I remember when I was a child, my dad was enthralled by talk radio and its television counterpart. At almost any given moment when traveling by car or relaxing in his recliner after a long day’s work, he could be found listening to or watching some type of debate, discussion, interview or documentary about politics, current events, history and other relevant topics.
My dad also enjoyed his share of sitcoms; don’t get me wrong. In fact, I think he and Archie Bunker, Fred Sanford and George Jefferson were tied at the hip. That was the kick back and relax side of my dad though. The deeper, pensive, inquisitive, hungry-for-knowledge and opinionated side love politics, which is likely what him to run for election as a business agent in his local Teamsters union. (He won, several times.)
I loved to sit alongside my dad as he took in the latest talk show discussions. He would often add his own commentary to which I paid close attention. As I think back to some of the topics and debates I remember as a child, it’s a far cry from what I might find now if I were to turn on TV or tune in to talk radio. When my dad was listening, there were discussions about workers’ rights, the rise and fall of an economy, a nation made great by diverse groups of people who took risks to build new lives and withstood adversity.
Nowadays, one would be hard-pressed to find such worthy discussions in the media. It’s more common to hear about which politician has been charged with sexual offenses, what outfits the First Lady wore when visiting grieving families or who may or may not have been in cahoots with the Russians. In short, the airwaves are overflowing with evidence of yellow journalism and greatly lacking any news of substance.
Partisan wars prompt allegations at opposing party members for anything and everything related to a bunch of nothing. This person was seen shaking hands with that person. It’s the Republicans fault that people die of gunshot wounds. The Democrats lack morals and convictions. Neither statement is true and both are small examples of a major mud-slinging problem that wastes time, money and energy, not to mention causes a nation to be divided among its people.
Corruption, greed and power has cast a dim light on politics in America. Let us be quick to remind ourselves, however, that there are good people out there. There are good people working for us as a nation. The bad does not comprise all. The media may have sold much of its soul but that doesn’t mean there are decent, hard-working, honest politicians who believe in the people of the United States and are doing their best to bring about positive change and protect the common good.
I saw what was supposed to be a funny video where a guy went around asking random passersby basic questions about U.S. history. One of the questions was, “Who won the Civil War.?” and it took a good three or four people before someone got it right. One young lady asked the interview to clarify who was in the war so that she could venture a guess. Like I said, it was supposed to funny but I found it pathetic.
Perhaps if radio and TV talk shows would restore some semblance of intelligent discussion, it would help people in society like the woman who had no clue about a topic most kids used to learn about in third or fourth grade. Maybe the people who were asked why we celebrate the Fourth of July would know it’s not really because we made peace with Mexico (Yes, that was one person’s answer.) and it’s not because we want to have backyard barbecues once a year.
Just maybe, if people could turn on their radios and TVs and become engaged and enthralled in open-minded, bi-partisan, purposeful political discussions, America would start looking great again and less like something off the Jerry Springer show.
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.