History Repeating: U.S. Following in British Empire's Footsteps?

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," February 3, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: I told you yesterday at the beginning of the show that we have to get out of this fantasy world we're living in.

When we address our problems and say, "Hi, we're America, and we have a problem," everything is going to be OK. Unfortunately, a lot of people say, "This is America." That's what they were saying at least before the recession and the economists laughed right with them. They laughed off all the warning signs — "Not in America, please!"

In the recession or during the recession, economists laughed off all the warning signs that then it could get worse. "Not in America." Sounds like the Colossus of Rhodes, doesn't it?

But now, look what we have behind us. A lot of people — a lot of Republicans back in the last administration — were also laughing at that: "Oh, don't worry, debt doesn't matter."

Yes, it does! We now face crippling debt, high unemployment, and concerns now that everybody is laughing off that China is surpassing the United States as the world's most dominant superpower.

Again: "No, not in America, can't happen. We're going to be..." Mmm-hmm!

You know I read something about — it was about a year ago. I've been reading a lot of history for the last couple of years. And that phrase came up. It was common back in the early 1900s, except it wasn't "This is America." It was "This is the British Empire."

I grew up just north of Seattle, about 90 miles north of Seattle. And in British Columbia, they have a flag that was actually meant as a salute to England. I think it was around the turn of last century that they came up with it. There it is.

It really kind of show shows the last century arrogance of Great Britain. The flag was used in British Columbia and it shows the sun. It's called "Splendor Without Setting," because remember, at this time, the sun never sat on the — or set —on the British empire. Never! They were global. It was always light somewhere in the world where Great Britain had power.

Well, by the time Europe was fighting World War I, all of Europe was stressed out economically. Now, the greatest empire since Rome was struggling economically. These are the people that had the biggest and the best fleet. They had more ships than anybody else had ever had.

So, what did they do when they were struggling? They came to this guy: Woodrow Wilson. I hate this guy.

He was a progressive that said, "I'm going to help you out." It was quite clever, actually. It worked to our advantage. Instead of diving into World War I with guns a-blazing and saying, "OK, we're going to help clean this mess up," he had a different plan. He said, "We're going to help you out. We'll loan you money. We'll buy up your debt."

Wilson was also in the middle of his re-election campaign. Back then, Americans did not want to go to war over in Europe. It's none of our business. They were much more like our Founding Fathers — their business, not ours. They're isolationists when it came to foreign policy.

Well, Wilson's campaign even used a slogan: "Wilson, he'll keep us out of war." Oh, and he did. He was re-elected on November 7th, 1916. And then he was sworn in on March 5th, 1917. And he kept America out of war. One month and one day later, he formally declared war on Germany. But he was good for that promise for a month.

By the end of World War I, the power had shifted and really the schlubs — people like you and me, we didn't even know it. We didn't know it. But the heads of states did. The banks did, because that's where the real battle was won. America was now the world's real power.

By the end of World War II, the entire world figured it out — the splendor of the British Empire had finally set.

Why do I tell you this story? Because today is 1917 and this time, the world's greatest power isn't Great Britain. And the bank isn't the United States. But the game is the same.

The world's greatest power is us and the bank is China. And they're buying up everything they can. They're buying everything.

Guess who's forced to listen to China now? Just like — just like Great Britain was forced to listen to us.

We told you yesterday, we downgraded our search for Chinese spies in America. You're kidding me?

We're not pushing for tough sanctions on trade. We aren't the only ones. It's the whole free-market.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Reserve Bank in Australia was set to raise their interest rate for the fourth time since October to fight inflation over there. But then suddenly, there was an unexpected pause and the latest increase was put on hold.

Why? One word: China.

China told Australia the interest rate hike was not good for the Chinese. So, here you have country who says, "Raising this rate is what's best for our citizens to stop inflation," and China says, "I don't think you're going to do that." And they didn't.

Australia is no longer sovereign if they're not doing what's best for their citizens.

Why do you — why do you think we were building ships in the 1930s for England? Wait a minute. Has that ever occurred to you? We were building ships for England. Didn't they have the greatest fleet ever? What happened?

Well, after we took control of their debt, we told them, "Get rid of your ships." Was that in their citizen's best interest? Of course not.

Here comes the tipping point. We are quickly approaching it — where we don't make the best decisions for us, the citizens, anymore. They're not going to be made by us, the citizens. They are going to be made in the halls of large finance in Beijing.

We must wake up and stop spending.

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