Thousands of high school and college conservatives heard a message on life lessons from Dennis Prager at America Fest 2022 on Sunday in Phoenix. Prager said he could go through all the things the Left has done to damage America, but everyone already knows about that stuff. Instead, he focused on the things young conservatives need to know about life.
“I’ve lived longer than you and I’ve thought a lot,” he said.
It was a list of 11 lessons. The first lesson was that the greatest battle in your life is with you.
“The biggest difference between the Left and the Right is that the Left thinks the biggest battle of your life is with America,” he said. “We think the biggest battle with our life is with our nature. I think America is wonderful and my nature stinks. That’s a huge, huge difference.”
Prager said his dad told him when he was young how lazy he was. And he’s thankful for that because he devoted his life to not being lazy.
“Parents who keep complimenting their kids – ‘oh, you made such a beautiful poo today. You are the greatest. What an awesome pee,’” he said. “(They) are ruining these kids and they produce Leftists who all think they are the best.”
If someone wants to know which side to trust – Right or Left – Prager said “those who censor are the liars.”
“That is all you need to know to know the Left always lies,” he said. “They live in the world of the lie. They censor us, we do not censor them. This is critical to understand. Cancel culture is a function of the Left because they can’t handle dissent.”
Prager said there is no instance since Lenin and no example in history of the Left being in power and allowing dissent.
After food and shelter, he said the greatest need in life is meaning.
“It is even more important than sex and sex is terrific, just for the record,” he said.
He said a lot of people in life go long periods without sex – some, like priests, a lifetime – but he said you cannot lead a happy life without meaning.
“If you have no meaning and a lot of sex, you are not a happy person,” he said.
Prager said people can also get meaning from bad things – such as vaccine mandates and lockdowns. He said communists found meaning from communism and Nazis found meaning from Nazism.
Regardless, good or bad, he said people yearn for meaning.
“Global warming is not about global warming,” he said. “It’s about meaning.”
Life is difficult, he said, and the sooner someone knows that, the better.
“That is why helicopter parents ruin their children,” he said. “They want their children to have a painless life with no difficulties. But the sooner you know life is difficult, the better it is.”
Happiness is a moral obligation.
“You cannot afflict people with your bad moods any more than you can with your bad breath,” Prager said. “Just like you brush away your bad breath and you shower away your bad odor, you should brush away your bad mood. You owe it to everyone in your life to have a happy disposition. Fake it ‘til you make it.”
Prager said nothing is more absurd than a society that says men give birth.
“It is not possible,’ he said. “And half the society now believes that. We are living in an age of chaos – pure chaos. The Left is living in and creating chaos.”
He highlighted a lesbian in Norway who is on trial for saying men cannot be lesbians. She faces a three-year sentence for hate speech.
“Men can be lesbians? Are you out of your minds,” he asked. “Yes, they are. We are living in an age of chaos. A lot of you may not be religious, but I need you to understand something, the post-Judeo Christian world is a world of chaos. That is the inevitable.”
In Genesis, God created man, the world and animals, Prager said. But that’s the only time the word create is used.
“You know what he did the rest of the time,” Prager asked. “He made order out of chaos. The Left is making chaos out of order. They hate Genesis. They laugh at us who take the Bible seriously. Not every secular person says men give birth, but everyone who says men give birth is secular.”
Prager then said the universities are the “most moronic institutions” in the country. He said there are many wonderful secular individuals, but noted that secularism produces “idiocy” and “chaos.”
Another lesson is not asking who you are but instead who you want to be.
“That is the most important question you can ask in your life,” he said.
He’s often asked how he gets courage, he said. The answer is simple.
“Without courage, the country and the world are lost,” he said. “Believe it or not, just say I want to be courageous and you will be courageous. You are what you want to be, you are not what you are, you are what you want to be. So you must ask yourself, what do I want to be. One of the things you should want to be is a spouse. You should want to be a father or a mother. That’s even better than wanting to be a CEO. That’s the lesson of the last 50 years in America.”
Freedom is a value, not a yearning, Prager said. Humans don’t yearn to be free, they yearn to be taken care of.
“They will trade their freedom to be taken care of,” he said. “That is why the founders of this country wanted a small government because they knew big government means little freedom. People make a diabolical trade – they will give you their freedom if you give them free tuition, free health care, free lunch, free breakfast, free daycare, free, free, free. But nothing is free. There’s no such thing as ‘free.’ You pay with your soul for free things. It’s either freedom or free things – we choose freedom. Most people do not.”
Gratitude is also necessary, Prager said.
“The ungrateful are the worst people on earth,” he said. “They create the chaos we are seeing.”
In America, people go to college to get a BA in ingratitude, a master’s in ingratitude and a Ph.D. in ingratitude, he said.
“That’s why they hate Thanksgiving – a holiday of gratitude,” he said. “What’s there to be grateful for in this racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic country? You are taught to be an ingrate at school – especially if you are not a white, Christian, heterosexual male. Every one of you who is not one of those should be ungrateful, but that is a recipe for misery and awful behavior. Gratitude is everything. We who are conservative are grateful to be American. People on the Left are not grateful to be an American. It is as simple as that. In fact, they’re not grateful for anything. They live in the world of ingratitude. They’re victims. And if you think you are a victim you can’t be grateful. Victims are not grateful by definition. And that’s what they produce on the Left – victims.”
Prager told the story about a Holocaust survivor who was asked whether he hated the German race. His answer was he didn’t – and that there are only two races – the decent and the indecent.
“That is all you need to know,” Prager said. “The Left does not divide the world between decent and indecent. It divides the world between black and white, male and female, rich and poor. Race, gender, class – not morality. We divide the world between good and bad. There are good blacks and bad blacks. There are good lesbians and bad lesbians. There are good women and bad women. There are good men and bad men. We don’t give a damn about whether you’re white or whether you’re black – we only give a damn about your character. That’s a big difference, isn’t it? They have created an amoral universe. The division is not between the decent and indecent, but between one race and another. They are the racists of the 21st century.”
Finally, Prager told the young attendees to get married.
“One of the only positive things to come out of the Left is that so many of them don’t marry and don’t have children,” he said. “When fools don’t reproduce, the world gets better.”
Prager said many on the Left don’t believe in marriage because they think it is difficult. And, he said, to a certain extent it is. He also said to remember life is difficult.
“By the way, being single is difficult too,” he added. “Living is difficult. And I’d rather live this difficult life with a companion than without one. If you’re young, you’re not too young to look for a spouse. Don’t say I’ll look for one when I’m ready – you’re never ready to get married. Just know that. And you’re never ready to be a parent. You don’t know what you’re in for in either case. So, damn it, just do it. You don’t grow up if you don’t get married. I don’t mean to insult anybody who is single, but it’s a fact. Ask any married person – even if they’re divorced – did you grow up because you got married. Every single one will say yes. That is how you grow up, because then somebody else has to matter every day. You are not the only thing in your life the day you marry and the day you become a parent it is even more so. That’s how you grow up.”
Prager said the division isn’t just between the Left and the Right, but also the mature and immature.
“They are immature,” he said. “And they are children teaching children in our colleges and in our elementary schools. That’s the crisis.”
If people would follow those lessons, Prager said problems would be solved. He quoted a professor from the University of Pennsylvania who said all we have to do is return to the basic value system of middle-class America.
“That’s all we have to do – graduate high school, get a job, get married, then have children,” he said. “And you’ll do fine in America. Just do that. Notice she didn’t even say go to college. For most people, there’s no reason to go to college. It’s worse than a waste of money, it’s a waste of your mind. This is all we need folks. This is what we stand for. And this is what they hate us for.”