What Was He Thinking?

dr-michael-savage.jpgLast night, I caught just a moment of “The Savage Nation,” a radio talk show about current political issues where listeners can call in to give their thoughts – or in this case, lack of. This caller, whose name I didn’t catch, said something along the lines of, “I just can’t stand it when politicians use religion as part of their campaigns…they are all hypocrites.” Sure, it’s fine having and voicing that opinion, but apparently he thought we was going to win the battle of words with the host, who, lucky for him, was not Michael Savage. Savage can be relentless: he sees a fault in an argument – anyargument – and goes for the jugular.

But the host, Peter someone, pulled no punches and called the man an “ignorant fool,” which I happened to agree with. Host Peter said that making a gross generalization like that would be the same as his saying that all atheists were evil. However, the host did NOT make that statement; he only said that for the caller to make such an uninformed statement about politicians, would be, hence the  subjunctivetense, similar to his saying that all atheists are evil.

Apparently, the caller was a little confused by the large words and the unfamiliar verb tense because he then changed tack and said “I don’t believe in evil,” completelymissing the point which Host Peter made very well. Several more minutes ensued of Host Peter posed pertinent questions with clear, albeit subjunctive, answers: he asked Caller what he would consider Ted Bundy, if not evil?

As Caller began to sink further into the quagmire of his own words, Host Peter insulted him yet again, and ended the call. My question to the caller, whoever he is, is “What the hell were you thinking? Did you actually think you could win an argument on national radio with someone who argues for a living????”

Clearly, Caller, you are not very well spoken, and just because you have an opinion, it doesn’t mean you need to voice it to the nation! Sometimes it’s better to leave the thoughts inside your head. I keep remembering an adage from long ago: “Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re dumb, than to open it and remove all doubt.”

I know I’m not a good public speaker. As the result of an automobile wreck I had almost 20 years ago, my brain had to re-learn how to speak. Therefore I don’t speak quickly, often giving others the impression that I’m slow or below average. Once people get to know me, though, I don’t have to worry about giving them that impression, because although  I speak slowly, they realize that I choose my words carefully.

Back to Caller and Host Peter. What was caller thinking when he called in to the show to make such an opinionated statement? He should have had a clear plan about what to say, and then another plan about what to say when Host Peter throws him a curve, and then several contingency plans when first two or three plans fell apart.

To sum up the main points:

1.) Don’t call someone and pretend to be an expert if you’re not. Doing so only makes you look uneducated and ignorant.

2.) Don’t call someone who debates for a living, unless you are an expert. Even then, you’ll probably get whipped.

3.) You don’t always have to say what’s on your mind. Leave people guessing. You might find it appealing.

How ’bout it?

Explore posts in the same categories: grammar, The Communications Factors

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3 Comments on “What Was He Thinking?”

  1. The “I just can’t stand it when politicians use religion as part of their campaigns…they are all hypocrites” comment is what some misguided citizens resort to when they realize they are being VERY hypocritical by taking CHRISTmas day OFF while saying it’s not about CHRISTmas.

    Apparently the caller thought he would try out his anti-CHRISTian rhetoric in a public forum.

    You are correct. Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut . . .

  2. goofy Says:

    Subjunctive is a verb mood, not a tense.

  3. Thank you, Goofy. I appreciate the correction.


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