Citizen Wausau

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Way to go Pat Snyder!

by on February 22nd, 2012

Let us start this off with just a little bit of honesty: I am no fan of Pat Snyder on the radio.  I am sure he is no fan of me either.  I disagree with him politically on just about everything he says, and I find his rhetorical style to be that of the blowhard and bully.   I am sure he finds me to be a petulant, backwards thinking, leftist kook.  All of this is probably true.  But, today Pat did something that I respect.  He decided to run for something.

I have never run for anything, and I have sort of avoided that at all costs.  But, I respect the crap out of someone for the act of running.  At its most noble, the act of running for public office is the desire to have your ideas pitted against the ideas of an opponent and let a group of people decide which direction they would like to see whatever is being contested go in.  Sure, more often than not politics is not about that, but instead it is something closer to a brutal slug fest in which opponents try to couch their ideas in language so vague and intentionally universal it is impossible to tell one from the other, then later on they throw the personal mud of fear and whatever other issue they can find at their opponent.

This seems to be the universal.

But, Pat Snyder has been a blow hard and bully on the radio for 100 years now it seems.  Truly a local institution.  He has been bombastic, arrogant, intellectually wrong about stuff, and quite possibly intentionally deceiving.  All without anyone to question him or call him on it.  Pat would say that he is providing quality radio and that he has a point of view.  I would disagree with the quality radio part.  But, he does have a point of view that he batters the audience and guests with, OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

And now he is going to have to explain that point of view.  He is going to have to stand in front of the public and the media, and make a case for me to vote for him.  He is going to have to go through the process, instead of being a king maker, he seeks to be a metaphorical king.

I respect that.  I respect that he will no longer be the guy railing against this or that, he will be the guy who has to solve this or that.  The nobility of the runner, the elevation to candidate.

We have a lot of candidates now.  Jeff Johnson is running, Donna Seidel is running,  Dr. Pam Galloway is going to have to run to save her job, Ed Gale is running for mayor, Jim Tipple is running for Mayor as well.  There are others, but I have been under the weather, and I will trust you, the electorate, to seek them out on your own.

I think it is great that each of them will take their turn on the public square, and they will tell me why they want to be whatever it is they want to be.  I applaud the candidate.  I think it is naïve to think that we are going to move into some sort of system in which the people who agree with me stay, and the others move to some country I take umbrage with, like France (which has never done me well — I am partial to the Scandanavian haunts these days).  I think that it is absurd.

What is not absurd though is the fact that Pat Snyder (and the others) now will stand in front of the public and be scrutinized.  They will be challenged, they will have to support their case, and they will use some sort of research.  Their facts will be checked (yeah, looking right at you, Pat Snyder), and if they are wrong the media will point out the lie.

What is more interesting is the role of Midwest Communications in this.  The FCC has a well defined set of rules about this sort of thing, and I might technically be an expert in this, and it appears that Chris Conley, the boss over there, is following the letter of the law.  But, now to be sure the actions of Pat Snyder must be different on the air, he is now a declared candidate, no longer just a broadcaster.  It will be interesting to see if there is a change.

It will also be interesting to see of scoop machines Matt Lehman and Raymond Nuepert give Pat the same level of scrutiny as other candidates.  I have my theory, but we shall see.

So, I say, atta boy, Pat Snyder and the rest of you.  A goodly portion of you are not going to get my vote.  But, I promise that I will listen to 100 percent of you, and let you make a case.  You deserve that, you deserve the nobility of the candidate.

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