A couple of days ago, a friend asked me my thoughts on the upcoming presidential election.
I have to admit, I responded with that using a question to answer a question, trying to get a feel for if we could have a healthy disagreement or if I said that I liked one candidate or another if I was going to get a long diatribe on why he or she was wrong and this disagreement would lead to us no longer being able to be passing acquaintancs, much less friends.
It seems these days that the world has become so polarized we can't even engage in a lively debate about the candidates or the big issues or even the differences between the various political parties.
At least that's how it seems sometimes.
Especially when you see a story like this one
Residents of Broward County, Florida, may not get up-to-date information on hurricanes anymore, if Democrats on the County Commission have their way. In 2006, after recent hurricane devastation in 2004 and 2005, the County Commission made it a priority to have all hurricane information broadcast over the radio to the most listeners possible. At the time, and to this day, that radio station is WIOD, AM 610. On Tuesday, it came out that local Democrats don't want to renew the deal the county has with the station, because the station broadcasts Rush Limbaugh's talk show.
Stacy Ritter, formerly a Democratic member of the state Legislature, said she didn't want to support a radio station she says is out of step with local politics by giving it the contract to air hurricane information. "They have every right to speak," she said in an interview with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "But we don't have to do business with them."
Echoing Ritter's political concerns is another Commissioner, Ken Keechl. Keechl, formerly president of the Miami Dolphins gay Democratic club, served - along with Suzanne Gunzburger - on the board that tallied votes in the recounted 2000 presidential election.
After hearing about the move to have the radio station's emergency broadcast contract rejected, Limbaugh spoke out about the apparent partisanship that could lead to fewer people getting necessary emergency information. "They are politicizing the delivery of emergency news, which is non-partisan," he said on the air. "They are making weather a partisan issue."
Now, I can fully understand that if you're on one side of the aisle or another and you disagree with what Limbaugh says, you have the right not to do business with the station that airs his show. You're not required to sponsor his show or even listen to it.
That said, I am stunned at the whole--well, that station air Rush Limbaugh, so in response we won't use it as a emergency broadcast information station.
Is this basically a couple of zealot on one side of the aisle saying to people who listen to Rush--well, if the hurricane cames, you're not worth saving? Seems to me that is kind of the message being given here.
That said, I can't see why we can't all agree to disagree. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned or crazy...or both.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 6/15/2007 05:27:00 PM