Political talk show hosts: What hath the greenback wrought?
By Art Stevens
OBAMA (In a speech in Ohio. Audio clip played by Michael Savage): “We built railroads and highways, the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate bridge. We touched the surface of the moon, unlocked the mystery of the atom. That’s the true level of our past, Ohio. That’s the right vision for our future, and that’s why I’m running for president.”
ART: Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that he is talking about what this country has done in the PAST? He even makes note of these accomplishments as BEING in our past.
SAVAGE RESPONSE: “I can’t believe Obama saying: WE built highways, WE built railroads, WE built the Hoover Dam- When? When you’re blowing dope at Columbia University? YOU built the Hoover Dam? YOU touched the moon? You just killed NASA. What a liar this guy is. What a fraud. Vive la France. What else is new under the sun? This is the most anti-business president in American history. Anti railroad, anti-highway, anti-Hoover Dam, anti-NASA. And the man is taking credit for having built the Hoover Dam, and having built the railroads, the highways, and the moon, and unlocked the mystery of the atom. The man is anti-nuke, anti-NASA, anti-dams, anti highways, anti-pipelines, anti-railroads. Are the people in Ohio that stupid? Amazing to me.”
ART: (Blowing dope?) Make that an issue if you like. That’s fair, but where is the connection to Obama’s speech?
(“YOU built the Hoover Dam?”) Where did he say that?
(“And the man is taking credit for having built the Hoover Dam, etc.”) WHERE is he taking that credit? Is that the impression you get from reading the above clip?
“(Are the people in Ohio that stupid?)” Obviously, he can make that charge if he likes, but isn’t that really telling those Ohioans, NOT that he thinks they are wrong and here’s why, but rather, if you don’t agree with MY thinking on the issue, then you are stupid?
My friends, in a nutshell, that is the biggest problem I have with today’s talk show hosts. They have (on either side of the aisle), every right in the world to state their opinions on any issue, and why they have those opinions. They have every right to criticize people, ideas, statements and anything else that is contrary to their thinking because that is what politics has always been in the past and should be now. They do not have a right, in my opinion, to call people with whom they disagree, by derogatory names and to use so-called facts that do not have any proof to back them. People ask nowadays, “What has happened to politics as practiced in the past?” Politics has always been a rough game. Republicans and Democrats have always fought like cat and dogs. That’s the way it should be because whether you like it or not, people in this country are approximately evenly divided between the ideologies of each party. Congressmen on both sides of the isle believe in what they are fighting for. The difference is that up to a few years ago, they fought it out between themselves, and unless they had the numbers to win a vote, they invariably hammered out a compromise and a bill was passed.
Our system of government does not work well unless we go that route. It’s either that or stalemate, which is what we have now. Do we have a capitalistic system? If your answer to that is yes, my next question is: Is it 100 percent capitalism? If your answer to THAT is yes, let me point to Social Security, the post office, the Veterans Administration, Medicare and others. Those are socialistic endeavors that were instituted to help the great majority of the citizens of our country. HAVE they helped? Ask the people if they want these programs eliminated. Does that mean we have a Socialist country? Of course not. Let me put it this way. One hundred percent capitalism in our country would be a disaster for the great majority. One hundred percent Socialism would be just as ridiculous. What DOES work in our country is a combination of the two, which WE ALREADY HAVE. Believe in whatever you wish. That is your right as an American citizen. But please don’t get hung up on a word. The word “social” is in the dictionary. It has a meaning. It is not a dirty word.
How is all of this connected to the talk show host? Very simply, years ago we had news writers, TV and radio commentators, and politicians who made their views known very strongly and in no uncertain terms. The problem that we have today is that these purveyors of the news have found that the only way that they can advance their show to a higher level, that is, FINANCIALLY be more profitable, is to be controversial; to have people lift their heads in amazement at how far they will go in name-calling, non-factual statements, and a complete lack of respect for people voted into high office by THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY, THEIR NEIGHBORS! They have built up millions of viewers using these tactics, and the only way out of this mess is when those people, who SHOULD be given the facts they want, but without the vitriol, the name calling, etc. insist on just that, and tune in only on those terms.
Come on now, deep down you knew that when we got closer to the bottom line the conversation would turn green. Doesn’t it always? Yes, I said green- with a capitol ‘G,’ and that stands for ‘GREED.’ That’s the approach used in many show-biz productions. The difference is that this is not show biz. It’s much more important than that. I imagine the first response will be that they have every right to say what they like. The first amendment says so. I fully agree. I’m not trying to shut them up but rather to bring a little civility into the dialogue. I have no problems with them voicing their opinions on any issue, whether I agree with them or not.
As for me, I’m a (registered) Independent voter. I have been all my life. I lean, on most political issues, slightly to the left, but believe it or not, there ARE issues on which I side with the right. If, after reading this article, you believe that what I’m doing is pitting the left against the right, then either you didn’t understand what I am trying to say, or I wrote the article very badly. I intend to write more on the actual dialogue taking place on these shows. They will NOT be one-sided. If you would like to suggest any candidates for me to cover, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My chest feels much lighter. Have a nice day.