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Glenn Beck

What`s the Real Solution to Economic Crisis?; Five Stages of Grief Over the Economy; Independent Responds to Presidential Debate

Aired October 08, 2008 - 19:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, the global financial meltdown threatens to overwhelm America and planet Earth. It`s time for you, the ordinary American, to take a stand against this madness. I`ll explain how.

Plus, the two men who say they can solve the problem go head-to-head. Did you hear either of them have an answer that you were excited about? Our special coverage of a nation in crisis continues.


BECK: Well, hello, America. I have been warning that this has been coming for about two years now, and it is a raging wildfire. Our economic crisis is out of control. I would say that we`re throwing good water after bad, but we`re not. I think our -- I think our politicians and the global financial district is throwing gasoline on the fire.

And here`s "The Point" tonight. There are no good answers. There`s pain ahead. And we have to recognize that. There`s not a single good answer from candidates or the government. And here`s how I got there.

Did you watch the debate last night? I mean, I`m not kidding you, I said to my wife about ten minutes into it, I said, "Honey, I`ve got to turn it." We ended up watching like the Comedy Channel. I couldn`t take it. They`re both telling us, my friends, that they can fix this. Well, no, they can`t. I wish they would stop lying to you.

Look, capitalism is a natural force, like sunshine or a hurricane, if greed is involved. It`s a natural force. It`s as ridiculous to say, "I can stop this" as it would be to say, "Oh, I can stop that hurricane from coming onshore." You can`t stop it, and you can`t change its course.

It is the power of the individual. That`s why it`s the power of our ideas. It`s our -- the power of each individual that`s working hard. Our dreams and our ideals, that`s what capitalism is.

Both candidates now, and the government, keep throwing money at this problem. It`s the -- that`s the disease. No matter how much money we throw at it, it`s not going to fix it. Do we not learn anything from history, or from our school districts?

It`s not just money that they`re throwing at this problem; it is also our freedom. America, we have -- we have fundamentally changed. The America that you and I grew up in is gone. And maybe it`s gone forever, if we don`t wake up now.

McCain said last night -- was anybody stunned by, "I want to buy up all the bad mortgages so there will be no foreclosures." As outrageous as that was, bad news for you, gang: that`s already in the bailout bill. Believe it or not, Paulson can do that. He doesn`t have to even ask you anymore.

There is a global meltdown coming. It is a global depression. And one world currency, and one world financial system is the end game. China said last week they want one global currency. France said yesterday or the day before that they want one world order, a new world order at the end of this event.

Two nights ago the government used $900 billion of your money to give loans to businesses and guarantee those loans. Did they even ask you? That`s your money. Last night, for the first time, the interest rate was cut globally, with all of the central banks doing it at the same time. That is also a first. America, please hear me: this could mean the end of America, and the American way as we know it. So here`s what you need to know tonight.

It is time to let the system fail and rebuild. We should save the resources that we have left. You, as an American, need to decide, do you want more free stuff that you`re not going to get, but everybody`s promising you? "Oh, more free stuff." Do you want more free stuff, or do you want to be left with some remnant of our Constitution? So our children don`t have free stuff, they have freedom. Freedom to build America in the way it should be.

Please, call your senator, call your congressman, call your firemen, call somebody, and tell them, "Enough is enough. Stop your spending now. It`s out of control."

Stephen Moore writes editorials about economics for the "Wall Street Journal" and is co-author of "The End of Prosperity." And he thinks that I`m a pessimist.

And Jeffrey Meyer, he is the senior lecturer at Harvard University and the Department of Economics.

Steve, I saw something happen today that I have been warning against. I said, at some point the Fed and everybody`s going to open up the valve, and nothing will change. And when they open that valve, and nothing changes, they`ve got to turn it off as fast as they can. Well, they`re doing the opposite. They`re turning them on even more.

STEPHEN MOORE, AUTHOR, "THE END OF PROSPERITY": They are, Glenn. I said that on Friday that government dropped its nuclear bomb with that $700 billion bailout.

This week, the Fed has been dropping the neutron bomb, which is this huge increase in the amount of money that`s flowing into the system. We`ve never seen anything like it. Like the fire hose has been just spurting out dollars. It goes back to the point you just made, Glenn: the two biggest problems we have right now are easy money and over government spending. So what is the government`s solution? Easy money and over government spending.

BECK: Let me ask you this. They`re trying to make money easier and easier to get. Let me ask both of you guys: would either of you, if the Fed said to you today, "Hey, I`m going to pay you 2 percent, you don`t have to pay me 2 percent, I`ll pay you 2 percent. You go buy a house today." Would anyone in their right mind do that? Would either of you guys?

JEFFREY MEYER, SENIOR LECTURER, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: It depends. What`s the price of the house?

BECK: Here`s the thing. It doesn`t matter how cheap this money is. People don`t trust the system at all. So how is this cheaper money going to help us?

MEYER: Can I answer?

BECK: Yes.

MEYER: I think you hit the nail on the head. There`s a lot of hesitation for people to lend, for people to engage in new activities of any kind because of the huge amount of uncertainty.

I think, even more than the easy money not necessarily being useful, it`s that the constant stream of new policies, of new things that the Fed and the treasury are doing generates uncertainty, generates delay. It makes everybody want to wait on the sidelines until they know what the rules are, until they know that what`s profitable and what`s not.

You know, last night, I was aghast at that debate last night. I really was.

BECK: Oh, my God.

MOORE: Neither of these candidates had any solution. They didn`t have any growth remedy. And you`ve got Barack Obama talking about all these things he`s going to give away. And I agree with you when -- John McCain was totally of message. He`s talking about giving people -- you know, why don`t we just have the government buy people`s houses for them, if we`re going to do this?

BECK: That`s right.

MOORE: I mean, not only renegotiating the interest, but renegotiating the principal on these mortgages.

BECK: Oh, yes.

MOORE: The U.S. government is going to be the biggest owner of housing in the world.

BECK: Look, in same time the other candidate was saying that health care isn`t a privilege. It`s a right.

OK. So look, here`s -- here`s -- I`m a forest guy. I can never see the tree. I can see the forest. And here`s the forest. Would you guys help me on this, because I know, Stephen, you for one, you don`t see a depression. You don`t see catastrophic failure coming.

MOORE: Not catastrophic. I do think we`re in a deep ditch.

BECK: OK. I see catastrophic failure coming. And beyond a Great Depression, quite honestly, if we don`t wake up soon, because of other pressures. It`s like this giant storm is headed towards Florida, but nobody`s looking -- they`re looking at this storm. Look at the three storms right behind it that are starting to merge with it.

And that is oil. You`ve got unrest in the rest of the -- all that has to happen is -- can you imagine what would happen to our country if Russia invaded Georgia today? If Iran would have taken down an American plane two days ago? You`ve got all of these other pressures going on, along with a possible al Qaeda hit now in America, along with total disenfranchisement. When you start coupling some of these things into that perfect storm, how do we survive?

MEYER: Let me offer a little surprisingly somewhat more optimistic take.

BECK: Surprisingly.

MEYER: I think that, in terms of the current situation, I think there`s good reason to think that for asset markets, we`re not so far from the bottom. If you look at historical trends...

BECK: But you`re not talking about -- wait a minute. Hang on just a second. We`re not talking about the market. Who cares about the stupid stock market?

MEYER: No, no, no. I`m going to get there. Housing, too.

BECK: You`ve stripped the government -- I mean, you`ve given -- you`ve empowered the government. You`ve stripped the power of capitalism from people.

MEYER: No, I`m sympathetic to that. But let me just say I think that the bad stuff is going to happen slowly but surely over time in small but nevertheless, you know, gradually increasing important ways.

We`ve put the government in the position of owning a lot of Wall Street, of owning huge amounts of corporate America by buying up all this commercial paper and so on. So I`m very sympathetic to your view that we`re gradually undermining the capitalistic system, and we`re going to pay for that down the line. It`s going to be so obvious, but it`s going to be very serious.

MOORE: Right now, we have a situation, Glenn, where the largest investment bank in the world is now located in the Treasury Department. And the largest commercial bank -- what happened this week is the Federal Reserve said, "We`re going to be the world`s largest bank now. We`re going to actually lend money directly to businesses so we don`t need banks anymore."

I mean, this is an historic, and I think a very foolish move by the Fed in terms of intervening into the private marketplace.

BECK: Well, even -- both of you guys, again, listen to yourselves. We have turned into France. We`re on the path of becoming France soon. How do you -- and listen to the two candidates that we have. How do you stop us from becoming full-fledged France with a nightmare economy and nightmare government? Especially with what`s coming there.

And then add just one, maybe two other elements of the perfect storm that are headed our way. Energy, you know we`re going to have a problem with energy. Energy, al Qaeda, war, any of these things. What should give you -- what gives you confidence that you don`t melt down?

MOORE: We always stumble on the right solution after trying everything else, Glenn. And we`ve tried almost everything. I mean, they`ve tried, you know, plan "A," plan "B," plan "C." You`ve got the three stooges. You`re Paulson, Bernanke and Nancy Pelosi. They don`t know what they`re doing, but I think eventually, we`re going to fall into the right course.

BECK: You know what? You`re exactly right. Eventually we do, but the answer always comes from its people. And you`re getting a growing...

MOORE: Absolutely.

BECK: You`re getting a growingly oppressive government that is going to handcuff and shackle their people.

MOORE: And that`s why, Glenn, it is so dangerous this messiah complex that Barack Obama has. Because you know, a lot of Americans are buying into it, that somehow he will be the messiah and lead us into the promised land. It ain`t going to happen, folks.

BECK: OK, guys, thank you very much.

Coming up, the five stages of grief and the American economy. I`m not going to tell you what stage we`re heading for next. But a guy in the "Wall Street Journal" says it rhymes with recession. I`ll explain, next.

Plus, if you are a conservative, this election, I mean, what did you see last night? Your grandparents` America is slowly slipping away. In fact, you may have a new national anthem coming your way. We`ll give that to you coming up.


BECK: Well, since our current leaders in Washington, and the ones that I think are coming in on both parties, can`t seem to get us out of our present mess, and you`d think that they`d have a road map since they were the ones who drove us there, and if you don`t believe me, look at last night`s debate, maybe it`s time to look for answers from the past. What would Ronald Reagan do?

Former speech writer Peggy Noonan will be here to tell us what she thinks about the sorry state of politics a little later on in the program.

But first, you`re probably familiar with the five stages of grief. There`s denial. Then there`s anger. Then there`s bargaining, depression and acceptance. There`s a great column this morning in the "Wall Street Journal" that applies those same stages to the grief surrounding our financial crisis.

With here -- on more on this is Mark Gongloff. He`s the guy who wrote the article. He`s a reporter and columnist for the "Wall Street Journal."

Mark, fantastic article. Explain -- explain it.


We`ve been through -- we`re at through at least three of the stages of grief so far in this crisis. Back in June we were still stuck in the third stage, the bargaining phase, where people just sort of thought that, if only the government would do something about this, everything would be fine. And we went through the government doing quite a lot of extraordinary things about this...

BECK: Yes.

GONGLOFF: ... slashing interest rates, bailing out Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and any number of other banks, and then most recently a $700 billion bailout package. And every time it didn`t fix what was going on. And so we seem finally to be beyond the bargaining phase, more into the...

BECK: But wait. Hang on just a second. Are we really? Because, I mean, look at what they did the last night. They cut the world`s interest rates for the first time globally. They`re just onto bigger bargaining chips. Here. Take our Constitution. Take our sovereignty. Here, try this. I mean, it`s amazing.

GONGLOFF: And get ready for more. There`s going to be more. There will be more rate cuts. I think they`ll probably end up injecting capital directly into the banking system.

But the bargaining is going on within the psyche of the market at this point. And I think at this point, as you saw stocks fell today, actually, despite a global coordinated rate cut, which I don`t know when the last time we ever had anything like that.

Despite that, and despite the Fed saying we`re going to buy -- we`re basically going to lend money to corporations to finance their day-to-day operations, despite those extraordinary measures, the market was down for a while today. It`s up -- it`s up now, which you`d sort of expect after being down 13 percent in five days.

BECK: Out of 400 -- I saw it today. It would be, like, down 250 points, then up 123. And then down 414. I mean, it was amazing to watch.

GONGLOFF: It`s incredible volatility. There`s a volatility measure that is kept track of in Chicago that is at an all-time record levels. And that`s just because people don`t know what to expect next. And they don`t believe anymore that the government interventions are going to fix that.

And that`s why I think we`ve moved, at least in the psyche of investors, beyond the bargaining phase, into -- I hate to use this term, because this is a loaded term, but the depression phase. And I don`t mean that in terms...

BECK: Yes, I know.

GONGLOFF: ... of bread line depression, but just sort of gosh, what are we going to do now?

BECK: Getting your hands around the reality that -- of loss.

GONGLOFF: Exactly. Where`s the bottom for all this? And people are still trying to find the bottom. We could be -- I think we`re closer to the bottom now than we -- than we have been at this point.

BECK: I remember when I was optimistic, too. Here`s -- here`s my question. Because the last phase is acceptance.


BECK: And I don`t think people are really looking -- because everything moved so rapidly, everything is -- and it`s only going to happen faster and faster.


BECK: They don`t really see what we`ve lost and what we`ve done. So it`s only until everything stops that we`re like, OK, what do we have left here. You know, after the ride starts -- stops, you realize, "Oh, I just - - I vomited on my wife." You know what I mean?

GONGLOFF: Exactly. I think there`s going to be an embarrassing sort of morning-after feeling we`re going to get three, maybe six months down the road, where we say we really banned short selling. We really intervened in markets the way we did. We really -- we took on so much obligations.

And I think people are going to -- we`re really going to have to take a hard look at what we`ve done.

I think some of this is going to be reversible. The pendulum always swings -- usually it swings too far in one direction and then too far back in the other. And some of this government intervention is going to be with us for a while. And what policymakers are going to have to do in the clear light of day is figure out, OK, how do we dial some of this back?

BECK: They`re not going to. They`re not going to. I mean, they started this framework in the 1930s, and they said that they would dial it back and people -- Washington never gives power back.

GONGLOFF: If they gave it back during the Reagan years. And they gave some of it back. Right? And now...

BECK: Right. OK.

GONGLOFF: They`ve given a little bit of it back.

BECK: So let me -- let me ask you this. And this is what I said -- this -- there was a time, oh, it was maybe 2003, and I was releasing a book. And they had a big flag, American flag on the front. And I said, "No flags. No flags on the book. I`m a conservative. I don`t want any flags," because the way the flag was being used. It`s going to come -- it`s going to become just grotesque after awhile because it was overused.

And I said at the time, the pendulum is swinging too far hard the other direction. It`s going to swing back just as far. This is in capitalism, in society and everything else. It`s going to fall -- going to swing back. The secret is to be careful on where that -- how far those swings go, because at some point, with a big national tragedy, a big depression, another terror strike, whatever it is, security risk, the wrong people in power will grab that pendulum and then it`s stuck there, whichever way.

Does that frighten you at all, that you add on another piece of -- you know, you add a 9/11 on top of this, we fundamentally change as America.

GONGLOFF: That is certainly terrifying prospect. What`s going on right now is potentially terrifying, as well. And policymakers and economists and investment banks are trying to get their hands on it. The house is sort of on fire right now, the economic house is sort of on fire and they`re trying to put it out.

And we are at risk of a fairly significant economic downturn. We`re already going to experience one anyway. But we do have to -- people do, I agree, have to keep their heads about this and figure out what`s going to be...

BECK: Again, a tremendous article. Thank you very much.

And America, this is why character does matter. This is why you have to believe your leaders on both sides.

Coming up, did you see anybody that you believed last night? Holy cow. We`re going to get some debate analysis from our own angry independent. Brian Sack is coming up in just a second.


BECK: Well, last night`s presidential debate was centered around undecided voters. And I was pretty sure I knew who I was going to vote for until last night. And then I decided I hate both these guys.

Joining me once again with his take on the matter is our own public viewer and angry independent, Brian Sack.

BRIAN SACK, AUTHOR: We can agree on things.

BECK: I`m bringing people together. I hate them both.

SACK: Now Glenn, like many Americans, I sat on the sofa and I watched the two debates or the debates -- the second debate, and I`ve got two words for you. One is boring. The other is also boring.

BECK: Yes, yes.

SACK: After a debate now, the question everyone always asks is, who won? All right? But I`d like to ask a different question. Did we win? OK? Let`s take a look at this.

First of all, did we learn anything new? No. We heard the same inaccurate and/or misleading words and numbers as in the last debate. Now, recently most of us watched our stock portfolio disappears like whisky at a Kennedy family picnic. Did the candidates go into debt from that? No, they didn`t. No. They blame the other party. Aside from McCain saying we`re going to buy up some lousy mortgages, they moved on from that topic.

Now, did the debate change our perception of the candidates? No. Obamans loved Obama. McCainicles loved McCain. I made that up, McCainicles. And as an independent, Glenn, I just wanted to cry into my sushi. But there were a few things I noticed in the debate, not the least of which was the audience.

BECK: What do you mean?

SACK: Well, the audience was hand picked, apparently, after they said yes to any one of these questions. Are you bald? Do you have a mustache? Can you make a weird face?

BECK: That`s a good looking face there.

SACK: Now, as I said, this was a very boring debate. You`ll agree with me, right?

BECK: Insulting more than boring.

SACK: Yes. Insulting and boring.

BECK: Yes.

SACK: So I spent a lot of time watching the audience. But I did watch the candidates every now and then, and I could not help but notice, Obama knows how to sit.

BECK: He`s like Frank Sinatra, don`t you think? He`s suave. He`s like...

SACK: Suave. He absolutely is.

BECK: Yes.

SACK: Now, McCain, on the other hand, I do not like the way John McCain sits on a stool.

BECK: Oh, boy.

SACK: Maybe it`s the maverick thing. But it just didn`t seem presidential. It looks like a gang signal there.

BECK: That`s the way he rolls, you know?

SACK: Yes. I have to say, Obama did deliver two of my favorite lines in the debate. First, real nice right hook.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Senator McCain, this is a guy who sang "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran," who called for the annihilation of North Korea. That, I don`t think, in an example of speaking softly.


SACK: That was a pretty good comeback from Obama.

Now, the other Obama line was a very Bidenesque foot in the mouth kick.


OBAMA: You know, a lot of you remember the tragedy of 9/11.


SACK: A lot of us remember that. No, it doesn`t ring a bell with me.

BECK: I don`t remember that.

SACK: Now, another observation, Glenn, at one point I could have sworn that John McCain was actually leaving the debate out of boredom. Look at this. Wait, he`s giving up.

BECK: There he goes. Maybe I`ll go find some ice cream someplace.

SACK: No, no. It`s not over yet. John, the light`s still green. Come back.

Now, the other thing we noticed is that McCain was taking notes with a sharpie every time he was sitting uncomfortably on his stool.

BECK: Yes.

SACK: Now, I have connections, Glenn. And I managed to get a hold of his legal pad. I have proof that the candidates found the debate as dull as most of us did.


GRAPHIC: Milk, eggs, coffee, Tums.


SACK: Yes.

BECK: Yes, Tums.

Brian Sack, thank you very much, sir. Appreciate it. We`ll see you, what is it, next week we`ve got another debate coming up?

And coming up next, if you watched last night`s debate and you didn`t find it boring, I mean, you did find it insulting, right? We`re going to talk about our choices, and what we face as Americans with Ronald Reagan`s former speech writer, Peggy Noonan, next.


BECK: I don`t know if you saw the debates last night, but it was beneath America and way beneath the times that we`re in. If you`re anything like me, you switched it off. I watched the Comedy Channel. I`m not kidding you. I couldn`t take it anymore.

I think I did that right about the time I realized it wouldn`t be so much of a debate as 90 minutes of politicians reciting lines from their stump speeches while in the general vicinity of each other and pointing fingers at each other. That`s America.

Not surprisingly, you didn`t miss much. In fact, we were able to take 90 minutes of blathering nonsense and boil it down to two minutes that has everything you need to know. Take a look.


TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Gentlemen, we want to get under way immediately, if we can.



OBAMA: You need somebody working for you.

MCCAIN: I know how to get America working again. Warren Buffett.

OBAMA: Warren Buffett.

MCCAIN: Not you, Tom. I like Meg Whitman.

OBAMA: Look, you`re not interested in hearing politicians pointing fingers. I`ve got to correct a little bit of senator McCain`s history, not surprisingly.

MCCAIN: With the encouragement of Senator Obama and his cronies and his friends in Washington --

OBAMA: Senator McCain -- and Senator McCain -- in fact, Senator McCain`s campaign --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can we trust either of you with our money when both parties got us into this global economic crisis?

MCCAIN: Senator Obama has never --

OBAMA: When George Bush came into office --

MCCAIN: You know that Senator Obama --

OBAMA: When George Bush came into office --

MCCAIN: He voted for nearly $1 billion in pork barrel earmark projects.

OBAMA: George Bush budgets.

BROKAW: We`re operating under rules that you signed off on.

I`m trying to play by the rules that you all established.

I want to just remind you one more time about time.

OBAMA: Just a quick follow-up on this, I think --

MCCAIN: If we`re going to have follow-ups, I will want follow-ups --

BROKAW: I know. I know. I think we`ll get out of it if I can.

MCCAIN: Fine with me.

OBAMA: You can have one.

BROKAW: All right. Let`s have a follow-up.

OBAMA: Just a quick follow-up because I think this is important.

BROKAW: I`m just the hired help here.

MCCAIN: I would like to have the equal time to go.

BROKAW: Gentlemen, you may not have noticed, but we have lights around here.

MCCAIN: Wave like that and I`ll look at you and I`ll stop, Tommy, and you didn`t even wave.

BROKAW: Look, guys, the rules were established by the two campaigns --

OBAMA: Now, we are in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

We have a half a trillion dollar deficit annually.

MCCAIN: To immediately buy up the bad home loan mortgages in America.

OBAMA: $300 billion --

MCCAIN: Is it expensive? Yes.

OBAMA: An additional $200 billion.

MCCAIN: $3 million for an overhead projector. We are in tough economic times.

OBAMA: I`ve called for an investment of $15 billion a year over ten years.

MCCAIN: $860 billion in new spending.

OBAMA: $4 billion worth.

MCCAIN: $6.8 billion.

OBAMA: $18 billion. $10 billion a month.

MCCAIN: I think what I don`t know is what all of us don`t know.

OBAMA: Senator McCain and I do agree, this is the greatest nation on earth. That`s going to change when I`m president.

BROKAW: You`re in my way of my script there. If you will move -- good night, everyone, from Nashville.


BECK: Peggy Noonan is one of my favorite authors, one of my favorite writers. She`s got a brand new book out called "Patriotic Grace." She`s a former a speech writer for President Reagan and President Bush.

What an honor to meet you.


BECK: You`re my favorite writer. You`ve inspired me for many, many years.

NOONAN: That`s wonderful to hear. That`s very flattering. Thank you.

BECK: I didn`t get a chance to read this, and I apologize. But I didn`t get a chance to read this. And as I`m reading the summary notes on it, I`m thinking to myself, oh, my gosh, we feel the same way.

I`ve been saying for awhile, we`ve got to be those 9/12 people that we were. Forget about 9/11 -- 9/12, where we do the hard things and we`re all willing to and we forget about parties. We just do the right things as Americans.

NOONAN: I think we need some compelling leadership for that to happen. I think we also just have to summon our spirit. I think, I say in the book, Glenn, that I think this is a crucial and actually unprecedented time in American history. So much is facing us. And we`re going to have to stop, breathe in, and start doing politics in a way that is equal to the moment we`re in.

I fear lately history will look back at how we`re doing this political campaign, and say, oh, my goodness, that wasn`t the equal to the moment. Did they not know what they were facing? Did they not know what was going on in the world?

BECK: But we do. We do. Don`t you think? I mean, Americans, even the Americans who have unplugged, the ones that I, you know -- besides the people who are just like, hey, what`s -- you know, they know instinctively things aren`t right. But they don`t know what it is.

NOONAN: We lose it in the day-to-day. There`s a number of things going on.

First of all, we`re in an economic crisis that appears to be global; something really new in history. All right. We all know that part. More subtle are old things, such as the fact that on 9/12, we understood, we faced grave challenges in the world. And we understood we might get hit again. I think we`ve forgotten that a little bit.

I`m very big on civil defense; I`m very big on the things that can hold us together as a country. We`ve got to keep them going and holding us together. I also think the American culture upsets Americans and exhausts them in a way that we haven`t noticed.

You know, it used to be, if you were a parent, you could send your kids running into the American culture. Literally you didn`t have to watch them in the yard and feel defensive and frightened that somebody would do something awful. But you would let them listen to any radio, watch any TV, go to any movies. All of that was --

BECK: In anybody`s house --

NOONAN: Yes. It was a more healthy culture in the past. Now, I think parents, American parents are exhausted from trying to protect their kids from the culture. Don`t listen to that. Don`t hear that. I don`t want you watching that. I don`t want you going there. Watch out for that video game.

Do you know what I mean? I think they`re afraid the culture will make their kids sour and sickened. Protecting your kids from that is a full- time job. That`s a lot to ask of people.

One thing about the Americans I think is true now is that they`re so tired. They work so very hard.

BECK: Right.

NOONAN: They have so much that they have to tend to. And then at night, when I was a kid, on TV there were commercials for Prell. Remember Prell shampoo? Now it`s commercials for sleep help, for Ambien, you know what I mean, for Nyquil, for anything that can help you sleep. I think Americans are -- they`ve really got it tough. Yet we`re going to have to get serious about a few things anyway.

BECK: I`m tired -- I`m tired of being called crazy for this point of view. And I`m not a tree guy. I`m a forest guy. I can see the forest; I can`t usually see the trees.

The forest frightens me right now, because no one is looking at the whole picture. I think there`s a real possibility that we lose America entirely. That we somehow or another are pushed into this fascist state. We`re pushed into some area that because of economic collapse, because of Al Qaeda, because of whatever, and mainly because of disenfranchisement, you don`t know who to trust anymore.

And people are going to be herded into some things because it`s the thing we have to do right now, that we`re going to seriously regret. Do you disagree?

NOONAN: It`s not that I disagree; it`s just that you said a mouthful. And there`s a lot to unpack there. One of the things that I think is true, oddly enough, is that as a nation, we never stop talking about politics. You`ve noticed this. And we talk about it more than ever.

And yet detachment of people from their political system has never been more profound. And anger at the political system because they think it has caused so many problems.

BECK: Did you watch it last night?

NOONAN: Yes, I did.

BECK: I found myself -- I had to turn the channel. I care about my country. This was like a clown show.

NOONAN: To me it seemed off subject. To me it seemed a little irrelevant. Not a clown show, but --

BECK: That`s what I mean. It`s a clown show because we are facing things, possibly the greatest struggle this country has ever faced. And you`re spending 90 minutes doing this? This is what you guys want to talk about? This is how you want to handle this?

NOONAN: It`s almost as if there`s a lot of saying of words that deliberately won`t stick, so you won`t know where they stand. Here is the big missed opportunity, I thought, last night. We`re in the middle of this earth, the beginning of this economic crisis; anybody who came forward and said I want to be the president of the United States, and let me tell you, you can trust me on this economic stuff because I`m going to be honest with you about how it began and talk about the spending spree of Congress. Its insistence that it`s very politically convenient for them to say ok, everybody`s going to be an owner; now we`re going to arrange the world so that everybody`s an owner. Then their irresponsible inability to do oversight, their disinterest in oversight?

BECK: Oh, my God.

NOONAN: Holy mackerel. But here`s the problem; both parties` hands, I believe, are dirty on this. Nobody has clean hands. The candidate who came forward last night and said, both parties did this, they did it hand in hand, I`m going to admit to you what happened, tell you how I`m going to turn it around, or try to turn it around. That guy people would listen to. They`d think, oh my goodness, I get that, somebody`s telling us the truth.

BECK: But see that`s the biggest problem last night. I think you`ve hit it on the head. They`re either lying, or they`re covering up. I think for the first time in my life, and I think this is what -- this is why the polls are like they are. This should be a run-away for Barack Obama.

NOONAN: Oh, it should. He should be 20 points ahead in a climate like this.

BECK: So it is -- people look at him and say, I want to believe him, but I don`t think I can. And they look at John McCain and say, I`ve known you for a long time, but I have no idea what you even really truly believe in. Neither candidate -- America doesn`t know what either candidate will actually do.

NOONAN: And I say in the book that is, oh, I think it`s true, and I say in the book that I think that is a recipe for trouble.

BECK: Disaster. Disaster if we don`t wake up. Peggy, thank you so much. Real true honor.

NOONAN: I`ll see you gone. Thank you.

BECK: That`s the "REAL STORY" tonight.

Coming up, it`s a story of love, innocent loss and redemption and hope. It`s another book, "Grace;" its author Richard Paul Evans joins me in just a second.


BECK: When everything feels as bleak as it does right now, you know, it helps to have something to pick up your spirits. Something to inspire you, something that can give you hope and make you remember. There`s a lot of good in life. It`s just a rough spot.

For me, that`s my wife, Tanya. Love you, honey; going to be home soon. And my kids.

But coming in second place behind the family is a fantastic new book called "Grace." Honestly, I had just a couple of sleepless nights because I was reading it in the middle of the night. Fantastic. You`re not going to be able to put it down.

It is the perfect book for the country to read right now, given the mood that we`re all in. The author of "Grace," is the King of Christmas, "New York Times" number one best selling author Richard Paul Evans. He joins me now.

This is the best -- this is saying something because you`re the author of "The Christmas Box." This is the best book you have written. I love your books.


BECK: This is tremendous. Do you feel that at all? Do you have favorites at all?

EVANS: Yes. It`s like they`re like my kids, so I have no favorite. I always assume no one will like my books. I don`t know why. They`re so personal.

BECK: This book, first of all, tell the story quickly.

EVANS: Well, I ran into a social worker who told me that during the late `50s, early `60s there was this phenomenon that there were thousands of girls wandering the streets. And these are good girls, they weren`t rebellious. No one could figure out why.

Today of course we know they were abused. They were running to someplace safer like a park or a viaduct. And "Grace" is the story of one of those girls.

BECK: I have to tell you, when I started reading it, I`m like, oh, with all the things going on in the world, I can`t do an abuse story. I started reading it; within ten pages, just sucked into it. I saw my life as a kid, as a boy who built a clubhouse in our backyard. I mean, you so captured the -- at least if you`re my age -- our childhood. This was -- how much of this was personal?

EVANS: That`s like me and my brother, Barry. It was very true. We had moved from California to Utah, but we lived in a nice place in California, Arcadia. We moved to an inner city area where we got beaten up the first week there. All of a sudden --

BECK: You were on the mean streets of Salt Lake?

EVANS: I know. But it was bad. I go down 39th South and see all the places and think, I got beat up there, and there.

BECK: It was just such a slice of anybody who has ever just had, you know, a kid, who`s just beaten up all the time and everything. That was me. But it also was charming, and surprisingly hopeful.

EVANS: It`s a fun love story, isn`t it?

BECK: Do you ever feel like -- do you feel like in a way that you have a responsibility -- or a mission -- all of your books are so hopeful. Do you ever feel any kind of responsibility, or this is just who you are?

EVANS: Actually, I think we have -- anyone who has a voice, like you, you have a responsibility.

BECK: I`m not really a -- no hope here. Not right now.

EVANS: No, actually, I`m very optimistic, because I believe in people. I see them -- I see wonderful, beautiful acts of mercy, and tenderness. My dad used to always say, bring on the depression we need to get back to being human, which I don`t agree with. But I do agree with being human. But, you know, spend more time with each other, that`s a good thing.

BECK: You know, it`s amazing to me, because I think we`re entering a time now, and kind of what your dad said. Please, we don`t need the depression. But Peggy Noonan and I were just talking about this, about the 9/12 kind of person. The people that we really are, you know? Those good people that just care about each other`s neighbors and get back to things that are of real value, real value, and those real values. You know what I mean?

EVANS: Right.

BECK: Those things that shape you. And help you make it through the day.

EVAN: Right.

BECK: What is the main thing you feel people are going to walk away with? Because I know there`s got to be people that are going to be reading this now and saying, that was me, I was abused.

EVANS: When I wrote my first book "The Christmas Box" suddenly I`m hearing -- I would go on the radio show and all the lines would light up, everybody wanted to talk about their experiences. It`s already happening to me. Anyone who knows someone who was abused, all these stories try to come to me already.

Not in a bad way but in a way like, let`s talk about it, so we can heal. My books are all about healing. They always are.

BECK: But you don`t have to because I wasn`t abused and I --

EVANS: And you relate to the boys there. It`s a love story.

BECK: Yes.

EVANS: At the end of the day, I`m a writer and I want to write something that people are going to enjoy.

BECK: America, I`ve made a new policy on my program. It`s not necessarily a new policy, but I know how much money means to you. And I`m never going to ask you for a dollar. I`m never going to tell you, you should spend your dollar on this, unless it`s something of real value, unless you get a real dollar`s value out of it. This you will. It is tremendous.

Thank you so much, sir.

EVANS: Thank you.

BECK: Appreciate it. And actually, you`re coming back tomorrow, because I want to talk to you a little bit about -- your initiative in the charities that you`re doing.

All right, sneak peek at what could be our next National Anthem of the United States. You don`t want to miss this one. Stick around. It`s next.


BECK: Oh, it`s been so great. Obama is going to be the next president. And if you disagree, you`re racist, unless you hop aboard that "Messiah Express." That`s what some people actually say.

You know what? I thought we could fight it, but let`s just celebrate the changes that are coming. For example, the Constitution; who needs it? It`s so old, it`s written in like crazy, cursive language, I don`t even know. They were put in use in words that don`t have use and it`s on old fashioned paper and plus it`s long. Can`t you just text me the Constitution, you know.

And then there is that anthem. You ever listened to it? Bombs bursting in the air? What kind of war-mongering people are we? We need something more inspiring, something more exciting, something more representative of where we`re headed.


All hail our messiah, Obama, Obama. The path to the new socialist motherland. Our savior, our savior. Obama, Obama. The leader more famous than Lindsay Lohan. Bow down and praise The One Give him your money and your guns. Give us a country that makes your wife proud Lord Barry heal the bitter ones White and clinging to faith and to guns Hope for the change of the hope of the change.


BECK: Michelle Obama is in the makeup room. Oh-oh. Hope she didn`t get angry.

You want to feel more hopeful for the change? Well, you can watch it again and get the entire thing in our free e-mail newsletter. You can go to, and sign up and pass it to your friends. If you`re that kind of hate monger.

From New York. Good night, America.