Jordan Rickards: 00:02 All right. Welcome to ConservativeOpinion.com’s video podcast. Today’s guest is a friend of ours, actually a former congressional candidate and author Eric Beck. He’s written a new book, “Conquering the Political Divide: How the Constitution Can Heal Our Polarized Nation.” You can see, let me see if I can make this a little bit bigger.
Eric Beck: 00:20 Okay.
Jordan Rickards: 00:21 You can see there’s the cover of the book right there by our friend Eric Beck. He’s joined us here. Where are you actually? Have you moved out a New Jersey? Eric, where are you calling us from?
Eric Beck: 00:31 Yeah, I’m actually calling you and calling you from Greenville, South Carolina. There goes the picture just popped up. Yeah, there you go. We moved last year, 30 years ago. We, we’re going to have to do this for family reasons by the way. It was a social worker and she’s got the skills to take care of a certain family member. So, uh, last year was the year.
Jordan Rickards: 00:50 Well, I always congratulate people when they escape New Jersey. That’s really what it is.
Eric Beck: 00:57 Yeah,
Jordan Rickards: 00:57 So let me, let me guess. You’re, you’re paying like 500 bucks a month, 500 bucks a year now in property taxes while the rest of us are paying like 15,000 right.
Eric Beck: 01:05 God, I feel so sorry for you guys. Cause I know what I was paying for a townhouse and it’s, my taxes are about a third, my, my real estate taxes are about a third of what I paid in New Jersey for a house that’s 50% bigger. So it’s a, it’s a, it’s a pretty good deal economically when you do move south.
Jordan Rickards: 01:23 Yeah. And the lie is that you guys get less services. Like we pay more, but we’re, we supposedly get more government services that you’re now missing out on. Right.
Eric Beck: 01:31 You know, I’ve got to pay for garbage collection. Okay. So you know, that’s what, 10 bucks a month. But my utilities are generally lower. So I think, I think the overall economics of moving to South Carolina was a pretty favorable for us. So that part has worked out real well.
Jordan Rickards: 01:47 Well that’s great. Now listen, I want to get down to the book here and it’s interesting. I don’t know if you remember my connection with this is that you ran for Congress in 2012, right? 2012 and that was partially in Middlesex County where I was active in politics. And I actually, I don’t know if you remember this, but Chris, that’s right. I nominated you at the convention. Chris. Chris Pordon was, your campaign manager. And, and that was as I understand, when you began thinking about writing this book, tell us about that.
Eric Beck: 02:17 Yeah, I mean I, it was just like an idea that then, cause I was so busy and it takes about a year to run for Congress if you’re going to make a serious effort at it. So I took about a year off and had some money to invest and raised a bunch of more money cause it does take a lot of money, that’s for sure. But um, after the election was over, I wasn’t expecting to win and I didn’t. So I said, okay, I’ve got all these ideas in my head and I got pretty good where he used from people I was interacting with and some of the professional staff about my understanding of policy. So I said, well, let me just write this stuff down. So originally the concept of the book was going to be letting me write a book as someone who came out of the private sector,
Eric Beck: 02:57 um, who had never held public office before, but understood a lot about how the economy works. Um, healthcare policy. I was an avid researcher of healthcare policy, um, and uh, did focus to some degree and social issues. But, um, I said, let me write it down in and see where it goes. I started writing and it was an off and on process for a couple of years. And um, but as I got into it and I started closing in on what would have been the first draft, I realized that there was a more important story to be told here. And that is that what I’ve learned over the years is one of the reasons why I am such a believer in the constitution and the founders view of what America is about is because of the training and education I’ve gotten. So the basis for the book really is about education.
Eric Beck: 03:46 What I’m trying to do is educate anyone who might read the book on two fundamental disciplines that I think every citizen has to have some understanding of really to appreciate what we have here in this country. And those two disciplines are civics and economics, right? So you see those two things running throughout the book. Um, and um, I really feel like what I’ve done is tried to give people an appreciation for what the founders have given us in terms of a gift, which really is a gift. We have such a unique approach to government under the constitution here. And I tried to contrast that with the way progressive’s think about, um, government, which is a very, very different, in fact it’s probably 180 degrees different from what the founders chose. And um, I do that initially in the book. And then I have a series of essays throughout the book that kind of taught to an applied approach to, um, you know, how we should manage our economy, how will we should do about healthcare reform? And I have a section in the back of the book where I talk about a series of social issues, but I always try and contrast it with what are the economic issues associated with this and what would the constitution say?
Jordan Rickards: 04:56 All right, so before we get too much into that, I think if there’s one thing that all Americans can agree about is that we’re pretty divided politically and we see that, I think in this election cycle more than we’ve ever seen it with Democrats going completely off the deep end now. But I don’t want to go too far into that. What do you think is the root cause of America’s current political divide?
Eric Beck: 05:18 You know, you see it in polls that have been taken. I think there’s a lot of people written books on this topic. Um, a lot of them talk about the psychology of bridge building. Um, some people talk about the fact that we’re too individualistic and we need more dependency on government. There’s actually people written books that try and make that case. Um,
Jordan Rickards: 05:38 I think it’s the idea if we’re all equally miserable, then we’ll have a greater sense of national solidarity like in Venezuela.
Eric Beck: 05:45 This, if you go back and you read my book and you start to get a better understanding of what the philosophy, the political philosophy of the progressive movement, um, yeah, yeah. If we, if we’re all more dependent on government that’s going to solve our problem, have a common cause, you know, uh, you know, damn the individual rights of the constitution. Nobody cares about that on that side. But, um, yeah, that’s what they think. Um, I happen to think that we’ve just done very terrible job in our public school systems of teaching those two disciplines, primarily civics, but you can’t teach civics and not understand the importance of framework as it contributes to that. So six, and economics and all the studies, all the polls that I’ve seen out there say that we’re not teaching those disciplines any longer in the public school system. Public school system was supposed to be a unifier to give us a common understanding of, of what government is about.
Eric Beck: 06:37 And, um, so we, we, we have something that we can appeal to collectively as a society, uh, for our common understanding of our nation. But we don’t teach that anymore number. So, um, we, you know, uh, we, we don’t teach it in colleges. We certainly don’t teach in the public school system any longer. A Western civilization is not a discipline or not a concept that you hear much about it any longer. But, um, one thing I can tell you, there are small movements that are taking place right now. I know in South Carolina where I’m currently living, there’s an initiative to, um, require teaching the constitution mandatory coursework for everyone who graduates college. Now with have to do is they have to push that down to the public school level. And I think that will probably, uh, be one way to solve the problem.
Jordan Rickards: 07:26 Well, you know, I used to teach, in fact, quite recently I taught at community college in Middlesex County and one of the things I would do is at the beginning of every semester is I’d give kids a diagnostic tests just to see what they know and don’t know. And you’re 100% right. They’re not teaching anything. I mean, you know, like half of my class literally couldn’t tell you how many stars and stripes are on the American flag and what they stand for. They don’t, they don’t know who the president was during the civil war. They think slavery ended sometime in the 1900s, somewhere around like 1950ish. They couldn’t, they couldn’t tell you who bombed us at Pearl Harbor or even what those words mean. They don’t know who John Kennedy was. Right. And you’re right, they don’t, they don’t learn anything about Western Civ until they get to college, at which point they’re taught that Western Civilization is the cause of all of the problems in the world from Christopher Columbus onward.
Jordan Rickards: 08:17 Like, like we, like we’re the only group of people who are incapable of making any positive contributions like anything we’ve accomplished has been by stealing or by hurting other people or imperialism, whereas everyone else is totally without sin. So I know exactly where you’re coming from. But let me ask you though, isn’t there something of an inevitability and it’s a structural one I think hasn’t changed since we were founded that a nation as large and as deliberately diverse as our own and I mean you know, culturally, geographically, economically that we’re always going to be somewhat divided and that the best solution is really federalism, like I hear proponents of Middle East peace always talking about it, a two state solution in Israel. What about a 50 state solution for the United States where we don’t have to fight over everything? If the liberals out in California wants single payer health care, God bless them. Let them set that up out in California and let the rest of us be.
Eric Beck: 09:13 Yeah, in some cases they try it. They did look at it and how expensive the same issue came up in Vermont several years ago. They look at it and it was too expensive. I mean federalism. It was part of the design of government by the founders. And they had a very limited set of responsibilities, uh, that were allocated to the federal government. And most of them are, the responsibilities of government was going to be delegated to the states. Now, that may change over time slightly cause there is some flexibility in the constitution, but there are certain things, certain events that have occurred during the course of our, our, uh, history, national history that have started to change that. And we’ve started to see changes, uh, largely during the depression when Fdr was president and he introduced somebody call the economic bill of rights, which the left just thinks is they think it’s law, but it’s not as no constitutional or legal power whatsoever.
Eric Beck: 10:11 It’s just the concept. Um, there was a, um, a court decision, by the way, back in 1936 called the United States versus Butler that effectively defined what, um, the, uh, term [inaudible] general welfare means. Uh, no. If there has been a debate since the founding of the nation over what the federal government’s responsibilities are concerning the general welfare. Hamilton had a different group from Madison and Jefferson Hamilton wanted to see it as a federal responsibility to invest in infrastructure to help do economic development, which should understand where he was coming from, would make sense for him. But um, others disagreed and had a more cautious view. But this decision in 1936 and it stays versus Butler, um, supreme court decision basically said that Congress can decide what that means. So if commerce decides that spending money on some type of program related to health care and want to set up a healthcare program, they can spend money on it.
Eric Beck: 11:15 Um, what that did unfortunately was open the door to a whole host of federal initiatives, not the least of which are Medicare and Medicaid and social security and, and others. That really changed the nature of how we view the federal government and its responsibilities today. Um, cause we even spend money on something you can change the nature of what the role of government is. And to some degree, the culture of the country. So we, we, you know, when, when you hear people like, uh, like a Mark Levin and talk about we’re going to post constitutional error, this is sort of where, what he’s going to, he says we’re, we’re just moving beyond what the federal constitution allows the federal government to do in terms of its political and social initiatives. Um, and that’s why it’s grown so rapidly since the days of FDR.
Jordan Rickards: 12:07 Well, I don’t know that we’re going to bring the country together by complaining about like Medicare, which is like sacrosanct to people and social security. You know, the funny thing about this is I wrote, well, let’s get to that in a second. In fact, I wrote an essay a while ago about what a scam social security is and how it costs the average American, literally millions of dollars in retirement benefits because it’s, it’s got a negative interest rate. And if you just had, you know, a regular stock market return over the course of your retirement, instead of getting like $280,000 in benefits, it would be something like $5 million. So we’d all be millionaires. But you know, you mentioned some entitlements. The odd thing about the United States, and this is really where I think we’re in a post, uh, constitutional era, is it’s actually much easier to take this country to war than it is to take a nickel out of any entitlement program, right?
Jordan Rickards: 13:00 It is, there’s a new report this week that Social Security’s trust fund is going to, it’s going to run out by 2035 which is not that far from now. And nobody wants to do anything about it because the only two solutions are decreased benefits or increase the amount of contributions. And since it’s, it’s going to make someone unpopular, this generation of politicians says the heck with this, we’ll kick it down the road, let someone else deal with it when it’s too late. Okay. So, so my question to you, and this is kind of the challenge is since we have these, these larger programs that people have paid into in fairness and they’ve come to rely on them, how do we within a constitutional framework solve this problem at the same time as bringing people together?
Eric Beck: 13:42 Interesting question. Um, I can tell you, uh, pending on, on whether or not you want to try and modify the existing programs or reinvent them, you’d probably come up with different answers to that. Um, and you have to look at social security. It does being completely different from, from some of the Medicare or Medicaid. But, uh, you know, the social security issue, you mentioned raising taxes or cutting benefits, there is a third option and then it’s looking at the demographics, like the lane, the receipt of payments. So somebody who might be 10, 15 years away from receiving payments today, uh, I could probably start collecting in a couple of years on solely on social security at 62. That’s the earliest year. Um, but the fact is if you change that to 63 or 64 or 65 for people who are maybe 10 years away, they have some time to adjust to that and it will help to, um, make the program solvent. I think the numbers that I have in a book or I think it’s a little over $13 trillion in unfunded liabilities for that program specifically.
Jordan Rickards: 14:42 Yeah, just that one. That’s right. If you add up all of our unfunded liabilities, it’s like $80 trillion, which is as much money as there is in the entire world.
Eric Beck: 14:51 Yeah. I think
Eric Beck: 14:52 for Medicare right now it’s 37 trillion plus and uh, the, the two combined are about 50 trillion. That’s a lot of money. That’s basically promises under the way the systems are run today. Promises that have been made by politicians that have no money to pay for them and a religious tend to kick the can down the road. So, you know, my, my feeling is that I don’t think we can trust Washington and this might apply it to some degree to Republicans in addition to Democrats. I don’t think you can trust Washington to properly manage these programs. So there their books balance. I think there’s two great an incentive for a politician in Washington to want to promise more benefits than we can afford to pay. So the idea is to probably to restructure them, um, and to do something like we are doing in Singapore where they have individual accounts assigned to individuals and during the course of your working life, your contributing to those accounts, uh, and that is your money.
Eric Beck: 15:51 Government can’t touch that. It is assigned to you. And, uh, you hope over the course of that, that work in life, you’ll have enough saved away to be able to support your retirement. And if not, then you can consider other options, which might include the, you know, in the case of Medicare, you know, charity care or something like that. By the way, in my book, I have several options for reform on the healthcare side of things, including Medicare because, um, you know, one of the things that I found out from my research and it’s consistent with what I’ve understood for a number of years is that, uh, you know, people think they’re just getting back the money they contributed during the working years. And um, there’ve been several, several studies done by some very reputable people and organizations that all come to the same conclusion, particularly around Medicare, is that if you look at the average senior citizen couple and what they contributed during their working years today, it’s about 110 or $15,000.
Eric Beck: 16:48 And what they take out of the system is about 330, 350. So they’re getting about three times what they paid in. Now. No system like that is sustainable. So obviously something has to be done well, yeah. What’s going to be done is they want medicare for all. And this is the biggest, the biggest, you know, what bothers me is when someone says something like that and it doesn’t get challenged because everyone knows, the way Medicare works is you’ve got one group of workers who are contributing everything for the group of collectors. You have an outside group paying for the insight group. If you have medicare for all, who is the outside group that subsidizes the rest of us?
Eric Beck: 17:24 Did you? Yeah. There’s no other place to go for it. And, uh, you know, the, the, the promises are our blue sky that they’re making a for Medicare, for all. It’s, it’s just really unrealistic. And the truth is there are the countries, Singapore and Switzerland are good examples of countries that rely on private insurance. Their systems are working a lot better than ours is today. Um, and, um, the only difference, I know that in the American system we do have good quality health care. Um, but it is very expensive. I think we pay twice the average per capita for healthcare in this country when we compare ourselves to other industrialized nations. You know, one of the reasons for that, uh, I can tell you is back in 1965 when they passed medicare and Medicaid and the Hmo Act, what we did was we increased the percentage of men, medical expenses are being paid for by third parties.
Eric Beck: 18:25 So we no longer feel the need to do a cost benefit analysis to a large degree when we’re spending money used to be that, you know, the larger percentage was paid out or out of our pocket and we might have catastrophic coverage to compliment that. And when you do that, you’re more cautious about what you spend spend in terms of healthcare. And the truth is for all that additional spending that we now do that or that is funded by third parties were not necessary necessarily healthier because of it. So, um, I think we have to take a look at. Um, and one thing I wanted to mention that was mentioning the um, the, when we compare ourselves to other countries in terms of what we pay per capita, one of the reasons we’re spending twice as much per capita is if you look at inflation rates from the [inaudible] in 1965 and you look at the standard consumer price index, which is a rating of how much price has increased on an annual basis.
Eric Beck: 19:22 And you compare that to the healthcare inflation rate because you can cut out the piece that just applies to healthcare expenditures. The gap between the two, um, from the end of World War Two to 1965 was about 1%. So you spent about 1% had an inflation rate of 1% higher during that period of time after they passed Medicare, Medicaid and the HMO act. And we started pushing all these payments out to third parties that inflate that gap. And the inflation rates doubled from 1965 to 1990. So if you think about that compiling over the next 30 40 50 years, that’s why we’re spending so much, or one of the main reasons why we’re spending so much in the US. We’ve got to get control on trying to do more cost benefit when it comes to healthcare expenditures. And the best way to do that really is to start using a, in a much broader sense that health savings accounts. And I go into that pretty extensively in my book. I have a proposal for how we might approach that.
Jordan Rickards: 20:22 Yeah, I think there are some other reasons. That our healthcare is as expensive as it is for one thing. Our prescription drugs are much more expensive than everybody else’s because we’re, we’re paying the costs of development, we develop all the drugs, then we sell them, you know, to like Canada and the UK and places like that for just the cost of the pills themselves, not the cost of the research. And then you have other countries like China and Russia that steal it. And so, you know, you look at the same drugs in Canada versus the United States and Canada, they’re much cheaper and use and people like Bernie Sanders say, okay, well we’ll just import them from Canada. Okay, but then you’re not subsidizing the development anymore. Not put that you’ve got all these compliance costs. You look at these hospitals, they have as many compliance workers as they have doctors and nurses because it creates such an enormous bureaucracy.
Jordan Rickards: 21:12 And part of the reason for the bureaucracy is, is you’ve got these insurance companies that have to cover everything. Like in New Jersey, you know, you got to cover, I don’t have kids, but I have to pay for, for children that other people have. You know, I am not at risk of ever having ovarian cancer, but I’d have to pay for that. I have to pay for sex change operations. I’m promise you I will never have one, but my coverage has to cover. I saw, and I don’t mean to sound discompassionate if that’s even a word, but I’ve been on an article the other day, this kid tried to commit suicide and live through it and he’s complaining that the bill from the hospital is $95,000 but he says that’s okay cause my copay is only 2,500 bucks. Okay, well you know what if I, if I try, if I killed myself, my life insurance policy wouldn’t cover that.
Jordan Rickards: 21:57 But you tried to kill yourself and now the rest of us have to pay for it. And I don’t mean to sound mean about that, but this is the problem is that it’s too easy for people, other people to impose burdens on the rest of us. I should be allowed as a New Jersey citizen to buy a more streamlined policy in Florida that covers fewer things if I want to. But instead I’m stuck in New Jersey where I have to pay for everything that you could possibly conceive of under the sun. So that’s another reason our healthcare so expensive. Well, listen, I want to get back to your book though. And you mentioned, uh, uh, inflation a lot. I think by the way, a lot of, uh, the social security problems and Medicare funding problems, those are just be inflated away. I mean, we’ll, we’ll wind up getting less in benefits cause the money will be worth less. But, um, the government will print money to pay itself basically. Anyway, so back to your book, your, Your Book and you talk, and when we spoke privately also, you speak spoken a lot about originalism and an originalist interpretation of the constitution. So why don’t you tell us what, what is originalism and why is that important? You know, in the 21st century,
Eric Beck: 23:01 originalism the meaning of the constitution, what does it mean to us as individuals and as a society and their founders were dead set on the idea that, you know, what they put into the constitution was not that it wouldn’t be changeable because they gave us a process for changing an amendment process. But, um, they were, they were concerned based on the activity of the British colonies, how, uh, individual rights were being used and abused. Um, uh, the, you know, they were, there were all kinds of oppressive taxation, uh, initiatives undertaken, a British undermine laws and legislatures and destroy free trade and a whole bunch of things. But bottom line was, um, their individual rights were not protected and the founders were concerned about making sure that when they establish the constitution that they would ensure that individual rights would be enshrined in that document and would be consistent with what was put in the declaration of independence.
Eric Beck: 24:05 So the concept was that individual rights didn’t come from government, which was the case in Britain, but individual rights were seen as coming from God or our creator and that a government couldn’t legislate away those rights. Government was there to protect those individual rights. Um, now, uh, turn the clock forward, um, that, that held to some degree, although obviously with slavery and, and women’s issues, um, you know, there weren’t some restriction on individual rights to certain groups of people and that evolved over time. But turn the clock forward to the start of the progressive movement. The progressive’s kind of said, well, you know, hold on here. You know that we’re, we’re going to take a different view back. Can you give me one second? I have to read you this paragraph because you have to understand where the presses are coming from. I have a paragraph here that have lead into one of my chapters in my book that’s from Ronald Castro who is the Shipley professor of American Constitution at Hillsdale college and he allowed me to use this paragraph here.
Eric Beck: 25:08 Let me just read this. It’s a few sentences because it’ll tell you everything you want to know about progressive. The progressive detested the bedrock principles of American government. They detested the declaration of independence, which in tries to the protection of individual and natural rights like property as the unchangeable purposes government. And they tested the constitution which places permanent limits on the scope of government and is structured in a way to make the extension of national power beyond its original purpose. Very difficult. Progressivism was for them all about progressing and moving beyond the principles of the founders. And what’s interesting is if you look at what progress’s are trying to do and you go get medicare for all and look at how they want to disrupt the economy, there patterning a lot of the oppressions that the British had on the colonists. So they’re not progressing anywhere.
Eric Beck: 26:00 They’re regress and they’re taking us back to a time of, of government tyranny. So, um, you know, the, and the racist, the question when you start looking at how progressive was, don’t believe in the constitution, you know, you can go back and look at some of the quotes I have in the book from Woodrow Wilson and some of the other progressive’s where they just say, hey look, we can interpret the constitution any way along. We can change it. We can modify if we know we think your rights are, are no longer valid. Um, you know, most of the early progressive’s, um, and even some representatives and FDRs administration are advocates of Eugenics, which basically is controlled breeding to eliminate pauperism is Richard, he leads to call it. Um, yeah, it’s a, it’s a very twisted philosophy that says it’s not about the individual anymore. And your individual rights don’t matter.
Eric Beck: 26:51 It’s about the collective. And the question becomes, you know, if you’re going to say throw out the constitution and you’re not going to look at originalism as the basis for interpreting the constitution, which says as this hunt was understood by those who wrote it, we’re going to interpret it as such. So we interpreted it as it was interpreted originally written. If you’re not going to do that, what are you doing? Who’s interpretation I replace it with or your place with yours or mine or because of what that means is any arbitrary group, majority AOC, some and her cronies got elected to government and we were not adhering to the constitution. She could decide, hey, you know, you don’t, you don’t eat that property anymore. We can take your house, your car, um, you know, we can violate your right to freedom of speech and we’re going to set up our own social moral code that violates a two day old Christian ethics. And it’s, it’s really, uh, originalism is saying low. Go back to the beginning, go back to the original understanding. Don’t arbitrarily change it just because some group gets powered. What, you know,
Jordan Rickards: 28:03 you touched on something there. I remember when Mitt Romney was running for president and he was on the view, and I actually watched this for some reason, and Whoopi Goldberg who’s completely obnoxious said to him, okay, so if you get elected, am I at risk of becoming a slave? Which has got to be the most fatuous question. Anybody in history, has asked. But you know, and Romney stumbled through it. But what my answer would have been is this, look, if I get elected, I’m going to appoint originalists judges to the Supreme Court. And originalist judges would look at the constitution and they would see the words on it that prohibits slavery. But if you’re going to put one of these, you know, liberal judges on the bench who thinks that, you know, the constitution is a living document and it’s always subject to interpretation, well then that’s the kind of person you gotta worry about because the words on the paper don’t matter to them.
Jordan Rickards: 28:51 So if, if original rights and individual rights are valuable to you, then you should value the words in the constitution and actually take the time to actually familiarize yourself with what those rights are before you brushed to the front of the, you know, face first, the front of the line that says we need to tear up the constitution now because you know, we can’t have whatever it is we feel like we’ve wanted for the last 48 hours. Oh, and by the way, if you think the constitution is too hard to change, like we said before, just change of law at the state level, change it at the county level, change at the local level. I mean, I am hard pressed in, but you can help me, Eric. I’m hard pressed to think of anything that Americans have wanted for any appreciable amount of time that they have not been given. Right. Through all the, through all the, the constitutional hurdles and the checks and balances, we eventually get what we want one way or the other. So it’s
Eric Beck: 29:42 not like it’s an unworkable document. You know, I think one of the things that I’ve had the advantage of doing this is traveling and working overseas. In fact, I spent a lot of time in the Middle East doing consulting work, um, and um, Kuwait, which one of the countries I went to visit and work in. Um, and a, you really come to appreciate what we have here in the u s by working overseas and then understand how a different society applies certain rules. And um, you know, I’ll tell you an interesting story because it, it goes to the heart of one of our rights, which is freedom of religion. I had a, a, a driver who used to drive me around on weekends. The real nice guy, he was a, a a Indian national and a Catholic Christian used to drive me around one day. He says, Hey, listen, how’d you like to do?
Eric Beck: 30:28 Is it my church? I see you have a church hearing, said, yeah, we have a Catholic term share. And um, so I said, yeah, let’s go. So he took me over to visit and while I was there, um, the bishop of Kuwait came out and, uh, we had a chance to talk for a few minutes and I made a comment to him, which he kind of reacted negatively to and I didn’t know why until later, but I told him, I said, I think it’s great that quaint allows you to have your church here. And he kind of got a frown on his face. And I found out later from talking to my driver that evidently there was a comment that, um, the pope had made at one point that, um, they didn’t appreciate in Kuwait. I wonder what the comment was, but they didn’t appreciate, didn’t agree with it.
Eric Beck: 31:13 They felt it was kind of a slant on them. So when they decided to do, because there were plans to build a second, a second church, the Catholic Church in Kuwait, that government squashed that, that church, they wouldn’t allow it to be built as punishment I guess. So what I learned there and after I thought about it was, you know, w we take certain things for granted here, such as freedom of religion. But what that taught me was there’s a difference between religious tolerance and religious freedom. We have religious freedom in this country. You go to Israel and I’ve been to Israel and I’ve seen the fact that you can find mosques, churches go to Jerusalem, he could point us to that. Everything there, there’s religious freedom there. You can, you can stand on the corner as long as you’re not violating anybody else’s rights and talk to people about your religion.
Eric Beck: 32:03 If I went to a corner and Kuwait and decided to talk to somebody about my Christian religion, um, I would be arrested. You know? So there’s, there’s a lack of appreciation in some respects by people like AOC and other progressives who have never been outside this country and don’t know what goes on in the rest of the world. Maybe they should go visit Venezuela and really find out that we are so fortunate to be American. So, I mean we’ve really won the lottery of life by being born in America and it or becoming a naturalized citizen. You’ve really a lottery. Um, we’re very, very fortunate here and um, you know, I had a, I’ve hopefully my book will help to communicate why that’s the case.
Jordan Rickards: 32:50 It’s a little bit off topic but you brought it up, you talking a lot about religion. I did a video essay recently on a secular rationalism and how it’s incompatible with Western civilization and the rights that we take for granted in particular in the declaration of independence. For example, Jefferson writes, you know, we hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And I said, you know, if you take God out of the equation and you just go straight to secularism, which is where this country is, is slouching towards right now the first section of that makes no sense that it’s self evident that we’re all equal. That is not self evident. Okay. If you want to say we are all equal in that God values all of us equally, that’s one thing.
Jordan Rickards: 33:38 But if you take the out of the equation, some of us are smarter than others, some of us contribute more, right? Some of us are healthier than others. Some of us are stronger that you’re getting, you’re getting right to this eugenics thing. And then the next question is, well wait a minute. If we, if we are not equal, then why do we value individual rights if we know that the rights of the many can be improved by infringing on the rights of the few. And that’s, that’s where, that’s how we got into eugenics, the whole world, not just Nazi Germany, United States also, we were sterilizing a, what we call mentally defective people, right? In Virginia, in other places. So it seems like you have that, you have these people who say, well, you know, religion is kind of like a poison and we need to move towards more secular rationalism. But it seems like what you’re saying is it’s something that I said before, which is that a secular rationalism is really incompatible with a individual rights and liberties and the concept of equality.
Eric Beck: 34:31 Yeah. Well, there’s no question that the progressors who want to establish themselves as the moral arbiters of society. We saw examples of this during the Obama administration, like when he attacked a little sisters of the poor and tried to require them to offer, um, abortifacients and offer birth control to employees of the Catholic Church. And that was intended to be a requirement. So there’s been many examples and point to have outline some of them in the book. Um, but you know, you also mentioned eugenics. Um, it’s interesting, you know, I mentioned eugenics is basically, um, engineering, um, certain people out of existence and engineering. Oh, there’s into existence. And some people may think we don’t have that today, but think about what’s going on in New York in New York just passed one of the most liberal abortion laws in the country. And, um, they, they actually passed a law that would be consistent with what former Democratic Senator Patrick Moynihan once called infanticide.
Eric Beck: 35:33 So you can now practice infanticide in New York state, which just sick. But um, in my view, um, but, um, the count, let’s see. Um, I know it’s going to be, there’s a point I was going to make and um, the, the, Oh, I was gonna say, uh, there was a study I saw recently some statistics about abortion in New York state. And these were from 2014, so quite a year on it. Uh, in 2014 amongst, um, the black community in New York state, there were wore black abortions than birth. Yeah. And now think about who the left, the progressive left want to pay for those. They want you and I to pay for those. So if you think about what they’re really saying, they’re saying that we should have unlimited access, we should have unlimited access to abortion, even for children who are viable. So if somebody has down syndrome or somebody is not perfect child and, and maybe it’s just a girl and not a boy, he wanted a boy and you’re getting the girl that you can have the right to just board and they’re going to require all of us to pay for it.
Eric Beck: 36:40 You know, that sounds an awful lot like eugenics to me. Right? Um, so it’s, it’s pretty sad when you start to look at the influence that we’ve seen grow since the days of Fdr, um, of this progressive movement. They had been slowly eating away at our fundamental rights and doing it to a large degree through the court system. Now, the good news here, um, uh, and I just heard Lindsey Graham a speak at our local GOP convention a couple of nights ago here. Uh, he was talking about how Donald Trump is remaking the courts in this country and he, uh, he’s partnering with him now as the chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Senate to start easing up on the rules that will allow judges to the appointment. Because there’s an awful lot of positions for judges in this country that have grown on film. So they’re going to be changing the worlds to make it easier to get these appointments completed.
Eric Beck: 37:37 And as those appointments are made, they’re going to be made with conservative judges who understand originalism that we’ll be hearing to the constitution. Um, that being the case progresses are getting a little antsy right now. Uh, and that’s where you’re starting to see them kind of go off the deep end with regard to their agenda. Trying to appeal to the far left, um, to get that edge. They can, they can have over a pretty wide field that’s out there in the presidential election. Um, so you’re going to start to see more and more crazy ideas coming from them that to a large degree, many of them violate our economic rights are property rights, our right to freedom of speech. Um, and it’s, it’s pretty darn sad, but that’s the state of affairs right now in New York. And I think conservatives have to have to hold to their support of, of the president. And, uh, I think he’s doing a reasonably good job, not perfect, but a reasonably good job of leading us. And, um, I think as long as he is supporting the remaking of the courts, I’m going to, he’s going to have my vote because that’s the number one priority for me.
Jordan Rickards: 38:43 I agree 100%. Yeah, you mentioned it. Abortion being like eugenics. I mean it’s no secret that planned parenthood was founded by Margaret Sanger who was the leading eugenicist that her previous project was called the Harlem project, where the entire goal was to set up abortion facilities and birth control facilities in black areas in order to limit the black population, people who she referred to as human weeds. It grew from the Harlem project into, into planned parenthood. And it’s not much of a secret that they target the poor. They target minority communities, you know, and, and we’ve killed, they’ve killed, uh, over 20 million black and Hispanic babies since roe versus Wade. An entire population of people. And just missing because of them. That’s, that’s a, that’s a big conversation. But I want to just finish up by just talking about your book here. So, um, real, real quick, I’ll make this a compound question. If, if we read your book, what is the solution to conquering the political divide and who really is the book designed for? Like who would benefit from this book?
Eric Beck: 39:42 Well, I mean you can point to a number of different individuals are the classifications as individuals. But if I had to point to one, I was, I would say focus on millennials because if you look at the schooling, they have had focus on the fact that they are the ones that don’t understand the constitution, have never been trained in it, don’t understand why it benefits them. And what my book is designed to do is to give them the basic fundamentals in economics, civics and then talking about its application in certain areas there. Um, you know, I have several friends. I have a, I’ll call him Francis. Probably the best way to describe this because they are friends. I know several people who are maybe 50 years of age or older. I work with them, I have them as personal friends, but they are very left wing.
Eric Beck: 40:34 I would say in some cases socialists. Um, and they just do not understand the, the conservative thought process, what the constitution provides to them. They don’t really appreciate, don’t under, they don’t understand it. And you know, there’s the people at that age group when you get to a certain age and you’re still professing socialistic ideas, progressive ideas, um, you’re saying we need bigger government, um, that capitalism is a terrible thing and it exploits people. I can go on and on. When you get to that age level, they’re, the people kind of turn off learning. And when they do is they sort of adopt a, what I’ll call progressive leftist and not liberalism because that word’s been abused them I have to do, but progressive left, left us and as their religion, so they may have been raised as Jewish or baptist or whatever, but they’re point of view in life is that the left is the moral option and they cracked us that that’s what they do.
Eric Beck: 41:41 And you’re not going to convince them, you’re not going to change their mind. So I’ve learned that you don’t focus on somebody who’s 50 years of age or older, you know, if they want to talk about something that’s great, a lot of entertaining discussions with these people. But I think you need to focus on millennials and get them the education that they had been missing, uh, in their public school. And they’re not going to get in the overwhelming majority of universities in this country. So if you’re a mother or father and you want to help protect your kids from a progressive, a progressive views that they’re going to get into doctrinated with, uh, when they go off to college, um, they should read my book before they go, I would suggest.
Jordan Rickards: 42:20 Yeah, I think you mentioned education and how the left calls themselves the moral option. What we need is an education that shows how leftism is totally immoral because it leads to privation at leads to poverty, these to death. It leads to starvation and it leads to an erosion of the individual rights and liberties that were supposed to value. All right. Well, Eric, this has been a great interview. Thank you so much for joining us yet. Well, Yay. You did great. So the book is conquering the political divide, how the constitution can heal our polarized nation. It’s available, uh, I guess Amazon and pretty much everywhere else, right, Eric?
Eric Beck: 42:56 Oh yeah. The right now I’m having difficulty getting an apple I books to acquire it and I don’t know why, and I’m going to find out on Friday because it’s been 30 days since we submitted it for distribution and a, I want to know the reason why, but now you can go to any other outlet. It’s been distributed about 3000 outlets worldwide. Actually get it in Peru. You can get it in Japan, although it’s only in English. We get it in hard copy, paperback or electronic form. So if you want to download it on kindle, you can get it that way as well.
Jordan Rickards: 43:27 All right, well that’s great. Eric Beck, thank you for joining us and thank you all for watching. Take care. Thank you. All right, take care.