Replacing acrimony with civility, or the end of my adventures in conservative talk radio

Disclaimer: The follow blog entry likely contains naivete, idealism and a bit of disjointness. Get over it.

On August 18th, a friend challenged me to listen to 2 weeks of conservative talk radio, instead of NPR. I succeeded.

Thank you, Mr. President. Good speech. You sure can give a speech. That said, methinks you’ve got a long way to go and a lot of convincing to do. But I hope, like you do, than we can rise to the challenge. We, metaphorically speaking, since I’m not in Congress.

This seems a fitting time to complete my online accounts of spending 2 weeks in conservative talk radio land.

Bottom line? It was tough. Tough to listen to, tough to analyze, tough to suspend my judgment. I learned some stuff. I shouted at the radio quite a bit. A few times I just had to turn it off.

My biggest insight was that I am not convinced that “they” are out to turn my country into a Socialist/Communist/Fascist state. I did get some insight into what it must have felt like during the McCarthy era, when certain ideals were equated with socialism, and that was declared to be a danger to democracy. I refuse to believe we are headed there. I know too many rational, reasonable conservatives to let that happen.

As I listened to the President’s speech on health care tonight, I was struck by his claim that we can replace acrimony with civility. And that, in a nutshell, is the biggest insight I gained from my two weeks in conservative talk radio. I like civility.

I don’t like a radio program where the host yells and insults the character (not just the policies) of me and my friends.

I like debating in a way that doesn’t make me feel like less of a good person if I disagree with your ideas. For example, I want to be able to say I have a problem with executive salaries being too high without being accused of betraying my country.

I like searching for kernels of reality beneath the hype.

I want everyone to be as willing as I am to admit they are wrong or maybe, just maybe, they don’t have all the facts.

Most of all, I want to be proud that I live here, while still believing it’s my duty to improve life, not just live it.

The good news is, most of the time, I can have the things I listed above. Sometimes, political and media personalities, on both sides, refuse to let it happen. I choose not to let that get me down. And I choose to take heart from the fact that, the other day, while driving home and listening to NPR, I flipped to the “other” station to see if there was a different perspective to hear. Granted, all I heard was a commercial for life insurance. But it’s a start.

Thanks again, Mr. President. I want to believe the things you said. Time will tell.

Got thoughts or suggestions? Share 'em and make my day!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: