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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Will Al Gore Run?; Islamic Defiance in Pakistan; Crazy Partisanship; FDR and Ronald Reagan; CNN Hero
Aired July 5, 2007 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GLENN BECK, HOST: "We the People": the lessons to be learned from two of our nation's greatest leaders.
And Al Gore, who will be with Larry King tonight, may be turning up the political heat.
BECK (voice-over): Tonight, on the eve of a massive worldwide concert event, Al Gore seems like a man on a mission. He says he's not running, but could this be a warmup to a run for '08?
Plus: our United States now more politically divided than ever. What would our founding fathers think of today's incredibly divisive political landscape?
And can one person truly make a difference? A look at a maverick educator, Geoffrey Canada, a man who will stop at nothing to save our children.
BECK: Hello, America. I'm Glenn Beck, filling in for Paula Zahn tonight.
All week, we have been talking about my belief that we, the people, are sick and tired of the partisan bickering coming out of Washington. I know. We have got a presidential election coming up in 16 months. But do we all have to turn into monsters now? Do we all have to start running for our corners and prepare for battle? We can set a new course. And we can do it right now, but it starts with setting a new discourse.
If we continue to tolerate divisiveness from our leaders and our media -- and, hello -- I know -- I'm a part of that -- we will continue to get exactly what we don't want.
For example, look at the news today. It is filled with stories about Al Gore. They're not stories about his global warming campaign or his worldwide Live Earth concerts that are happening this weekend. They're about his son, who was arrested for drug possession after being stopped for going 100 miles an hour in a Prius.
Now, I'm more than happy to knock out an easy Prius joke right out of the park. But shouldn't the story today really be about the fact that Al Gore, a guy who still claims he isn't running for anything, is more highly respected than most of the actual candidates? How did he go from zero to hero?
Shouldn't we all be paying attention a little more about whether Al Gore intends to leverage this global warming campaign into a presidential campaign?
And, while we're starting with the Al Gore stories, let's start here. The family says Al Gore III is now undergoing treatment.
Then, just yesterday, a group in New Hampshire launched a draft- Gore petition drive.
Joining me now, Democratic strategist Peter Fenn, who was an adviser to Al Gore.
Peter, let me -- let's start -- let me start with his son. There by the grace of God go I is all I could think of. And I don't -- I'm not a fan of Al Gore. I don't like Al Gore, but there by the grace of God go I.
PETER FENN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Listen, I think, Glenn, you're right.
I mean, you and others, all of us have had experience in our families, some in ourselves, with these kinds of situations. These are sad, tough situations there. But this shouldn't be about political debate. This should be personal.
BECK: When did this be...
FENN: And there are a lot of good things to talk about this weekend. And I think we let the family do what they need to do best.
BECK: When did this stuff become fair game, Peter? I mean, even marriage, a failed marriage, is even closer to fair game than -- I mean, I know people who are good, decent parents, who have worked so hard, and their kids are completely screwed up.
BECK: I mean, when did this become fair game?
FENN: I think it's -- I think it has been fair game for a long time, unfortunately, or unfair game, as some of us would say.
I think you leave the families out of it. The candidates that I have worked for over the years that I most respect don't want to get into this kind of stuff, don't want it to be part of the political discourse. And, you know, it is something that I think -- you know, you should show some compassion for others. You should care about how folks are -- but it does -- it does -- you know, we're all human beings.
We all have issues. We all have problems. And I think this just -- this, hopefully, is what this will be -- folks will be left with after this is all over.
BECK: I have to tell you, there's so much -- when it comes to Al Gore, there's so much to go after. If you want to...
FENN: We can argue about all kinds of things.
BECK: Yes. I mean, we could go after -- and I mean this sincerely.
Peter, you remember, after the 2000 campaign, the guy was a zero. The Democrats were angry with him. They're like, he was a robot. He didn't connect with people.
FENN: Right. Right.
BECK: How did he go from zero to a guy who is, oh, Al Gore, I hope he runs?
FENN: Well, it is very interesting right now.
You know, I always felt about Al Gore that he's much more comfortable with a cause than a campaign. And, you know, this isn't a new thing for him, as we all know, the environment issue. I think he is in his element, Glenn. I would be very surprised if he runs.
I tell you what I think would have to happen. You would have to have the field self-destruct. You would have to have Hillary Clinton go down in flames. You would have to have Barack Obama go down in flames before he would get in this race. And that's not going to happen.
FENN: Look, he's doing what he wants to do. He's comfortable with it. Tipper is comfortable with it, from what I hear.
And I just think -- you know, I think this is a wonderful thing, to be able to take the political skills that he has, the knowledge, the brainpower, and really turn to something that he firmly believes.
Now, you guys can argue, everybody can argue about it, but this guy believes in what he's doing.
BECK: You really -- I mean, when you look at the actual facts, for instance, Greenland, the ice is getting thicker in the middle of Greenland -- it's just -- it's melting on the edges. The records now show that it's colder in the interior of Greenland than it has been in a long time. Does he really believe it, or is he spinning some of this stuff?
FENN: No, no, no. I think -- look, you know, initially, 10 years ago, when we start talking about this, you really had a tough debate on the science. You know, what you may be saying could be partially true.
But now most scientists are saying -- even the president of the United States, who is not a big fan...
FENN: ... of global warming, has -- now, he calls it climate change. But, you know, everybody is saying, look, we have to do something about greenhouse gasses. We have finite resources in oil. We have to turn to hydrogen fuel cells. We have to turn to electric cars.
Some of us, you know, even good old liberals believe that nuclear power should be a real part of this mix. I do. I think that -- that Al Gore...
BECK: Peter, I have got to tell you, that's why I like you, because at least your common sense -- at least you're somebody who says, I'm an environmentalist, but, hello, nuclear power makes sense.
Peter, I have got to run. But thank you so much. I hope to continue this conversation later on.
FENN: Thanks, Glenn. Good to be with you again.
BECK: Well, let's take a look now at the younger Gore. This is not the first time he's been in trouble: a marijuana possession charge when he was in college in 2003; a drunk driving arrest the year before.
Medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins me now from Atlanta.
Elizabeth, this is not uncommon for college students now, is it, to abuse prescription drugs?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Glenn.
The sad reality is that prescription drugs are on their way to becoming even more popular than street drugs. And parents need to listen up. Parent thinks their kids are going to the street. They're going to mom and dad's medicine cabinet. That's where they're going.
Let's take a look at some incredible statistics about how popular prescription drug abuse is among young people today. This -- they're looking at the proportion of college students who use tranquilizers, up 450 percent from 1993 to 2005 -- opioids, like Vicodin and OxyContin, up 343 percent -- stimulants, like Adderall and Ritalin, up 93 percent.
Now, look at these names. The young Gore allegedly was found with Xanax and Valium and Vicodin and Adderall, so four of those drugs.
BECK: Where do they get these drugs? I mean, is the thing? Because I get, you know, in the mail, you know, from my e-mail all the time, hey, you can get it from Canada.
Where are they getting these drugs?
COHEN: Sometimes, they get it from those e-mails, Glenn. That's exactly where they get it from.
But, also, you know, a lot of adults take these drugs, and the kids go into the medicine cabinets. And the parents don't always notice. They also get them from friends. You know, more and more people, especially young people, are being diagnosed with anxiety, with ADE -- with ADD, with other diseases like that. And, so, these kids legitimately have these drugs, and then they share with their friends, or often sell to their friends.
Now, if you want to learn more about how to prevent teens from abusing prescription drugs, go on an article I wrote on CNN.com/health -- Glenn.
BECK: OK. Elizabeth, thanks a lot.
Coming up: the deadly confrontation with Islamic fundamentalists in the heart of Pakistan. This is bad news. One of America's most important allies in the war on trouble -- war on terror is in trouble.
Also, tonight's "Independent Thinker," who found a way to reach and inspire kids in one of our most troubled neighborhoods, and he didn't wait for the government. I can't wait to introduce you to him.
BECK: Coming up a little later on in the program, I am going to show you a couple of our presidents that we have just loved. I will show you how a Democrat, Franklin Roosevelt, and a Republican, Ronald Reagan, were able to put aside their petty partisan politics for the good of the country. Maybe we can learn something.
First, it's already Friday morning in Pakistan's capital, where a massive military presence is trying to quell a fundamentalist Islamic challenge to the country's president, Musharraf. The violence is escalating now. And military forces in Islamabad have surrounded a mosque that is being led by a firebrand cleric who wants to establish strict Islamic law in the capital.
Now, Pakistan, which shares a border with Afghanistan, has been one of our key allies in South Asia when it comes to the war on terror, so a lot of people here kind of watching this situation very closely.
Andrew Stevens has more on the standoff.
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the predawn hours in Pakistan's capital Thursday, troops were moving in, strengthening positions around the besieged Red Mosque. Then, this -- explosions echoed around the darkened city set off by the military, a warning to up to 1,000 radicals in the mosque to surrender, followed by verbal warnings from loudspeakers.
Just a few hours earlier, the head cleric at the mosque, Maulana Abdul Aziz, had been arrested trying to flee under cover of darkness, disguised under a full-length woman's black burka. He was caught when a female police officer tried to search him as he left the mosque.
About 1,100 people have already given up. Those inside include hundreds of women, according to Aziz.
MAULANA ABDUL AZIZ, RED MOSQUE HEAD CLERIC (through translator): If they get out quietly, they should go. Or they can surrender if they want to.
STEVENS: Islamic extremists at the Red Mosque, also known as the Lal Masjid, have been defying the government for months. They want to establish fundamental, or Sharia, law in Pakistan's capital city.
Their defiance provides yet another problem for Pakistan's secular military chief, General Pervez Musharraf, who is already under intense pressure over his dismissal of the country's top judge and the growing insurgency in Pakistan's border regions with Afghanistan.
Andrew Stevens, CNN, Hong Kong.
BECK: All right.
I want to go to Lisa Curtis. She's with the Heritage Foundation.
Lisa, I follow this stuff pretty closely. And the Red Mosque, et cetera, et cetera, you know, here I'm coming in after July 4, and I'm kind of reeling with this.
This, my gut tells me, very, very bad news for Musharraf, and we can't afford to lose Musharraf. Tell me the ramifications of this.
LISA CURTIS, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Well, I think the Lal mosque situation should be a wakeup call to the Islamabad government. It shows the dangers of allowing radicalism to fester.
The standoff has lasted for over six months now, and the government is now taking action. But, frankly, it should have taken action a long time ago. And, unfortunately, there has been loss of life in this situation. And, hopefully, in the denouement of the situation, which, hopefully, will be soon, there won't be any more loss of life.
But it is important for Musharraf to take a firm line against these radical elements. Otherwise, they will just be further emboldened.
BECK: But these -- these radical elements are among his own people. I mean, he's got Taliban members in his own staff. I mean, doesn't this show to us that there is no coexistence with these radical elements; you can't bring them into the fold; you have got to annihilate them?
CURTIS: I agree completely, Glenn. U.S. policy toward Pakistan and getting that right is absolutely critical to winning the war on terrorism.
Look, we know al Qaeda, Taliban elements are active in the tribal areas. Is it difficult for Musharraf to go against these elements, both politically and logistically? Well, of course it is. However, it's absolutely essential, if we're going to stabilize Afghanistan and prevent the next 9/11.
BECK: OK, Lisa, I -- again, you know, you do this for a living. I just kind of watch, watch this, and try to digest it, and help people understand it a bit.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but everything that I'm seeing around the world, everything that's been happening in the last even three months, my spider senses tell me there is a major escalation of the axis of evil, that this is -- this is a precursor. And I'm not talking about necessarily another 9/11, as much as I am a -- this is a precursor of something that is going on; something is happening.
Am I wrong on this?
CURTIS: Well, of course, Glenn, Pakistan is not a member of the axis of evil.
BECK: No, no, no, I'm not saying that.
BECK: I'm saying that the forces -- the forces of the axis of evil -- and I throw in the Taliban in there -- there seems to be a movement. With the -- with the bombings in London, et cetera, et cetera, there seems to be a real movement and pushing of the allied forces up against the wall.
CURTIS: Well, this may be a sign that they're under pressure. We have made -- had some successes in Afghanistan, in terms of eliminating some of the top Taliban leadership. This goes back to Mullah Dadullah, who was eliminated a few months ago.
And, so, I think, you know, there may be some pushing back, in terms of some of the successes that we have made. But, you know, of course, President Musharraf has been an ally for the U.S.
CURTIS: But there -- but we have to admit there are elements within his own establishment... BECK: Yes.
CURTIS: ... that aren't completely on board.
CURTIS: So, I think this should be a wakeup call for him to -- to get the -- get his act together, and so that we can have a full partner in Pakistan.
BECK: Lisa, we will continue to watch the situation. Thank you very much.
Now, coming up: one man who is making a difference. He is determined to make our schools work in one of the nation's most troubled neighborhoods. And he's not sticking around, waiting for the government. He's tonight's "Independent Thinker."
Also, Iraq, immigration, health care, how did we get so divided that absolutely nothing is getting done in Washington?
BECK: Thank you so much for watching tonight.
If there is one message that I hope you take away from this week, this Independence Week special, is that we, the people, and not the politicians, control our own destiny. And every single one of us can truly make a difference.
I want to introduce you to an educator. His name is Geoffrey Canada. A lot of people call him a maverick. I just think he's brilliant. He is a man who will do anything to save children.
He is tonight's "Independent Thinker."
BECK (voice-over): It's a typical day for these 4-year-olds, reciting their French grammar. No, it's not an exclusive private school. It's public. And it's happening right here in Harlem, New York, as part of a charter school project. Young hearts and minds are thriving today in what is historically one of New York's most troubled neighborhoods, all thanks to one man.
Geoffrey Canada heads up the Harlem Children's Zone. It's a one- of-a-kind program that covers a 60-block area in central Harlem -- its mission, saving the zone's 6,500 children, through education, one child at a time.
GEOFFREY CANADA, PRESIDENT & CEO, HARLEM CHILDREN'S ZONE, INC.: There is no solution for dealing with the issues of poverty, for dealing with the issues of crime in this country, except education. If our schools don't work, then the poor children in this country are simply not going to succeed.
BECK: He says, the key is taking an all-encompassing approach.
CANADA: Why is it that we think that we can work with children only for a little period of time in these communities, and then think they're going to be OK?
The truth of the matter is, every single age is critical and important. And we have to provide support for this particular group of children throughout all of those ages.
BECK: The charter school is called the Promise Academy, but it's only one part of the program.
There's also the Baby College, which offers parenting skills to those who are pregnant or have kids under the age of 3. The Harlem Gems is a prekindergarten program, with an adult-to-child ratio of one to four, that aims to get kids school-ready.
TRUCE and TRUCE Fitness, the youth development programs, offer free tutoring, regions prep courses, karate, dance, aerobics, drama club. They publish a newspaper and produce a cable TV program. Canada says, his drive comes from personal experience.
He and his three brothers grew up in the impoverished South Bronx of the 1950s. His father left when they were infants. The boys were raised by a single mom, who, at times, had to turn to welfare.
CANADA: Part of being in the ghetto meant that you were trapped there. And I grew up wondering, why didn't anybody do anything? Why didn't the adults come and save us kids? That we had done nothing wrong -- there was no reason that we should grow up without heat and hot water, with rats and roaches, living in filth and vermin.
And I just wondered, where are the heroes?
BECK: And it's these firsthand experiences that allow Canada to connect with the kids he's trying to save.
CANADA: They're always shocked, because, before kids know me, when they see me, I'm always in a suit and tie and jacket. And they -- think, oh, yeah, this guy probably grew up somewhere.
And, then, when we begin to talk about how we grew up, when I begin to share with them my own life story, and I can see the recognition in their eyes. It touches them that I went through that same thing, and made it out the other side. And they sit there and say: He made it. He actually got out of that and did something.
BECK: And what he did was get himself a first-rate education, ending with a master's degree from Harvard.
CANADA: I never had one doubt that I was going to come back and do this work. And, if you look at my academic career in college and at graduate school, every single course I took was focused on trying to figure out how you could find solutions to the problems of inner- city poor minority children. BECK: Though some people think his methods are unusual, Canada says he's willing to do whatever it takes to motivate the kids, even bribing them with incentives, including a small cash prize for accomplishments like perfect attendance.
CANADA: These kids are poor. Their parents have no money. Money really matters to them. I think it's totally acceptable to say, you know, here's $10. You have really done great. We think that's good. This is what will happen if you continue to do good. You will be able to legally earn money and have a good life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two positive integers.
BECK: And teachers that work for him get motivation of a different kind.
CANADA: I think our teachers are underpaid, and I think they're undervalued.
I think the people who are really working with the heart of this problem are some of the -- really, the great heroes and heroines in this country who are uncelebrated.
But we also have a lot of folk who aren't pulling their weight. And we need to be able to make sure that teachers who aren't doing great things for children get retrained, and, if they're not able to be retrained, that they get let go, because we're not going to be able to stay a first-rate country if we give our kids a second- or a third- rate education.
BECK: For Canada, it's about a promise kept.
CANADA: This is a funny thing about my mother. And she's probably going to beat me up for telling this, but it's true.
When I was about 11 years old, my mother came to me and she said, Geoff, I believe you have a special talent with relating and connecting with people. And you can use this for good or you could use this for bad. If you decide to use this for bad, I'm going to disown you.
And I thought she was kidding. She was not kidding. I think she's very proud of the way things have ended up.
BECK: Coming up: the people who divide us. What's behind that huge gulf that now separates Republicans and Democrats?
Also, the lesson everybody in Washington needs right now: how two of the nation's greatest presidents brought America together.
And the best of that big Fourth of July celebration I hosted last night for our troops worldwide -- it happened in Utah. I will show you pictures of it -- coming up.
BECK: This week, we're celebrating people who aren't waiting for governments or officials to come up with solutions.
Earlier, I introduced you to Geoffrey Canada. He is an educator who is doing everything he can to save kids in Harlem.
Now you're get meet a former Olympian who has launched a new career devoted to reaching children all around the world through sports.
Christine Romans has his story in tonight's "Life After Work."
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Johann Koss can still move quickly, but the former gold metal speed skater from Norway isn't circling the ice anymore; he's circling the globe for his foundation, Right to Play.
JOHANN KOSS, CEO, RIGHT TO PLAY: The right to play is an international organization to provide sport and play program for children in the most disadvantaged areas around the world, where we go and develop children and youth, physically, psychologically, and socially, particularly when they're affected by war, poverty and disease.
And we are over -- we're now in over 20 countries, and impacting, you know, several hundred thousand children on a weekly basis.
ROMANS: Koss retired from skating after the Lillehammer Olympics in 1994, with plans for a second career.
KOSS: I was going to be a doctor, and trying that out. And -- but, at the same time, I traveled a lot around the world.
And seeing children living in these most horrendous situations, I felt that it needed to be my responsibility, and I probably would have a greater impact leading this organization, starting this and doing it, and getting it through than I would as medical doctor.
ROMANS: So far this, year, Right to Play says it has reached a quarter million kids around the world. They non-profit trains local coaches and helps them set up sports programs in their communities. Right to Play also doubles as an educational outlet.
KOSS: Every time I'm traveling out and see a smile on a child's face and I see that, you know what, their thankfulness and their activity and they believe in themself and they're building their own communities, it's just so motivating.
ROMANS: Christine Romans, CNN.
(END VIDEOTAPE) BECK: Coming up, a couple of presidents who can show us what it really takes to stop all the partisanship that has paralyzed our government.
BECK: Well, welcome back to WE THE PEOPLE, I'm Glenn Beck for Paula Zahn who's taken a few days off.
And we're talking tonight about gridlock in Washington and the crazy partisanship that's causing it.
Just today White House spokesman complained that Democrats in Congress have launched 300 investigations this year alone. Democrats would say there's a good reason for every one of those investigations, but the truth is, they're just refusing to work together. Here's Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The future of Iraq, up for grabs. Immigration reform, trashed. Gas prices, healthcare, ethics. The list seems endless, issues that people in both parties say should be addressed are being crushed in a vice of bickering under the capitol dome.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You can't fix these things because there's too much politics involved...
FOREMAN: And the core reason for CNN political analyst Bill Schneider?
SCHNEIDER: Republicans have become almost completely conservative and Democrats have become overwhelmingly liberal, which has pulled the parties apart and each party sees the other side as some sort of alien life form.
FOREMAN: The result? From state houses to the nation's capitol, political analysts say opponents too often can't work things out. Won't listen to moderates and resort to accusations.
SEN JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is an abuse of power and it is a absolute repeat of what we've seen from day one.
FOREMAN: Name calling.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The party of FDR, the party of Harry Truman, has become the party of cut and run.
FOREMAN: Fighting words.
REP PATRICK MCHENRY (R), NORTH CAROLINA: They're advocating a policy of waving the white flag to our enemies. FOREMAN: Back when the Democrats took over Congress, almost 70 percent of voters thought it was good, a step toward breaking this gridlock.
REP NANCY PELOSI (D), HOUSE SPEAKER: The campaign is over. Democrats are ready to lead.
FOREMAN (on camera): But now, while voters still don't want the Republicans back in charge, almost half disapprove of the Democrats' performance.
(voice-over): And the big Dems are playing the old blame game.
SEN HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: The culture of corruption was here and it appears the Republicans don't want it to go away.
FOREMAN: When our nation's founders created the Declaration of Independence, they disagreed about plenty of things, but they wanted the new government to work, so they wrote, "We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred Honor." The candidates almost all say that's an attitude that needs to come back for the good of everyone, but almost no one in Washington expects it.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
BECK: Joining me now is Kenneth Walsh who covers the White House for "U.S. News and World Report."
Ken, I was -- just spent some time in Utah, yesterday, I was with Orrin Hatch and he told me, he said: Glenn, I have never seen partisan politics like it is on Capitol Hill right now. In his whole career, he said it's by far the worst it's ever been. Would you back that up?
KENNETH WALSH, U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT: Yeah, well I started covering the White House back in 1986 and I've never seen it this partisan, myself. I actually spent some time covering politics at the state and regional level out in the Rocky Mountain states, in Colorado and the surrounding states, and you know, there is a tradition around the country, in a lot of the states that even exist today, of more of a nonpartisan or bipartisan approach. You see that in California, you see that in other places. And yet in Washington they haven't really learned that lesson. And I think if they looked out to the states they might see a better way of doing things.
BECK: It's amazing to me, I mean, because Senator Hatch and I spoke about Joe Lieberman and he said he's a very good friend. You can't get farther apart in policies than Joe Lieberman and Orrin Hatch when it comes -- I mean, he's a very liberal guy and Orrin Hatch is clearly a very conservative guy, but they're good friends. What happened? How did this all break down?
WALSH: Well, I think what's happened is, you know, we did have a tradition for a while in the country, particularly under the Eisenhower presidency, a little bit with Truman, but mostly Eisenhower, and then came back a little bit with President Johnson, for a while, of just sort of politics stopping at the water's edge, with foreign policy in particular.
But I think that what's happened in recent years, it really started with President Reagan, although it wasn't as emotional and as hostile as it is now. There was a little period under President Bush, the father, where things got a little bit better, particularly during the Persian Gulf War when President Bush, the father, did reach out, he got an international coalition and domestic coalition to support that war.
But then when President Clinton became president, since then we've had two polarizing presidents in different ways. President Clinton, largely because his critics and the conservative movement and elsewhere, felt he was sort of trying to co-op their issues and didn't really believe in them and also because of the character issue. He was very polarizing.
Now President Bush is very polarizing in a completely different way. A lot of Democrats feel he hasn't reached out to them. At the same time, Congress has become more polarized. Particularly because in redistricting, many members of Congress represent districts that are very much in the polar opposite of the other side. In other words, you know, congressman from California, from big cities, tend to be more liberal and congressmen from the South tend to be more conservative.
BECK: Ken, I have tell you, I think it's partly because these parties don't stand for anything anymore. They don't mean anything. The parties' purpose is to win elections and you tell me what the Republicans really stand for, you tell me what the Democrats really stand for. I think they've lost track of their values because, you know, you think you vote for the Democrats and you put them in and they're going to do something. They haven't done squat.
As a conservative I thought I voted for Republicans and they were going to do something, and they did everything to insult me and my intelligence and my values. I mean, I think they're just about winning elections now and they know -- I don't really have to come up with any kind of plans or any kind of solutions if I can just make everybody hate the other side.
WALSH: Yeah well, that's right. I think, Glenn, you make a very good point there, this whole negative campaigning -- we bemoan that and the, sort of the punditocracy tends to criticize it, but in the end the politicians come back to negative campaigning again and again. Tear the other person down. Not a lot of alternatives given, just create negativity on the other side and that's what politics is all about many times, today.
BECK: Unfortunately, it is. Ken, thanks a lot.
WALSH: Thank you. BECK: Coming up, a couple of presidents who knew exactly how to work with the other side and get nation's business done. Can our current leaders learn from these two guys?
Also, the Fourth of July celebration for our troops, and I was lucky enough to host yesterday. I'll show you some pictures of it, from Utah. Back in a minute.
BECK: If we want to get past the destructive partisanship that's blocking any kind of real progress in this country, I think we need to look at the giants of American history. The giants, the presidents that knew that both sides have to work together for us to be able to accomplish anything; these guys knew how to make it happen. Now, whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, you know what these two guys did, brought us together and made America great.
(voice-over): If Mount Rushmore had more room, which president should join Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln? Most Republicans I know would say Ronald Reagan. The Democrats would go with the other Roosevelt, Franklin.
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, HISTORIAN: Both were wily, cagey political foxes.
BECK: Historian Douglas Brinkley is editing Ronald Reagan's diaries; the abridged version is a best-seller, right now. Even though FDR and Reagan were political opposites on some issues, Brinkley says they actually have a lot in common, starting with a sense of optimism.
BRINKLEY: Both shared this optimistic belief that the American way was the best way and they both used optimism as an oxygen. They both constantly tried to stay upbeat and sunny.
BECK: Both men were loved because they were great leaders who served with honor. Now, don't get me wrong, both Reagan and FDR could be fiercely partisan.
FRANKLIN D ROOSEVELT, FMM U.S. PRESIDENT: These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me or on my wife or on my sons. Now, not content of that. They now include my little dog, Fala.
BECK: After all, you don't get elected president if you don't know how to play hardball politics.
RONALD REAGAN, FMR U.S. PRESIDENT: And I have only one thing to say to the tax increases, go ahead, make my day.
BECK: But, you know what? While their policies were vastly different, their values were basically the same. They believed if you worked hard, anything was possible. Reagan once said:
REAGAN: There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress, except those we ourselves erect.
BECK: In the same vein, FDR said in his first inaugural address, March 4, 1933:
ROOSEVELT: Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money, it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.
BECK: Something else Reagan and FDR had in common, the ability to bring the country together.
ROOSEVELT: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
BECK: FDR united America to fight the great depression, and again to fight World War II. Ronald Reagan brought America together and helped end the Cold War.
REAGAN: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.
BRINKLEY: The one thing that I think transcends all the other things they have in common between FDR and Ronald Reagan is both of them distained utilitarianism in guise.
BECK: In the face of new enemies abroad, and dire problems here at home, isn't it time we followed the example of FDR and Ronald Reagan?
BRINKLEY: It's July and it's the month of people celebrating the Fourth of July. It's not celebrating the Democrats Fourth of July or Republicans; we're celebrating this great country. And those were two of the 20th century leaders that were able to inspire people by storytelling, by taking their politics right to them and leaving the acrimony at home.
BECK: And they believed in the power of "We the People."
In 1938, FDR said:
ROOSEVELT: Let us never forget the government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our Democracy are not a president, not senators and congressmen and government officials. The ultimate rulers of our Democracy are the voters of the country, itself.
BECK: Now, Reagan in his farewell address in January '89.
REAGAN: Almost all the world's constitutions are documents in which governments tell people what their privileges are. Our constitution is a document in which we the people tell the government what it is allowed to do.
BECK: Both Roosevelt and Reagan were great men and great presidents, precisely because they knew when to put aside partisanship and get people to work together for the good of the people.
BRINKLEY: We are missing that today. In order to have that you have to be really void of arrogance. I think both FDR and Reagan, in many ways were supremely self confident, but yet if you spent any time with them you never felt belittled.
BECK: I know it's a shock to the system of present day Washington, but there are times, in America, when you've just got to do the right thing, when you've just got to stop arguing, put aside partisan politics and focus on our common values and principles. Once again, stand together as Americans.
I want you to take a look at this. This is just one of the memorable moments from yesterday, where I got to host a July 4th celebration in Utah for our troops. They saw it on Armed Forces Television, yesterday. You will see a few minutes in just a second.
Also, she's making life better for Americans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and she's a real "CNN Hero."
BECK: Welcome back to WE THE PEOPLE. I want to show you how I celebrated with my family, Independence Day, yesterday, along with some other people. About 50,000 people where in stadium in Provo, Utah, for a concert in honor of our men and women in uniform. Along with Brooks and Dunn I was privileged to host a party that was also broadcast live to thousands of our troops all around the world on Armed Forces Television Network. Here's a look at it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: As far as I can see, freedom from coast to coast. Utah, you can feel it, you get it. You get the privilege, you get the pleasure that it is to be an American.
BECK: Our American flag flies as a symbol of courage, commitment, sacrifice, and triumph.
BECK: Tonight's a night to be inspired. Tonight's a night to feel emotion. Many of you, here in the stadium tonight, are current serving members or veterans. So, let us celebrate your contribution to our country and our freedom, as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
I have to tell you I don't know if I will be honored enough to asked to host it again next year, but my family and I will be in that stadium. I've never seen anything like it. Don't miss it next Fourth of July.
Now, how about this woman? She is making it better for Americans fighting for their country. Even after losing her son in Iraq, she is a "CNN Hero," coming up.
All this year CNN is honoring people we call hero rs people who are making a difference in extraordinary ways. Tonight I'm proud to introduce you to a woman who is passionate about making the daily lives or Americans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan just a little bit better. And that makes her a "CNN Hero."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dear Dorine, thank you for the care package you sent...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't have much over here and every little thing you send us makes us very happy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say we were you heroes, but it's people like you that are the real heroes.
DORINE KENNEY, FOUNDER, JACOB'S LIGHT FOUNDATION: My name is Dorine Kenney and I'm the mother of Specialist Jacob Fletcher who was a paratrooper with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Iraq. Whenever I got a little nervous and anxious that he was there I'd get in my car and go shopping and try and be creative to think of silly things to send him to lift his spirits.
I sent Jacob boxes, sometimes twice a week and I just never stopped sending boxes. I started a foundation in my son's memory. Our focus is to get soldiers, especially the soldiers without family support or support from home, boxes and letters of support. I feel like I'm fulfilling something that would please my son.
All of it is donated. Checks come in from all over the country. I go out and I do the shopping once we collect the money. And volunteers come and move it over to the American Legion. We set it up on the tables and then we pack boxes of toiletries and foods to support our military.
In every box we'll be putting bug spray, Q-Tips, toothpaste, peanut butter, and I take requests from them, whatever they want. We want to make sure they're taken care of. The next day a volunteer comes, takes it to the post office and we mail them.
Have to make sure that our letters get in there.
It's really kept me alive. It's given me focus, it's given me a strong purpose. I don't doubt he's there and I don't doubt that I'll see him again and I'll work hard and do what I can to make the world a better place until I do meet him again.
BECK: Let me tell you something, I know Dorine Kenney and she's an amazing woman, and this, you really need to participate and please, find out all the information at cnn.com/heroes.
From New York, I'm Glenn Beck, in for Paula Zahn. That's it for tonight. LARRY KING LIVE with Al Gore starts right now.
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