I was never a huge fan of politics for the simple reason that along with religion, it is one of those topics that just gets people fired up and hostile. Nevertheless, when the offer came up for me to take part in a new political talk radio show at my university, it was hard to say no. Not everyday are we given the opportunity to share our thoughts and opinions to a large audience, live on the air.
The student-run station at school had been around for many years, but this would be the first time a political talk show would take center stage. That was uncharted territory for the station, which focused more on entertaining students with music and sports broadcasts. We wanted to be different; we wanted to challenge students to think about things that mattered more than who won the world series (yes, there are actually more important things than that). Our aim was to take a subject that was often reserved for non-students, the social elites and nerds and somehow make it fun.
Believe it or not but talking about the economy can be both interesting and enlightening. Moreover, such a debate will make you think twice about where you spend your money and how every financial decision you make somehow ties into the bigger picture of this little thing we call capitalism. Have we succeeded? Well, although we have generated quite a bit of buss on campus and off, we still have much more work ahead of us if we plan on reaching out to listeners who never took a serious interest in political debate.
The four of us on the show have certainly learned a lot since our debut in September of last year. I am no longer reluctant to opine on newsworthy topics at dinner or anywhere else they may pop up. Even if my view may be way out of line with those around me, I’ve learned that in the proper context and with a supple amount of respect, any topic can be discussed and both parties can benefit from it regardless of who “wins” or “loses.” Those terms shouldn’t even exist among debates such as these, because the purpose of the discussion is not to determine which side prevails but to explore an issue in the fullest capacity possible so that good ideas float to the surface.
In our current times, we need to continue to probe for fresh solutions to the issues of the day and just as creative thinking lead to the amazing innovations of the past, the same type of intellectual exploration can and will be the catalyst that will help us not only return to economic and political stability but to continually improve upon those concepts. Seriously, can you think of a better approach to our problems?
In the end, what makes talk radio so great is that both sides benefit from great debate. My fellow panelists and I can further our debate skills and our grasp of certain issues, and our listeners can hopefully do the same as they not only hear what we have to say but offer their feedback as well. While in decades past radio may have been a one-way street, today with social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook along with the telephone, we can interact with our listeners like never before. Did you miss a live show? That’s not a problem in the information age. Simply listen to an archived episode online and share it with a friend. Imagine if that would have been possible 50 years ago and better yet, imagine what will be possible 50 years from now!
So no matter what your view on politics is or where you stand on the spectrum of the left, right and center, be sure to do something good for yourself and join the debate on the issues that affect your everyday life. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.