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And that’s the way I see it

I have about a 45 minute commute to and from my ministry. It’s nice in many ways and the drive is usually a pleasant one as I make my way  up the coast of Lake Michigan. It also gives me time to think and listen to the radio, usually conservative talk radio, unless I lose the signal and switch to classic, oldie rock.

So, last night I’m on my way home and listening to a conservative host a kind of sort of debate between a Obama/Biden spokesperson and a Romney/Ryan spokesperson or supporter.

I say “kind of sort of” because the liberal party steadfastly refused to play by the rules and give a straight answer to the host’s questions. This is nothing new and I’ve seen both parties do it but none as egregious as the current crop of so-called progressives including the guy on this show.

For one, if you are going to go on someone’s radio show, liberal or conservative, you have to understand the host is in control. It’s their show and their agenda and they get to ask the questions. With that in mind it never ceases to amaze me how most refuse to answer the posed question in a straight forward way. If you know they have an agenda and you don’t like it, then don’t go on.

Now I understand why this is done in the world of politics. If you are a liberal-progressive who has chosen to go head long into a conservative format you know in advance the questions will not be of the soft ball variety. If you were to give an honest straight forward answer to a question you just might shoot your party in the foot and the conservative would have their “aha” moment. And as we’ve seen when a liberal progressive does actually agree with a conservative and says so it is followed by some sort of clumsy retraction. This has to be avoided.

So why do the liberal progressives go on conservative talk radio. Why play the game if you know there is an agenda and part of that agenda is to get you to agree to something conservative?

As an observer of this game for some time now the answer is so that you can attempt to control the narrative and the flow of the show. And for them, they must think it’s worth the effort.

And this is precisely what the person in question did.

The host would ask a question and each guest would have a chance to answer it. The conservative guest appeared to be well armed. He had facts and figures and often he attached citations to where he got the facts and figures. When the progressive would answer he would not deal with the posed question but instead insisted on citing other data from 4 years ago that really had nothing to do with the posed question.

The host attempted many times to try to get the man to answer the question using the current data. He refused time and time again and consistently went back to an attempt to control the narrative.

This is not news to anyone following American politics. I’ve seen this played out time and time again to the point that when I see it happening I change the channel or the radio station. After a while, it just hurts your ears.

In this case  though I listened through because my mind drifted off into wondering about the kind of lying going on in an exchange like that.

In his refusal to answer the question he was guilty of misdirection, a type of lie really. As a faith-based counselor I’ve seen this played out between couples. For example, a man has been guilty of mistreating his wife in a major way. Instead of owning the issue he’ll say something like, yeah but, I bought her jewelry four years ago. I’ll say, yeah that’s great buddy but too bad it’s irrelevant to the current issue.

Evading the question is evading responsibility. Evading isn’t honest and so it’s a type of lie by evading the issue.

I’m a conservative and so I am at odds with just about everything the liberal-progressives hold dear. But that does not mean I cannot respect some of them for taking an honest stand on what they truly believe.

For example, Russ Feingold is the former liberal-progressive Senator from Wisconsin. I don’t think I ever agreed with him on anything but at least I knew where he stood and that I could respect.

Same goes for Ron Paul. There are some things I just don’t agree with him on but I never have to guess where he is coming from. There is integrity with that kind of person and integrity should be respected regardless of right or left.

I think the same is true of Paul Ryan, my congressman and VP candidate. You don’t have to agree with him, but you sure should respect him for being up front about where he truly stands.

These kind of sort debates though tire me out and make me more cynical than I already am. The bold face attempts at manipulation are lies, lies that obfuscate substance and say more about a lack of integrity than anything else.

As I said, I’ve seen members of both parties do this but never have I seen it in my 59 years as common as it is now with the current liberal-progressive movement. Having power only makes that kind of thing worse and that scares me.

And that’s the way I see it.

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