This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," August 26, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GLENN BECK, HOST: Hello, America.
I saw the headline today on the Drudge Report and the reality of the weekend kind of hit me upside the head. Could you show that? Yes. Oh, that's — oh, boy, that's not good. "Sharpton Looms." Is it to late to cancel, Al?
I know Al Sharpton. I strangely like him and we get along. Al, God bless you. God bless you. And I wish you well this Saturday and I mean that, my friend.
It is hard to believe that in about 40 hours, we will all be gathering together at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I was down at the site earlier today. In fact, I was there I think about 6:30 this morning and then again around noon watching everything come together. It is amazing to see, just walking around the grounds.
Last night, I was there about midnight. We had some things that had to be changed. And I was there and people started to gather and they were from Michigan and they were from California. People — midnight last night, people just got off the plane and wanted to come see the grounds.
It is one of the most beautiful places, I think, in America. I used to stand — I used to sit in the morning when I lived here in Washington about three columns in and watch the sunrise. It is spectacular because it rises right over the Capitol. It is a miracle.
And, the weather this Saturday is also a miracle. It's supposed to be perfect. In August, in Washington, D.C. — this is a swamp — it's supposed to be 82 and low humidity and perfect sunshine. I mean, thank you. Thank you.
The Lincoln Memorial, the reflecting pool, if you haven't seen the new World War II monument, it is remarkable. Bring your children to see the Washington Monument. It's looming in the distance.
If they're not watching, ask them this. You'll see up about three quarter — about a quarter of the way, the stone changes colors. Nobody knows this. Ask them why it's a different color. Do you know? That's where they stopped building it in the Civil War. It's pretty amazing to see the history.
For me, it was quite humbling to stand as I'm walking up the stairs. And you'll see right it in the center, one flight down from Abe Lincoln. You will see carved in stone, usually people poor water on it so you can see it. It just says Dr. Martin Luther King, "I Have a Dream." It's right there that Martin Luther King stood and delivered his "I Have a Dream Speech."
For me, that was a little humbling because I'm not going to be standing there. I'm way down the stairs from there. But what that man did and what he went through and the people that came and what they went through to come. I've read the papers from the day before his speech. And it was incredible what they said.
This guy is still — he hasn't been carved in stone, yet. So, to me, at least he's more of a man and less than a monument, maybe that's why I can relate to him a little bit more than giant Abraham Lincoln. But it is impossible to look around in that area and not be overwhelmed by the sense of history of it all. And when I say "history," I mean the history of America.
Our first president, not carved in stone. He would have hated that — just tall, straight and erect. Abraham Lincoln. The greatest generation at the end of the reflecting pool, Martin Luther King. Being around all of these things in that small sacred space is pretty overwhelming.
The memorials to some of the most honorable people in our nation's history is inspiring enough, so you can only imagine — I think I can imagine — I think it's going to be a little overwhelming as we see — I don't know, tens of thousands of people standing together, shoulder to shoulder, locked arm-in-arm, peaceful, happy, in disagreement on some things and agreement on others — thousands and thousands of regular citizens who have come as far as Europe. One, I got a letter from somebody who's coming with their wife from Nigeria, just to experience it.
People who will not only recognize heroes — this is one of the awards we're giving away, three awards to citizens. It's based on — it is based on the Merit Badge, the Purple Heart from George Washington. This, we're giving three away. I haven't seen any speculation on who the three that are going to win, what citizens deserve this merit for faith, hope and charity.
People will gather and see this. And hopefully, we will mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor. At least we will begin to look at those things, start to maybe challenge that we haven't valued those things high enough — honesty, integrity, merit, personal responsibility, family and God.
That is why we call it the "Restoring Honor" event.
Chris Wallace just talked to me in his office a few minutes ago. I'm going to be doing an interview with him right after the event for "Fox News Sunday." It's the only entire I will be doing. And he asked me why is it called "Restoring Honor"?
Well, it's not a political event because I haven't found a lot of honor when it's followed by an "R" or a "D." Principles and values that should be universal, but I think in most cases now, it seems in our country, they are non-existent. I've been examining the problems of this country and I've been trying to come up with ways out.
We're entering our last exit, last exit. We need to get off this highway.
I was leaving the memorial site today and reporter jumped out at me. I was trying to run because I was late for work and I was running to my car and this reported jumped out and she said, "I'm so and so from ABC." And I said, hey! And she said, this was her question: What do you expect to gain from this event?
I don't — I don't even know what that means. Do you? I mean, I know what I have to lose. What do I have to gain?
ABC is not alone. Most of the reports seem to completely miss the mark of what I've named it. Honor. "Restoring Honor." Merit. I mean, how much more obvious? How are you missing this? Merit, honor.
The Washington Post had a story today which actually — I mean, I couldn't believe it — well, I couldn't believe that I actually read The Washington Post. But then I couldn't believe that it was actually pretty fair all things considered.
But they talked about the implications this event will have on the future of tea parties. It couldn't figure that one out. I — I read it to my wife in bed last night. What exactly — how — what? How exactly does this measure the strength or the weakness of the Tea Party?
In the story, they talk about how the GOP is distancing themselves from this event. To distance themselves would imply that at some point, they were close to the event.
I've also heard that this event is all about the elections, the coming November. Let me just say this: If you are planning to drive here from — I don't care if it's across the street or 1,000 miles, to hold up campaign slogan sign, go home. Save your time.
First of all: No signs. Don't bring your signs. Bring your hearts. Bring your open minds. That's it. Bring your kids. Your kids are important. If you bring a sign, you're going to be disappointed. No signs.
I have also heard people wondering about how big or small the crowd size will be. I've heard people speculate that what's going to happen — what is Glenn Beck going to do after the event?
NPR wrote about the event today, wondering what stunt is Glenn Beck going to pull, noting that progressive pundits are expecting me to pervert the memory of Martin Luther King and I don't have the credentials to speak at the location of MLK's speech. My gosh!
And then there was this: "Attendees are prohibited from bringing signs. The fear, of course, is that it will turn into a pit of hatred, a la the health care town halls."
A pit of hatred? A pit of hatred — written with our taxpayer dollars.
See, this is where I get confused about people saying that I don't have the credentials to speak about honor and integrity and about the judging people by the content of their character, when the very same people that are saying that about me seem awfully quick to cast an entire group of individuals into a pit of hatred just because they disagree with a particular policy.
I've heard it over and over again in the media that because of this event, on the date of this event, I'm somehow or another hijacking Dr. Martin Luther King's speech.
I'm not big enough to do that. No one is.
I had no idea August 28th was the day of the MLK speech when we booked it. I knew that MLK spoke at the Lincoln Memorial. I knew that it was about the content of character. I knew it was about civil rights and injustice. It knew all of those things, but I'm sorry, media, that I forgot the, oh, so important detail of the date.
That is the problem with our country. When you go to school — you ask the kids — all they care about is the date. It's not the date, it's the message.
The point is, as you can see, not many people are focused on the actual message of any given thing at all, let alone this event.
Again, we're arguing about the date. At best, they're operating in the same old political boxes they usually operate out of: Glenn Beck, bad; Sarah Palin, bad; must destroy.
Have you heard the media even talk about the idea of honor? Why? How about this question: Why would Glenn Beck say honor is missing? Why would Glenn Beck say the answer is God? What's happening with our religions? Would anybody cover that? No.
Have you heard anybody mention the troops? Has anybody mention who had could possibly deserve an award for merit — who have done things that hurt them personally or caused great sacrifice? Has anybody in the — has anybody called the Special Operations Warrior Foundation? I had them on the show last night. These are amazing people. Has the media bothered to interview one person involved with SOWF, except for saying how is Glenn Beck getting rich off of this?
Then they say the event is shrouded in mystery. It is not if you don't have an agenda. Take a look at any one of our men and women in the amazing military that we have and say, gee, why would Glenn Beck want to put them a spotlight?
Here is your answer: Honor.
We have a shortage of people like these guys. That's the problem in our country. We have a shortage of character. We don't even know how to teach it to our children anymore.
We're running low on personal responsibility. We've got a loss of integrity, a loss of shame in this country, a loss of principles and values. We've lost our way because we have lost God.
If you want to restore America, you go ahead and do it with your little party thing. I don't think that's going to work.
We've lost our honor. We must restore our honor first, our principles.
Saturday's message — shhh! It's a big secret. I've only talked about it for six months on one of the biggest cable news shows in history and the third largest radio show in America — but only six months, so — shhh, keep it down. Just between us. Don't tell anyone in the media: The secret is God.
I've told you how many times I stood on the steps where Martin Luther King stood. The media is — "Who does he think he is?"
When I first stepped down the steps, maybe three or five months ago, I stood in that spot and that's exactly what I thought. Who the hell do you think you are? A nobody, a citizen, a man of faith, a dad — a guy who truly believes that our country is in trouble.
And I am willing to do and say the hard things. I am willing to lose my life, my fortune, but not my sacred honor. I have lost it before, because of the things that I have done in my past. I'm a recovering alcoholic. It's the only thing that is truly yours — your name and your honor. I will not lose that.
You watch the media. They'll paint it any way they can. And then now
— and then, now they're trying to paint me now as the leader of I don't know what.
The 9.12 Project, when I introduced it, I said, this is yours. Do with it what you want. You just need to get together and know you're not alone. Same thing with this. This event and this country is bigger than any single one person. It is not about one person. When we put everything in with one person or one party, we're done.
We must find our ideas, our ideals, our values, our principles. How do you want to live your life? It's knowing the American ideal and knowing that if we live that ideal, the nation will be better for it and we will survive. We will prosper.
But there has never been one great leader. There is no strong man, no strong woman who is going to pick this country up and carry us to the finish line. It's you. It's me. The guys behind the camera, the people on the floor — it's all of us.
How many of us hope that the leader of the free world is currently making his decisions occasionally on his knees in prayer in the Oval Office?
What I am telling you is that you are the leader. Are you on your knees? Or is that just for someone else with real power to do? Because that's a perversion of our whole system. We, the people — it comes from you.
You know what? We're probably not too different. Maybe you're — maybe you're a better person than I am. But I've screwed up most of my life. I used to think that, you know, just put here to do whatever it is you want. You play video games and eat donuts all day and everything is great. Sweet life. It's over. That life is over.
Let me ask you this question: Do you know why you are here? Do you know what you were meant for? Why are you watching the show? Why are you hearing this message right now? Is it a coincidence? I don't believe in coincidence.
I hope this monologue haunts you. Why are you here? Answer the question: What is your purpose?
Our Founders believe that they were born at a special time. They believe that each of them played a role. They believe and you know it, you can see it, through Divine Providence. All these people were assembled. It was amazing.
But one person didn't just lay it all. They all played a role. One person was the hand, the other person was this hand, somebody else was the head, somebody else was the heart, somebody else was the legs, somebody else was the strong back.
What is God trying to use you for? Well, I bet you haven't heard that on TV, at least during the daytime on cable news. Is it taboo? I'm sorry. Shhh! Keep that one to yourself, too.
Does anyone believe in Divine Providence anymore? I know Ronald Reagan did. I know George Washington did. I know Abraham Lincoln did.
Reagan said, for whatever reason, God made America free. And he wasn't throwing cliches out when he said once a country loses her freedom, those people will never get it back again. That if freedom is extinguished here in America, there is no place on the face of the earth for the world to run to.
Do you think Russia and China are going to lead the world on what? The environment? You got Putin yesterday taking pictures of himself hunting whales. Yes, yes, yes.
How about human rights? You have China stacking people up like sardines in apartments above factories so they can work around the clock.
You've got Iran who's burying people up to their necks because they're homosexual. They're the leaders?
We used to strive in this country to be a shining city on the hill. That's what the pilgrims came here for. That's what they thought this land was. It's what our Founders thought. Even 30 years ago — the shining city on the hill. Well, what is the shining city on the hill? Look it up.
It's the same story whether you call it Atlantis, New Jerusalem or Zion. It is the shining example of a place where people work together in peace and friendship and worship God and make things better together. Have we even been striving for that? Have we?
Make no mistake, the flame of freedom is dwindling. The shining city on the hill, the sun is setting. If you don't want it to go out on our watch, then you must stand in the blaze. The fire of truth that does not burn those who stand in it, but consumes everything that is not. Point others to the truth.
And just like every other struggle in history, in fact, every struggle in American history — read Lincoln, King, Washington — they were fighting evil.
If you think things are tough now, you ain't seeing nothing yet. I will show you the way out, next.
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