Words Matter Podcast
A Stalled Political System
Politics in the United States is beyond a hot mess and it has been for years. The car crash analogy is a fitting one: As painful and sad as the wreckage all appears to be I just can not turn away from looking.
On one hand, I am completely fatigued by the incessant churning of the 24-hour political news cycle while on the other hand I am routinely drawn into getting a daily fix of stories and analysis.
I will put this out there right up front, I am left-leaning, but I suspect like the majority of Americans I gravitate towards the middle.
While I am fully supportive of the social freedoms the Democrats espouse, I am disheartened by their lack of vision and incapability of voicing a cohesive message. In the face of our mounting federal debt, I am intrigued by fiscally conservative principles touted by traditional Republicans, but where are the supportive actions and policies? Bush exploded the debt while in office and the trickle down theory is a joke in practice with wealth disparity raging out of control.
Whether leaning left or right, I am mainly sickened by the state of our government. The inability to come together and pass common-sense legislation on issues that have a majority support of our country, like gun reform and legalization of cannabis, is completely inexcusable.
Voices Of Reason
It is in desperate and dire times like this where I need to find hope and sanity in the words and analysis of steady, measured thought leaders, regardless of the political stripes they claim to wear. Words Matter is a brand new podcast offering co-hosted by Elise Jordan and Steve Schmidt who comedically refer to themselves on the show as “non-practicing” republicans.
Myself leaning a bit left, I was especially drawn to Words Matter being that it is a podcast branded as being Republican-focused but hosted by individuals who do not even recognize their own party anymore.
I may not agree with most of the political views espoused by Jordan or Schmidt but my respect for both of these individuals has grown over the past two years as each has been regular commentators and guests on political news shows I typically tune into.
They both seem more beholden to values and ideals over any political party affiliation and that is exactly the kind of integrity and character that is wholly lacking in the majority of the members of Congress.
Seeking Common Ground
In taking some time to listen to the “other side”, as I did in enjoying the early episodes of Words Matter, a funny thing started to happen too. I heard some common ground being spoken about. Schmidt, in particular, expressed his utter contempt and frustration over the explosion of the debt under the watch of so-called fiscal hawks like Paul Ryan.
Schmidt talked about the need for entitlement program reform and I completely agree there needs to be a discussion there. Saying entitlement reform is off the table to protect yourself against an electorate is a joke if there is no chance the program you are feigning to protect can stay fiscally solvent for generations to come.
I do not believe entrusting private enterprise entirely would be the prudent solution either, but where are the open and frank discussions being had in Congress to address this oncoming iceberg?
The federal debt is a moral failing if we do nothing to address it. We are robbing from future generations, as Schmidt aptly stated, if we keep miring in the status quo.
I have no hope for the current configuration of “traditional” Republicans and Democrats as they continue to bog down Congress as an ineffectual, feckless and oftentimes soulless body of legislators.
The only hope I have is that practical, common sense thought leaders will keep defecting from their bloated and bygone parties to form some other third party or united entity under the sole guise of fixing our democracy.
Words Do Indeed Matter
I am not sure that Jordan and Schmidt have aspirations beyond adding their commentary and analysis to our plagued state of affairs, but I am grateful for their courage to stand on their values and convictions, despite any previous party affiliations.
I am also thankful we now have an opportunity to become a little more informed and a lot more entertained through their new podcast offering Words Matter.
No matter your political leanings, give this show a chance. You might find that folks from the other side have a lot more in common with you than you thought. Maybe we can even begin to slowly disintegrate the entire concept of other sides. Lofty thought, I know, but I will remain hopeful.
Where do you get your political news from? What are your favorite podcasts that cover politics? Please comment. We want to hear from you.