Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Political Mentors: Dennis Prager

There are many political thinkers that have influenced me.  Over the next weeks and months (and years?), I will occasionally post information about these individuals and highlight what I think is some of their best work.

If I were to create a list of individuals that have influenced my political (and moral) thinking, at the top of the list would be Dennis Prager.  Dennis is an observant, conservative Jew who has been a radio talk show host for over 25 years.  He takes a rational, coolheaded approach to discussing political topics, without resorting to rants or overheated dialogue like so many other talk show hosts do. His program covers a wide range of topics, with only about half of his time devoted to politics.  He dedicates three hours of his weekly program to topics that go beyond politics, namely: The Happiness Hour; The Male/Female Hour; and the Ultimate Issues Hour (dealing with BIG issues in life).  In addition, he frequently has authors and other guests on his show to discuss a broader range of topics.  For the breadth of his topics and his clarity of thought, I have yet to tire of listening to him after nearly ten years. My wife even enjoys listening to him, though less frequently the political hours as she finds politics somewhat depressing.

Dennis is great at making generalizations about society and then providing lots of supporting evidence to back up his argument.  Here are some recurring themes from his shows:
- "I prefer clarity to agreement" when debating those who differ
- American values can be summarized by looking at a coin, i.e. Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum
- "The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen"
- "Happiness is a moral obligation"
- "Those who are kind to the cruel, will be cruel to the kind."
- "The famous are rarely significant, and the significant are rarely famous"
His podcasts are available by subscription only ($7 a month or less), but I've uploaded some of his better hours to my website in case anyone wants to try him out. He may be found on many local radio stations, but sometimes at inconvenient times, so podcasting turns out to be the best way to hear him.

Avatar and pantheism
How the Vietnam War was won (before it was lost)
How leftism becomes a substitute religion for many
How the left promotes reliance on government, the right promotes reliance on family and God.
Dennis interviews Jonah Goldberg, author of 'Liberal Fascism' (an amazing book BTW)
A male/female hour with Alison Armstrong
Happiness is a moral obligation
Author Thomas Sowell on his new book 'Intellectuals and Society'
Study shows that 'greens' are less honest than others
Ultimate Issues Hour: What matters more, actions or intentions
The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen
(right click the link and select 'Save link as...' to download)

1 comment:

Malinda said...

Good summary. I love DP!