Will 1968 Unrest Shockwaves Echo In 2018-Podcast 670

Every now and then it’s necessary to break it down. Why does a long time political observer and analyst find it more difficult to talk about politics these days? In Will 1968 Unrest Shockwaves Echo In 2018-Podcast 670.

Rhetorical Partisans

Some say the US hasn’t been this politically divided since 1968. At least in 1968 we were fighting about specific issues. It seems to me we’re fighting over a person in the present time frame.

Demanding Loyalty

Attack Trump. Defend Trump. At any cost. Ideas and principles aren’t important. Commentators are running for office, under the employ of some partisan organization, or supporting a person or point of view. Will 1968 Unrest Shockwaves Echo In 2018-Podcast 670.

Garbage In Garbage Out

Social media, the Internet and so called news sites spew a constant stream of invective, misinformation and outright lies. They are so busy predicting the future they put Tarot Card Readers and Astrologists to shame.

Read It and Weep

Denying our freedom to choose what we think about an issue based on facts, in the quest to demand loyalty is the height of folly. In Will 1968 Unrest Shockwaves Echo In 2018-Podcast 670. We end up shouting at each other; partisan mobs, not an informed electorate.

Sponsored by Reliafund and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Will 1968 Unrest Shockwaves Echo In 2018-Podcast 670

 

Back To School 2017-Culling The Social Media Herd-Podcast 659

State Fair Time in Minnesota. A change in the weather. Time for Back to School. Back in the studio after summer traveling. An afternoon with FaceBook convinces me it’s time to start culling the social media herd. In Back To School 2017-Culling The Social Media Herd-Podcast 659.

Back In The Studio

These days all of my travel is on America’s back roads. Summer 2017 saw thousands of miles of travel for The Bob Davis Podcasts. All of it on two lane state and US highways. You see a different United States from the two lane highways. Whether it was Joliet, Illinois or Rapid City, South Dakota or traveling through rural Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, West Virginia or mining towns in Ohio. I did not see Americans consumed with politics.

Backroads Education

When you travel the backroads you see people doing what they do every day. Getting up and going to work. Running their businesses. Taking kids to baseball, football soccer and hockey games.  This is not a country of feral political beasts. It is not a country of angry supporters of either political fringe. Looks pretty much the same as it did when my family toured the country by the same highways, back when I was a kid.

Social Media Cesspool

On social media though, it is a different world. In Back To School 2017-Culling The Social Media Herd-Podcast 659 it’s time to cull the social media herd. Unfollowing those dear friends who post links to articles and demand your support or comment on the latest political and usually nonsensical missive from someone who exhorts you to think and act a certain way.

Where’s The Vision?

Back to School also means reengaging in a political process gone mad. Vision? Concrete plans for the future? Political organization? Those are relics of the past. What’s left are screaming matches, memes, reposts and going ‘live’ on FaceBook to grind your political axe. How does a podcaster add to this cacophony of ignorance and advance the story at the same time? In Back To School 2017-Culling The Social Media Herd-Podcast 659.

No Good Citizens

Neither mainline political party serves the interests of its adherents anymore. Part of the reason is demographic. Much of the reason is people seem to think negatively commenting on a congressman’s FB Live post or protesting is the same as involvement. There are no political movements to convince legislators to take a course of action because no one wants to do that work anymore. Maybe the reason people have turned away from politics are the loud mouths and those who fill their social media feeds with partisan posts, and demand reaction.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Back To School 2017-Culling The Social Media Herd-Podcast 659

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 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