I have been an on-air personality for a radio station in North Georgia for many years, now. For the last five years, I have been the host of the morning news show, bringing listeners news, weather, traffic, sports, guest interviews and prizes everyday from 6AM – 9AM. I also have a talk-show on Saturdays from 7AM – 10AM.
Now, the management of that station is very careful to keep too many opinions from coming directly from its hosts. That doesn’t mean they don’t want controversial talking points to be discussed. They prefer for the hosts to act as moderator, avoiding as much personal opinion as possible.
For me, this is hard. Well, let’s face it, it’s almost impossible.
The last four years have been very trying in our country. In my lifetime, I have never seen the division and class envy that exists today. I have never, in my life, seen young people raised to look for handouts and not value the ideals of hard work and determination. I can’t remember a time when so many felt owed everything their heart desires, while decrying those who took the time to worked hard and earned what they have.
Greed and envy have always existed and will always exist. But, when I grew up, those traits were shunned. No one wanted to be painted with the green-eyed monster of jealousy. Now, we have elected leaders, including the President of the United States of America, telling Americans that if your neighbor has more than you, it’s because they took it, not because they earned it. We have even been told that no one got rich in America on their own and that the wealth of others needs must be forcibly shared. Now, even individual success has nothing to do with the individual, according to many of these politicians, but instead, has everything to do with the collective.
When I was young, I was taught to admire successful people — to look at their accomplishments and to learn from them so I might one day have similar accomplishments of my own. All of my friends wanted to be successful and so we wanted to emulate winners while avoiding the losers. We were raised around adults that taught us the expression, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are.”
What the hell happened?
In the last 20 years we have given everyone medals just for showing up to practice, not for being a stand-out athlete. We make sure every student is told they are a winner, regardless of their academic achievements. We hand out juice boxes and Star Crunches (thanks, KK, for that phrase) to anyone with a pulse. We were told that by only recognizing the exceptional, we were forever damaging the mental health of the non-winners. We were ruining their self-esteem. Odd, considering when I grew up I wanted to get that medal or award and if I didn’t get it, I would motivate myself to work harder. It didn’t ruin my self-esteem; rather, it reinforced my personal drive to excel the next time.
20 years later, what has this whole self-esteem movement gotten us? An entire generation (probably two) who live inundated with the delusion of self-importance and self-entitlement — that the world owes THEM and not the other way around, regardless of their accomplishments or capabilities. It’s befuddling for someone like me to wrap my mind around and understand.
I’m the kind of guy who would get hit by a fly ball at the baseball stadium and would jump up and say, “Oops, my bad. I should have been paying attention.” My first thought is not, “Woo-hoo! Lottery! Time to get a lawyer.” I would be embarrassed to even consider that as an option. I was raised to have a little more self-respect than that. Not to feel entitled to a payday I didn’t earn.
It may seem like I’ve run off the road with my subject, but, much like my monologues on the air, I know exactly where I am and plan to bring it around full circle. I may have limitations on air, but I have none when it comes to my writing.
I am excited to be collaborating with one of my longest running friend’s on a political blog called Freedom Cocktail. On that site, we can pour our hearts and minds into molds of logic and reason and publish it to the world. No one knows where it will go or how many will read it, but, looking back at the last four years, we knew we had to do something! All we can do is try. There is no guarantee of success. Our Framers never promised success…just the freedom to be able to pursue that, which makes us happy.
At the end of the day, if we have caused even one additional person to think for themselves (or realize they have no idea why they believe what they do), we have done our job. It really is about presenting a well-reasoned and logical point of view in the hopes that it will get those of differing opinions to questions their beliefs. They may not change their minds, but hopefully we have given him or her tools to decide if their own point of view can hold water when put to the test.
We can’t think for people and we certainly can’t brainwash a single reader solely by the power of our words. Change can only occur within the individual and only if they elect to embrace it themselves. Our job is simply to put forth the conversation and let the individuals decide.
This personal blog will be kept focused on things that are of interest mainly to me and my friends and family, but, for something more substantial, I want to encourage everyone to checkout Freedom Cocktail for an online publication focused on the discussion of politics, freedom, capitalism, and a love of individual liberty.
I may not be able to do much, but it’s better than doing nothing at all. At least this way, I can sleep better knowing, I tried.