Podcast 602-Political Fighting Doesn’t Make Civil Society

Fighting and Arguing

A presidential press conference that had the look of a Dino De Laurentiis movie. Angry tweets. Arguments about whether the president is a narcissist or psychotic. These days the argument is the thing. Division. Confusion. Anger. Frustration with the fact that everything is political. A friend said recently, “When civil society breaks down everything becomes political”. The more we fight about politics the less we know. Argument and rhetoric have replaced substantive discourse. This idea forms the basis of Podcast 602-Political Fighting Doesn’t Make Civil Society.

What is Civil Society

People think Civil Society these days is political action groups. Angry protests. Social media rants. Angry calls to talk radio. Everyone wants the silver bullet argument. We want to be the guy on TV that ‘takes it to them’. This is not civil society.  In Podcast 602-Political Fighting Doesn’t Make Civil Society.

Stop Yelling and Start Building A Community

Civil Society is community. It is distinct from government and business. Civil Society is individuals working together to solve problems, build community and be good citizens. People who have learned from experience to build consensus to get things done. Civil Society is the core of your town, village, city, county and state.

Fighting and Arguing Does Not A Warrior Make

Do you show up to set the chairs up and make the coffee for the community meeting? Help your neighbors? Attend boring public meetings no one else cares about?  Are you one of those people who responds to calls for help in the community regardless of where they come from?. Are you willing to work with people you may not agree with politically? Show genuine concern for others through your actions? You’re the real warrior. Commentators and people who imitate them are not warriors and they are not leaders. We’ll talk about it in Podcast 602-Political Fighting Doesn’t Make Civil Society

Eroding Civil Society

There are times when political action is called for. When people who have different points of view try to gather people to their cause. These can be bitter contests. Bitter feelings linger after contests that inevitably produce winners and losers. These days people won’t convene with anyone they don’t agree with. Discussions descend into bitter screaming matches on Social Media, Talk Radio, and Cable TV News. The media cultivates and encourages anti social behavior. Friendships are ended. Familial relationships are strained.

Don’t Argue

A true warrior doesn’t yell and scream. A leader is a good citizen people trust. These are people who understand people of like mind have to work to see that their ideas gain support. Protests and rallies serve a purpose but they are just a starting point. You don’t win in the rally. You win because you can work behind the scenes to build support for a concept, idea, or a solution to a problem.

It May Not Be Working Anymore

Recent studies show the stress levels of Americans increasing since the election. Not just the left. People on political right show the same kinds of intensifying stress levels. This kind of stress can’t be sustained. We might be seeing the end of the efficacy of rhetorical argument to fuel a movement. People may have just about had it with all the shouting and arguing regardless of where it is coming from. Maybe rebuilding civil society is a good first step.

Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and Brush Studio.

Podcast 478

On Media. It started out as an idea for a podcast on Friday. A departure from the increasingly tedious, even terrifying and depressing world of politics. As the weekend progressed and opportunities for socializing were offered, ‘On Media’ moldered, then morphed into something more complex. After several attempts to assess what the podcast would be about, one attempt to write it and three attempts to record it, I finally just said the hell with it and decided to talk it out. Thus ‘On Media’. Some of it is a repackaging of ideas behind the podcasts I’ve done about the fact that the mass marketing most of us have gown up in is gone, replaced with a new world of mass specialization. People ask me all the time what is going on in the world. What’s wrong with the media. Or, they tell me the media is at fault. The media is bad. What is the definition of media? What is it’s role in society? What’s really going on? These days we have millions of sources of information available at any time. Any one of those sources can be the most viewed in any single day. It is not unusual for You Tube channels to have more views in a few hours than the cable news channels have all week. In the middle of this is politics. All news coverage is emotional and symbolic. There used to be a tactic called political theater. Now it’s all theater. Politics is media. We are submerged in images of persuasion everywhere we go. From the logos on the clothing we wear, to the TV’s in bars pouring their images into our minds while we eat our burgers. All these images are emotional, and emotional because emotion persuades. You think people seem angry, frustrated, confused? Wonder why? We can’t seem to get a handle on what’s wrong. Our government is the product of something called The Enlightenment. Are we enlightened? Or enslaved? Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park, and by Hydrus Performance.

Podcast 468

South Carolina’s Vote. The big first in the south primary is over, and the undisputed winner is New York’s Donald J. Trump. What must have made Trump’s night, Governor Jeb Bush suspended his presidential campaign. More ‘suspensions’ are sure to follow as actual votes, upend story lines, predictions and prognostications. Meanwhile Hillary Clinton defeated Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the Nevada Caucuses. Will it make any difference for the Vermont Senator’s chances to defeat the former Secretary of State this week in the Democrat South Carolina primary? Probably not. Caucuses are completely different animals from primaries, where people actually vote. Let’s not forget on the GOP side, Ted Cruz won the Iowa Caucus, but lost to Trump in New Hampshire and South Carolina. As the news rolled over the wires, I took a little bit of time outside a hotel where a huge celebration was taking place, to make some observations about the race, the presidential primary systems, and the difference between traditions, law, and a written constitution. Are you ready to have traditions — not the constitution — fundamentally change the way the United States chooses its president? Between the tradition of state by state primaries, a grueling campaign effort that wastes money and winnows candidacies and efforts to slave the Electoral College not to state legislatures but to the popular vote — and by ‘constitutionalist republicans’ no less — how we elect a president is changing, and judging from this primary cycle’s wacky, craven, foolish, disgusting and sad efforts by politicians described by the same kinds of words, not for the better. IS the cream rising to the top? Good question. Also in this podcast, the first excerpt of the Bob Davis Podcast Radio show, heard on GCN Live. Expect an announcement regarding this new show around the beginning of March. We’re in Key West Florida for this podcast, getting some maintenance on Mobile Podcast Command and preparing for the next leg of this massive road trip, which takes us back up Florida’s Gulf Coast, the Red Neck Riveria to New Orleans, Texas, back up 35 to Minneapolis-Saint Paul. Sponsored by X Government Cars and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Podcast 458

Not George Washington. With the Iowa Caucuses less than a week away, political prognosticators have finally gone off the rails. This week’s poster child for idiocy goes to the talk show host who claims Texas Senator Ted Cruz is ‘The New George Washington’. How is the ‘endorsement’ of candidates from personalities, talk show hosts and commentators different from endorsements that come from governors, senators and candidates who are exiting the race? How has the endorsing of candidates by talk show hosts hurt talk radio? Ted Cruz is Not George Washington, but that fact doesn’t stop charlatans from saying so. Why do they do it? It’s a desperate quest for something called ‘relevance’, which is yet another example of the talk radio cesspool. This podcast has been steadfast in not supporting any candidate for president in 2016. The penchant commentators have this year, to influence voters to support candidates based only on polling data, is shameful. Moreover, participation in primaries and caucuses is very low. The result of primaries and caucuses this spring and summer have more to do with the nominating conventions for both mainline parties than the general election. Despite this fact, talk radio and the media are already making predictions and issuing endorsements for the presidency? The victors in the first few primaries or caucuses, at least on the republican side, are usually not the nominee. The only reasonable conclusion is that commentators are manipulating their listeners and voters for their own gain; a sad feature of a presidential cycle already off the rails. You can imagine how the real election will be reported. This podcaster is not going to endorse anyone for president, since all of them are more like Nucky Thompson than anything approaching George Washington. Sponsored by Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate and Hydrus.

Podcast 450

Beware The Soothsayers. So much of our media these days is caught up in predicting the future. Weather, economics, sports and especially politics, isn’t so much about fact as it is about predictions based on opinion and poorly supported ‘fatcs’. Without a real basis in science or proven facts, we’re constantly told what the ‘future will bring’. It’s a wonder news anchors and ‘commentators’ don’t wear brightly colored head dresses and look into a crystal ball. One of the reasons we are ill served by a modern media possessed of the greatest technology for informing known to man, is its executives exhort their on screen ‘actors’ and so called ‘journalists’ to use opinion and hearsay to ‘predict’ what ‘will’ happen, rather than just report the facts around an event, or ‘the news’. For instance, lower prices for gasoline was going to ‘act like a tax cut’ and we would have economic growth. The Christmas retail shopping season might be a little down, but it would still be good. Donald Trump would be a flash in the pan, and would ‘collapse’ as soon as voters ‘came to their senses’. This is the time of year astrologers make their predictions for 2016, which are about as accurate as the wild ‘predictions’ made by the cable news services, round table discussions, commentary pieces distributed on line, and most of the rest of the media conglomeration complex, especially talk radio and the cable news channels. What do you think would happen if they stopped making predictions? There’d be a lot of dead air. In fact most of what is being broadcast and written these days is little more than fortune telling, and not very good fortune telling at that. In a late night podcast by the fire, as we labor under a winter storm watch in the upper midwest (at least a foot of snow ‘predicted’ with the ‘storm’ starting Monday night), time to air some concerns about what we are being told, and talk about the antidote to it. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance, and by the Mobile Podcast Command Unit of The Bob Davis Podcasts. 

Podcast 442

God Isn’t Fixing This. In the wake of the San Bernardino shootings we’re left as confused as ever, and the media treats every single shooting as a one-off single story, rather than a series of shootings in an ongoing struggle. It makes talking about it difficult, yet this is what people are asking about, as 24 hour coverage drives home the media favorite story-line of the moment. Everyone followed the President as he climbed aboard the ‘workplace violence and guns kill people’ train, but surprise! That train derailed just outside the station when facts surfaced suggesting something more sinister and dangerous. We’re still being told, “avoid the rush to judgement”, and “it may still be a workplace violence issue”. Trouble is, like the Fort Hood shootings a few years ago, evidence shows the San Bernardino attack was premeditated, with detailed preparations including, legally obtained weapons, even with California’s ‘assault weapons ban’, stockpiles of ammunition, pipe bombs, communication with people on terror watch lists, destruction and cauterization of communication and social media links before the act with similarities to attacks in Paris and Boston. While the ‘thoughts and prayers of the nation’ are with the victims, guess what? God Helps Those Who Help Themselves. There is a war being waged for our minds and the minds of our attackers. It is waged though propaganda and media. The weak succumb to its charms, and the fears it generates. Only the strong will protect, persevere and prevail. Are you strong enough? Are we strong enough? Clearly our leaders aren’t that strong, because if they aren’t mealy mouthing thoughts and prayers, they’re trying to pass gun control legislation or spend more money on mental health research. What’s that you say? Strategy? Foreign Policy? Addressing the problem? Expecting real leadership is apparently too much to ask of the denizens of Washington. We depend too much on our leaders to show us how to be strong, but it seems as though we’re going to have to show them how to be strong, because apparently they can’t do it. These kinds of terror attacks are a cancer that is spreading, and it will get worse. Its causes took decades to develop. It can’t be solved with a campaign slogan or some rant on a talk show. Sponsored by Pride of Home and Luke Team Real Estate and Hydrus Performance