Sunday, January 15, 2012

...And that's the rest of the story


This reflects the way most people feel about the following subject.  
Please consider yourself  fully disclosed.




A girl can only listen to so many Taylor Swift remixes and perverted DJ's on the radio.  So I made the switch to the one station that in the click of a button not only aged me 15 years but surfaced yet one more of my father's genes.  Talk radio.

What intrigues me the most is the chance to hear someone's point of view that given my everyday life as a busy mother of 4, would never happen otherwise.

Take this issue for instance:  whether people infected with HIV should be required to notify their partners of their diagnosis.  I used to think the issue was a no-brainer-- hardly worth arguing.  Of course someone should notify their partners of the chance that they might become infected with a life-threatening virus.  The right to privacy is not superseded by the right to live.   End of story.  But after listening to a compelling 15 minute segment with bullet-proof reasoning as to why it could create more potentially lethal problems than it would ward off, I now stand where I used to think only half-brained fanatics stood.  

Hmmmm...interesting.  That got me wondering what else I may have bought into when I hadn't bothered listening to the other side of the story.

As expected, much of talk radio focuses on the unfolding political scene.  I feel sometimes that I'm seen as a blasphemer of all things conservative by voicing my political views, many of which are supportive of Obama.  I'm a far cry from being any sort of political expert. I’m more of a wannabe enthusiast.  But with so many of the media sources muddled in outrageous biases, it's a little hard to tell the difference between what Obama passed through and what came out as a legislative belch from the belly of a hissy-fit-throwing Congress. 

Immediately after he was elected I saw a large movement on Facebook claiming that the apocalypse had just gone underway.  We had just elected the anti-Christ.  As the good, conservative, Christian girl I thought I should be, I had believed a few of the grossly embellished tall tales and emails about the havoc that this non-American, terrorist-advocating heathen would wreak upon American soil.  Stories about him advocating live-birth abortions, funding terrorist movements, raising gun taxes to outlandish proportions, ending the war in Iraq 30 days after coming into office, vowing to squelch any allegiance to God or the American flag were just a few of the swarming rumors.  


After foolishly believing one of the hair-brained emails, which I'm ashamed to admit led me to vote for a nominee I didn't even like, I swore that never again would I buy into the garbage that so often circulates among fanatics and believers of all things WWW.  I felt insulted and a little betrayed that someone would think I was daft enough to buy into that kind of nonsense, which apparently I was.  So in a partly "Oh-no-you-didn't" (*insert head bob with hand on hip*) retaliation to those emails, I decided I'd listen to what he had to say with different ears.  And by golly, who woulda thunk...it wasn't all that bad.

Bill Maher summed up my feelings when he said, "I want to just take a moment to thank the Teabaggers.  Thank you so much for helping us pass health care, for resurrecting the Obama presidency.  I know they're saying, 'Why are you thanking me?  I was so against it, I marched on Washington with tea bags hanging off my Founding Fathers costume, with a gun on my hip and a picture of Obama dressed as Hitler, screaming about his birth certificate.'  And America saw that and said, 'I think I'll go with the calm black man.'"


As much as I enjoy learning about politics, my opinions are fairly superficial, gleaned from reading news websites and listening to NPR. While I advocate many Republican values, the little bit of hippie in me gravitates towards many of the Democratic platforms as well.  It's interesting to me to listen to those who covenant to only support those with the (R) (or (D) for that matter) next to their name and then blast Obama because of what he stands for in terms of ethics.  Does that mean if Gingrich became the Republican nominee- who is a reported adulterer, who stands a fortune in debt, and who lacks the support of his former Republican constituents- that he would be the more ethically sound alternative to a man who has been married to his wife longer than most politicians and who grows a garden on the White House grounds?  (That's a "He** no!" from this Republican Hippie.) 


Paul Harvey used to sum up each of his segments with "...and that's the rest of the story."  But I don't think anyone has the rest of the story when it comes to this.  Each story is too tainted by biased reports and cultural dogmas.   While we may never know the rest of the story, it would serve us all well to at least listen to the other side of the story.

2 comments:

Percy said...

I'm impressed, you're pretty feisty :).
Really though, I like several of your ideas, like listening to both sides of a story, in this case Republican and Democrat. Or healthcare and privacy. I think its interesting that many of our party-leaning "news" programs mostly tout their own side, with only tiny excerpts of the other side, if any. They become more like entertainment in their exaggerations, yelling, and emotional claims. But some people confuse these judgments as data.

Another great idea in here is critical thinking. Thinking through issues, not just taking what a local dominant group states is "the way."

And finally the sentiment of courage, which it takes to announce a view that some of your readers will disagree with politically, or even morally. (gasp)

Thinking about an LDS experience, it is rumored that James E. Faust (1920-2007) was a Democrat. It is well-known that Ezra Taft Benson (1899 - 1994) was an ardent and out-spoken Republican. If this is the case, it must have been an exercise in civility and courage for James E. Faust to exist and think politically independently while living and serving at the same time as his more vocal cleric.

That's my two cents :)

Cher said...

this was my favorite part: "Does that mean if Gingrich became the Republican nominee- who is a reported adulterer, who stands a fortune in debt, and who lacks the support of his former Republican constituents- that he would be the more ethically sound alternative to a man who has been married to his wife longer than most politicians and who grows a garden on the White House grounds?"
totally agree with you there.
i never believed any emails about obama, or any political people. any one can make up stuff and create fake references to make a point. :)