Morning Briefing: August 30th, 2012
By Steve Deace
Why We Do What We Do
As of September 10th when Knoxville (TN) comes on line, our still relatively new nationally syndicated show will be at 43 affiliates since its debut less than nine months ago. That means we’re always getting access to new listeners who may not be as familiar with why we do what we do as some of you veterans are.
Our show sounds different than just about every other national show out there for three main reasons:
1) I am willing to openly espouse a Biblical worldview in commercial radio.
2) I am one of the youngest nationally-syndicated radio hosts in the country.
3) I put two intelligent women on my show to offer a mature female perspective, not play the role of bimbo.
Past talk show greats have been transparent about how the words of luminaries like William F. Buckley, Milton Friedman, and Ronald Reagan have inspired their beliefs. While those men have been an inspiration to me as well, ultimately it is the Word of God that inspires my beliefs. While I’m not a preacher and we don’t do an explicitly “Christian” radio show, we do broadcast a talk show that is hosted by Christians so it’s impossible for us to be true to ourselves and not be truthful about why we believe what we believe.
My age is also a factor. I was not yet legally able to drive when Reagan left office. While I distinctly remember his presidency, it doesn’t represent a Pax Americana to me. Most of the years Reagan was in office I was primarily concerned with zits, girls, and how to conquer Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out.
For many of my better-known and very successful peers in this business that is not the case. Most of them cut their teeth and/or made their bones in the Reagan era. Thus, the temptation for any generation is to nostalgically seek a return to its high-water mark. “Mama, tell me about the good old days” was a cliché long before The Judds turned it into a hit song. I also recognize that as I grow older and a new generation replaces my own, I could very well succumb to the same temptation.
While many of my better-known and very successful peers seek a nostalgic return to a seemingly more idyllic time, I am looking ahead to a potentially grim future. Given my age, I’m also one of the only nationally-syndicated talk show hosts who are still raising young children at home. So as any parent in my shoes would do I find myself seeing the world through the lens of their future, and right now we see through a mirror darkly.
From record debt that continues to mount, to an increasingly decadent and self-destructive culture, to the rise of hostility to Christian orthodoxy and any notions of traditional Americana, we are on a collision course with the scrap heap of history unless we commit to restoring the eternal principles and virtues that founded this republic in the first place.
And looking at future generations I can tell you how we won’t do it.
The emerging generations don’t give a hoot about party labels, inside the beltway political posturing, petty partisanship, or self-righteous contradictions. They’re not joiners and are yearning to be a part of something significant more than symbolic. They have been so inundated with psychobabble K-12 and on into college that they have a very sensitive horse puckey sensor, which is one of the reasons why Obama will not get the mass turnout of the youth vote he got four years ago.
The emerging generations also aren’t eager to be talked down from their principles or standards. If anything, they’re more likely just to drop out of a process altogether if they see no other alternative but to sell out. This is also one of the reasons why when you attend a lot of traditional political events (especially Christian conservative ones) the crowd mostly consists of people on the waiting list for an iron lung, and most of those there under 40 are there because they have political aspirations of their own and are looking to network. There is a penalty to pay for our own hypocrisy and our willful surrender of the education system to the Leftists, and it’s found in the demographics of our own ranks.
Seeing this, I believe the best way I can make a difference for my children is to be less cheer-leader and more truth seeker. I know that upsets and/or befuddles some of you that have listened to shows like mine for many years before I even got on the air. And I know why it does, because you’re so out-numbered in the media and pop culture as it is that you embrace any sanctuary of sanity where your worldview is treating with respect and/or reverence.
While I appreciate that and share that sentiment myself, we no longer have the luxury of replacing the Left’s echo chambers with our own. We our out-flanked in the culture, triangulated between those openly hostile to us and those ignorant of us. We will eventually be squeezed out altogether in future generations unless we are (by God’s grace) able to successfully reach out beyond our borders. And when I say reach out, I don’t mean watering down what we believe to appease the huddled masses, because that will just contribute to the decline of our civilization. We can’t afford any more erosion of any already wobbly foundation.
Instead, the kind of reaching out I’m talking about starts with knowing why we believe what we believe, and then once we’re confident in those principles we go about literally evangelizing the multitude with our beliefs. I don’t believe it’s a question of degrees of freedom/liberty/tyranny/oppression, but when it comes to the future it’s a simple question of survival. Do or do not, there is no try.
With that perspective, I believe you must first have integrity with the emerging generations before you can reason with them. Nobody really cares what you think until they think you care. Self-righteously playing human shield for Republicans who bankrupt us slower than Democrats is the exact wrong way to reach these people. Trust me I’ve spoken to these young people. They will tune you out right away if you do. One of the main reasons I wanted to bring Rebekah Maxwell, my former local show producer, with us on our syndicated show (beyond her talent) is to give our show a voice from those emerging generations.
Sure, it will make some of you happy if I become an unofficial GOP spokesperson, but in reality most of you it will please will not be on this planet as long as the emerging generations that are repulsed by it will be. With all due respect, you’re not going to be sharing the planet with my children and grandchildren in the long run but they are. If that sounds pragmatic, it’s because it is. People have wrongly criticized me for not being pragmatic. The truth is I am very pragmatic. I just define pragmatic as doing what works, not losing a little bit slower.
Is what we are doing with the show working? Well, I went from a doing a local show in the 89th largest radio market in America to being syndicated in 16 states and 43 radio stations (including 2 top 10 markets) in less than nine months without being hired by one of the major companies in the industry, and essentially being a national nobody. I’ve written for The Washington Times, World Net Daily, Townhall.com, and USA Today. I’ve appeared as a guest on all three major cable news networks more than once over that time. I just signed with a top-notch literary agent for a new book. Decide for yourself, but by God’s grace I would say it’s working just fine.
But you know what really shows me we’re providentially on the right track? When I get letters like this:
I will start by saying I am not your average fan. I am a non believer, I’m socially liberal, and while I find fiscal conservatism to be the most ethically correct position I think we’d disagree on most matters of governance.
That said, I am married to a lovely Christian woman and have a pastor for a father-in-law and as a part of building those relationships I learned that you can disagree without being vitriolic and have devoted a good chunk of my time studying her world view and being current on things relevant to that worldview.
To that end I listen to AM 820 in Utah anytime I’m alone in the car, and I find your show to be truly great. Having spent my youth in a Limbaugh household, your style and integrity is amazing. I just wanted to say that I respect you and find your show challenging and interesting to listen to. I wish more folks at any point on the political spectrum could be more honest and critical about their positions. For the last few months I’ve spent most of my time looking into the political landscape split between your show and site and blogs.
Keep up the good work.
I get several letters like this from people all over the country each month, and they’re what keep me going despite the haterade. Letters like this are why we do what we do. If we’re going to win the future for future generations, we’re going to need to swell our ranks with a lot of the Mulloys out there.
And I don’t believe we will do so by continuing to do what cost us the culture in the first place. So instead of repeating those mistakes, I’m going to try and make totally new and different ones hopefully my children will learn from.
Thank you for listening.
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