This year the holiday season began earlier than ever, Hallow’een, to New Year’s Day, a nonstop commercial debauch followed by a few days of inane babble about New Year’s Resolutions. I usually tune that out too, but was suddenly struck with a necessary resolution: I resolve to listen to talking heads I do not agree with.
Like most people I know, I listen only to talk shows I agree with. This is insular and weak-kneed. How can I be critical of others who do that, differing only on who we agree with? In addition, I treasure readers who disagree with me.
I’ve always assumed differences in style: on the Left, mockery, travesty, satire, on the Right: condemnation, fear-mongering, and rage. But a quick look at Lou Dobbs Tonight reveals that to be wrong, or anyway, incomplete. Dobbs is relaxed and avuncular while calling illegal immigration from Mexico a “security crisis,” and Obama’s recent proposal to consolidate five government bureaus for small business, “a grab for power.” It’s fear-mongering, yes, but warm and fuzzy, sort of. Mr. Dobbs bears watching.
I expect to be annoyed, offended, even outraged, but my cognate resolution is to correctly state their arguments and refute them reasonably and rationally. If I lose my cool or collapse into idiocy, I beg readers to let me know.