Bill O’Reilly said on Glenn Beck's radio program Monday that if something doesn't change soon, it's quite likely that America could become a place where a small elite "rule the country," while most just live "lives of escapism" through various "machines."
The discussion began with O'Reilly -- whose book "Killing Jesus" was recently released -- noting that "the ratings are terrible" on Obamacare and the potential government shutdown, and Beck asking what it says about the country that people "don't pay attention to real news."
"Listen, with the computers now, people are creating their own lives," O'Reilly said. "They're playing games, they're watching porn, they're doing whatever they want to do, and it's an addiction...just like it would be to a drug. They have to have a machine in their hands, they have to text, they have to play a game, whatever. All that takes you away from the serious business of running the country, and the serious business of living your life."
"I do not see that ever changing, so you'll have an elite that rule the country, and then you'll have some people that pay attention, and most people will be living lives of escapism, just like happened in Roman times," he continued.
O'Reilly said that it "remains to be seen" whether such a setup will lead to a "collapse," but that we're likely going to have "very few people calling the shots" because most people simply don't know "what the hell's going on."
"That's why Barack Obama was re-elected," he added. "The so-called 'low-information voters' just voted on emotion...did they know anything?"
Beck seemed surprised by O'Reilly's analysis, saying O'Reilly has long told him that everything's going to be fine.
"I mean, the machines are taking over the world -- but that doesn't mean there's going to be a collapse," O'Reilly reiterated. "If a good, smart person who cares about the American people and the country gets elected, then that person will be able to do a lot of good. But if you're telling me that the folks are going to rally back into the arena and pay attention with all the machines that they have? Not going to happen."
Beck asked if that means the U.S. won't be a republic anymore, to which O'Reilly responded that we still will be "on paper."
"When the founding fathers took over and George Washington was elected, most of the people living in America that time didn't know what the hell was going on," O'Reilly added on a more positive note. "They were just too busy trying to survive from day to day. And those people, without a lot of input from the folks, put in a system that was the best humanity has ever seen."
He added that he is not as pessimistic as Beck, but he is pessimistic about the awareness of the American people.
"I think right now 50 percent of Americans have no blanking clue what's going on, and I think that number will rise to 60, 65 percent in the next ten years," he said.
Watch the complete interview -- which also includes more information on O'Reilly's newest book and his recent "60 Minutes" interview -- below:
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