It's time to get out of my comfort zone. No more milquetoast, middle-of-the-road reporting from BBC News. No more listening in on conversations with people that I already tend to agree with on most things. Let's get real.
While I was going through my usual, half-assed research routine for things that I'm unfamiliar with, "Behind Enemy Lines Radio" is one of the first conservative podcasts that surfaced. Conservative talk radio is widely recognized as an influential force in the the modern media landscape, but the most popular podcasts centered around current events and politics tend to be left leaning. Listening to archives of Rush Limbaugh or another well known radio host sounded dull, so here we are.
Behind Enemy Lines has a charmingly loose and gritty vibe compared to what I'm used to. Their most recent episode, recorded shortly after the most recent Republican presidential debate, largely consisted drunken cross talk between the hosts of this show, hosts of other shows, and members of the Brooklyn Young Republicans. Commercial breaks included plugs for sketchy sounding vitamin supplements instead of standard podcast affair like Audible and Squarespace. To my personal delight, they also took the "Behind Enemy Lines" motif very seriously, frequently referring to New York as the "People's Republic of New York" and playing some rebellious heavy metal music in the opening.
Beyond the general trappings of the show, I was genuinely curious to see how this group of staunch Republicans views the current crop of Republican presidential candidates. Unsurprisingly, Jeb Bush was derided as being a "liberal" and a "RINO," and the relatively moderate (albeit still quite conservative in absolute terms) John Kasich received plenty of scorn as well. Ted Cruz appeared to be the consensus favorite, which makes some sense, given his Tea Party bona fides.
In most cases, however, their opinions were actually quite in line with the "mainstream" perspective. To take Donald Trump as an example, most of the participants in this podcast portrayed him as a charismatic figure that is severely lacking in terms of concrete policy proposals. Along with some gratuitous speculation as to whether or not she is a "MILF," several of the discussants brought up Carly Fiorina as the person most likely to get a bump in the polls following her strong debate performance. There was even a short period of time where I almost forgot about the discussants' political leanings, until one of the guests asked if it would be okay for him to refer to CNN's staff as "liberal d-bags."
I will say that listening to this made me question some of the ways that I choose to casually talk about politics with people that I know. Perhaps all of my sick Mike Huckabee burns aren't actually all that insightful or witty, particularly to anyone who happens to disagree with me... Nah, that can't be. Everything that I say is the best. Go me!