On Tuesday, May 29 at 8 P.M. Eastern, I will co-host (with Eric Byler) my first radio show: The Middle Ground. The show is one of several on the Coffee Party USA Internet Radio Network.
It’s odd that I find myself here; I’m not much of a joiner, and when I am part of some group I’ve been known, metaphorically at least, to run with scissors. So how, then, did I get involved with the Coffee Party?
Basically, I wanted to sell books.[i]
When Chasing Glenn Beck hit the shelves (both real and virtual), I began to explore radio outlets where I might be invited to discuss the book, my views on politics, and my desire to reawaken the passion of the tepidly moderate Republicans I knew must be out there—somewhere. I found a number of such shows and appeared on several in quick succession. They all had two things in common: passion and a tiny audience.
So I began to reach out a bit more. In that second wave I came across the Coffee Party USA (an organization with nearly 500,000 members) and the aforementioned Mr. Byler. I shot off my standard query email; Eric soon forwarded the message to one of his hosts, Egberto Willies, who invited me onto his show, Politics Done Right. Shortly after that I received an invitation from another host, Don Manning, to appear on his show, Speaking of America.
Before appearing on either show, I did some homework in order to get a sense of the organization and its purpose. It seemed we shared several beliefs: that money in politics is a mistake at best and seriously disenfranchising at worst; that political discourse has become little more than a playground shouting match; and that facts actually have value and should be much, much more than props deployed to support a set of specious beliefs.
Other than that, well… let’s just say that I’m moderately right of center and that they are… a bit short on perspectives like mine.
So why did a moderately conservative Republican decided to join the Coffee Party? And, more importantly why should you consider joining as well? Three reasons:
- Having conversations with people across the spectrum is not just important, it’s critical. If you’re tired of being told by liberals that you’re worthless, that you have no heart, that you’re a nut job, or that you’re just one of the sheep, then you should join. The Coffee Party is the single most prominent place I’ve found where respect is the defining value for all conversation. Here you can actually be heard by the other side—and they’ll listen.
- The Coffee Party recognizes that dialogue on both sides of the spectrum is dominated by something they call “the 1% media,” those conglomerates that control so much of what goes out over the airwaves. Conservative voices, in particular, seem remarkably homogeneous, often sounding like messages genned from an RNC bullet-point memo. By joining, you don’t have to merely listen to what the media throws your way; you can be part of creating that media yourself.
- And, finally, one of the key reasons for the organization’s existence is to return democracy to the people by both exposing and battling the takeover of that democracy by large-scale, heavily funded special interests. This is a decidedly non-partisan issue. It doesn’t matter if you’re far right, far left, or anywhere along that pendulum’s swath: the one thing we all care about is our own vote. We want it, desperately, to once again mean something. That’s what the Coffee Party cares about. More than anything.
So here I am. And it’s not about selling books anymore. It’s about actually having that voice I keep telling people is so important. So listen to the shows. Check out the Facebook page. Decide for yourself if you want to participate. The Coffee Party will give you a new way to contribute your personal conservative voice to the conversation. And isn’t that basically what we all really want?
[i] Full disclosure: I still want to sell books. I’m a writer. QED