To discuss issues relevant to the large and growing world of young Frum families and singles who are fully engaged in the Olam HaTorah and Olam HaZeh. You take your career, learning, family (or dating) and play seriously (not necessarily in that order.) You are nervous about the anti-intellectual trends that you see in your community while being proud of being part of the Torah renaissance in our generation.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Talk Radio and Frum Jews - Part I

In a previous posting called Frum Jews and Republicans a healthy debate about frum Jews and talk radio began which I would like to expand upon. This first posting will be a response to my dear and loyal dissenting poster 'CM's comments to my posting.

Talk Radio has made, in my opinion, many people conservative instead of liberal. While it's a regrettable situation, I would rather that these people be conservative than liberal. Therefore, I like talk radio because without it people would not suddenly begin to think clearly about issues or debate them. Rather they would simply buy into the opposing view who uses the same tactic.

IMHO this is not correct. What talk radio did is make politics into a team sport. Conservative and Liberal where no longer ideologies but rather 'teams'. Talk radio created a 'team' and turned a large segment of the country into members of the this Conservative/Republican team. Like any 'team', or like color war in camp, you have to build the enthusiasm. This is done by feeding the team the same message over and over ("the liberal have in the past, are currently, and will in the future destroy this country!") building up their anger against "the liberals" - so even know that Cons/Repub control the White House, the Senate the Congress, the Supreme Court and the majority of the Governorships, talk radio still continues to preach that "liberals" are ruining this country - as if Conservatives are still in the opposition!

So you are correct when you said earlier in your post that we have become a sound bite nation and not having red hot talk radio won't cause people to suddenly think clearly. But there is an alternative that you might not have thought of - that they will keep an open mind and not blindly apply the conservative solution to every problem in every time and every place. And more importantly, they might keep an open mind about the honesty and integrity of Cons/Rep office holders and hold ALL office holders to the same standard - regardless of their ideology. None of these can happen in the current climate. Because since they are on the 'team', they must support the team all the time always (with one exception - if a 'team' member G-d forbid compromises with a liberal, oy vey!, or if a 'team' member G-d forbid pushes a liberal idea as being a solution in some exceptional circumstance, then "read my lips".

More later.


  • At 12/25/2005 1:53 AM, Anonymous observingjew said…

    "What talk radio did is make politics into a team sport."

    Lo sisgodedu - lo saasu agudos agudos !

  • At 12/25/2005 7:17 PM, Blogger J said…

    George Washington was vary wary of political parties, but i guess it is part of human nature.

    But the citizens should mostly remain independent so as to judge objectively how their 'servants, the public servants, are performing.

  • At 1/03/2006 11:30 AM, Blogger CM said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 1/08/2006 11:29 AM, Blogger CM said…

    Your alternative is Utopian. Please bring one example of a country that was governed by an educated citizenry that carefully analyzed the issues with "cool heads and warm hearts".

    It never happened and never will for the simple reason that in your ideal world whomever resorts to basic propaganda will win public support. The temptation will be to strong to abandon reason and logic and resort to sophistry.

    Therefore, I support talk radio because like blogs, pundits, documentaries, and other alternative methods of mass communication have helped bring
    conservative ideas to the masses.

    Would it be great if everyone lived in your type of world, yes. But since I believe it will never happen, I'd rather people be "conservative team players" rather than "liberal team players" which would happen in the absence of conservative propaganda.

    Are there competent liberals and democrats, yes. Are there competent republicans and conservatives, again yes. Unfortunately they are few and far between and will probably become corrupted if they gin real leadership positions.

  • At 1/10/2006 8:05 PM, Blogger J said…

    I don't quite follow your argument. What you are arguing for is why the political parties play this game.

    Your point is that you understand that its a game but who cares as long as Conservative ideals get propogated.

    But that misses my point. My point is that as Citizens and in your case as an intelligent citizen, you should realize that the goal should not be propogating Conservative ideals nor liberal ideals - as what is more important than both is supporting competence and honesty amongst elected officials. If talk radio would push that as the goal, instead of a particular 'weltanshaang', wouldn't that be better? Shouldn't that be your goal? Shouldn't you support candidates based on that scale? Won't we all be better off?

  • At 1/11/2006 10:10 AM, Blogger CM said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 1/11/2006 2:04 PM, Blogger CM said…

    1.I don't believe talk radio will change. Therefore, its a waste of time to try to "fix" it. A talk radio host in your ideal would not get as many listeners like Rush or Savage and would be shut down.

    2. Talk radio is an example conservative tool. Labor unions and Hollywood are examples of liberal tools. PAC and religious groups are tools used by both parties. Ending talk radio or removing it from conservative domain will not remedy the situation. It will only weaken conservatism with the masses.

    3. If reforming talk radio would bring about the results you site in your post then I would agree with you. However, I believe that the only result will be the weakening of conservatism and not a better informed populace.

    4. There is nothing wrong with pushing for competent and honest politicians. However, they are not the only qualifications. Policy in my opinion is greater objective. I don't doubt the competence of many democrats(and respect them) but their views on public policy will prevent me from ever voting for them. For example, Bernie Sanders I believe is an honest and competent socialist congressmen. However, I would never vote for him. Those qualities get outweighed by his ideas.

    Competence should be the major factor for agencies that run the country. Department heads, police chiefs etc.


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