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October 29, 2008

Andrew Sullivan’s piece, Why I Blog, is essential reading for those of us who commit any time and energy to this creative endeavor, and lay out our thoughts and feelings for all the world to see.

I sometimes disagree with Andrew’s ideology (I’m a moderate Liberal, he’s a moderate Conservative), and there are occasions when I feel he becomes obsessive about picking at threads that aren’t necessarily important.  But I have utter respect for him because of one major point:  he’s a man of conviction that doesn’t let the status quo dictate his views.  He writes not from a Conservative perspective, or a gay perspective, or from any other predefined perspective other than his own.

It’s too easy to toe the party line and become a megaphone for talking points.  Too often, I find myself doing it.  I admit that I’ve treated Senator Obama with kid gloves, and I’ll also admit that I’ve been pretty harsh on the McCain/Palin team.  That’s simply my ideology clashing with what they’ve presented.

I’ve believed from the beginning that Sarah Palin was a disastrous choice for VP, though I understood where McCain was coming from at the time.  What I didn’t know was how disastrous a choice she was. I mean, Good Lord.

And in fairness, I wasn’t a fan of the Joe Biden pick for VP, as is evidenced by his lack of mention in my postings.  Barack Obama was supposedly running a “change” campaign — and picked a senior senator from Delaware with a penchant for old-school, Washington DC-style bluster and bloviating.

Which gets me back to my point — I’ve still got a lot to learn.  If I’m going to be taken seriously (by my readers and myself), I’ve got to be fearless about my convictions.  It’s easy for me to go into attack mode every time a Republican screws up; it’s simply what I do.  But there are times when the Democratic party (and yes, even Barack Obama) upsets me, and I’ve got to be equally honest and upfront about those as well.  I can’t be afraid to speak what’s on my mind, even if I seemingly contradict myself or shift my opinion.

In Sullivan’s words:

No columnist or reporter or novelist will have his minute shifts or constant small contradictions exposed as mercilessly as a blogger’s are. A columnist can ignore or duck a subject less noticeably than a blogger committing thoughts to pixels several times a day. A reporter can wait—must wait—until every source has confirmed. A novelist can spend months or years before committing words to the world. For bloggers, the deadline is always now. Blogging is therefore to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud.

So anyway, there’s a little dose of self-reflection.  Back to it.

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