Today Michael Smerconish on his weekly Saturday CNN program advocated that the bill in Congress mandating automobile manufacturers selling motor vehicles in America have a radio that tunes in both FM and AM stations not pass not be adopted into law! Most of the time Michael gets it pretty much right on public policy but he is dead wrong on this issue; it's best for the country Congress mandate AM radios in cars ,AM radio is an asset to our Democracy. Some background AM radio is sensitive to the flow of electricity in wires around the radio it affects the reception causes a lot of static and EV car manufacturers because EV cars are powered by electricity have this AM reception problem big-time and EV car manufacturers don't want to incur the expense of shielding their radios from this interference so some have dropped putting AM radios in their cars and others are planning to do so. For Americans that want this mandate, like this writer, that want cars in America to have to have an AM radio this is the major concern. AM radio unlike FM radio has an abundance of political talk radio stations and proponents of the mandate believe overall that this political discourse is good for America. Michael thinks that AM radio is like VHS tapes and cassette radio tapes it had its time it had its run but it is time to move on other venues for political discourse will grow and take its place, the podcast phenomena and internet radio, etc. these things are better substitutes. Nope, doesn't work these things don't nearly replace the value of AM radio! Yes most AM political talk radio is far-right wing hosts bashing the Democrats although you do have some left-wing hosts bashing Republicans granted the former group dwarfs the latter. But here is a key point these political talk radio programs offer a forum for candidates for elected office and actual elected office officials to be interviewed and discuss their public policy positions. I regularly listen to Hugh Hewitt's radio program on 990 AM in Philadelphia and the Dom Giordano radio program on 1210 and both programs frequently have candidates and elected officials on their program. Why is this important any responsible discussion about America's elections would recognize the importance of campaign funding to buy advertisement time so candidates can get their message out, talk radio helps level the playing field for candidates because they do not have to pay for that air time when they appear on AM radio programs and advocate for their policy positions; so from this standpoint AM radio helps our democracy. Similarly, these political talk radio programs help candidates efficiently spend their campaign dollars by providing an outlet for their campaign advertisements; people that listen to political talk radio by and large really care about public policy issues and the direction of their community and the nation and they believe the government still works for the people so they most importantly vote so candidates can reach these voting citizens advertising on these AM stations so they can get a big bang for their campaign buck. Having outlets where candidates can really reach voting Americans is important. So many Americans are jaded and disillusioned with the political process they think voting doesn't matter, the same crap keeps going on with our government where it is set up to work for the insiders and not for regular folk and so a lot of Americans don't vote so it is better for our democracy that the country can have these advertisement outlets where citizens that actually vote can be reached. There is an abundance of evidence of citizen disillusionment with the political process where American citizens don't vote. I think it was shocking this past week's Democrat primary election for the job of Mayor of Philadelphia. In this primary collectively there was phenomenal candidates, there was two of the City's most successful and impressive businessman Alan Domb who built a remarkable real estate empire and Jeff Brown who brought and runs large supermarkets in food deserts in the city who spent ten million and four million of their own money respectively on their campaigns; there was Helen Gym a darling of America's Progressive movement who never met a left-wing protest rally she didn't like; there was Rebecca Rhynhart a real life Mr. Smith goes to Washington type where as the City's Controller she was calling out the Police Department and the Mayor for mismanagement she was prepared to go toe-to toe against the establishment and she had the wherewithal to win; and then there was Cherelle Parker what the Diva Patti LaBelle is to the music world, Cherelle is to the political world in Philadelphia, a larger than life figure! So what was the voter turnout in this off-the-scales race, only "thirty percent" of the registered Democrat voters voted in the race, so needless to say having venues where candidates when spending their precious campaign funds can reach actual voters is extremely valuable to our democracy and AM radio is such a venue! If our country loses AM political talk radio it will be losing hosts who have a pulse to the American people that know and appreciate what ordinary Americans care about and these hosts are good ambassadors for ordinary Americans in our public debate; our Democracy needs this populist voice in our public debate. Because now we have journalists who too often are about stoking conflict so their network can get good ratings and most profitably sell commercial time; these journalists hurt and undermine our Democracy. Media debates often have political party operatives who are all about gaining advantage for their party and if we lose talk radio hosts the voice of these political operatives will just get stronger which will be detrimental to our democracy. Further, if we lose AM talk radio we will be losing a farm system for good citizens to become good political officials; Mike Pence has a background in political talk radio and Mike Johnson, Joe Walsh and Jason Lewis all worked in political talk radio. People listen to talk radio while driving in their cars and a large number of such people and this will likely always be the case cannot afford a subscription to SiriusXM so if the nation allows AM radio to be killed off it will be losing a vehicle that makes Americans better and more informed and more engaged citizens! Further, you lose Am talk radio and you lose an effective means of raising money for good charities. On the stations I listen to they raise money to send the children of people who are in prison to summer camps to provide a joyful experience for them and lessen the trauma and loss of having their parent in prison. Another charity that talk radio helps is around Christmas they raise money for an organization that provides Christmas gifts for children in struggling families!