Debating Leftistanis on Radio

Before I presented on my radio show the essay entitled: “Journey Into Leftistan,” also available on this blog, a man I stage in the essay contacted me through Facebook. John Wolfe offered to debate me on my radio show. ( “Facts Matter” comes on on Sunday on KSCO Santa Cruz, 1080 AM. It’s from 11 am to 1 pm. You can catch it on-line while it’s going on.)

Mr Wolfe’s offer was serious and I treated it lightly at first. I shouldn’t have done that. It happened because whenever I converse with someone who calls himself a “progressive,” I can’t control the devil in my that pushes me to toy with with his mind and try to make him cry. I shouldn’t. I will try to not do it in the future. Of course, I can’t promise anything, because of the same devil, obviously. In spite of all, I had most of the day to consider Mr Wolfe’s offer. I have decided to decline it. The reasons are listed below.

1     My radio station, KSCO, is right in the middle of Santa Cruz, one of the worst sixties time warps in the world. I am guessing my listeners don’t need more left-wing exposure. I am guessing they cannot avoid leftist viewpoints if they try. Why, we have the University of California at Santa Cruz on our hill! Angela Davis is a (quiet) full Professor of “The History of American Consciousness”there (o rretired from it). If you don’t know who she is, that means you are wonderfully young and possibly innocent. Look her up. It will be fun, I promise.

If a handful of my listeners tell me that my perception is mistaken, that they would like me to debate Mr Wolfe on air (if nothing else, for the sport), I will retract my decision.

2   Mr Wolfe and I almost certainly have irreconcilable differences with respect to basic values. I believe that the best way to avoid incipient violence is to threaten the would-be aggressor with overwhelming force, with much greater violence. I and the police forces of all civilized nations are on the same page about this. Mr Wolfe has shown on his Facebook that he is in favor of “proportionate response” to aggression. It means that if someone throws a stone through your window, you are only allowed to throw one stone through his window, if that.

If I debated Mr Wolfe on my show, I am pretty sure that our value differences would quickly bleed into the debate. That would be a waste of time for all, especially for the listeners. Values come from experience filtered through judgment. They never change through discussion.

3  Mr Wolfe has shown on his Facebook that he has access to a multitude of facts that have never reached my ears. This, although I confess to listening to National Public Radio several hours each day. That’s in addition to reading the WSJ, and Le Figaro every day, plus the Weekly Standard, plus Atlantic Monthly, and watching tons of American cable network television, and watching the French-language network TV5, also every day. And, of course, I rush to Al Jazeera in English on-line every time something new happens in the Arab world.

Given all this, I would have to ask Mr Wolfe to name his mysterious sources for his facts, and then, I would have to check them out. I am technically and intellectually incapable of doing this while on the air. Not doing so would be taking the serious moral risk of helping Mr Wolfe spread false rumors. Of course, I believe that facts matter, not a little, a whole lot. Incidentally, I am not calling Mr Wolfe a liar. I just know that many people, especially reformers, find whatever facts they need wherever because their bullshit detector is permanently on the “off” position.

4     If none of the above had any validity, I would still have to wonder whether it’s appropriate to give a tribune to someone with Mr Wolfe’s inexplicable emphasis. Here is what I mean: Mr Wolfe is obsessed with Israel and its misdeeds, real and invented. Even if everything Mr Wolfe and his friends alleged about Israeli atrocities were true, even if he they had left some out, even if there were twice more real killings by Israelis than they allege, the fact would remain that Israel in its whole existence would have killed fewer Arabs than Saddam Hussein in one average year. I am completely sure, Mr Wolfe never lifted a little finger to denounce Saddam Hussein’s massacre of Arabs. Mr Wolfe’s obsession is in itself objectionable even if he is right on everything. He would have to give me a legitimate reason for his obsession with Israel before I would give him the mike.

He might surprise me and do just that. I would enjoy making a tight U-turn on this one. In the meantime, no, I don’t want to give special airtime to “progressive” Mr Wolfe. If he bothers to call my show, as he could have done today, I will certainly bring him right to the head of the line, if nothing as a courtesy to someone who calls from far-away Tennessee. And, of course, he can use as much space as he wishes in a comment on this blog to this posting and to the one that preceded it.

About jacquesdelacroix

I am a sociologist, a short-story writer, and a blogger (Facts Matter and Notes On Liberty) in Santa Cruz, California.
This entry was posted in Socio-Political Essays and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Debating Leftistanis on Radio

  1. Bruce says:

    I would love to hear you light up the lefty with the facts. They get really indignant when you confuse them with the facts. You won’t change his mind, but you might cause the light bulb to go on in the mind of one of those UCSC students. Can you imagine the disappointment of the hard working parent whose kid comes home and tells you they are taking a Professor Angela Davis class in the History of Consciousness Department? Holy shizit! Maybe she explains in this class the “consciousness” she was operating under when she provided the shotgun to the thugs who murdered Marin County Judge Harold Haley back in 1970. They kidnapped him and shot him in the face with the gun she bought a couple of days before. The verdict when she was tried- innocent of course. Now that she’s retired, maybe the Obama administration will present her with a lifetime achievement award and a much deserved Medal of Freedom. They’re two peas in a pod.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Hi, Bruce: Since I posted this blog, Mr Wolfe disqualified himself completely from use of my radio time through an impressive display of lack of general culture. He stated on his blog yesterday on his Facebook that Lenin had “overthrown the Russian monarchy.” That’s, of course, instead of destroying the constitutional Russian Republic emerging from the democratic forces that had pressured the Tsar into abdicating. His ignorance results in washing away the original sin of communism, that it was born out of the actions of a few armed thugs with no popular support. Mr Wolfe does not deserve to debate me. He does not deserve my audience’s time and attention. I am frequently amazed by how worse than I think they are, leftists actually turn out to be. I give them too much benefit of doubt.

      Thank you for correcting me on Angela Davis: Professor of the History of Consciousness; even better! And I did not know she was retired.

      • Sam says:

        She’s not. She’s only teaching a graduate seminar this quarter though. Critical Theory in the Marxist Tradition

        “An introduction to classic texts of the Frankfurt School, focusing on works by Adorno, Horkheimer, Benjamin, and Marcuse. Explores their uses and critiques of Marxism, emphasizing questions of the relation between philosophy and history, theory and praxis, aesthetics and politics, and identifying issues relevant to contemporary debates around race, class, and gender.”

      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        Thanks, Sam. If I did not have you I would have to invent you. I pretty much think I did, anyway.
        I love Prof. Davis’ course description. It reminds me of my ill-spent youth. The name “Marcuse” especially brought back warm recollection of …what was her name again? I don’t remember but she was a classmate of mine and she sure was an acrobat.

  2. NEIL says:

    While I totally understand your concern about wasting our time, I couldn’t agree more with Bruce. I have no doubt Mr. Wolfe will not be swayed by the facts, but if one single liberal who might be listening to the show has a “holly shit” moment and decides to reconsider is/her ideology, it will be worth it….Pretty, Pretty please have him on.

  3. David says:

    I’m equally sure the debate would be utterly pointless, but I think it would be entertaining to say the least.

  4. David says:

    I had never heard of Angela Davis before, for this I blame my youth. But based on my cursory research on her life…she needs to move to Cuba, or perhaps China. She should’ve moved to the USSR, but alas, it didn’t happen; now it’s too late for that. I wonder why the jury didn’t find her guilty. She (someone who detests the death penalty) bought a gun two days before someone stole/borrowed/etc it and used it to kill a judge. Gimme a break.

  5. Bret says:

    Of course you chickened out. That’s what all wingnuts do when faced with facts and an actual debate. If Mr. Wolfe is so wrong on the facts as you claim then you should relish the opportunity to educate him instead of tucking your tail and running away..

    If you’re scared then just say “scared.”

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Hello, Bret. Thanks for your kind words.

      Since I posted the piece on which you are commenting, Mr Wolfe declared on Facebook that the Bolsheviks had overthrown the Russian monarchy. This demonstration of deep ignorance of facts that are easy to check anywhere, including Wikipedia, disqualified him from any serious conversation with me. Or with anyone with a normal level of general culture, I think. Wolfe is not scary, he suddenly looked pathetic when he said that. I am sorry I did not detect early that he was reciting half-digested facts and pseudo-facts. Brandon, (on Facebook) who has much more patience than I, gave up on him for the same reason, I believe.That’s in addition to the reasons I gave in the piece of course which sufficed to deny Wolfe special air-time. He is still welcome to call my show. I will surely let him on.

      Speaking of “wingnuts,” I used to spend much time on my show throwing out right-wing wingnuts spouting their unverifiable paranoiac conspiracy fantasies. Then, they learned that they could not swamp me. They retired to sulk in their corner. I hardly hear from them anymore. Wolfe sounds like the collectivist version of a swamper. In addition, I think he is sneaky. It’s just intuition; I have no proof. But this is not a court of law, just an obscure talk-show guided entirely by the host’s limited knowledge, powers of analysis, and experience. There are many other platforms for Mr Wolfe to present his peculiar versions of known history. It’s not as if the media were dominated by conservatives (just the most successful media are. Whatever happened to Air America?) If my assessment of Wolfe is wrong, not much harm will have been done. I have to repeat, it’s not as if listeners in my catchment area (N. California) were deprived of leftist viewpoints. This is not a football game, after all.

      Where do you live?

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