Ryan: Tulsi Gabbard and the Farmer Magic Show

Photo by Sean Ryan

At the junction of U.S. Route 71 and Highway 141, 80 miles west of Des Moines, a sign with a heartbreaking photo said "Fingers & Toes 10 weeks from conception." Sponsored by Pro-life across America. Just outside Bayard, a sign read "Save the babies. Life begins at conception." Any time you saw these signs, they were placed so you had to look the baby in the eyes as you waited at the stop sign. No other cars for miles. A soundtrack of animal life and unperturbed Mother Nature.

The narrow backroads were all so buckled that it felt like we were driving on a giant trampoline.

Just past Richland Cemetery on 141, another Tulsi Gabbard billboard. Other than that, it's mostly elongated plains. Neat green rows of cornstalk occasionally interrupted by a meadow full of cows or a chicken farm or a town with one stop signs and two side streets.

There were so many Tulsi signs all over Iowa, billboards, lawn signs, various-sized placards, plenty of regalia that you didn't have to buy. None of the other Democrats had that much advertising. Or any, really. You could still find Bernie bumper stickers, but that's everywhere now, isn't it?

Photo by Sean Ryan

The only other 2020 presidential candidate with a comparable showing was Donald Trump. His face and his name were everywhere, even when you couldn't see them, even when they were just below the surface of everyday life. At diners, in cornfields, on people's head accompanied by the words "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN," at gas pumps, on the sides of barns, at the top of grain silos, along listless highways that ramped into dirt like unchristened landmarks.

Photo by Sean Ryan

"Is Gabbard from Iowa?" my dad asked.

No, no, she's from Hawaii. Which is, hopefully, why she began and ended many of her appearances with "aloha." She had been elected to the Hawaii House of Representatives when she was 21, an age many people start with a tornado of a birthday. Gabbard was born in American Samoa. Starting in 2013, she served as a Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee, then resigned in 2016 to endorse Bernie Sanders. If elected president, she'd be the first Hindu. And, if she were selected as Vice President by Kamala Harris, who then won the Presidency, we would have the first Hindu Vice President/President combo.

Gabbard gained some attention during the second debate one week earlier, at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, when she attacked Kamala Harris' criminal justice record, a weak spot. Gabbard lunged full bore, like a Spartan fighting an ambush of Persians. If that doesn't sound lively enough, just know that, as a result, "#KamalaHarrisDestroyed" spiked on Twitter. And by the looks of it, Kamala Harris might well have been destroyed by that moment, at least for 2020.

By the end of the night, it was what most people remembered. Google searches for "Tulsi Gabbard" outperformed "Kamala Harris" in every state except South Dakota, for some reason. None other than the New York Times hailed it as newsworthy. For weeks, journalists recalled it, like bored sailors imagining monsters.

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Photo by Sean Ryan

And so it was a little strange to see her at the Iowa State Fair, in her black blouse and black chinos and beige sneakers and blood-red blazer with the sleeves rolled up like they did in the 1980s. This sense of out-of-placeness arose with many of the candidates' events, if only as a flash at the beginning and the midpoint. An influx of surreality. Here she was, a presidential candidate, talking to a group of people who had wandered up holding foot-long corn dogs, asking, "Now who's this? Oh which one is she?" Or, "Less press here today. Bound to be a whole lot of them tomorrow, it being Saturday, the first Saturday and all. Ope, lemme squeeze around you and grab my pop and some mustard."

Photo by Sean Ryan

A decent semi-circle of a hundred-odd people stared ahead at Gabbard in their "TULSI" shirts and signs. They looked sweet and desperate. But outside that tightknit cluster, the fair strolled along as usual. Seniors in little motorized scooters. Teenagers desperate for hickies or rebellion. Families dressed in bright matching outfits and meeting points so they never ever got lost or divided or ignored.

Photo by Sean Ryan

A bric-a-brac of middle America. With the occasional MAGA hat and Trump 2020 poster. Because, any time we ventured outside of the Democrats' rallies and events, reminders of Trump floated by constantly. I cannot emphasize this enough. Partly because you will not hear a single solitary word of it from the so-called mainstream media.

In the 2016 election, 93 of the state's 99 counties voted Trump, the largest margin of any Republican candidate in Iowa since Ronald Reagan took 95 counties in 1980.

Iowa is not strictly conservative or liberal, despite its location at the center of the country, with so much farmland and so little commotion. In fact, that's a big part of why politicians shove themselves into jeans and schlep here. Iowans went wtih Obama both times. They even voted for Bill Clinton twice. George W. Bush in 2004, post 9/11. Reagan, both terms. Nixon. Lyndon Johnson. They chose Nixon over John F. Kennedy in 1960, and Charles Hughes over Woodrow Wilson in 1912, but for the most part, Iowa has voted for the winning player. They even voted for Abraham Lincoln, twice.

Iowans tend to choose the politicians who speak to them. Someone who will become their voice. Genuine. With attention to liberty and freedom, individuality. Tradition. Or change. And principles. 77 percent of Iowans are Christian. And there's a flexibility to that conservatism. These days, Iowa has over 3,000 wind turbines, which generate 25 percent of the state's electricity. The Iowa Supreme Court has pioneered social issues. Women's rights and segregation. In 2009, Iowa became the third state to legalize same-sex marriage, a full six years before it was legal on the federal level.

Gabbard talked about separation. The dismantlement of America.

"This is so heart-breaking," she said, pausing just right, "because we love our country. I love our country. I love our people. It's why, after the terrorist attack on 9/11, I enlisted in the Army National Guard." When she said that, many passersby jerked their heads up, patriotically. Maybe they were thinking about the elderly man just outside the front gate, limp-armed as he offered mostly-uncaring people flyers about suicide prevention for veterans and soldiers. Did you know that an average of 20 veterans kill themselves each day?

Gabbard has served as a soldier for 16 years, beginning with basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Then to Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio. Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. She has deployed to the Middle East twice.

To which a man in the audience said, as if by accident, "Is that so?"

Then she had all the veterans and military families raise their hands, and she said, "Thank you for your service. Thank you for your sacrifice. All of you."

Her voice had an oddly sonorous lull to it. There we all were at the kitchen sink and someone was cutting onions.

"The amazing thing that I felt," she said, "was that, those who I stood in that formation with, those who I served with, we all wore the same uniform, serving the same flag, focused on that mission that we have of serving our country, of keeping the American people safe. But there was no difference in that focus. That even though we came — Democrats, Republicans, Independents, conservatives, liberals, black, white, brown, different religions — we represented the diversity of this country, but we stood as one unit. With one voice. With one focus. On putting service above self, and putting country before self. This speaks to who we are, as Americans. This speaks to what unites us, as a country."

She said it so smoothly that people just listened. No clapping, no jeering. Maybe because the point of the speech was commonality, overcoming division, outfoxing dividers.

Photo by Sean Ryan

"And I think it's especially important for us to remember that now, as those who are in power seek to tear us apart for their own selfish gain, it is only when we the people stand up around this unifying principle of freedom, of justice, of opportunity, remembering those freedoms and inalienable rights that are enshrined in our Constitution, for every single one of us, those rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, when we come around these unifying principles, with love for our country and love for each other, there is no obstacle we cannot overcome, and it is only when we do that that we can begin to solve the great challenges of our day. And there are many. But we are starting on that common foundation. Coming together. Overcoming those partisan differences. Those ideological differences. And having conversations with each other based on respect, understanding that, when we care for each other, we'll find that we have far more in common than maybe we realized before."

Because it was 2:15 on a Friday at the fairgrounds, and, at 10:00 that morning, like every morning at the Iowa State Fair, the National Anthem blared from the dopey speakers around the SoapBox stage, outside the administration building. Or that, elsewhere at the fair, at that exact moment, there was a "Get Hooked on Fishing - Fish Local." Also, an "animal 'I Spy' activity" and something called "Oh My! It's Pie!"

Photo by Sean Ryan

Because the fair is American in a way unique to the country's middle parts. You won't find an "old-fashion hymn singing" class or a "milking demonstration" or a "thank a farmer magic show" in New York City or Los Angeles. Not unironically. Then, at noon and 6:00pm, Narcotics Anonymous meetings at the Maytag Family Theater. Because these days, ours is a country that is — everywhere, secretly — hurting.

Right as Gabbard started talking about the legalization of marijuana, a bald chap wandered by the crowd in a pizza restaurant's t-shirt that said "legalize marinara." Behind him, a group of seniors with overlarge yellow shirts bearing the sequined words "State Fair junky." One of them had "Granny" on the back as she scoured for where her friends went, then clapping and smiling when they reunited by a trashcan.

New installments to this series will come out every Monday and Thursday morning. For live updates, check out this page or email me at kryan@mercurystudios.com

5 ways to protect your First Amendment rights. Number 4 will surprise you.

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Every day it seems Glenn covers another story revealing how people across the world at all levels of power DESPISE the fact that YOU have rights, and they are actively trying to curtail them. Recently, there has been a string of attacks against the rights outlined in the First Amendment: the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, the freedom of press, the freedom of assembly, and the freedom to petition.

As a refresher, the First Amendment reads as follows:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

This is powerful stuff, there is a good reason the Founding Fathers made it the FIRST Amendment. It's also the reason why power-hungry elites are attacking it. These attacks are designed to control the way you think, speak, and believe, vote, what you read, and who holds your representatives responsible. The First Amendment is our strongest weapon against tyrants, and they know it.

So what can you do about it? Hope that some wig in Washinton will eventually do something? We know how well that works. The best thing to do is to stay active, engage in the issues you care about, and exercise your rights.

So where to start? Here are a few things YOU can do to protect your First Amendment rights:

Religion

The best way to flex your Freedom of Religion is to—you guessed it—practice your faith. Become an active member in your place of worship, go to scripture studies, invite your friends to that late afternoon event, and walk the life. This can impact the way you spend money as well. Shop the businesses and brands that share your values, and don't shop at the ones that scorn them. Keeping the community alive and healthy is the best way to ensure that generations to come will be able to experience the freedom you enjoy.

Speech

Much like religion, the best way to protect your freedom of speech is... to speak. Engage your friends and family in polite, civil conversation. Stand up for what you believe in, and make your case to your peers. Just remember to keep it friendly. No one ever won an argument by shouting down their opponent. The civil exchange of ideas is the cornerstone of our republic, and a dialogue where the participants are well-informed, considerate, compassionate, and open-minded can have permanent impacts on all involved.

Press

Freedom of the Press seems a little tricky at first. Unless you work for the media, what are you supposed to do? Quit your job and go work for the local newspaper? The good news is that exercising this right is not nearly that difficult. In fact, you are currently doing it. The best thing you can do is to read from outlets that produce informative content. Want to know what Glenn consumes to stay informed every day? Sign up for Glenn's Morning Brief newsletter to get all the stories Glenn gets sent to his desk every day sent straight to your inbox.

Assembly

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Freedom of assembly is one of the more impactful yet underutilized freedoms in the First Amendment. Peaceably assembling and protesting with like-minded individuals can hugely influence politicians and policies while simultaneously creating community and fellowship between attendees. It's understandable why more people don't turn out. We're all busy people with busy schedules, and flying out to D.C. for the weekend seems like a daunting task to many. Thankfully, you don't have to go out all the way to D.C. to make a difference. Gather some like-minded people in your town and bring awareness to issues that impact your community. Big change starts locally, and exercising your freedom to assemble can be the catalyst to lasting impact.

Petition

If you've been a long-time listener of Glenn, then you will have heard a few of his calls to action where he asks his audience to contact their representatives about a particular piece of policy. There is a good reason Glenn keeps on doing those: they work. Whether it's your local mayor or your senator, a call and an email go a long way. If you really want to make a change, convince your friends and family to reach out as well.

5 SHOCKING crimes the border crisis is bringing to YOUR backyard

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The crisis on the southern border has reached a boiling point following the controversial Supreme Court ruling that allowed the federal government to remove large portions of border security, triggering a movement of conservative governors defending Texas' right to protect its border.

We commonly hear about the border crisis through mainstream media as if it's an abstract issue that has little to no effect on our daily lives. However, for millions of Americans, the border crisis is in their backyard... literally... bringing crime up to their front doorstep—and it's coming to your doorstep soon.

These five stories paint a glimpse of the type of crime and cartel activity that is being enabled by the Biden administration's border policies.

Assault and robbery in Massachusetts

On January 15th, Lucas Vilaca Moreira Fontenelle was arrested in Milford, Massachusetts for armed robbery of a bodega along with two other illegals a few days earlier. This comes just one month after ICE detained Fontenelle for assault, but the city of Milford cut him free as part of their status as a sanctuary city.

Murder in New Your City

On January 6th, Moises Coronado chased down, beat, and fatally stabbed Dafren Canizalez while in a NYC shelter. Coronado illegally crossed the Texas border in November where he was detained before being released and making his way to New York.

Cartel trafficking in El Paso

Late last month U.S. Border Patrol agents operating in the El Paso region arrested a cartel "foot guide" that was responsible for trafficking dozens of illegal immigrants across the border. The foot guide is a member of the La Linea Cartel, an operation based out of Juarez, Mexico whose gang warfare contributed to the city's 1,000+ homicides in 2023 alone.

Human smuggling in Arizona

Last November, two teenagers were pulled over with five illegal immigrants in their car. The teens are being charged with human trafficking, and there is evidence that this was not their first trip. Authorities believe that these teens are the latest in a dangerous new trend of cartels using social media to pay teens to smuggle migrants across the border.

Cartel trespassing in Arizona

Late last December, an Arizona rancher reported that he has seen a disturbing rise of cartel activity on his land. According to the rancher, he has seen evidence of cartels fighting for control of routes that pass through his property. He has even seen cartel scouts and human smugglers several times.

5 organizations that provide MAPS to help illegal immigrants cross our border

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On last week's Glenn TV special, Glenn dove into exactly how migrants from around the world are ending up on our southern border. The most shocking discovery, which was first published by investigators with Muckraker, was that multiple organizations have been providing maps showing immigrants exactly how to cross Central America and Mexico into the waiting hands of the cartel, who smuggle them across our border.

Just who is encouraging these people to make this perilous journey? You will likely recognize a few. Below are FIVE organizations that facilitate the crisis on our southern border.

Click HERE to get access to all of Glenn's research about what's happening at the southern border from this week's Glenn TV special.

Doctors Without Borders

These maps from the Swiss humanitarian giant, Doctors Without Borders, give detailed routes from Central America to our border. The map also highlights places to find aid, food and shelter along the way.

Red Cross

This map distributed by the Red Cross highlights freight train routes. The back of the map advises migrants how to illegally board and ride freight trains across Mexico.

UN’s International Organization of Migration  

This map of consulates and commissions across Mexico was created and distributed by the International Organization of Migration, a part of the UN, to aid migrants on their journey towards the U.S. border.

Amigos Del Tren ("Friends of the Train")

This map advises immigrants on how to board and ride the "Train of Death," a freight train that runs through Mexico into the U.S. The map also gives travel time estimates and lists places to stay along the route. As the name "Train of Death" suggests, the route is as dangerous as it is illegal.

R4V (Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela)

This map specifically shows migrants from Ecuador how to leave the country and connect to Central America where they then proceed to the U.S. border. The map shows just how far south the migrant train really starts.

RECAP: Top 6 most SHOCKING moments from Davos 2024

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Glenn's warnings about the World Economic Forum's globalist agenda continue to be validated with each Davos meeting that passes, and 2024 was no exception. While Davos 2023 introduced startling topics like digital IDs, complete "climate transformations," and more, Davos 2024 hinged on the theme of combatting "mis and disinformation," even if it means sacrificing individual rights and national sovereignty to do so. Here is a recap of the top 6 speakers who set the tone for Davos 2024.

Klaus Schwab, Chairman and Founder of the World Economic Forum

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While attempting to appease fears that the World Economic Forum is not a "decision-making body," WEF founder Klaus Schwab admitted that participants are "trustees" of the world's future and make actionable commitments based on the topics discussed at Davos:

We must rediscover and embrace the narrative that has driven humanity since its inception: acting as trustees for a better future.
[...]
The Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum is not a collective decision-making body, but its impact stems from the new insights gained through dialogue and interaction, and more importantly, from the commitments made by each participant to contribute more significantly in their respective areas of responsibility to solving our most pressing global issues.

Bill Gates, Founder and Former CEO of Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

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Bill Gates made his annual debut at the World Economic Forum, and he never fails to leave a trail of questionable statements, leaving one feeling on the precipice of a bad remake of an Orwellian novel. Since 2020, Gates has been one of the most outspoken proponents of pandemic-era restrictions and COVID-19 vaccine mandates — how convenient that he heads the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world.

Now that the pandemic is over, Gates is positioning himself as a leader for "global equity," and it's as cringy as it sounds. Last week at Davos, Gates posited that the developed world should be compelled to pay a portion of its GDP to the developing world. This is the same jargon the Left always espouses — "The 1% has to pay their fair share" — except on a global scale.

"Those who have the most — whether it's countries, companies, or individuals — should be pushed to be more generous."

A common theme at Davos 2024 is the belief that the developed "global North's" contribution to the global climate crises, has caused mass displacement and migration in the "global South." Surely political and economic corruption in the region have nothing to do with it...

To pay for these "climate crimes," Bill Gates says the developed "global North" is obligated to pay retributions to the global "developing South."

Emmanuel Macron, President of France

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President Macron echoed Bill Gates with similar globalist language. Macron made the bold claim that he, along with globalist leaders in the EU, have the authority to "circulate" the resources of the 27 member states towards projects and initiatives of their own determination:

Our continent has a lot of savings, but these savings are not circulating towards the right places, towards the right sectors. We can move forward, all 27 of us, we should.

Macron gives no credence to the national sovereignty of each of the 27 nations that comprise the EU. Rather, the EU globalist elites know how to distribute funds and resources better than the people in the nations themselves.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

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Ranking at the top of the EU globalist elites is Germany's Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission. During her Davos 2024 address, Von der Leyen pivoted from her typical climate alarmism talking points towards an even more pressing threat: "mis and disinformation."

For the global business community, the top concern for the next two years is not conflict or climate, it is disinformation and misinformation, followed closely by polarization within our societies.
[...]
Of course, like in all democracies, our freedom comes with risks. There will always be those who try to exploit our openness, both from inside and out. There will always be attempts to put us off track. For example, with disinformation and misinformation.

Disinformation and misinformation tackling this has been our focus since the very beginning of my mandate. With our Digital Services Act, we defined the responsibility of large internet platforms on the content they promote and propagate.

Apparently, the climate isn't the greatest existential threat facing civilization anymore. You are now the greatest existential threat if you dare speak your mind that's contrary to the globalists' narrative and "approved speech."

John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

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John Kerry has become America's poster child for the World Economic Forum. His political wizardry has somehow landed him the title of "Climate Czar" while traveling on a private jet to lecture you and me about the climate.

During Davos 2023, Kerry set a high bar for cringe-worthy statements after calling himself and the other Davos attendees "extraterrestrial" for their endeavors to save the planet. However, at Davos 2024, Kerry crosses the line from cringy to tyrannical.

Kerry completely disregards the electoral system that holds the United States together by claiming that the 2024 election outcome won't reverse the U.S.'s climate goals:

The US won't reverse clean energy transition regardless of election outcome.

Climate policy is determined by an elected official whose power is derived from the consent of the governed. The climate, according to Kerry, is too important to be held up by trivial processes like U.S. Presidential elections.

Javier Milei, President of Argentina

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Argentina's new President Milei was a beacon of liberty and freedom amid the Davos sea of collectivist, global elites. He did not mince words in his pointed defense of liberty. Milei argued that the collectivism promoted by the World Economic Forum is the single greatest threat to the West and the prosperity we have enjoyed through it. The end of collectivism, Milei argues, is poverty, slavery, and tyranny.

Here are the opening words of his powerful speech:

Today I'm here to tell you that the Western world is in danger. And it is in danger because those who are supposed to have to defend the values of the West are co-opted by a vision of the world that inexorably leads to socialism and thereby to poverty.

Unfortunately, in recent decades, the main leaders of the Western world have abandoned the model of freedom for different versions of what we call collectivism. Some have been motivated by well-meaning individuals who are willing to help others, and others have been motivated by the wish to belong to a privileged caste.

We're here to tell you that collectivist experiments are never the solution to the problems that afflict the citizens of the world. Rather, they are the root cause. Do believe me: no one is in better place than us, Argentines, to testify to these two points.