What is Washboard Express?

Washboard Express is a way for me to express my own opinions, to be a provocative gadfly, by writing a "letter a day" to the President. I may miss a day here and there, because sometimes my family with be my first priority, but my goal is to write a total of 365 letters, representing one full year. To say I have opinions about most things would be to understate the obvious. Those of you that know me, know this is true, those who don't know me, will learn that it's true. The Washboard is a reference to going back to basics and "keeping it clean," so if you would like me to post your comments or opinions on this blog, I only ask that you be respectful. So go ahead, express yourself, and I look forward to an exchange of ideas and opinions.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Letter #139... Dear Mr. President... How Can Gridlock be Healthy?

Dear Mr. President,

Some things simply defy logic, can you think of a possible instance when ‘gridlock’ was, or could be, considered healthy? No, neither can I.

I asked that question because a columnist in our small local paper said just that. The River Valley Times is a Herberger Publication, providing local articles of interest and information. Their motto is: “To Inform with Integrity, Entertain with Taste and Go Forward as the Voice of the People…” It covers Rancho Murieta, Sloughhouse, and Wilton.

This columnist is relatively new to the RVT, replacing a slightly more liberal columnist, which is sad because a liberal voice is seldom heard in our community. In yesterdays paper the columnists headline read: Get involved in political process or don’t complain. Sounds good, I believe that too, so I read the column.

The big contention is that we need to hear more voices that are conservative, because conservatives by nature want to spend less money. It was then stated that some of our surrounding cities that have elected conservatives are at least being heard to be doing better financially (I’d like to know which ones), and “Texas is much better off than California, and one of the reasons is that they have a lot of conservative voices.”  That of course is not the case, but that’s not my point today.

This columnist further stated that, “The liberals need to hear the conservative voices of reason – at the very least on fiscal issues.” How has that worked for you Mr. President? You’ve spent three years listening to ‘conservatives’ and trying to ‘compromise’ on the issues, but to no avail… conservatives don’t want to listen.

Here’s another quote, “There are still conservatives living in CA, and they have the right to be heard too. Let’s not forget that we do live in a democracy.” She further stated that, “Never hearing or discussing the ideas of the opposition is very narrow-minded.”  Somehow I don’t think that liberals have been considered narrow-minded, aren’t we the ones that want to expand and broaden rights for all Americans?

And here it is… these discussions take time and can create gridlock, but that’s healthy.”The best outcome could be that nothing gets done, and that might be good in this state…” and …”Let’s get more conservative voices in the arena and then they can set the example to spend less.”

Gridlock Healthy? Not!
Everyone knows what gridlock is, but just to be clear, it is defined as (1) a traffic jam in which no vehicular movement is possible (just what we all look forward to… being ‘stuck’ in traffic), and (2) a complete lack of movement or progress, resulting in a backup or stagnation. How can either of these definitions, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered healthy?

I love my community, and I love the RVT, but I cannot abide stupidity. While I don’t profess to be a writer, and understand this is “commentary” and not a factual article, the writer should at the very least, support her assertions with some kind of logic or simple facts.

Here are some ‘facts’ that the columnist completely missed. This was an analysis done by the Center for American Progress.

1.     91% of the total weekday talk radio programming is conservative, 9% is progressive.
2.     Each weekday there are 2,570 hours of conservative talk compared to 254 hours of progressive talk.
3.     In the top 10 radio markets 76% of programming is conservative, and 24% is progressive although programming is more balanced in New York and Chicago.
4.     This dynamic is repeated over and over again regardless of how the data is analyzed, whether one looks at the number of stations, number of hours, power of stations, or number of programs… ‘conservative talk’ continues to be pushed out over the airwaves in greater multiples of hours than ‘progressive talk’ is broadcast.
5.     Radio has more than 50 million listeners each week, and ‘conservative talk’ radio undeniably dominates the format.

I don’t know what planet this columnist lives on, but on planet earth we need less conservative voices like hers, that believe that gridlock is healthy, stagnation is healthy, and that either of these should be used as examples of how to move the ‘conversation’ forward.

The River Valley Times should find a new columnist, one that is capable of listening too, and understanding the real problems facing not only our state, but the entire nation, and I can assure you that answer is NOT more conservative, obstructionist voices, but LESS.  We get enough fiction disguised as fact from Fox… that’s why conservatives are it’s largest audience.

I would prefer the RVT motto to be, “To Inform with Intelligence

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

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