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I'm a fairly positive person.  And I'm married to one of the most optimistic people I've ever met.  But lately I've been feeling down.  Over the past two years, we've gone from hope, to hate, to hopelessness.
 
Right wing radio...or, as I unaffectionately call it, Militia Radio, rules the land.  Most people I know either don't follow politics at all, or are talk radio and Fake News fans.  They spew out all the talking points with such venom, it's scary.  

Hope....where is it?  Every freakin day I go looking for it but I can't find it anywhere. Hate, racism and negativity are everywhere.

These are troubling times.  People are wondering...Will I ever work again?  Will they take away my social security?  Will my kids even get social security?  Will my savings be stolen by Wall Street?  Will my wages ever go up?  Will my children ever have the lifestyle I once had?  Will they ever get to use their college degree?  War, when is it going to be over?  The oil spill, sigh.  Climate change?

We're weary.  And scared.  And confused by the barrage of  opinions on the "news".  We're looking for leadership. I'm a history buff. I know we've been though worse and we'll come out of this.  But still, I go to bed many nights feeling anxious.  And I also know that times like this can lead to horribly cruel human actions.

Tonight I got an email from a friend.  This friend and I, although no longer as close as we used to be,  were emailing back and forth about Sarah before the election.  She voted for Hillary, then Obama.  But today she sent me a disturbing email about the mosque being built in New York. Gist of it being that all muslims have hate in their hearts and just want to kill us.  My cousin, who hated Bush and voted for Obama, now listens to Alex Jones, doesn't even believe there was a financial collapse (it's a government plot!) and hates Obama.  My brother-in-law, lifelong liberal, sent a racist anti-immigrant e-mail.  Yeah, my brother-in-law, uncle to my child, adopted at 10 months old from Korea.  And on and on.

Two years ago, my husband and I visited the Churchhill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms (CWR) in London.  While London was being bombed, Churchill directed the war from the British government's secret underground shelter.  He delivered four of his wartime speeches from the CWR including his September 11, 1940 speech warning of Hitler's plans to wage war against the UK.  Listening to the speeches piped in overhead, brought back memories of history lessons and a yearning for something similar from our leaders.  My husband had tears in his eyes.
 
We have an enemy within.  Rush Limbaugh and Fake News and all the other racist media buffoons (although buffoon is too kind a word!).  Churchill said "There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies, and that is fighting without them".  We are trying to fix this mess with no help at all from the irresponsible, unpatriotic republican party that created it.

He also said  "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile hoping it will eat him last."
 
and "Evils can be created much quicker than they can be cured."

Years later, John F. Kennedy said Churchill "mobilized the English language and sent it into battle". Meanwhile, on our side of the Atlantic, Roosevelt gave war-weary Americans Fireside Chats.

From the Museum of Broadcast Communications,

http://www.museum.tv/...

In order to attract a peak national audience, the Chats were broadcast on all national networks around 10:00 p.m. Eastern time -- early enough that Easterners were still awake but late enough that even people on the West Coast would be home from work.

The Chats were relatively brief, ranging in length from fifteen to forty-five minutes. In addition, FDR and his speechwriters always used basic language when preparing the Fireside Chats. Eighty percent of the words FDR chose were among the 1000 most commonly used words in the English vocabulary.

He also relied on stories, anecdotes, and analogies to explain the complex issues facing the country. For example, he used a baseball analogy to describe the first two months of the New Deal: "I have no expectations of making a hit every time I come to bat. What I seek is the highest possible batting average, not only for myself, but for the team."

That was then, this is now.  Now we have a Saturday radio address. And, I have a confession to make:  I've never watched or heard a Saturday radio address.  I'm a political and news junkie, but on Saturday morning I'm at the gym, doing yoga.  As I pass the teevees going up the stairs, I see the  president sitting in a chair talking.  Then I go into yoga for an hour, then I run some errands, then I go home and straighten up the house.   Then it's five o'clock and the last thing I want to do on a Saturday night is listen to the president...any president...talk.  Enough already!  And I'm sure many people feel the same...housework, yardwork, kid's soccer and baseball, etc.

So, to be fair, I went to WhiteHouse.gov and watched last Saturday's address.  Five minutes of "The Greatest Orator of Our Time" looking pale and tired.  He can do better!  Put him in a different environment, where he can shine and smile and be more natural and charm the audience the way he does in a live speech!

According to Wikipedia...

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

A common complaint about the President's Weekly Radio Address is that only a few radio stations cover the very short broadcasts, they are not advertised publicly, and very few Americans know how to locate the President's Weekly Radio Address on the radio dial (so very few listen to it).

So, what made the fireside chats so popular, while the Saturday radio address is not?  Again, Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

According to Roosevelt’s principal speechwriter Judge Clinton Sorrel, he first used "fireside chats" in 1929 during his first term as Governor of New York. Roosevelt faced a conservative Republican legislature so during each legislative session he would occasionally address the citizens of New York directly in the camelback room. He appealed to them for help getting his agenda passed. Letters would pour in following each of these "chats," which helped pressure legislators to pass measures Roosevelt had proposed. He began making the informal addresses as President on March 12, 1933, during the Great Depression.[1].

Here's a chronological list of Presidential fireside chats:

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Notice anything?  None, nada, zero were done on a Saturday!

Go straight to the people.  They will come.  They're yearning for answers and explanations, other than the doom and gloom we seem to see and hear everwhere. Yes, there will be ridicule, but do it anyway.  It will grow, and it will be written about in future history books.  We really, really need this, because Fake News has us all confused!

A video of one of Roosevelt's Fireside Chats:

http://www.youtube.com/...

If the last few days proved anything  it's that Fox owns the dialogue now.   Fake News wants us scared, wants us to go back to the past.  Back to legal discrimination, racism, low wages and hatred, distrust, fear and loathing.  

So, in closing, a plea to the 15th best president of the United States of America:

Take Saturday mornings off.  Take your kids to their soccer games.  Then, on a different day of the week, channel your inner FDR and talk to the American people in a forum where you can shine.  Where your sunny personality and optimism can change the tone and remind everybody that "Evils can be created much quicker than they can be cured."

Originally posted to Fury on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:03 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    Fake News has us all confused!

    by Fury on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:03:29 AM PDT

    •  Liberals think Obama's their daddy, therapist, (0+ / 0-)

      spiritual guru, savior, superhero, dictator, attack dog, watchdog, magician...did I miss anything?

      "Palin tried marijuana years ago. She said it distorted her perceptions & impaired her thinking. She hopes the effects will eventually one day wear off." -

      by marabout40 on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:43:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your point? (0+ / 0-)

        Other than to ridicule an idea that's been tried...and worked...before?

        Fake News has us all confused!

        by Fury on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:46:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I made my point. You don't agree with it (0+ / 0-)

          that's obvious but I made my point.

          "Palin tried marijuana years ago. She said it distorted her perceptions & impaired her thinking. She hopes the effects will eventually one day wear off." -

          by marabout40 on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:48:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not well enough, obviously. (0+ / 0-)

            So, I assume you think this is a very bad, stupid, idea?  But it's getting the ball rolling, isn't it?  We have to do something other than what we are doing to combat the negativity, lies and hate that is out there.  It's frightening in its intensity and ubiquity.

            Fake News has us all confused!

            by Fury on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:53:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  In watching the President give speeches, I'm (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chicago minx, Oh Mary Oh

    struck by how positive and calm he seems.  Yet a tornado of hate and negativity seems to be raging "out here".  We just have to do something different to get the message out!  P.S.  I could not figure out how to embed that video. Suggestions?

    Fake News has us all confused!

    by Fury on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:05:23 AM PDT

  •  I don't want chat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    debedb

    I want good policy and good faith.

    The Teabaggers are the GOP base

    by stevej on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:15:48 AM PDT

    •  Not chat, plain talk (0+ / 0-)

      Explain, without the media circus filter, what the hell is really going on.  I think it would give people sorely lacking hope.

      Fake News has us all confused!

      by Fury on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:20:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fine, He'll Have Your Vote. If He'd Campaigned (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fury

      like that, he'd have still had it, but McCain would be President.

      Election and democratic governance like it or not is a popularity contest. All the good policy in the world, to paraphrase Dr. Strangelove, is pointless if you don't tell anyone about it.

      God knows the media aren't going to tell voters very much that they need to know about Democratic accomplishments.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:45:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's 2010. (3+ / 0-)

    The weekly address isn't just on the radio, it's on YouTube, where anyone who wants to see it can find it.

    Not to mention that the President can't just order all the national radio/TV networks to show his address. They would have to agree to pre-empt what would otherwise be profitable programming in order to show an address from the President for free, while that same address was on all the other networks (thus not getting them a competitive advantage).

    You can get them to go along with that kind of thing with a big speech like the SOTU, the joint session address on health care, or an Oval Office speech on BP, but not for a weekly address.

    What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

    by mistersite on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:17:16 AM PDT

    •  Right, you have to go find it. (0+ / 0-)

      Most people are too busy for that.  Even I, political junkie, don't do it.

      Fake News has us all confused!

      by Fury on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:22:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And how exactly do you propose... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        debedb, marabout40

        ...that the President go about convincing all the broadcast and cable networks to give up 20-25 minutes of programming, ratings, and ad money every single week to show his speech?

        (I say 20-25 minutes because the Republicans would demand, and likely be granted, a chance to respond.)

        What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

        by mistersite on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:26:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sigh, you're right. Let's just give up trying to (0+ / 0-)

          fight FoxHate.  They've won.

          Fake News has us all confused!

          by Fury on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:30:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Is that your answer to mistersite's question? (0+ / 0-)

            Come on. You can do better than that.

            how exactly do you propose... (1+ / 0-)
            ...that the President go about convincing all the broadcast and cable networks to give up 20-25 minutes of programming, ratings, and ad money every single week to show his speech?

            I'd like to know too.

            "Palin tried marijuana years ago. She said it distorted her perceptions & impaired her thinking. She hopes the effects will eventually one day wear off." -

            by marabout40 on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:35:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Facebook? (0+ / 0-)

              Seems to work for Sarah!  My bigger point here was that what we're doing isn't working against the Hate Machine of right wing media.  The Saturday radio address is, IMHO, useless.  I see a headline or two, but then it's gone and noone's paying attention anyway.  So, something else has to be tried.  How did Roosevelt accomplish it?  He had many enemies in broadcast media as well.

              Fake News has us all confused!

              by Fury on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:39:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Or better yet...the Jimmy Carter sweater chats... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, GlowNZ

    how'd that work out?

    I do think he needs to make himself more available to the media...press conferences...monthly.

    And town halls with any and everyone. State to state...take all comers.

    And kill the filibuster.

  •  Reaching the masses (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Fury, cececville, Youffraita

    from the speeches I heard, and the research I did on Roosevelt, those were importment points in time. Hope was lost, the country was emotionally and physically in a deep depression. The Fireside chats gave people answers that the father couglins of the world, were denying. It would be a great idea to find another way to communicate the message. Change the format, people will scream, Beck will call the white house socialist commie's, and John Boner will cry, but Hell, their gonna do that anyways. I like the idea. Thanks

    •  Growing Up When Parents' Generation Had Heard (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fury, Youffraita

      them, millions of the people of the time thought the world of them. He started them in his Presidency within the first month.

      There are a lot of valid points being made about the difficulty of reproducing that kind of contact with the people in our time. But it's also true as I've said many times, referring to the Fireside Chats, that leadership of a democracy is partly performance art. It's essential for Democratic leadership to do a good job at the performance side because every minute they're not on the stage, the other side will be.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:42:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  while he is at it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marabout40

    he should do it wearing a robe and smoking a pipe.

    Jerry Brown for CA_GOV 2010

    by GlowNZ on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:35:05 AM PDT

  •  Re: Hate Radio (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, GlowNZ

    So, I go to my cardiologist this week. My appointment was in the morning, and I listened to Rush on the drive over. Yea, I know...but I've got to swim through the zeitgeist now and then. They take my blood pressure and it's sky high, which is unusual for me. They're so alarmed they ask me to come back in the early afternoon. On the drive over for my second appointment of the day I listen to a CD of a Dharma talk by Thich Nhat Hanh. My blood pressure is perfect.

    Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

    by JoesGarage on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 08:36:10 AM PDT

  •  Yes. The thing about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury

    the Fireside Chats, as I understand it, is that FDR was able to wrest control of the dialogue from his political enemies.

    And we desperately need to do the same thing.  I wish I knew how...

    Over the last 30 years, the Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved into a mental hospital. -- Bill Maher

    by Youffraita on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:49:35 AM PDT

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