Radio Free Hillsdale 101.7 FM’s new show, Citizen Talk, has made the word “prudence” its motto by going below the surface of mere hot button issues, to explore the deeper meaning of the contentious topics of the day.
Two Hillsdale College graduate students, Juan Davalos and Lynette Grundvig, have hit the airwaves of Radio Free Hillsdale on 101.7 FM with their new program, Citizen Talk. Airing every Thursday at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., the show features Davalos, Grundvig, and an invited guest for an hour-long discussion on current events and the major issues of the week.
Davalos, a Winston Churchill fellow, earned his bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies at Moody Bible Institute and his master’s degree in philosophy from Biola University. Grundvig is working on her doctorate in politics at Hillsdale, having already earned her master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Denver.
Until Citizen Talk kicked off, radio programming on WRFH was conducted by either undergraduate students or local residents. Radio Free Hillsdale General Manager Scot Bertram expressed excitement about changing this.
“This show is the first long-term radio show established by graduate students at the station,” Bertram said. “It is already unique for being the first show not put on by undergraduates.”
According to its mission statement on SoundCloud, Citizen Talk is dedicated to restoring wise leadership and counsel in public discussion.
“Statesmanship is lost in today’s polarized political culture,” the statement says. “This necessary art in a self-governing republic must take into account three main elements: principles, human nature, and circumstances. We want to practice this lost art with our listeners by looking at one of the main political stories dominating the news cycle of the week and analyzing it through the eyes of a Statesman.”
Davalos and Grundvig said they began the program to encourage more fruitful and conscientious dialogue on current events.
“One of the things we’ve noticed is people don’t think about political issues prudentially,” Davalos said. “Especially in the Christian and conservative culture, we tend to look at politics through the lens of theory. We need to look at the circumstances and then figure out the best way for theory to fit accordingly.”
So far, Citizen Talk has prioritized inviting faculty as guests, and has already hosted Distinguished Visiting Professor of History Victor Davis Hanson, Assistant Professor of Politics Adam Carrington, and Professor of Politics Thomas West. Davalos emphasized that each guest has helped contribute wisdom to their discussion.
The pair also hinted at plans to invite local politicians to discuss issues, and potentially even national figures, as time goes on.
“We will continue taking important topics that are dominating the news cycle.” Davalos said, “and try to break them down into their different elements.”