I'm thinking today about political radio and television talk-shows...about quick-sell easy-to-read books about politics.. most by those who target the more
uneducated and/or emotionally impulsive among us.
I was thinking about how the right has been oh-so-successful with their daily blatherings and rantings, often without even checking their facts.
People believe what they hear because it's in the mainstream.
The mainstream and a million radio talk-show fans can't be wrong........or can they?
I heard that a new book has been written by Ann Coulter, and I imagine she'll be on the best-seller list soon. Copies of her book will soon be quickly disappearing
off Costco shelves ....much like the snippy-lipped pundit Sean Hannity's book sold good 'n hot at WalMart late last year.
Right-minded people tend to like 'nasty'....they seem to want 'snippy'.
Coulter's very book-title, "Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism" screams of 'nasty'.
Most people gravitate to quick soundbites...they are attracted to circus-atmospheres and rooty-tooty Weekly World News-style loudspeak.
Mix in a bit of emotional inflection in the voice...
a tad disgust and a bit of hatred and mockery toward public figures, and you have the perfect Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh recipe for
popularity and money-making radio sales.
Meanwhile, the folks at NPR laugh at caricatures of themselves as Alec Baldwin does his 'Schweddy Balls' routine on the Saturday Night Live skits about them.
NPR is quiet...nearly sleep-inducing..downright deadly-dull if you're the kind of person who craves the circus...the excitement..the Rush.
But if you are patient, it's quite surprising how much you actually learn listening to the quiet ones who take a slow, easy, truthful approach without bells, whistles, and angry-spirited mockery. The ones who will invite and allow members of society from all viewpoints to call and participate freely. The ones who do not intimidate their callers and
The left does not need nor do they wish to back ther ideals with corporate-fattening rantings.
Truths have a funny way of coming clear...for free.
People throw around arguments about fact.
Some need black and white and could never imagine a fact that might come in another shade.
Truth is color-blind.
The National Enquirer is a quick read, isn't it? Saucy pictures, too.
I'll bet there are some actual facts in those stories. I'll bet a lot of people hold those stories as their form of truth.
There are also facts to be found in the alleyways of the Bronx.
There are facts the whole world-over.
Here--there--in my television screen...in the pages of your book...on my radio..
coming from the mouth of a babe.
How we put the facts together speaks volumes about who we are.
Some people from the right say they don't hear any "facts" from the left.
This often means they do not care to look or listen to another's point of view. They'd just as soon call the person with the opposing view a "leftist idiot"(for example).
Why? Because they interpret life differently than the other person does.
Base reactions on their part display the kind of behavior I've come to expect from "dittoheads".
Respect and "golden-rule" behavior learned by the right's often-Christian upbringing and spouted by these same folks in church on each and every Sunday
is soon forgotten when on the political debating battlefield.
I see this happen all the time on political internet debates. The "dittohead"-sytle right-minded forget their supposed sense of civility and dignity.
They are beset with poor examples of civility in their own idols...the Ann Coulters, the Rush Limbaughs.
These people help to destroy the civic fabric of our American democracy through their example.
They will pay lip-service dedicated to saying the very opposite...that they are out there promoting citizen responsibility...and I do not begrudge their right to free speech.
Someday, however, history will look back upon this period of time and we will see how very clearly they played a role in the great American divide.
So, I ask:
What makes us decent citizens who contribute to the true health of American democracy and the uniting of our people, regardless of the divide in ideology?
In the end, it's what we set out to do with our chosen information (from which we derive our facts) that matters.
What are "facts", anyhow?
Are they truth?
Truth is not the GOP.
Truth is not the Democratic party.
Truth is truth. Reality.
What is impressionable to one man is
repulsive to another.
But what's sure is that every man is impressionable.
Does the Bible impress you?
Do the good works of charity impress you? Does war impress you? Does love impress you?
Does Rush impress you? Does Ann Coulter impress you? Does Noam Chomsky impress you?
Does Bugs Bunny impress you?
No need to answer.
My point is...
We Americans need to be our own judge..to be true to ourselves.
To be able to respect and discuss all the various ways we receive our information without these
ad hominem attacks upon one another- a la Limbaugh.
I notice that many on the far-right are suspicious of those with higher education.
I suspect they would love to see less honor and credibility placed upon those who have devoted their lives to the search for the truth
We need to stop being intimidated or envious of other women and men's individual intellects.
If we're smart men or women..we should be proud of who we are and hold to our convictions.
I see people lambasting others for being "impressionable" because of a conviction they hold.
Think of what an excerise in futility that actually is...and how much productivity is wasted.
Then think about the way you may be doing the same thing to another...and voila...you will see you have practiced the same exercise in futility.
Mainstream, non-mainstream..it doesn't matter where you get your information. You could get as much from looking at the sky.
You hold true to the person you know you are. That's the way of it...the reality.
"Real facts" are subjective and interchangeable items when it comes to ideology.
Those who thrive on political rivalry exist within a small, small frame.
Life is too large for me to read junk or listen to hatespeak.
I would rather read something or see something to make me a better person.
I can't see how reading someone like Ann Coulter could make anyone "better".
To each his own, though.
What truly matters is personal conviction, whether you get your information..the facts you choose to accept as facts... from
an alleyway, an article, the internet, a boxing ring, a parked car, or a loud, angry conservative radio-clown.