Today I went on the Lars Larson show. For people that don’t know who he is, Lars is a very conservative talk radio host out of Portland. His email signature has MAGA 2020 in big red letters.
This was my first “interview” and I learned a lot from it. I used quotes because it was very hard to answer his question before I was cut off with another question. I expected something like this, but having never had an experience like this I didn’t perform to where I wanted to. This experience was great for me as it helped me understand conservative media a little bit better, and in the future I will be able to express my points in a more concise manner.
I entered the studio and Lars started telling his producer a story about a boy scout from 20 years ago cleaning up a Trimet bus stop and getting in trouble for it, something to complain about unions. We then went live and I admit, I was caught off guard. Lars opened with a question about Earl Blumenauer saying there should be a boycott of Gordon Sondland’s hotels and asked me my opinion. I have a full-time job and staying up to date on every political happening is time-consuming. The career politicians don’t have to worry about putting food on the table so while I might not know about Earl’s most recent tweets in 100% detail, I am learning and growing and will bring my experience as someone that actually has to live and work in Oregon to truly represent the people.
Having looked into this further I can now give some facts and a full statement.
- Gordon Sondland, a hotel owner, donated $1,000,000 to Donald Trump after his election
- Sondland was given a position as Trumps ambassador to the EU
- Donald Trump has been implicated and admitted on television to withholding funds to Ukraine in exchange for information on a political opponent
- Sondland is a central witness to the withholding of funds and the request for damaging information on Trump’s political opponent
- Donald Trump has tried – and succeeded – in blocking many people in his administration from testifying in Congressional oversight
- Gordon Sondland refused to testify in front of Congress under Donald Trump’s orders
- Earl Blumenauer called for a boycott of Sondland’s hotels until he fulfills his duty as a citizen to testify and turn over all relevant documents
I personally do not support companies whose business models or ownership I do not agree with. I would not spend my money at Sondland’s hotels knowing it might go to Donald Trump, and I also encourage people to follow their conscience andvote with their wallets as well. There should be consequences for people who defy the law, and if Congress can’t impose penalties then it is our duty as citizens of the USA to live up to the constitution. Congress not doing enough to hold people and corporations accountable is one of the reasons I am running for office. After I was successfully thrown off I got a chance to try and explain my Fight to Unite Initiative. I had expected going into this that Lars would have read my website to do research to prepare for the interview. I was wrong to assume that Lars would try and read about my goals for the country in advance, and while trying to explain them I was constantly cut off with tangents and got caught up in small details without being able to paint the whole picture.
When I brought up how we could solve problems like in Flint, or Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, Lars brought up that it was their fault they had issues with water and electricity and were corrupt. I believe that the American citizens of Flint, Michigan, or Puerto Rico are responsible for their circumstances for being taken advantage of by corrupt officials, and I believe it is our duty to help our brothers and sisters that were abused by those in power. Regardless of corruption at the top, the citizens who live there are all not only Americans, but the people affected are all living, breathing, humans who deserve better. My Fight to Unite Initiative helps solve these issues in a beneficial way and has the capability to transform the world. I wholly agree with it.
I have not had an experience trying to talk with someone like this where they don’t listen and interrupt answers to their own questions, and will do better next time.
We then went to commercial break out of the blue and that was the end of the topic. Off the air, Lars then took a call to arrange the purchase of a gun and asked me why I do not carry one. I told him that I do not feel unsafe and he tried to convince me carrying a gun is like wearing a seatbelt, or skydiving with a parachute. I disagreed, and he then asked me another question about green energy and then rolled his eyes when I didn’t understand his idiom. I tried to tell him why I support green energy and was cut off by the show going back on the air.
After giving up on trying to understand Fight to Unite, Lars changed the subject and I tried to talk about my plan to increase wages. Lars insisted that the math didn’t check out despite not having crunched any numbers. I used Walmart as an example and he didn’t understand why reworking taxes to incentivize companies to pay higher wages would work. Lars then pulled a dollar bill out of his pocket and offered to give me a dollar and I will give him 3 back. He then asked if I would give him a hundred dollars and I told him that if he invested it to repay me I would do that. Lars suggested that he would invest the money into cigars or alcohol instead of into his business.
Either Lars was making a disingenuous comparison, or he believes that if we give a large corporation a tax incentive then they will spend that money on personal gain. If it is true that large corporations will only use tax incentives irresponsibly, then I would argue that we should remove all of Walmart’s tax incentives.
The interview ended abruptly and I immediately knew what I could do better the next time. It was a great learning experience and I will do a better job in the future articulating and not getting caught up. I felt my second half was better than my first after I got a little more comfortable.
I would like to remind Lars about a quote from someone influential in our countries past. While arguing why people should be paid a non-living wage, he forgets that workers are human beings. As a society we shouldn’t put money over welfare, and that is what I want to fight for.
“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration”