Scott Hughes: Talk Radio With No Substance

Recently, I listened to a local radio show here in Henderson. At the risk of sounding negative, I wasn’t at all impressed with what I heard. Had it not been early in the day, it would have probably put me to sleep. I’m sure that they run out of things to talk about and if a caller doesn’t call in to bring up a topic, they are, for the most part, stagnant. Media sources are valuable resources for the community and, if utilized appropriately, can be extremely beneficial.

One of the main problems that I subjectively see here in Henderson is the lack of knowledge regarding common daily events and situations. There is a municipal election coming up and that would be a great topic for discussion. Speaking of elections, I’m going to mention the big elections like the one that we had just a few months ago. The election that opened the door for President Trump to walk right into the White House. I’m not going to write about whether or not I like our president or if I voted for him. At this point, its irrelevant. In 3 years, or just before the election, I will start talking about that.

            Back to the lack of knowledge. After asking many residents a few questions about government, economics, and politics, I gained the impression, actually it is more of a fact, that local residents don’t have a clear understanding of anything dealing with the 3 topics just mentioned. In no way is this an insinuation that anyone is dumb or unintelligent, it’s more of a result of wasted media time. That talk show that was an hour of pretty much nothing of substance could be a tool to correct the problem of local ignorance or lack of knowledge.

When the majority of voters only pay attention to elections and candidates just before the election, how can intelligent and informed decisions be made? It seems that we have entered into a somewhat passive process of deciding on our next officials and just voting for the person with the most road signs, voting for whomever your pastor tells you to, or voting using the “eeny meeny miny moe” method. If I were to start asking local residents if they are happy with the current roster of elected officials on all levels, what would be the answers? Things could possibly change for the better if the majority of voters would actually learn about the individual candidates and stop making pencil marks randomly on the ballot. There is nothing more beneficial than an informed decision.

It sometimes seems like we, the people, just don’t care about election outcomes anymore. “It doesn’t matter who I vote for. Nothing will change” are common responses that I’ve gotten after asking that question. I usually get that answer and a seriously strange look. Maybe I’m too optimistic, or I have too much faith in the American Spirit, but I believe that if we, the voters, will start taking just a little time in order to become informed, things will change and change for the better. Even if my prediction turns out to be wrong, it’s still worth a try. We can’t just sit back on our der-ri-ere and expect change without any effort.

I’m hoping that one day I will be able to turn on local talk shows and hear real discussions taking place. Maybe one day I will talk to someone while standing in line, waiting to vote, and see that the person I’m talking to has knowledge of the candidates. Maybe when that day gets here, having real knowledge of officials, events, issues, and many other important topics, will be the norm and no longer the exception. On that day, I guarantee there will be a change leading in a positive direction.


Scott Hughes
Henderson, NC
Former Vance County Commissioner

Image Information: Wokandapix / Pixabay