Mandan News

Tempests in a teapot

As we fret about a closed government, debt ceilings, and such while listening to the politicos rationalize their inability to govern us I can’t help but wonder if we shouldn’t take a look in the mirror for a moment.

Back when I was in the legislature I remember listening to all sorts of political oratory that made me fully appreciate that reasonable minds can differ…and be reasonable about their differences. I also recall thinking that some members differed so much from my views that they couldn’t possibly represent the folks back home in their districts. After spending time in those districts I discovered I was wrong. The folks back home really did think like them. North Dakota is composed of different personalities, social orders, cultures, and such. Life is different in Williston from life in Grand Forks, etc…and each of us views the world from wherever we are.

Not having much else to do lately I’ve been listening to local talk radio. One station encourages folks in five states and two Canadian provinces to express what’s on their mind and at great risk of recrimination sometimes I think they ought to change the title to the ‘I lost my mind show’.

The hosts are old right wing radio heads so I expect to hear them constantly slip off the right cliff as well as attract a right minded audience. Both my loyal readers know that when it comes to politics I try to stay in the radical middle while veering left or right and occasionally having to dig myself out of a ditch.

By now you should be asking why I listen to these guys? Well my experience has ingrained the notion that there are always at least two sides to every story so I pay attention to those with whom I disagree and strive not to be disagreeable with them. But, more importantly, I listen to local talk radio because I live here too and I usually enjoy listening to what my neighbors have to say.

Some of the folks who call into the show scare me, their vehemence and lack of willingness to listen to the other side becomes rather embarrassing, but the show asks the callers to speak up and sometimes too many callers affirm that what this country really needs is more free speech worth listening to..

The hosts on this show make no bones about expressing their disdain for the lefties/liberals, Obamacare, and of course Democrats. On Wednesday’s Congressman Kramer holds a town hall of sorts and even though I disagree with most of Kevin’s votes I enjoy listening to what he has to say. The hosts and audience form an interesting mutual admiration show and I wish our two senators would find a way to hold a weekly town hall as well.

However, to say the least, way too much of the media on this radio station only allows for the right side of things. Three hours of Rush Limbaugh preceded by 2 hours of his clones makes me long for some balance on our airwaves.

It seems to me that the owners of these airwaves really aren’t interested in presenting the other sides to their stories and when that happens you and I not only get short changed we allow the talking heads to convince us that their side is the only side…and that ain’t so. Here’s hoping that I’m not the only one out here wondering about such things…

By Dan Ulmer