Tuesday, December 30, 2003

No more, no more

Hey there! Sorry I haven't done much active blogging lately, but with the holidays, it's been a bit of a bear to even post a meme result. Ehh, go figure.

I've been formulating my New Year's resolutions, and among the more mundane ones (get some exercise, lose weight, try not to be such a bastard) I've come up with one that I truly hope I don't fall back on.

As of January 1, I will no longer listen to any politically oriented radio talk show. It seems like an exercise in masochism, and I refuse to degrade myself in this manner any more.

I have listened to talk radio for going on two decades now. When I started, Larry King was the top dog (even if his show was broadcast at midnight) and Rush Limbaugh was just an executive with the Kansas City Royals.

Rush Limbaugh is fond of beseeching his listeners to give him six weeks of listening to truly understand where he is coming from. I've given him far more than that, and far more than he deserves. I know a lot of people listen to talk radio in order to "Know the enemy" (and I suppose many conservatives tap into more liberal sources for the same reason). I just can't do it anymore. I have seen the "soul" of talk radio, and it is a dark, twisted place.

I am tired of being run down. I am tired of being told that, because of my opinions and political philosophy, I am somehow un-Christian, un-American, and unworthy of kindness. I am tired of being told that because I am a liberal, I am somehow in league with terrorists and despots, or "the enemy within", or simply put, a "traitor".

I am a 37-year old, college-educated, born-again Southern baptist who is happily married and expecting his first child. I toil under the apparently insane notion that all people are basically good inside, and that we can leave this world a better place than that in which we arrived. I believe in the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, the Eightfold Path, and the Bill of Rights. I love the land of my birth. I don't want to see it destroyed by terrorism, or from fear of the threat of terrorism.

I don't hate conservatives. I've known many in my time; I'm even friends with some. Simply because we see issues differently is no reason for me to think little of them, and vice versa. To hear people on talk radio describe it, however, you must either be completely 100% conservative or considered "the enemy".

I see a lot of political reactionism on both sides of the ideological spectrum, and I hear many liberals talking about how we should start our own network of programs and stations to counteract those on the right. With all due respect, I disagree. These programs thrive on opinions based on blurting out whatever comes to your mind. You aren't encouraged to think things through, to research, analyze, consider the opposing viewpoint. It's all "my opinion is right, and if you don't agree, you're an idiot."

I'd rather read, listen to and watch the news and come to my own conclusions on the issues of the day rather than be spoon-fed a daily dose of the "Two-Minute Hate" anymore. I'd rather base my positions upon analysis and research than "Ooh, Rush is for that? Well, I'm against that then!" or "What? Bill Clinton likes that idea? Well, obviously it's some kind of Commie plan. I hate it!"

In time, I may eventually tune back in to see what's going on. I hope I don't give in, though. Something tells me I'd be better off not listening to these radio bullies.

So long, Rush, O'Reilly, Hannity, Savage, Mike Reagan, Boortz. Pick on someone your own size.

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