Disappointed by My Latest Column
I thrive to compete in the arena of ideas. I know there are many who don’t see value in articulating the points and positions of ideology, and would prefer that we devote our energy entirely to action. I strongly disagree. I think that investing time in unpacking the ideas that define our culture is time well spent, so long as it motivates us to action. My hard-line conservative columns in the Capital Gazette have been lightning rods to put it lightly. I was especially interested in a Letter to the Editor from Annapolis resident, Philip Allen, who took issue with my admittedly abstract commentary on the ongoing conflict between conservative and leftist ideology. His use of the word “interlocutor” put a smile on my face, as I love to see precise words invoked in communications. I considered reserving my next column to respond to his accusations, but with only 2 columns a month, I have more pressing matters to discuss. I’ll be happy to address his claims right here on the blog though.
To be absolutely clear, I think Mr. Allen makes a completely valid point that the article was abstract. There are several reasons that I intentionally engineered my message in such a manner, the primary of which is that my mission was to send a message, loud and clear that local conservatives have a voice. The values we hold dear are intrinsic to our worldview and need no clarification. Sometimes my messages are to broader audiences, and in those instances, I do tend to clarify a sampling of conservative ideas. Space is at a premium, and a significant portion of my editing time is spent paring my column down to communicate a message with maximum efficiency. For this particular article, the feedback I am getting from fellow conservatives is that I was successful in my mission. They knew exactly what I was saying. The article would have been frustratingly nebulous for “the uninitiated”, to borrow from Mr. Allen. While my desire is to reach across ideological lines, I am very selective with the timing and venue for these engagements. In this case, the dialogue that Mr. Allen seeks was not my priority at that time. As I remind my dear children, there are many times that we revolve around the world, and not vice versa.
I’m always a little embarrassed for readers that publicly broadcast that they didn’t read the article they attempt to challenge. It’s hard not to imagine that Mr. Allen selectively read three or four phrases from my column, then filled the rest with supporting statements from his own imagination. I was explicit in my column that my objection to Baltimore’s handling of the Confederate statues was that the city rejected their own recommendations to addressing the statues. The entire paragraph was dedicated to this subject! Then, the man went on to ask who I was talking about when I mentioned that there were Democrats fighting to purge their party of intolerant leftism. This statement was literally preceded by two sentences that cited action taken by Pete Smith when he challenged fellow Democrats to reject a leftist attitude of intolerance! I wish to be gracious to all people. I don’t know Mr. Allen, but he sounds intelligent, which leads me to the less pleasant thought that he has no desire for legitimate dialogue, but rather seeks to undercut my message. As bad as that is, I’d rather not assume the alternative.
If by some other explanation, Mr. Allen legitimately wants to understand our worldview and ideas, I would prescribe a healthy dose of elementary research. Even in the Capital, I have, at times, tailored my message to audiences broader than my fellow like-minded conservatives and offer specific ideas, as I did in my 8-11 Column: “How about a Severn night out for Anne Arundel County?” In my controversial 7-27 Column: “Pols offer snake oil on the Severn”, I explicitly defined my deep concerns for the harm that leftist ideology brings to our local poor communities. The Capital aside, I have a platform on Facebook and this blog, where I routinely articulate the nuances of conservative ideology. Most recently, I spelled out some of the economic values of Conservatism in my post: “Am I A Christian or Conservative?” I have a series of videos in which I discuss the ideas that define our worldview, and practical responses to many current events. The information is there, and Mr. Allen, and anyone who wishes to learn more, is welcome to educate themselves. That’s why this platform exists. Bee Indee!