I’ve never done this before. I’ve never created a podcast. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I know I’m doing it. Here’s why:
There are too few places for people to hear viewpoints vaguely falling under the umbrella phrase “left wing.” Do you remember Air America, the supposed progressive radio network that died a miserable and mainly unnoticed death in 2010? Yeah, me neither.
Meanwhile, AM radio is dominated by right-wing nutjobs and neo-Nazi xenophobes and their anti-choice, homophobic and anti-woman cronies. And the insipid, vacuous echo chamber of television ‘news’ continues to be led by the nose down a right-wing rabbit hole, dragging American political discourse with it, because it’s exceedingly difficult to check for facts when your head is so fully up your own ass.
Don’t believe it or do, discussion of Socialism was at one point in American history a quite normal thing. The American Socialist Party had a robust following of hundreds of thousands. They ran candidates for president, one from jail. No shit. And some of those same socialists helped usher in little things you may have heard of, such as the 8-hour workday or the weekend.
Today, call yourself a Socialist and the good people of America will look at you like you’ve just asked to borrow their Chapstick. Republicans spit the word “socialism” at anything to which Adam Smith can’t give an invisible handjob. The meaning of the word and the depth of the philosophy has been all but erased, which demeans those who fought for good socialist programs we all currently enjoy — wave hello, Social Security.
This is all to say nothing of communism or — gasp! — anarchism, the Sasquatch and Loch Ness Monster of political thought, respectively. Hell, even merely Progressive ideas — Leftist gateway drugs — are overwhelmingly given the stink-eye today’s political climate.
But if we’re to move past the current elevation of White Nationalism brought by the most recent presidential election, if we’re to move to a more just and equitable world, if we’re to leave some hope to our children, we need to at least have the vocabulary, the context, the information needed to effectuate change. We need to know what we’re talking about. That’s why I’m doing this.
Will a silly little podcast change the world? Hell no. But it’s my sincere hope that it will help to bring back into the discussion ideas that have been all but squelched by the oppressive din of similarity. It’s a lofty goal. But I’m going to give it a shot.