It's not what you believe, but how you behave

by Sara J.

There is a universal truth that we all know but rarely think about enough to implement it. It is the one thing that I wish more conservatives would realize regardless of how many facts they have right.

The way that we treat others has a far greater impact than the points we try to make.

The left gets this. This is why they've infiltrated pop culture. It's why they refer to the GOP or conservatives as "the party of no" or "anti-choice." But instead of taking the actions to prove these things wrong, in many cases, conservatives continue to act as 'the party of no.’

Standing for no new taxes, no Obamacare, no more spending etc. is great and all, but it doesn’t present a very positive message. No one is selling liberty to the American people through their actions. And worse, many conservatives have put an evil label on the things that do impact the world around them, the things the lie in "the mainstream."

Stop complaining about mainstream culture and media, and start playing an active role in influencing what goes into it.

Most right-leaning Americans who consider themselves “politically informed” likely grew up in a conservative household and held on to those beliefs or experienced something in their life that changed their worldview. And it most likely wasn’t a heated debate or someone telling them how wrong they are, that their opinions don’t make sense, and that they’re an uninformed moron (food for thought). Something or someone impacted them to the point of change.

The truth of the matter is, the 95% of Americans who don't check Drudge, TheBlaze, or their personal RSS feed of all things political news first thing in the morning are on the fence. They're either part of the mind boggling 45(ish)% Obama approval rating or they're on the other side. Either way, they're not staying up-to-date on the news every time they open their laptop. For those of us that know every story that pops up on our Twitter feed or Facebook timeline, this is easy to forget.

So how do you impact the large majority of Americans who don't know where they stand on every issue? How do you influence the average American who only hears the political ramblings the last 10 minutes of the nightly news before their favorite sitcom starts? Well, ask yourself this question: who has made a lasting impact on who you are and your worldview? How did they do it?

There are two categories of people that will make a lasting difference on who you are and how you see the world. They didn't have an impact on your life because of what they claimed to believe. And it wasn't from an awesome point made during a political debate.

The two categories of people who have the power to mold your worldview and influence your life are those who have hurt you and those who have loved you.

Conservatives can debate, they can argue, they can make the best points that no one in the world can shoot down, but in the end, none of that matters if you're not practicing what you preach and giving people a real reason to stand with you.

"Love" isn't a big seller in political talk radio or cable news. That's why most successful cable news host just spend an hour every night arguing the other side. Don't get me wrong, being informed is important - but what you do with that information, how you use it, is far more important.

The way that we treat others has far greater of an impact on them than what we believe. Somewhere along the way in America there was a shift from 'how we behave' to 'what we believe' being what was important. You can believe all the right things and have absolutely zero positive influence on the people around you. Scarier than that, you can believe all of the right things and have a completely negative influence on the people around you.

When we abandoned our behavior and continue to argue our beliefs and our opinions, we lose our leverage. Just look at how the spending of the GOP during the presidency of George W. Bush has affected the conservative movement?

If we would simply do what we say, instead of constantly arguing about our opinions and ideology, the country would change. The reputation of conservatives would change. The influence conservatives have on culture would change.

Believing is easy, changing your behavior - not so much.

When Glenn first launched GBTV (soon to be TheBlaze) he called it a "movement" and a "verb" for a reason. Glenn gave four verbs last month to help kick start his viewers and listeners making a difference in their communities, but the verb we have to focus on the most is love. If you don't learn how to love the people around you whether or not they agree with you, you're hurting your cause. The opinions we hold of one another should not be based on the ballot box.

The left is going to continue to group the right into one big box, and put an ugly label on it. Don't be like them. Conservatives have never been about "the collective" - we're about the individual. Everyone has a different story that has shaped their worldview, and if we don't start interacting with one another like individuals with different backgrounds and stories, we're really no better than they are.

As we lead up to the final days before Restoring Love, I challenge you to ask yourself these questions before you engage with people who disagree with you: Why do they believe what they believe? Why do they think the way they think? What caused them to have their opinion?

Asking these questions will make you hold those who claim to believe one thing while behaving another way accountable, and it will also help you see the world through the eyes of the people that you disagree with. If you don't ever see anyone else point of view through their eyes, how can you ever expect them to do the same for you?

Coercion is not a path to influence. Behavior, however, has the ability to draw massive amounts of people in. Whether or not you’re a Christian, there’s a good chance that you know a lot of them. Why are there so many Christians? Jesus certainly didn’t coerce people into believing that he was the Son of God, and that’s not exactly an easy thing to believe. Even as a Christian, when I stop to consider Jesus’ own brother, James, was one of his disciples, it’s pretty remarkable. Seriously, take a minute to imagine trying to convince your own brother that you’re the Son of God and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. It was His behavior and His love – it was so against the grain of typical human nature that people wanted to know more, and eventually they followed Him.

A person can’t be debated into believing anything, into agreeing with someone, or out of certain kinds of behavior. They can't be legislated to do these things either. If you really want to influence someone's worldview, if you want to make a lasting impact on the future of this country, you basically have two options. You can tear down the people on other side of the argument or you can love them.

Get more information about Restoring Love in Dallas, TX and how you can be a part of the movement HERE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch the video to catch more of the conversation below:

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

Ryan: Trump Louisiana Finale

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because Nature has poise. It thrives and is original.

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

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

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

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

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

Humans are collectors and I had gone overboard.

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

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

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

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

As written in Job 35:11,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"All right but what about the corn dogs?"

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

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

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

Like two teenagers playing a prank on the universe.

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

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

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

That's where blockchain voting comes in.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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