Listen now (48 mins) | ...what the hell IS happening to Iowa?
Regarding the power of right wing radio, I suspect part of it is that we, as people, are conditioned to verbally receive wisdom from an authority. Before we learn to read, virtually all our learning is verbal, and continues, even after we learn to read, as school includes lectures and demonstrations as well as readings. Given that a significant portion of the right-wing is religious, at least claims to attend services, and has probably not actually read the foundational document of their faith, it's not a surprise that they respond even more positively to a voice of authority, especially when, whether from the pulpit or the radio speaker, it gives them a boogeyman to blame their negative experiences on, be it a devil, an immigrant, or a liberal. At the end of the day, hearing someone tell you why everything wrong in your life is someone else's fault is easier than self-examination.
I really enjoy listening to your POD-casts, and thank you for allowing me to take part! Living back home in Monticello, Iowa after years of being away from here really wasn't culture shock, people here simply mind their own business and politics that effects that "business" seems to always have been when it gets bad enough, then we react, but not until. All of which is determined by unqualified opinion and gossip, that usually gets started by some nameless dolt who probably has no idea what they are talking about! The local paper tends to be very Republican and takes no positions beyond those that affect their business, period. They hire "editors" who think of themselves as important but in reality they are people most easily inpressed with titles and are getting paid squat to be reporter and not very good at that. Everything that made the local newspaper that the Monticello Express once was has been reduced to a no opinion add sheet, that covers local sports like it was the only thing important. I tell people that in 100 years people looking for information about their relatives will be lucky to find anything about what happened to them unless they are interested in their bowling scores, golf game or if they played varsity football/basketball etc. Worthless to the geneaologist beyond the obits! So, I have turned my attention to the letter to the editor column to stir things up a bit! We have only been in town about seven years and I do give it a rest on ocassion but I kick in the shins of the city council because someone needs to be accountable for what they do or don't do. The worst thing that ever happened in this city is we have a city manager and that takes the blame away from the council if something doesn't get done, as a result the manager takes it upon himself to "cover his ass" and finds more ways to remove him from responsibility and gets the council's approval! Worse when the last manager quit, he schooled the next one and had the largest input in who would be selected for the job! Neither live in the city! I made the suggestion to the mayor that the city could better keep track of what they are doing if they used standard proceedure like Roberts Rules of Order and worked with an agenda that starts with unfinished old business first and go to new business next. His comment was the meetings would be twice as long as they already are if they adapted that! Is it any wonder that the city code is unmanagable or that you are in violation for something as stupid as you can only have up to three cats in a household! We moved in with four and we aren't getting rid of any of them just to satisfy the code! The pitfalls of small town living!
Many people don't know me, but often when I get introduced, the first thing they say is, "Oh, your the guy that writes the letters to the editor!" That in itself suggests people are reading my stuff. I've had people tell me in the grocery store that they look forward to my letters and that they often agree with me (not a pre-requisite, but appreciated!). I like to think I'm giving them something to think about that might get them off their butts and at least making some attempt to show up at the ballot box! Not a perfect answer, but wanted you to know I'm doing my part! Steve Hanken