Truth, Conversations, and Consequences

By Todd Huff Published on February 25, 2024

My experience as a conservative talk show host has been anything but dull. 

I’ve been flipped off for simply pulling our wrapped and branded fifth wheel (aka, Eagle One) down the interstate during our Truth Tour travels. 

I’ve had to intervene to stop a domestic dispute at 2:00 am at a campground. 

And we’ve had to accommodate a news crew from Fox News in our home on extremely short notice, much to the dismay of my wife, who was paranoid that the bright lights were going to reveal some imperfection in our home. 

No, my friends, this journey is not boring. 

Meet “Joe”

One of my favorite stories begins with an email I received from “Joe” late in the Summer of 2020. I have written in detail about this story before, so I’m only going to give a summary of it here for our purposes. 

“Joe,” a self-identified liberal, wrote to explain that he had lost a bet with a couple of his conservative buddies. And as a result of losing the bet, he had to do a series of things designed to entertain his friends.

These things included shaving his head and painting pro-Trump slogans on his freshly-shaven dome. 

His buddies, who listen to our program, told “Joe” that they also wanted him to reach out to me so that I could chronicle the punishment because they believed this was right up my alley. 

Of course, they were right: this is the sort of thing that entertains me to no end. 

I told “Joe” that he made the bet, not me — and that we were going to have a little fun with it. I’m talking good, old-fashioned fun … at “Joe’s” expense, of course. 

But instead of jumping straight to the predictable conclusion, “Joe” and I decided to have a conversation. 

And then two. 

Conversation … What a Concept!

I know: it’s a novel concept in 2024. Many people, unfortunately, prefer to retreat to their respective echo chambers and relentlessly mock and verbally assault the perceived ‘loser’ in the interaction. After all, a few social media likes can possibly gain the aggressor 15-minutes of internet fame.

But what does that accomplish, besides puffing up the ego and getting a few cheap laughs? 

Sure, America needs to learn to laugh again. There’s no doubt about that. 

But she also needs to learn how to engage in public discourse again. Perhaps even more so. 

My friends, America is built upon ideas. If we embrace those ideas, we prosper. And if we reject those ideas, we suffer. 

Defending American Principles

Because of this, it logically follows that we had better be about the business of advancing and defending American principles, which are firmly rooted in truth. 

This requires several, very basic things from each of us. 

First, we have to know the truth. (By reading this column, you’re off to a great start!) 

Being a truth-seeker requires vulnerability and the ability to say “I don’t know” when faced with a difficult question we do not have the answer to. We do not have to know everything. But we have to know enough to take steps to engage. 

Being a truth-seeker means that we are willing to change our minds if and when truth demands it. It insists that we not view ourselves as the winner and the other person as the loser. After all, persuasion is something we do with or for someone – not to them. 

These little details may seem insignificant, but collectively, they can have quite the impact on our interactions with others. 

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Second, we must know how to communicate the truth. 

To do this, we need to see the other person as our equal. And we have to genuinely care for them. 

We need to listen to understand, not respond. 

We need to earn the right to speak. 

And if we do earn that right, we need to speak with them respectfully, relying upon questions whenever possible. Isn’t that better than launching into a lecture? 

Third, we must interact with those who reject truth and believe lies. 

This one is big because we can have the knowledge and the skills, but if we never engage with those who hold different views, we’re never going to have the opportunity to make a difference.

People Are Looking for Answers

I’m not sure if “Joe” ever changed his worldview, but he did tell me that our conversation caused him to rethink his entire ideology. 

And all I did was listen respectfully and push back on a very few basic misunderstandings “Joe” had about conservatism. 

Many Americans are looking for answers in this vitriolic, messy world. And we have answers to at least some of those questions, my friends. 

Let’s make sure we put ourselves in a position to be able to share truth while we still have the opportunity. 

 

Conservative, not bitter.

 

Todd Huff of The Todd Huff Show is an entertaining syndicated radio show host and podcaster, a dynamic columnist, and an insightful political/cultural commentator. His journey began in 2015, podcasting from his closet, a testament to his grassroots approach. Hailing from the heart of small-town USA in flyover country, Todd embodies the spirit of common sense in today’s discourse, proudly advocating a conservative but not bitter perspective.

Originally published at ToddHuffShow.com. Reprinted with permission.

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