Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Next Great Communicator?

A few years ago I discovered Dennis Prager on the radio.

This discovery came at a pivotal time in my life, as I was going through quite a bit of self-discovery after a five year period of methamphetamine abuse. Prager's wisdom and common sense gave me great guidance during some extremely difficult times during my recovery.

Dennis Prager is without a doubt one of the least bombastic radio personalities on the air today. His show airs live during the same time slot as Rush Limbaugh, and he offers a stark contrast to Limbaugh's aggressive style. Like Limbaugh, Prager is an extremely consistent and common sense Conservative, but with a calm and extremely approachable demeanor.

Prager takes a fair amount of calls during his broadcast, and is willing to engage in reasonable debate with liberals rather than slamming them. Because of his deep understanding of the differences between political left and right, combined with his soothing personality, he often allows liberals to hang themselves with their own statements. I have never heard a discussion during which Prager became cross or disrespectful, and I have never heard Prager lose a debate. He offers the intellect over which the left believes it holds ownership, while offering clarity and common sense of which liberals only dream.


Mr. Prager was a Fellow at Columbia University's School of International Affairs, where he did graduate work at the Middle East and Russian Institutes. He has taught Russian and Jewish history at Brooklyn College; and was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the U.S. Delegation to the Vienna Review Conference on the Helsinki Accords. He holds an honorary doctorate of laws from Pepperdine University.

Prager is a different kind of radio talk show host, in that he does not deal exclusively in politics. He often has authors on his show to discuss their recent works. He discusses religion in a very candid fashion, without being too "in-your-face" or overly rhetorical. He has a weekly segment called "The Ultimate Issues Hour" that deals in debates and discussions about God and religion. This segment is always extremely compelling. He also does a weekly segment about human nature of the sexes, called "The Male-Female Hour," and every Friday he has "The Happiness Hour," which deals in different aspects of happiness in life - such as the fact that you do not need to be completely satisfied to be happy in life, how to deal with certain emotional stimuli as they affect your happiness, and how important happiness is to a person's general well-being.

In my humble opinion, Dennis Prager is one of the best communicators of Conservativism in America today. Certainly Rush Limbaugh is the most popular radio host and very effective, but he is also the lightning rod. Sean Hannity is indeed a Great American and very popular, but sometimes he loses focus, and he has an ability (I believe subconscious) to come across in a condescending way to those with whom he disagrees. Glenn Beck is... well, Glenn Beck. I personally love his animated style and I can relate directly to his story of redemption, but he, like Limbaugh, is quite the lightning rod.

Anyway, the reason I bring all of this up tonight is because this week I rediscovered Dennis Prager's radio show and was very pleasantly reminded why I gained admiration for him in the past. With Rush on his great search for a new health care system, I listened to Mark Steyn Monday but then wanted a change of pace on Tuesday.

Since he was traveling to the Ronald Reagan Library to appear on Hannity, Tuesday's Dennis Prager show was a repeat, and the "Ultimate Issues Hour" was fantastic. Prager dealt with the idea that the core difference between left and right, Conservative and progressive, is God. The right believes in God, and the left needs something to replace their lack of belief in The Divine. This theory explains why the left is so enthralled with concepts such as "global warming," because that crisis deals in nature, which progressives hold in esteem. Prager very clearly defined how in God, Conservatives find morality which leads us correctly through life, whereas progressives seek their moral compass from objects that can not offer morality such as trees, mountains, and clouds. Nature is a creation of God, and so in nature Conservatives see God's beautiful creation. Progressives believe that Earth is God.

Also fascinating, and somewhat related, was a discussion today about the fact that the left always needs to have a crisis or a cause.

Today Prager also very clearly stated that we are in the midst of America's second Civil War. He, like all Conservatives, is rightly offended by the ridiculous comparisons of ObamaCare to Civil Rights, and found Pelosi - a lone White woman amongst a bunch of (primarily Black) men, offering her ridiculously mocking smile - to be egregious imagery.

However, these points are not (specifically) the point I wish to make.

My point is that sometime during today's show, Prager mentioned that he wishes to lead. He doesn't seem quite positive what his place is exactly, but he knows he is a person who can communicate the message of Conservatism's greatness very effectively, and he doesn't want to be "just another talk show host."

In the midst of this commentary, Prager said, "Unless I run for President, but I'm not sure that's what I want..." and he kind of left it at that.

There has been great discussion about the fact that perhaps our next leader will come from out of the shadows, almost unexpectedly. Prager, while certainly a known entity, is not on the forefront of today's media battle.

Also often discussed is the fact that the best leader for America would be an almost reluctant leader - someone who typically does not want power, but realizes that everyone has a specific purpose in life, and when you are called, you serve. I sincerely believe Dennis Prager would envision public service as service.

Prager is Jewish. Make no mistake - looking at a person's religion through a purely political prism, this could be extremely beneficial.

America is currently flipping the proverbial bird to her most important ally, Israel. Jews (for reasons I'll never understand) are almost monolithic in their voting for Democrats, but a Conservative Jew who is able to communicate the real message of Conservatism, as well as honor the obvious need to stand by Israel unequivocally... well, let's just say he'd be a perfect candidate in this respect.

Additionally, Prager is a Jew who hold utmost respect for Christianity, which is something greatly needed today. He discussed the ridiculous situation in Davenport, Iowa with great clarity and reason.

We are clearly in a moral decline, and a man who understands his own moral compass and is able to share that idea without offending others or leaving questions about his sincerity would be a welcome change after four years of questionable and offensive behavior.

From his website:

Dennis has engaged in interfaith dialogue with Catholics at the Vatican, Muslims in the Persian Gulf, Hindus in India, and Protestants at Christian seminaries throughout America. For ten years, he conducted a weekly interfaith dialogue on radio with representatives of virtually every religion in the world. New York's Jewish Week described Dennis Prager as "one of the three most interesting minds in American Jewish Life."

Ronald Reagan was known as "The Great Communicator." He could tell America what we needed to hear without equivocation. He was soft-spoken, extremely well spoken, modest, attractive without being threatening. He understood the danger of liberalism, or progressivism, and knew how to communicate why the left was wrong and what the right course was for America. He offered a moral compass without imposing or forcing any particular religion, while making it perfectly clear that America is a gift from God and that we should honor and cherish American Exceptionalism.

I believe Dennis Prager may be the next Great Communicator, and just might be the person who will come out of the shadows to lead America back to greatness.

I'd love to know what you think. My comments section is always open.


Opus #6 said...

I have always heard good things about him. If he decides to run for office, I will give him a good look-see.

ozzie said...

I have not heard of him, but it sounds like an interesting alternative- although I am more of a "fired-up" "ready-to-go" conservative..... Meaning Limbaugh was music to my ears since I first heard his show less than a year ago.

There is 1 thing you mentioned that I wanted to expand upon, although I'm sure it's been covered before. IMO the difference of God between the left and the right is that old notion of moral relativism. The right believes in absolute right/wrong, which is a moving marker for the left. Ommitting (sp?) such firm beliefs allows for the moral flexibility some need in order to be in compliance with a flawed belief structure (post below). They don't not believe in God because of what God is, but because what they aren't or don't want to be. In fact, many arguments [anti-God] are simply justification and fortification of that world view to provide some insulation from defining absolute good/evil, truth/lies. People are cunning enough to know not to back themselves into a corner.

tammy said...

I will check him out, but I just wanted to say congrats on making it through your addictions. I have a brother-in-law who has been clean & sober now for almost 18 months. I know from watching him how hard it is.

contento said...

Good stuff, Soloman. Whenever I turn on Limbaugh -- which would be every day -- and find he has taken a day off I'm disappointed for about 2 seconds, at which point I remember that I can switch over to Prager for the morning. That made much of this a Prager week around here. How'd I miss that running for president line? That would be some real hope'n'change.

Anonymous said...

all well said! (but) Rush is uncanny in his insightful political analysis - Dennis is "clasically educated" and reasoned.

Rush is focused as a laser on political issues - Dennis is not a "political animal"... Dennis once agonized over a possible CA senate bid - and decided he had more freedom of expression and influence on the radio (true enough).

Wisdom, uderstanding, ethical compass, and love of God, freedom, and country are all qualities that we highly desire in our political leaders and representatives. (but) to be effective, you must have heart for political warfare (~ Gen Patton). If you are principled, you must be as wise as a serpent. Plus, you must have enough "stage-presence" to be seen, heard, recognized. How hard/rare is all of that? That's the way it is.

Pedaling said...

thanks for highlighting Prager-
i had not heard of him before- but, am very interested. i love different styles and personalities and his seems like a refreshing change.
i'll check him out, next week and let you know what i think.

The_Kid said...

Sounds like Michael Medved. Especially letting liberals hang themselves with their own self-conflicting 'logic'.

Liberals really do have the minds of children. They know what they want at any given moment and that's about it.

Soloman said...

Opus -

I don't know what your life's schedule is like. If you have a chance to listen to radio - 9am to noon Pacific time, he's well worth a listen.

I don't know how serious he was with his statement, but it made me think, if nothing else. He is exactly the type of person we've all been wishing Sarah Palin would be - someone from "out of nowhere" yet known, reluctant yet willing because we need a true leader.

Anyway - just my thoughts.

Soloman said...

ozzie -

Like you, I enjoy the "fired up" type, but right now I think that - as funny as this sounds - we need to fight fire with fire.

If Obama's "fire" is his supposed intelligence, Prager outmatches him.

Obama is "cool, calm, collected" and Prager is equal in his demeanor. This is extremely important - the left constantly vilifies the right for being loud, angry...

What if we had a person who truly outclassed Obama, was smarter than him, had a more focused message than McCain (which was one of McCain's biggest problems) and had serious credentials, something we all know Palin is lacking in the eyes of many?

Not to be a broken record - but I don't know how serious he is. Having said that, I'd support him in a New York minute.

Soloman said...

contento -

I'm going to be listening to Prager a bit more over the coming days.

I love Rush and respect his sharp analysis, but I'm curious to see where Prager is headed - if anywhere with this.

Glad to hear your thoughts!

Soloman said...

Anon -

I agree the heart has to be there.

At this point I'm taking Prager's words and putting them to thought, and getting opinions.

I'm not familiar with the CA Senate bid of which you speak, but I don't think we're talking apples to apples here.

I'm not saying Prager is the savior by any means, but somebody's got to step up and get us on the right track. We sure ain't headed there now, and I don't see Pawlenty or Romney as the best choice. Sorry.

He has (I believe) the credentials, he's an incredible student and would learn Obama (even more) inside and out in order to defeat him, and he's got the personality the left flaunts in our faces constantly.

Right now I think we are in such dire straits that a non-political "animal" would be just the right person.

Soloman said...

Pedaling -

I'm sure he broadcasts in your area - he's well worth the listen. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Soloman said...

Tammy -

He's on 960 KKNT here in Phoenix.

Tell your brother-in-law congratulations from someone who knows.

(for what it's worth) At 18 months I was just finally starting to understand how to be myself again. You lose yourself and forget how to be real. If he ever discusses this aspect with you... tell him it will start getting easier...

Thank you for your thoughts. I greatly appreciate it.

Soloman said...

Kid -

Medved is a pretty good comparison. They're both broadcast on the same network (Prager airs right before Medved).

If you take Medved's intelligence and methods, calm him down and smooth him out (I think Medved gets a little riled up sometimes), make him (I believe) even smarter...

I said to my mother in an email about a debate between Prager and Obama -

Dennis would outclass him and outsmart him, and do it all in such a nice way that Obama would be thanking him for it afterward.

RightKlik said...

Too bad we don't get his show in our area. I do like his articles on Townhall.