Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623

A friend asked me the other day if I was trying to alienate my audience. The reason for the question? I refused to take sides during election 2016 and will not do the bidding of politicians, in Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623.

On The Road

Last year The Bob Davis Podcasts went on the road to cover the primary campaigns. I traveled thousands of miles back and forth across the United States. When you roll on the backroads you see a lot and you learn a lot. Once you do that, you never view politics in the same way.

Manipulation

We’re being manipulated. Constantly. Republican and Democrat. Did a podcast about that. Detailed how we get our news from social media. Explained how to tell if a story lives up to journalistic standards. Asserted the idea that bad information leads to bad decisions. Apparently asserting ideas like this can put people on the defensive.

If You Want To Know The Truth

To know the truth, don’t take a side. It seems like everyone in media these days is taking a side. Defending a position. Making an argument. Demanding they be followed. Most information defends a point of view. This is the essence of our national manipulation. People say, “I don’t have time to sort it all out”. That is why I am doing these podcasts.

Shooting The Messenger

There are many assertions in modern news coverage these days. Most of these assertions are little more than opinion. This doesn’t mean the facts might one day support one view or another. Sadly the first reaction is defensive when facts don’t support conspiracy theory, commentary, personality endorsements, wishful thinking or the need to feel secure about a decision.

My Style of Communication

I am passionate. Direct. Intense. When I direct that passion and intensity toward something important to a specific listener it can be disconcerting. The value is it is researched, honest and authentic. Not filled with small talk and an effort to ingratiate myself with people so I can finesse a politicians message. This style of communication has certainly caused me trouble, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

History and Peeking Ahead

In Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623, I take a look at talk radio and media history, and discuss aging and changing perceptions, personal growth. Also take a look ahead to plans for covering the next election cycles. Hopefully I’ll continue to ruffle some feathers and get some discussion and thinking going.

Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623

Sponsored by Brush Studio

 

 

 

The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619

Different Mysteries Left and Right

Susan Rice is the leaker. A political Flack. Running an operation to discredit the new president before he took office. Rice is at least guilty of a felony. At least that’s the story the right wing commentators are telling. In The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619.

On the left it’s a different story. National security became a top concern after someone hacked the DNC computers. The Russians did it. The Russians did it because Trump did some kind of back room deal.

Opinion Is Not News

In America’s increasingly partisan media most people only want their beliefs confirmed. There’s no chance a political point of view different from my own can be right. Is there? A sea of information. Where opinion masquerades as fact and personalities beat the drums. We’re supposed to dance to their rhythm.

We Know Nothing…yet

Real Facts? In The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619 we’ll see there are few facts. Russians hacking the DNC? Not so fast. Trump making deals behind the scenes with Putin? Obama ordering illegal surveillance of a president elect? Maybe. Maybe not.

Tin Foil Hats Anyone?

Evidence supporting claims of the right and left in this case is thin. All of it has the classic elements of conspiracy theory. So we’ll take a moment in The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619 to detail the known facts. You can draw your own conclusions. Mystery lovers beware though. We’re along way from wrapping this one up in the final chapter.

Basic Framework

Is Susan Rice a political operative? What is the legal framework regarding National Security Agency intercepts. Why did the Trump administration leak NSA documents to a congressmen? What provoked the president to tweet he was ‘wiretapped’ in the first place? Is there a difference between a wiretap and an NSA intercept? Who gets to see intercepts? What are the significant legal justifications for executive orders in 2011 and 2017 allowing sharing in the first place. Lots of questions.

Where There’s Smoke

One thing is true. The dust kicked up by the Susan Rice story obscures real developments. North Korean Missiles. Syrian chemical weapons. Congressional action on the ACA, Tax Reform and Immigration. We’ll talk about it in The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619.

Sponsored by Brush Studio and X Government Cars.

Podcast 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me

Can We Have The Room?

Time to clear the air. It’s getting harder to talk politics every day. On the heels of a presidential address to a joint session of congress things seemed to calm down. Then President Trump tweeted from his rooms at Mar A Lago. Trump alleges President Obama spied on him at Trump Tower. Suddenly it’s the end of the world. We’ll talk about it in Podcast 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me

During the election Republicans told everyone they would repeal Obama Care. Now suddenly ‘conservatives’ like Charles Krauthammer are telling people attempts by some republicans to repeal an entitlement are bad because “you can’t repeal an entitlement“. Isn’t that why people voted for republicans? In Podcast 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me.

Parallel Universe

We live side by side. Speak the same language. Shop the same stores. However, we live in different countries. Use completely different information sources. Believe completely different histories. Listen. Read. Watch only things we agree with. Tumult. Confusion. Frustration. We’re told what will happen not given news. News is a recitation of facts about things which have happened. Not a recitation of predictions about what’s going to happen.

Proof In The Pudding

People getting their jobs back at the factory? Economic growth at 4 percent? Respect for the United States across the world? Draining the Swamp? Making America Great. Again? Time will tell. In Podcast 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me.

Digging In

Wanna talk politics? Dig in. Help your audience dig in. Pick your poison. Dictator. Fascist. Racist. Or, Great Man. Elected by a landslide. Keeper of a mandate. A revolution. That’s not politics. Not discussion of policy with an open mind. This is riding on a train. North. South. East. West. Pick a track.

Cowards

I don’t like any of them. They’re all cowards. Doesn’t matter if there’s an R or a D in front of their name. Say one thing. Do another. Demand the media defend them. Demand the people defend them. Pass more laws impossible to understand or debate. Engage in one intrigue after another. Another investigation. Trial. Debate. Protest. Outrage. Rinse and repeat. In Podcast 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me.

Advancing The Story

Hard out here for a Podcaster. Best thing. One on one talks. Challenge. Try to make sense out of it all. Grow our thinking. Enjoyed our one on one. Ok you guys. You can have the room back.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Podcast 593-Surreal Weekend

Surreal Weekend

The Inaugural Ceremony in the United States is supposed to symbolize the peaceful transfer of political power. Podcast 593-Surreal Weekend reviews my reactions to the weekend of January 20th, 2016 from the Inauguration speech of the new President Trump, to the protests on Sunday and a bizarre first-time appearance of the President’s new press secretary. Yes. It was a surreal weekend.

After the new President’s speech, the arguments started almost immediately over how many people watched and attended. Sunday’s protests can only be described as the ‘anti-inaugural’. From talking vagina signs to the thugs smashing windows in Washington to Madonna fantasizing about ‘blowing up the White House‘, this was a was a Surreal Weekend.

FaceBook and Twitter were ghettos of dueling memes and videos posted by furious adherents to one side or another. An old woman berated a fellow passenger on a plane for being a Trump supporter, ending with her being escorted off the plane by police to the cheers of passengers.

If you did not support either mainline candidate you’re in a difficult position. The media believes its job is to react to whatever stimuli is thrown out by Trump’s team. When so called journalists aren’t taking the bait on Trump’s line they’re busy predicting the future. We’re swimming in a sea of partisanship. Pundits discuss the ‘significance’ of protests in urban centers that would have supported any candidate put up by democrats in 2016. News anchors debate something called ‘alternative facts’.

Did you think the tactic of distracting the media with one stunt after another would be over after the election? Think again. Apparently the media will take the bait every time. Hook, line and sinker. Pundits and talking heads will ‘explain’ whatever stunt was employed or argue the reaction to the stunt. ‘Guests’ will appear on every show arguing the merits of the silly outcome of the latest stunt. Popular songs will be written. Memes will be distributed on social media. Videos will be made. People will scream and yell at each other.

What if you support no one. If you don’t believe any of then are going to remove the boot heel on our necks, then what? Substance? Really? Compare the substance and specificity as well as philosophy of the first Reagan inaugural to the vacuum of Trump’s. Examine the difference between the language and intent of the so called protests this weekend to the language of Martin Luther King’s rally in Washington. America’s discourse today is a sad echo of the past. Yes. It was a surreal weekend.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

We don’t think anymore we attack. Attack the messenger. Or attack the source. Attacking the person is always good too. The method is attack and attack and then move on to the next target. This week’s talking head video says what needs to be said. Tomorrow it’s another meme or video. Ignorant of the facts? Unable to put a sentence together? No problem. Just post this meme or video and boom! It’s bad and its going to get worse.

We should certainly give the new president and his team the benefit of the doubt but I do not intend to defend him. He is capable of defending himself. When the new administration does something I think is right, I’ll say so. However, I do think people who supported President Trump all through the campaign have a responsibility to defend him. Trump supporters will have to develop the arguments to defend him and they’ll have to organize against what is already formidable opposition. If you’re a Trump supporter and you’re not our organizing your neighborhoods, good luck in the next election cycles.

I get this feeling there is something evil out there. Something Wicked This Way Comes. Maybe it’s the result of a surreal weekend, but something doesn’t feel right. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m not talking about the man in the oval office. I’m not talking about the left’s protests. It is a feeling that I can’t shake.

We’ll see.

(Editor’s Note: Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton collapsed during the State of the State message at the Minnesota State Capitol Monday, adding to the surreal quality of the current time frame. While I find little to agree with the Governor on politically, I have interviewed him and he is a gracious and nice man. The latest reports in the current time frame are that the Governor is doing well.)

Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End.

 

 

Podcast 342

Fighting City Hall. They say you can’t fight city hall and win, but residents of Invergrove Heights, Minnesota recently proved getting involved in your community has a big pay off. Unelected planning councils, county planning commissions, and other layers of local, regional and state government can sometimes be daunting. There are a lot of complaints about the heavy hand of government, and you often hear the words, “I would get involved but it never does any good anyway”. A group of residents in “InverGrove” as it is called, found out they were going to lose their homes through Eminent Domain Condemnation when they learned the county planned to build a 6 lane highway right on top of their homes. Homeowners gathered, organized, learned the details, suggesting solutions. Moreover, they learned to work together. Sometimes partisanship can be a great thing, but sometimes the ‘my way or the highway’ approach literally means, the highway. Learn how these people worked the system to a ‘win-win’, and how compromise isn’t always a dirty word. The question is whether this kind of approach can be applied to bigger problems in bigger cities; Invergrove Heights is a suburban city of about thirty two thousand people. The moral of the story? Faceless councils and bureaucrats make decisions for communities that are often simply guidelines, and they’re adopted because no one says anything. You can alter these plans if you get involved. Hear how they did it, in their own words. By the way, yes we can cover local stories from the road, this time in Amarillo, Texas! Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul