Glenn Beck: The Obama Shrine

GLENN: I want to go to Ed Schultz who said something amazing. Was he on was he in a speech, giving a speech some place?

PAT: I think it was on his show.

GLENN: So it's equivalent of giving a speech.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: But maybe a smaller audience. But he was, he was talking about going to the White House. And I want you to listen to the way he describes the White House and what he saw in the White House.

SCHULTZ: The White House, the West Wing, and there are pictures all over, I mean, everywhere of President Obama, of his life in the first year as president of the United States. Now, I don't know if that's the way it is with every president.

GLENN: No.

SCHULTZ: But it was almost a shrine. I mean, well, here's a picture of Obama, the president with his kids over here, there he is getting on Air Force one, here is with some military people, here he is on the line, working the line at one of his campaign stops. I mean, just, it was just one picture after another! And so I got the message right away that there's nothing but Obama fans in the White House, which I think is a good thing.

PAT: That's the message he took.

GLENN: Okay.

PAT: Unbelievable.

GLENN: Whew. That is not the way it is with every president. I can tell you that I have only been in the White House one time in the West Wing. It was with the last president. And what struck me was I was actually kind of hacked off. I don't know if you remember when I came back from the White House, I was hacked off and I said, there is so much art on the walls that you have never seen before. The Spirit of '76, Washington crossing the Delaware, one of the smaller versions of that is in the West Wing. Norman Rockwells, a Norman Rockwell I have never seen before. All of this beautiful art. That's what was on the wall, and it was all about America, its founding. I saw the Gilbert Stuart of George Washington, saw beautiful painting of Abraham Lincoln. It's amazing what's on the walls, what was on the walls in the West Wing of the White House. Incredible. The only time I saw pictures, I saw pictures of the president with his family and pictures of his family on his desk. That's the only time I remember seeing pictures. I think there was one other where they had a portrait of him, you know the kind of thing that they put in school and stuff like that. There was one. It was appropriate. I think it was by the door or something. It was kind of like, this is our current president. But everything else, they were all old pictures of paintings, of presidents and moments in American history.

Now, I just got a note from a friend of mine who said, Glenn, I was just in the White House for three hours. Inside, the walls are covered with 11 by 14 framed photos of the president in various activities. According to the Secret Service they are taken all of the time and changed weekly. I would estimate there are 300 photos around the White House now east and west wings, and they are changed weekly. Wow! Wow.

Let me tell you a story. I was out, I was out west and a guy who is a very influential mover and shaker and I don't want to say his name because he's kind of a recluse in many ways. He's a very private man. I didn't even really know who he was. I mean, I knew that he was a mover and shaker, I knew that he was, you know, involved in, not in politics per se. He was involved in big business. But I didn't know. We were being driven there and the driver of the car, I said, so we're going to such and such a place. And he said, oh, my gosh, you are going in that building? And I said, yeah, meeting with so and so the guy almost stopped the car. You're meeting with him? He doesn't meet with anybody. Really? I mean, I had no idea. So I didn't as soon as I got out of the car, I thought, we didn't prepare for this meeting. We get up there and there's beautiful paintings of the West all over this office. So I immediately got the impression this guy is a, he's a cowboy, he's a guy who understands the western spirit.

When I got to the office, I sat in his office and it was all kind of memorabilia around his office. And the painting that was at his desk just off to the side, so it's where if he turned to the phone, and he was on the phone, he was looking right at it, was the painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware. I felt I immediately knew who this guy was. He had pictures of his family, George Washington and memorabilia. And on the way it was all about the West and the taming of the West. I felt I knew who he was, even though I didn't.

I was out fishing last summer and I was fishing with Jon Huntsman, Sr. He's a friend of mine, just one of the I mean, he's one of the most noblemen I have ever met. And we were talking and I said, do you know this guy, John? And he said, yeah, I do; he's a really good guy. And I said, yeah, you know, I got that impression. But I said I only met him for, you know, about an hour and quite frankly I feel a little stupid, but I was judging him kind of on the paintings around him. And he said, what do you mean? And I said, well, he had a picture of he had the painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware over his desk where he would look while he was on the phone. And I said, you know, and I know you can't judge anybody by, you know, what they have on their wall what they have in their office. And he just looked at me like, what, are you dumb as a box of rocks? And I just wanted to say, I know what you're thinking, and the answer is yes. And he said, yes, you can. He said, that means an awful lot. What is a man looking at when he's working? What is what are the things that he surrounds himself with? Yes, you can. You can tell a lot. And then I started thinking, what do I have in my office? What do I have in my office? And I realized that what I have in my office, I have two, I have two pictures in my office I have three. I have a painting of what's over Rockefeller Plaza that says wisdom and stability will be the wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of thy times. It's from Isaiah. I have a photograph of Orson Welles and a photograph of Walt Disney. On the other wall I have a couple of photographs of some people that inspire me. And I realized, wow, and I have them there for a reason. On my desk I have my children and my family. It's what I look at.

Now, if I'm going to go back to the White House, I want to see who is the president looking at? What does the president have around him? Apparently he's looking at himself an awful lot, which kind of explains an awful lot about his arrogance, does it not?

The other side of it is if you're watching as an Insider now, you will see well, behind me now is a photograph of Ronald Reagan, old Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan from the 1950s. And the reason why I have that picture is because the Ronald Reagan of the 1950s, he was a searcher. He was trying to find out, "Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute, what is it I believe in? I think I've been lied to." He was a guy who was open in saying, wait a minute, and he was formulating his ideas. That's why I have that picture there behind me. Everywhere else in the studio, and if you come to Mercury, my company, the elevator doors open and what are you hit with? I mean, you start walking around this place and what are you hit with, Pat?

PAT: Glenn.

GLENN: Yes.

PAT: You're hit with Glenn, yes.

GLENN: There's a lot of pictures

PAT: It's almost like a shrine to you.

GLENN: It is. It's almost like a shrine to me. What's the difference between when you come off the elevator on my floor and you go into the West Wing?

PAT: You are marketing something. You. You are selling you.

GLENN: My name.

PAT: This is a business, it's a trademark.

GLENN: My name is trademarked.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: My name has the little, what is it, the R or the tm after. I saw that the first time and I'm like, what, we've registered, my name is a trademark? Yes. My name is a trademark. Barack Obama is not. The White House is not about him. He is a steward of the White House! He is a keeper of the flame. He's erasing the history, the great people that have walked through those hallways. If I were the president of the United States, I would have Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, I'd have every picture that would remind me of every heroic event that this country has ever been involved with, I would have everybody, pictures and paintings of everybody who sacrificed to remind me, A, it's not about me, and look at these people and what they were willing to do.

You are in a sacred place. That White House, you know, but I saw remember we talked about this the other day, Pat. You and I were in the office and we saw the picture of Barack Obama with the Resolute desk.

PAT: Yeah, and he's got his feet up on it.

GLENN: He has his feet up on the Resolute desk!

PAT: The disrespect.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh.

PAT: Doesn't care. He just doesn't seem to care.

GLENN: I mean, just the history of the Resolute desk. I would be, I would be afraid to put a cup on the Resolute desk. And the day that I wasn't afraid of putting a cup on the Resolute desk is the day I should leave office! He's sitting back, he's got his feet up on the Resolute desk and he's sit I mean, the guy doesn't understand stewardship. And he is surrounded by people that also idolize him to the point of being a little frightening. This guy is not the Messiah. He is a president. And there will be another president after him if you haven't done too much damage. And he will retain a space. There will be a painting of Barack Obama in the White House. They will probably have to find space for it because there's 300 photos of him now. They are probably going to have to only pick one. And maybe leave a little extra room for George Washington, Thomas Jefferson or Ben Franklin or James Madison or Thomas Paine or Alexander Hamilton. You know, I could go on for a while. There might be, there might be a few other pictures that you might want to have up in the White House.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

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!