to come up with policy for the United States.

GLENN: Here's the thing.

CALLER: Right, right.

GLENN: Hang on just a second, Joe. Let's just take this out of the president of the United States and out of it being hang on.

CALLER: ... it doesn't need to go.

GLENN: I beg your pardon?

CALLER: You are taking it somewhere it doesn't need to go. I know I can't be president of the United States. And you know what? You don't have to tell me about consequences. I live every single day with what I did. I can't change that.

GLENN: I understand.

PAT: Well, we're trying to explain to you why we have a problem with a convicted felon writing policy for the United States.

GLENN: Right, but let's not hang on. Let's not even take it to the convicted felon. Joe, you are married.

CALLER: Okay.

GLENN: Joe, you are married.

CALLER: Yes.

GLENN: Okay. If Tiger Woods comes to you and says, whoa, I made a lot of mistakes and, man, boy, I mean, 13 mistakes that you know of, and I made a lot of mistakes and I'm a changed man, hey, by the way, your wife is really hot; I bet she's very good at golf; could I give her lessons?

CALLER: I guess she's very hot but I would say no, that

PAT: Why?

GLENN: Why would you do that?

PAT: We're a little hacked off at you, Joe.

GLENN: Would you have done that, Joe, two weeks ago?

CALLER: I'm just trying to I can't think your guy's chain. That's all. What I'm saying

GLENN: No, you're not. You are just losing the argument and so... (laughing).

CALLER: Tiger Woods, if Tiger Woods came to me that way, what I would say to him is, you know what, you can go ahead and do that but I'm going to go along because and I agree with you, Glenn. I agree with you 100% that a person when they do wrong that they need to prove to others that they are trying to change their life. All right? Now, my issue is here's my main issue. I think we're getting way off track. Is I don't mind you pointing out that this gentleman has done you know, he wrote the book, that he stands on these principles that are totally against the United States of America and what I believe this country stands on. But to stand up and keep pointing out convicted felon, convicted felon, convicted felon, it really rubs me the wrong way because there are

GLENN: Because you're a convicted felon!

PAT: (Laughing).

GLENN: I mean, I get it! I get it! If the guy's name was Beck and somebody was like, "And Joe Beck, Joe Beck," I would be like, can you stop saying the Beck thing? It's giving all this guy's giving automatic Becks a bad name. I understand Robert Creamer, if I understand your point, Robert Creamer is giving all convicted felons a bad name. I understand that!

CALLER: No, no. What I'm saying is this: You get on there and you say how much you are so you believe so strongly in forgiveness and second chances and you believe everybody has a second chance and, oh, my goodness, look at me, I was a drug addict and an alcoholic and I'll tell you what by the grace of god

GLENN: Stop saying that!

CALLER: I guarantee you if you I know if you were truly drug addict that you said you were and alcoholic that you said you were, that there were times that you performed illegal acts that you never got busted for. So it's just by the grace of God that you are not a convicted felon. So for you to

GLENN: Excuse me. Joe.

PAT: He is still not writing policy for the United States of America.

GLENN: Right. Wait a minute. Hang on. No, no, no, I've read in the New York Times I am. Joe, here's the thing. Here's the thing. I understand forgiveness, I understand that. This man has never asked for it.

CALLER: I understand that.

GLENN: This man has been, they have been making excuses for him, and he's been making excuses, and his attorneys have made excuses. His excuse is, it's only it was for a good cause.

STU: I paid it back.

GLENN: I paid it back. Who paid it back?

STU: Right. He's justifying it.

GLENN: Who paid it back?

STU: That's not an apology. He's been justifying his actions as not too, too bad.

GLENN: There is believe me, there were people that bought alcohol for me. There were people that enabled me every step of the way, in my drug and alcohol I don't ever need to point them out. I don't have anything against them. I don't nothing! I did it. I asked them; I drank it. Nobody poured it down me. It is no one's fault but mine. Now, if you think that I should be a bartender, well, you're dumb as a box of rocks. And you'd be if you were sitting there and you were running the bar and I had the cash register and the bar, you'd have every right to go, "But he's an alcoholic! But he's an alcoholic!" If I was standing behind the bar going, "No, I just drank a little too much!" You would be justified in saying, "But he's an alcoholic! Don't put him in charge of the booze or the money!" That's all I'm saying. He's a convicted felon. He is a convicted felon that hasn't had a moment of being contrite, at least that I can find. He should not be anywhere near the president of the United States and he shouldn't be writing manifestos in prison that David Axelrod says is a blueprint for our success.

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

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

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

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

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

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

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

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