October 29, 2007

Can We Talk? The Heading Right Challenge

That's the question Joan Rivers used to ask in her stand-up routines, but these days, it seems more appropriate to ask in a political context. After completing a fascinating hour with Danny Glover of Air Congress and Joe Gandelman of The Moderate Voice, the answer seems to be "maybe". Both men discussed with me the trials and tribulations they experience in reaching across the political divide at their sites, but how they see that as crucial to forming policy.

When speaking with Danny, we talked about the echo-chamber tendencies in the blogosphere. He worries about government agencies going to friendly bloggers for outreach rather than a broader engagement, hoping to shield themselves from scrutiny, but the practice extends much more clearly to political candidates. This makes some sense, especially in the primaries, as campaign building, but it does nothing to address the differences between philosophies and parties and look for common ground for progress -- or at least to have a rational debate over priorities and values.

In order to improve the tone, I've decided to invite the Democratic presidential candidates to appear on Heading Right Radio for an interview and a chance to speak to the reasonable, rational people of the center-right and conservativism. Those who have heard my interviews know that I allow guests to speak their minds, do not interrupt, and treat them with respect even when I disagree with them. With that in mind, I have sent e-mail requests for these interviews to the following candidates:

Hillary Clinton
Barack Obama
John Edwards
Bill Richardson
Joe Biden
Chris Dodd

Will they accept? I certainly hope they do, and I think it would make for great radio. They can challenge me as much as I challenge them, but I would like to think we could have some great and revealing conversations about policies rather than personalities, and we can start improving the tone of the campaign in some small way. I will let Captain's Quarters readers know what responses I receive.

Addendum: I should note that I would extend this to all Republican presidential candidates, some of whom have already been on my show (John McCain, Mitt Romney, Duncan Hunter, Fred Thompson). An invitation last week to the Ron Paul campaign has been ignored so far ....


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