by Brad Nelson
First off, I’ve learned a great deal about the WordPress software and the various plugins or “widgets” available for it. This is generally the sort of geeky stuff I like doing. And I confess a taste for red meat as well…too much so.
And I’ve very much enjoyed taking articles that other people have written and trying to present them in the best and most profession way. Although I like writing, I have no desire to hog the space. I have always made an effort to put everyone else’s article above mine and with greater prominence.
I like reading and writing about various subjects. To my mind, this site is meant to be a venue (within a general conservative/libertarian context) for people to do so. My hope was not to create National Review Junior but to truly take our writing to the next level.
What surprised me was how many people didn’t want to do that. They seem satisfied in just ranting away at someone else’s views rather than having something of their own to say. In fact, it seems that many people are incapable of a more affirmative statement of their own.
I didn’t envision StubbornThings to be simply an outlet for a different kind of political red-meat bitching, no matter how refined that bitching was. I’ve been writing and blogging online for years now. And I must admit, I’ve truly tired of howling at the moon.
But as I tell my friends, I’m all for what I call “recreational or combat blogging.” That’s where you login somewhere and just do the equivalent of a little primal scream therapy. And we’ve all have done that (especially me), and there can be no harm in this. In fact, isn’t that what the comments section of NRO is really all about? I return there now and it all seems not just pointless but truly repulsive (although I do take a stab now and then, if only as a way to advertise this site).
Yes, once in a while I get my hackles up and do a little red meat eating. But a steady diet of it is something that I can no longer take. Or, to put it another way, it’s not really what I want to do. I would rather revel in the good things and ideas that are America, and The West, rather than to pretend that I am being someone important, or doing something important, by just blowing steam at the internet.
Even so, this site exists to present your articles in whatever style you want, about whatever subject you want, as long as it is not just liberal propaganda, Paulbotism, or just not of sufficient quality or interest. I’m not against red meat. But throw in a few vegetables too from time to time.
In order to change this country for the better, we’re going to have to learn to love it again. And that means more than just bitching and complaining, even if everything we say is 100% John-Adams-true. We need to realize that there can be no 100% political solution for what ails us, even if much of the problem has been because of politics.
That’s why I’m totally serious that if you have a recipe for all-American apple pie, I want to post it here. I want to bring forth and celebrate the good of America. I want to help restore that memory against the rotten tide of the revisionist Cultural Marxist influence.
Me, I like celebrating America by talking about the great movies that tend to either capture a snapshot of America at the time they were made, or present a rich and wholesome authentic view of America. And I like to read histories and biographies about America and Americans as well. There are so many approaches other than just doing Charles Krauthammer.
I’m just letting you know where I stand. And one of the truly hardest things for people to wrap their minds around in regards to “where I stand” is the idea that they don’t have to listen to me. They don’t have to stand in the same place. They can just post whatever they want (within a general conservative, libertarian, pro-American context). If someone wants to post 100 book reviews in a row about famous women in American history, have at it. If you want to post an exposition that delves into each and every one of the Federalist Papers, be my guest.
But don’t use me, this site, or what anyone else is writing as an excuse not to get off your own butt and do something. Where else can you go on the internet and have your stuff presented as a feature article? Granted, there isn’t much of a readership yet. And that readership might certainly expand if some of you could do the enormously challenging and physical task of simply hitting the “share” or “like” button below the articles.
This site is a blank-slate opportunity for you. My question for you conservatives/libertarians out there is if you can move beyond your egos, your orientation toward red-meat complaining, and a desire to pretend to do something when you are doing nothing, and instead add one authentic and cherished piece to the puzzle of putting Humpty Dumpty (America) back together again. Cherish her. Right now she needs a hug.
This is a very broad mission statement, I agree. And for those who think the site name and other graphical elements should change to represent this might have a point. But one thing I have stressed always is to try to think outside the box. Here you have very little constraints. You may more or less do and write as you wish. If you simply require a nice tidy box in which to work, then maybe this site is not right for you.
But if you can think outside the box, can (from time to time) set aside your voracious appetite for red meat, put aside your ego, and extoll a love for American that is, even partially, infectious, then have at it. That’s why we are here. But, again, if you are still thinking inside that box, none of this means that you can’t write the most damning, eviscerating critique of whatever subject you have a passion for — and one that is so good that it will get you an interview on Fox News. DO THAT. But I want you also to keep in mind to make sure you are not just howling at the moon.
Dennis Prager wrote a very interesting article recently titled Liberalism Makes It Easier to be Bad. Give it a read for its own sake. It’s a terrific piece. But it got me to thinking that there was an equivalent on the right side of the spectrum. If liberals choose liberalism as a cover for their own cruddy behavior, might not many of us choose conservatism (or blog as a conservative) as a way to pretend to be doing something when, in fact, we are doing very little?
I know that fits me to a tee for much of what I have ever written. And now I want to change gears and kinda-sort write a love song to America, in various ways, and not without some red meat when appropriate. But this site is not only about red meat. I think as individuals we need to recover something that we have lost. When we say that America has lost something and is going in the wrong direction, we have to understand that we live in this country too. • (1224 views)