Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – We always think of things in terms of politics. Everything is political, especially when you are doing talk radio. You’re supposed to be all political all the time. There’s no room for the philosophical. There’s no room for the intellectual. By the by, the intellectual is separable from the political. The two are not joined at the hip. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: We always think of things in terms of politics. Everything is political, especially when you are doing talk radio. You’re supposed to be all political all the time. There’s no room for the philosophical. There’s no room for the intellectual. By the by, the intellectual is separable from the political. The two are not joined at the hip. This post here is tremendous. This is from the Washington Free Beacon. Are you familiar with this publication?
AG: Not really, no. I’ve heard of it but haven’t read it.
Mike: So you’ve heard of it. The Washington Free Beacon has this editorial called “A Political Life vs. a Politicized Life.” I read it last night while I was doing prep yesterday. By the way, I was so sore. If I had attempted to come in here yesterday, it would have been an epic failure. It was a smart move to choose to ask for the day off and not even attempt to make it in here and do this show, because I would have been totally inept. I didn’t do anything yesterday. This piece was written by Sonny Bunch. The title is “A Political Life vs. a Politicized Life.” I don’t think there is enough discussion about this particular topic out there.
I have brought it up here in the past because Russell Kirk, the father of the modern conservative movement, has brought it up in the past and written about it. I’ve read Kirk to you here on the air and we’ve talked about the need for people that are active in their communities, like in the communities at an event like Hogs for the Cause, just as an example, than the foundation and charity that is attached to it. That’s people in a community getting together to not rely on the government to provide aid and assistance to their fellow man. That’s chivalrous. That is not a political activity. As a matter of fact, I think we were devoid — it was actually refreshing. I didn’t have to talk politics to anyone for three solid days. I just got to talk about ribs and hogs. Of course, people watching is a sport in and of itself. Do you people watch when you go to a basketball tournament? Is there people watching going on? Are you looking at weirdos that have Elvis get-ups that are rooting for certain teams?
Mike: No. They give the awards out at 7:30. They’re an hour and ten minutes delayed in giving the awards out. They’re supposed to announce top ten from the stage. They say because it took so long to tabulate, they’re only going to give top three. This made a lot of people disgruntled. People were not happy. I’ll be candid about it. I’m going to write a letter to the guys who put on the festival and say: If you guys run long in your tabulation, it is unfair to have promised people an announcement of top ten from the stage and then bail on it because you’re running long. You can tell Robert Anderson that he and his crew can take a seat. They can hang out and you’ll go through the top ten quickly. It’s only going to take an extra two minutes. Nobody can come on the stage, we’re not going to give you your prize, just stay where you’re at and we’ll give you the top ten in all your categories. By the time that was finished and he was getting ready to come on — you don’t know if you’re top ten. They only announced the top three. We were mildly, I don’t want to say disgruntled, but a little disappointed. We made our way back to where our enclave was and there were copious amounts of beer and bourbon. I could hear him off in the distance, but no, I didn’t actually see him up close and personal. I was as far away from the stage as you can possibly get. The fact that I didn’t have to talk politics for three days was refreshing. When I read about this, “A Political Life vs. a Politicized Life” by Sonny Bunch at the Washington Free Beacon, I’m encouraged by this.
There’s nothing wrong with living a political life. That is, a life in which politics is one of your interests or your job, something you follow and keep track of and educate yourself on and argue about. The arena of politics is important; political decisions have consequences; and passionately arguing for your preferred political outcomes is nothing to be ashamed of.
A politicized life is a different beast, however. [Mike: I’m going to tell you, folks, because I have been called every name in the proverbial book by some of you. I have been excoriated. I’ve had my children mocked, my wife, my business, you name it, by some of you who lead politicized lives. You don’t lead political lives, you lead politicized lives.]
A politicized life is a different beast, however. It treats politics as a zero sum game or a form of total warfare in which the other side must be obliterated. It alters every aspect of your being: where you shop; what you watch on TV; what sort of music you listen to; who you associate with. If you’re not with the politicized being, you’re against him—and if you’re against him, he is well within his rights to ruin you personally and economically. You, the political other, are a leper to be shunned, lest your thoughtcrimes infect the rest of society.
As I wrote, I find this to be more than a little disturbing. I don’t worry too much about growing partisan gridlock, but I do worry somewhat about an America in which each half the country hates the other so viscerally that they won’t even interact. That’s a truly dangerous state of affairs. One I seem to recall happening before…
That’s why I get so disturbed when I read the Kevin Blackwells of the world. Or the Eric Donderos of the world. For those who forgot this little gem, Dondero was so disheartened by Barack Obama’s reelection that he pledged to “banish” all Democrats from his life:
“Eric Dondero refuses to speak to his brother. Not on Thanksgiving. Not over the holiday season. Not now, not ever. The reason? Mr. Dondero’s brother, Alex, is a Democrat. As such, Mr. Dondero assumes he voted for President Obama. ‘Everybody I know that voted for Obama is dead to me,’ Mr. Dondero said. ‘I don’t want to talk to them again. I don’t want to see them again. I won’t even attend their funeral. The nation committed suicide on November 6.’”
Now look: You have the right to be a jerk at Thanksgiving and you have a right to throw your heroes overboard because they believe in a flat tax and you have a right to institute a blacklist because they disagree with you on gay marriage. Nobody’s denying that you have the right to do any of these things.
All I’m suggesting is that, by doing these things, you are a sad, terrible person setting himself up for an empty life and destroying the very fabric of our society.
Mike: Do we know people — how many of you people out there driving around right now know someone that is leading a politicized life? I know some. As a matter of fact, I know lots of them. This means that everything you do: Why are you listening to him? I hear he voted for Obama. Why are you watching that movie? I hear that creep voted for Obama. I hear that creep is a supporter and promoter of socialized medicine. If that person does that, why should I? I suppose if you think that some of these things are truly evil and are sins against man or sins against God, then your enmity may well be earned. For the most part, the amateur person who just happens to have been your childhood friend or next-door neighbor or the guy that lives around the corner that happens to disagree with us on some issue, regardless of whatever it is, is that person really the equivalent of a 1970s member of the Soviet Red Army High Command? Really? Seriously?
If you really believe in the power of your ideas and ideals, isn’t it your job to combat this? Isn’t it your job to wage intellectual battle, not political battle against them? Should you fail or should they be unconvinced of your point of view, instead of arguing over it and losing what you may be able to learn from that person for the rest of your existence in knowing them, you’re going to just walk away, turn your back, and become a stone wall to them? This is what Claes Ryn writes about in his book The New Jacobinism. This is what Jacobins did. That resulted in what? The great terrors of the 1790s, 14,000 people having their heads cut off in the French Revolution, a bloody, horrific epic in world history. I could give you other examples. I think it is a distinction worthy of learning, the difference between a political life and a politicized life.
End Mike Church Show Transcript