Why do you do this?
I get asked this question an awful lot. The truth is when I started this blog, it was primarily because I am a writer, and I had things I wanted to write. I had information, and I had an opinion, and nowhere to put it.
Yesterday, I was accused of writing this blog to "further my own agenda." That is true. I want to advance conservatism. If I can move politicians, policy makers, or voters in my direction, I'm pleased. I have NEVER said my goal is to get Republicans elected or to advance the Republican Party. I am a Republican, because Republicans (used to) hold most of the same ideals as me. When those politicians or the party itself ceases to hold those ideals, I will no longer be a Republican. I am a Christian first, an American second, a conservative third, a Kansan fourth, and in a distant fifth, I am a Republican.
My loyalties are to principle--not to an individual candidate or party. The things Republicans traditionally espouse are so much more important than any one single person. Sadly, it appears that many people, once elected, forget that. They get some crazy idea that only they can fix things or improve things. They're like a point guard who refuses to pass the ball and continually drives to the net and gets stuffed. That player wants personal glory.
Someone told me I write this blog to advance myself. I had to fight the urge to be rude or to just release the recording of the conversation. Here's what I've gained from penning a blog, anonymously for more than 4 years: Zero dollars. No one has paid me to write a single thing I've scribbled here. People have offered me money. I have refused. That's not to say I always will--I'm a capitalist, after all. But for now, I have not accepted a single dime.
I was writing a column long, long before I started writing this blog. I got that gig by winning a writing competition. And one reason I started writing this blog is that I recognized that if I wanted to write opinion for a living, I needed to be able to do it every single day, rather than just weekly or monthly. Doing this almost every day is harder than it looks, but practice makes perfect, and I have been practicing for a very long time now.
The one thing I have "gained" from being outed by the liberals--not my choice, by the way--is I've now been on television one time. You know why I got asked to do it? Because they can't find Republicans who are willing to do so. How do we advance conservative causes if so few will go on camera or on radio or online and explain and advance our cause? We can't.
A few weeks ago, a producer called me seeking conservatives to speak about the upcoming election for a regular newscast. I gave that producer a half dozen phone numbers. Few were willing to answer that call. I get it. Conservatives have been burned before, and we'll be burned again. But if we don't get out there, we are ceding the airwaves to the liberals. You guys go ahead and do that, but I won't. The things we believe, the ideals we (supposedly) hold, they're worth defending, and if no one else will do it, I will.
Here's what I've learned in this: Almost no one in politics is your friend. This makes me sad and probably a little naive. I want to call many of the people I've met friends. I have to remind myself almost daily that many aren't my friends. They're my friends as long as I do and say and act as they would have me. They're my friends as long as they think they can control me or benefit somehow from me. Honestly, people, we should rethink this behavior, and we should rethink it every single day. It's pretty easy to get sucked into the heady feeling of power and forget to treat people as you would like to be treated. The only remedy is continual prayer and reflection and humility. The people who don't reflect regularly on it, it shows. It shows.