Yes we live in perilous times, but living in this era gives us the opportunity to become the best version of ourselves

"May you live in interesting times" it seems, is actually not an ancient Chinese saying, blessing or curse. The strongest match one can find to its origins comes from the Yorkshire Post in 1936:

Sir Austen Chamberlain, addressing the annual meeting of Birmingham Unionist Association last night, spoke of the "grave injury" to collective security by Germany's violation of the Treaty of Locarno.

Sir Austen, who referred to himself as "a very old Parliamentarian," said:

It is not so long ago that a member of the Diplomatic Body in London, who had spent some years of his service in China, told me that there was a Chinese curse which took the form of saying, 'May you live in interesting times.' There is no doubt that the curse has fallen on us. We move from one crisis to another. We suffer one disturbance and shock after another.

I like the quote, Chinese or English, as it gives us a correct or new perspective on strife, should we care to view our struggles as neither blessing nor curse. My father taught this to me as a small child. But I only really learned it in one of the darkest chapters of my life. Alcoholism and divorce. There is nothing that life can hand to you that is in itself bad. It all depends on what you do with it. Will you allow it to change you in destructive ways through anger, bitterness and despair? Or will you allow it, whatever it is, to strengthen you through enlightenment, correction, humility?

There is nothing that life can hand to you that is in itself bad. It all depends on what you do with it.

We have a desperate need for humility in our society from DC to Hollywood. Everyone left and right is convinced that either they are or their side is absolutely right. And if someone on their side strays from the pack, then they must be "a traitor to the race, party or cause". They are wrong and we remain right. Scientific atheists "know that there is no God" even though almost everything they now believe or "know" in science now proves that the scientists that came before them were wrong. How can those whose field has been built on enhancing, evolving, or outright proving that others and their theories were wrong, be so certain? If those who should be the least certain of final truth are now calling heretic for those who disagree, we are indeed living in interesting times.

But it isn't a "them" problem even though that is what the world is currently trying to sell each of us. It is instead a simple "us" issue. Perhaps we don't see it because we are so busy staging, filtering, or enhancing the colors on our Facebook or Instagram pics that we can no longer recognize or even like the simple truth about us and what our life really is. Much of our life is a lie. We have been marketed to since we were born, told that we are not complete unless we wear, consume, own, vacation at or buy product 1 or 2. It has gone so far as telling us that not only are we not good enough if we don't have all of that, but now, we cannot even be a part of the great new society unless we believe and champion (product, politician or party) A, B or C. Opinions have become products.

Now, however, we are in the next and perhaps final stage. We ourselves are the product. Companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and YouTube no longer see us as the customer, but what we do, think and believe are now commodities. If you cannot fill this line in: "I am ____________ , Someone will always be there to fill it in for you. Buy this makeup to use the word beautiful. This label to let others know "I AM cool, or in style," or even "I AM rich.'

Buy Democrat to be "compassionate," "smarter than others," or "science-minded." It doesn't matter if you really are any of those things in reality, the label is all you need. Buy Republican if you want to be patriotic, support our troops or for family values. We now buy and believe labels and always judge a book by its cover. Buy the label "Christian" and you can love any life you want but you now can use religion to excuse either yours or anyone else's behaviors. Buy the label progressive and you believe in science even though you deny it in basic biology.

Even labels that were never for sale like "courage" come with a price tag, and its price keeps going lower and lower. Now, this once time revered label can be yours for simply saying things out loud to a room full of people who agree with you and will all cheer when you say it.

Labels and words are experiencing a fire sale and it seems "everything must go."

What comes next is always tough.

Heaven knows the proper price to attach to something so celestial as freedom. — Thomas Payne.

Each generation, except for the last, has had to earn and renew their freedom. They did not buy or sell the label the "greatest generation." In fact, it wasn't even them that came up with that title. It was the "boomers." At the time, there were no labels - they just saw themselves as people, as Americans. They saw the crisis not as anyone's fault, but rather as their turn to stand and do the right thing. It is what they did with their "crisis" that made others bestow the "greatest generation" title on them, and only years later.

We are living in a time of great crisis, not much different or of smaller scale than the great struggles of the past. All of the labels we think we have now, will fall away. Those that we have bought will become worthless and every new label will be purchased with blood, sweat, tears and courage.

Barack Obama and Donald Trump are neither the problem nor the solution. They are a symptom.

What we will face, in the end, will not be smaller than what many of our grandparents or great grandparents faced in the World Wars. No less frightening than the global economic unrest of the 1930's. Nor will it be any greater. It will just be ours. And just like the generations past, it will be our choice on whether or not we survive. What a blessing. The boomers feasted off the crisis of their parents and never truly had to choose life or death, freedom or slavery. They never had to push themselves as a group beyond what humans thought possible to achieve something as valuable as freedom.

The crisis we are just now beginning to see is a blessing our parents never received. Each of us will have to pick between black and white, slavery or freedom, good or evil, and life or death. We will all know in the years to come who we really are, if we chose carefully or if we simply allowed ourselves to become. We can become, through this struggle, exactly who we were born to be. Our best and highest selves.

If each of us were honest and began to see this struggle in the proper light, we would admit that it is the softness of our foundations that have caused these struggles. Barack Obama and Donald Trump are neither the problem nor the solution. They are a symptom. Look all around you. No matter whom you voted for, you will admit that the country, and perhaps the entire world over, is sick.

We are all feeling it and each of our political doctors are seeing the same symptoms and prescribing the opposite medicine. Each of us, as patients, all so desperate to cure what is killing us, become more and more vested in our own "doctor's cure." Our doctor is right and yours is wrong! At the same times each doctor knows that he or she has everything to lose if his patients begin to seek another opinion, diagnosis or remedy. It is their best interest to keep their patients busy looking at the other side. Meanwhile, none of us stop and ask if the diagnosis is even correct. I guess we are just too busy fighting for what our doctor said.

I am not sure about you, but when I am sick or in pain, I am usually at my worst interpersonally. We all snap at others. We act as our lesser selves. When I am sick, fearful or angry, it is almost always followed by a time where I begin conversations with, "I am so sorry for what I said or did, I was just having a really bad day."

We are all having a really very bad, most difficult day. Everyday, it seems.

While it is true that there are difficulties and dangers that lie ahead of us, we must not assume that we will lay down and watch our country go to ruin. Many, if not most of those who voted for democrats and those who voted for republican have much in common with those who voted for neither. While parties and politicians try to convince us otherwise, and many of us may have believed it or even engaged in this "warfare," it is becoming more and more clear that our neighbors are not our enemies.

While it is true that there are difficulties and dangers that lie ahead of us, we must not assume that we will lay down and watch our country go to ruin.

If you are finding this a difficult concept to reconcile, simply ponder what our ancestors came here for, be it three months or three centuries ago. To make a better life, in a country that would allow you to follow your dream, work hard and keep what you built so your children could live a better life than you did and achieve even more than you did. That opportunity came not from this land, or even its people, but rather from its mission statement: "all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and pursuit of happiness." While that mission statement was and always be aspirational, it has never been fully achieved. It is shaped and given the best chance to succeed when it is protected by the guardrails of the constitution and bill of rights. It is indeed our laws, which come from our American Thesis, that has created the modern world. It is indeed why people still die trying to get on this side of our border.

Is it too much of a stretch to believe that you and I are not alone in our doubt of our doctors? Are we the only ones left that think our neighbor, who knows how sick we all are, really wants everyone who disagrees with their doctor to die? Maybe they have seen flaws in their practitioner as we have. Maybe if we stop spending all our time looking at what is wrong with "them" and what's wrong with America, we can begin to see the things that are right and good.

Perhaps we are not as sick as some of these doctors tell us we are. Perhaps they are more akin to bad, crooked chiropractors that have done more damage to our spine than good and will bilk us for every dime week after week until we finally say no or are broke. We haven't wanted to listen to our friends, or those who tell us differently, because we feel the fool.

Perhaps we are beyond help and only have months to live, but, I don't think it needs to be this way. If we are going down, I want to go down with my friends and family around me. All of them, even those who told me not to listen to my doctor or the one I angrily chased away because I just knew they were wrong.

It is easy to jump on the bandwagon and light fires. It is harder always to put them out.

It is easy to jump on the bandwagon and light fires. It is harder always to put them out. Easy to lose friends and harder to make them. In the end, our founding documents are just an idea. I think a really good idea. One that says we can and should all be who we choose to be and live the life we build for ourselves with dignity and security.

But that idea fails if no one remembers it or believes in it.

I still do.

I am not a doctor but I think our illness is all in our heads. We have been convinced by those who suffer from some sort of societal Munchausen by proxy, that we are fatally ill and will only survive because of them. I think they need us to be sick and I for one think we as a people have had enough bed rest.

Once we choose to see things the way they are, coupled with who we always strived to be — our best selves — we will be fine and perhaps stronger than ever. I believe if we can once again see the best in each other — put our past in the past, and our strife and crisis in the right light — down the road, some other generation will name this one — I believe it will be good.

But one thing is sure, it will not be one we choose but rather the label we earned.

Glenn Beck can't help but wonder, "What is wrong with us?" in light of the Left's latest move — canceling six Dr. Seuss books due to "hurtful and wrong" illustrations — that takes America one step closer to complete insanity. And now, school districts are jumping on board after President Joe Biden seems to have dropped Dr. Seuss from the White House's annual "Read Across America Day" proclamation.

On the radio program Tuesday, Glenn argued that deleting books is the perfect example of fascism, and asked when we as a country will finally realize it.

"They are banning Dr. Seuss books. How much more do you need to see before all of America wakes up? ... This is fascism!" Glenn said. "We don't destroy books. What is wrong with us, America?"

Watch the video below to hear more from Glenn:


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Former Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii representative Tulsi Gabbard and Glenn Beck don't agree much on policy, but they're in lockstep on principles.

On "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week, Tulsi spoke with Glenn about one of her last acts in Congress, introducing the "Protect Women's Sports Act," which she says would "strengthen, clarify, and uphold the intent of Title IX to provide a level playing field for girls and women in sports." But since then, the Biden administration has gone in the opposite direction, and has supported allowing biological men to compete in women's sports.

Watch the video clip below to hear why Tulsi took a stand for female athletes:


Watch the full interview with Tulsi Gabbard here.

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Later this week, former President Trump will attend CPAC and give his first major policy appearance since leaving office. Sources close to the President reveal he will focus on "the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement."

The future of the GOP is a question that demands real discussion before elections in 2022 and 2024. Right now, I can see three possible answers for how you act:

  1. Those in power and senior positions will ignore the reasons behind Donald Trump winning in 2016. They will be vindicated in their minds because they outlasted him, as they view DC as a job for life. These leaders will go back to business as usual and seek forgiveness from the left, hoping for unity and acceptance in the future.
  2. The second outcome is another section of the party that is understandably very angry over the left's Presidents treatment. They still support and believe in Trump. They think it's time to take off the gloves and treat Biden/the left exactly how they treated Trump.
  3. The few policy positions offered in public will be centered solely around opposing the left. They will also make the case how the left suck, are dangerous, and how you need them in power. The next four years are merely a countdown for Trump to run again and right the wrong of 2020.
  4. The third outcome is very similar to the second, but with one key difference. While they appreciate everything Trump accomplished while in office, they feel it's time to unite behind another candidate.
Question

Which of these three positions will work best for the American people? Which helps built a political base for elections in both 2022 and 2024?

If you seek to help save America, it is critical to do some soul searching. Whether you love or hate him, Donald Trump got 75 million votes and made advancements in key demographics. What did he do well that you can develop further? In what areas was he poor, and how can you improve?

I want to raise six principled points everyone on the right should be forced to consider in the run-up to 2024.

1 - Understanding American Exceptionalism

FACT: America is an exceptional nation. If you read enough of world history, you will find ample evidence that America acted in ways that made it unique and significantly different from other countries in the past and modern times. These reasons must be understood and promoted through the culture and body politic.

One of those reasons is the layout of your Declaration of Independence. If you look around politics today, you will see people on all political sides telling you what they hate, why the other side is the enemy, and how they must be defeated.

In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson also made that case against the English when he listed 27 grievances against the King. So how is the layout key? It took Jefferson 357 words to get to those grievances. Your Declaration is your mission statement: it tells everyone in the world what America aspires to be. It states the belief that all were created equal, all had certain rights that come directly from God, and that it is the government's job to protect rights -- not give people rights.

The left is successfully painting everyone on the right to be a terrorist who enjoyed the Capitol Hill riots. If you ever want to win another election, it will be critical to explain what you stand for to the American people.

After all, ask yourself which makes you the most passionate to vote - removing someone from office or voting for a vision and change you believe in?

2 - The Constitution

Is there a better place to start this vision than the Constitution? Yes, it is mostly ignored today by those in power and is only referenced by politicians and media when it fits a narrative.

The Constitution is a beautiful and complex document but is primarily based on a straightforward principle. The government should be extremely limited in its power, but it should be as close to the people as possible where there is a clear need for government. Who can argue with this principle?

Who wants someone they have never met, dictating how they live their life?

This is why the Constitution grants the President no real power, and gives Congress 18 clauses of power, listed under Article 1, Section 8. Any and every power not mentioned there belongs at the state level.

3 - Finances

The power structure in DC has changed many times over the last twenty years, with both parties having the opportunity to rule the different federal branches. There have been two periods where one party controlled all the power in DC:

  • 2008-2010: Obama / Dem
  • 2016-2018: Trump / GOP

Despite these changes, your government continually grows, you continue to spend money you don't have, and in ten out of the last thirteen years, you have added over $1,000,000,000,000 to your national debt, which now sits just under $28 trillion. Does this seem sustainable to you? Of course not, but sadly your finances only get worse.

America has revenue of over $3.2 trillion every year, yet DC has not passed a budget since 2008. Can you imagine any business running that way? Do you think Apple, Amazon, or Disney have a budget? It is time to get America on a path to financial sustainability, work towards a balanced budget, and explain to the American people how you will achieve it.

4 - Taxes

Do you remember discussing taxes during the Tea Party?

We used to make the simple moral case to the American people: any money you earn is yours, you should use it to plan your life, and the government has no right to take it from you. This was so successful around 2012 that Herman Cain ran for President with one primary policy: the 9-9-9 plan.

If America is to return to prosperity after Covid, lower taxes and a simpler tax code must be a central theme.

5 - Cutting Government

Look at the size of the US government in 2021. Are you happy? Can you name the numerous departments? Is it now the freedom-loving Americans' position that agencies like Education, Energy, EPA, and Commerce are constitutional bodies of government and are well-run?

How about the IRS, which targeted Tea-Party groups under President Obama? Do they deserve support, or is it time to start sharing a vision of the departments that should be abolished?

This principle used to be a big part of the Conservative platform. It played a massive role in 2012 when Rick Perry ran for President. His campaign was destroyed in 45 short seconds when he could not remember the three agencies he would abolish.

Maybe it's time to refresh this debate but change the parameters. How about we discuss the agencies that should be kept?

6 - Bill of Rights

Today, the Bill of Rights is under constant attack. The far-left/woke mob hates free speech, and they seek to cancel anyone with an opposing view. However, the attacks on the Bill of Rights don't always come from the left.

America has a second amendment that guarantees you the right to bear arms. The last time the GOP held both houses of Congress and the Presidency, they banned bump stocks - but who really NEEDS a bump stock?

As the years have passed, some have admitted they are open to red flag laws. Is this still the case?

While the second amendment may be under attack, it is clear the fourth amendment is dead. Regardless of which party holds power in DC, the NSA is given continuous ability to spy on Americans. The simple, principled case from Rand Paul of "get a warrant" always falls on deaf ears.

The Bill of Rights should be a unifying document for most Americans, as the principles are self-evident and a significant part of any freedom platform going forward.

Conclusion

America will face significant challenges over the coming years. As the government continues to grow, the far left get more hostile, and central planners seek a great reset. If you share my concern, then now is the time to forget our tribes and ignore the debate on who should be President in 2024.

It's time to work hard to build a platform by raising a banner of bold colors, not pale pastels. We must share a clear vision to the American people of a bright future where they are free, prosperous, and can pursue their happiness.

When the platform is built and successful, people can identify the best candidate to run in 2024.

"First, you win the argument, and then you win the election." — Margaret Thatcher

Jonathon Dunne is a keynote speaker, weekly podcast host on Blaze Media, and published author on major platforms such as The Blaze, Glenn Beck, Libertarian Republic, Western Journalism, and Constitution. Since 2012, he has reached millions with his message of American exceptionalism.

You can find him on social media – Facebook, Twitter, MeWe

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is under fire for questioning President Joe Biden's nominee for an assistant health secretary position, Dr. Rachel Levine, about her alleged support for giving children puberty blockers and sex-change surgeries.

During a confirmation hearing Thursday, Paul pointedly asked Levine, who is a transgender woman, about her support for allowing children to change their sex, and whether she believes children are capable of making such life-altering decisions.

Levine evaded the question, answering instead with a vague statement about the complexities of transgender medicine, which she would again reiterate for Paul's subsequent questions.

Watch a video clip of the confirmation hearing here.

Predictably, Paul has been labeled "transphobic" and accused of trying to derail Levine with "transphobic misinformation" by the leftist media.

On the Glenn Beck Radio Program Friday, Paul said his questioning Levine had nothing to do with who she is or the fact that she is a transgender adult, but was about the question of gender changes for children.

"The interesting thing is, none of it was directed towards her personally or who she is. It was directed towards the question of whether children can consent. And this is an intellectual question. It's not an inflammatory question. It's a question of serious consequences," he explained. "Most people would argue that children can't really make an informed consent. You know, we have laws against a man having sex with a 12-year-old, even if the 12-year-old says 'yes', because we don't think a 12-year-old is capable of consenting. They just aren't old enough to make the decision."

Paul went on to add, "I guess the danger is, you have to have some chutzpah. You have to have some guts, some courage to stand up because it is a culture out there where ... everybody is saying I made transphobic comments yesterday. All I did was ask whether a minor could consent to this kind of dramatic surgery. Nothing I ever said was hateful. I said nothing hateful about these people. I said nothing hateful about adults who choose to do this. But the culture is out there is so strong that so many in office are afraid to speak out. And it's getting worse.

"There's a handful of us that will speak out in the Senate. There's a handful in the House, and we just have to grow our ranks. But we have to resist or it just will roll over us. And we'll live in this terrible cancel culture world where nobody speaks out, and everybody is afraid to say anything."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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