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.