A man who used to work for the Defense Dept just called Randi Rhodes to tell her that the procedure for de-classifying documents can be as simple as having a Senator or Congressman with access to the document stand up on the Floor–and read it. That’s it. She’s checking it out.
A word here. Some people–NPR-types, I suspect–are complaining because AirAmerica doesn’t teach them anything. One reader wrote:
“I must confess I learn little from listening to one-sided messages be they from Republicans or Democrats regardless of how well they are produced. I rarely say ‘ditto’.”
The people who say this are almost always extremely well-informed folks who’ve been tracking the news for years because they care and they’re involved. Unfortunately, they are a serious minority–20% at most, and I’m being extremely optimistic. To them I say:
Relax and enjoy it. This isn’t about you. It’s about the other 80+% of liberals who don’t already know this stuff. Right now Randi’s going through the history of the Bush family with Saddam and Saudi Arabia. You know this stuff. Most of the people who are listening don’t. They know there’s something wrong with Iraq but they haven’t figured it out yet. Go back to NPR–you’re way ahead of the curve.
You’ve got the wrong end of the stick. Remember Will Rogers? “I don’t belong to any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” The idea that liberals (much less progressives, who will argue about how many clones of Chomsky can dance on the head of a pin) are going to turn into “dittoheads” from listening to Air America is laughable. Diversity of opinion isn’t our problem–we’ve got more than we know what to do with. What we lack is a sense of community. Our natural diversity has fragmented us so severely that we tend to operate like terrorists–in little cells largely unconnected to each other.
This presents problems that have been, up to now, almost insurmountable: lack of co-ordination, lack of shared context, a lot of wasted time and lost opportunities from the clashing agendas of single-issue groups. The Publicans have been able to divide and conquer because, basically, we’ve been doing it for them. We made ourselves easily divisible and they just played us off against each other.
The opportunity that AirAmerica represents doesn’t revolve around increasing your knowledge–you’re perfectly capable of doing that for yourself as you’ve proved over and over. This is primarily about bringing everybody else up to speed and creating a dialogue between the cells that helps centralize the message for the great undecided middle. This can only be a good thing.
But don’t give up on learning stuff. This is as good an information-disseminator as the internet. Better. It’s going to make new info available instantaneously to a wide audience. Somebody called Randi a few minutes ago to tell her about the Rush-Holt bill, which I, for one, had never heard of.
Finally, don’t underestimate the cathartic therapy of having a place, finally, to sound off. Maybe you don’t need to do that, but there’s an awful lot of us out here who do. We need to know there’s other people who agree with us, we need to be able to express our anger, and we need to share our pain, as Bill C understood so well.
AirAmerica gives us the chance. Yay!