You Must Be Out Of Your Mind! was the common refrain when I floated the idea of beginning a radio program examining the things that currently affect the health and welfare of the United States. Each time I heard this psych diagnosis from those I thought my friends, I kept thinking about what Edmund Burke said, The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. I am not sure that I am a good man, nor whether we are specifically in evil times, but I know the time has come to stand up and be counted in a way and manner that can be taken seriously by thinking people. Thus, Health Of The Nation was born.
My friends asked me why I decided to do a radio show. I immediately informed them that I was not going to be producing a radio show, but rather a radio program. I saw the difference in these two words as perfectly defining the problem; my listening audience is not going to be made up of clowns or people incapable of discerning fact from opinion or screed. I was not going to produce a show to waste their time with cheap one-liners, name-calling, one-sentence solutions for complex problems or personal labels delivered in a flippant manner. We are going to produce a program, I thought, that will respect the listener, and that will present to them, in a civil and intellectually honest forum, factual information about the serious matters facing our country. A program where ideas can be exchanged between all parties in an atmosphere of civil discourse, such that common ground may be found for these problems to serve as a foundation for innovative and effective solutions. We will criticize ideas, not the people who support them.
This is the mission of Health Of The Nation. There is little difference between us regarding what has to be done; the issue is always how to do it.
Today, this difference of how has boiled down, in one sense, to the role of Government in our lives. This critical discussion has mutated into battle lines drawn between rich and poor, union and nonunion, minority and majority, American and American. The elected representatives we empower have so capitalized upon those divisions that they seem to dismiss us. To this point, I offer the words of Mrs. Pelosi to all America in commenting upon the impending passage of the new healthcare laws, “we have to pass the Bill so that you can find out what is in it.” That was my Edmund Burke moment; my time being treated as a mushroom and being disrespected by the very people we empower to represent us was over!
The Founding Fathers warned that the greatest danger to a republican form of democracy is an ill-informed electorate. The speed of change and the paucity of time to inform ourselves about the serious issues we face has created a sense of frustration that has polarized us so that civil discourse is no longer something we usually hear. What we get is entertainment, a show, and not an informative dialogue representing opposing points of view. Our polarization is such that we no longer require our enemies to destroy us, we are destroying ourselves- We have met the enemy and he is us!
The Health Of The Nation seeks not to “educate”, but rather to inform in a manner that is respectful and civil. We believe that a well-informed public is, indeed, the strongest force to maintain the freedom,strength, flexibility and unity of The United States of America. God gave us a brain and two opposable thumbs; it’s time we use them.