Normally, my position on Democrats doing a right wing program, namely anything on Fox, is simply “don’t do it.” These outlits exist to advance the right wing positions and talking points of the Republican Party and will work against Democrats no matter what. That’s not to say I’m all that much different, though you notice I don’t go chasing Republicans down to try and get interviews. So, just as I don’t expect Republicans to come and request an interview from me or for Democrats to go on Rush Limbaugh, neither do I want to see Democrats kneel down on Fox News or on right wing blogs or anything of the sort. Still, I also look at it this way. If progressives don’t make their case without backing down on right wing programs than the public airwaves will have only one side presented on them.
So, when I got invited on the Paul Harrell program, a local right wing radio program here in Jonesboro, I was a little conflicted. Still, they wanted to talk about the videos I’d posted showing the opponents of bike paths and side walks saying all kinds of crazy stuff. Go ahead, watch it again…you know you want to. For good measure, watch Jonesboro stand up to them. Anyway, so I went on the program to debate the bike path, the side walks, and the other city improvements lumped into the Jonesboro Vision 2030 plan. We had a pretty good exchange. Paul and I sparred back and forth with neither of us conceding anything and, frankly, I feel pretty good about the case I made, though I have to say, seeing video of it really brought home just how much I fidgit (I’ve never been able to just sit still in any place or situation). If you want to listen, I come in at about the one hour mark. This wasn’t a hard case to argue-just had to stress that this was a local plan that would be good for the city and dismiss silly arguments about the UN, federal mandates, the Tooth Fairy, and the Boogeyman. Well, just the first two, but they belong in the same category with the others.
I have to say, I went into this knowing there was a catch somewhere and sure enough there was, though it wasn’t half as bad as what I thought. Turns out the producer of the show is the guy in the Matrix coat from the first clip. Nice enough guy and all, but they pressed me on whether I was implying he was violent by citing the Matrix and asked if we, the supporters of the plan, were intimidated by him. I laughed at both assertions. Seriously, if they read my blog and did their homework they’d know that if I were going to say something like that, that someone is “violent”, I wouldn’t waste time implying anything. And seriously, intimidated? Get real.
That said, both Paul and his producer, Daniel, were great guys to hang out with in the studio. Politics pretty much stopped when the mics went off and we got along great. Nice enough guys, just batshit crazy ideas. That and really bad fashion sense on Daniel’s part. (Daniel, if you’re reading, I’m kidding of course.)
That all said, I don’t believe for a second that this plan is going down. Local officials have worked for two years to get this plan in place working with people from all across the community. The Secure Arkansas type cranks don’t have anything to throw out there but the fear of the federal government, the United Nations, that dangerous sustainable development (oooooooooh ssssccaaaarrrryyyy!!!!), and other such nonsensical stuff. We’re going to win this fight, and Jonesboro is going to be a better community for it.