Monday, November 08, 2004

The Populist Blogger

According to the fine folks over at Merriam-Webster, the second definition of the word "populist" is this:

2: a believer in the rights, wisdom, or virtues of the common people
My own favorite variant of the populist is this one: a believer in all three.

To believe, to have faith in something. And when you have faith in something, that doesn't just mean you believe it exists. It means you are investing some stock of yourself into the idea that the thing is good, that the thing will do you good.

I don't just give a polite nod to the idea that common people have rights. I believe that the fact that they have rights is a good thing, a thing I advocate, a thing I can depend upon, and a thing which will do good things for me in return. I could not do that unless I had faith in the wisdom and virtues parts of the equation as well.

Almost every single thing that I believe, politically, spiritually, and materially, follows from this faith, and assuming I continue to publish blog articles like a good little Ewin, you will hear me reference the idea again and again.

The idea, roughly engaged in the first published entry, that I am not going to fool around with comments or answer too many e-mails arises from the populist philosophy. Yes, it's something I've thought about, and even agonized over: whether or not I should publish writings online without hosting commentary* over them.

My populist answer is: frankly, I'm not required to, and I choose not to.

What makes it populist is: I nevertheless feel I have a perfect right to write what I want and advocate my opinions.

The common man has a common life. He holds a job, often cares for a family, and has many diverse responsibilities that do not fall under the heading of politics. In order to keep the world around him from interfering in his ability to do the things he must, and the things he wishes, he hires representatives. He hires representatives to care for the running of his various societies; those are called politicians. He hires representatives to think about and analyze whether or not the politicians are doing their jobs correctly; some of those are called journalists.

But here is the key: just because someone is a paid representative of the common man's eyes, brains, and mouth, does not mean that the common man is therefore obligated to keep all three of them shut in public.

Quite the contrary. Having faith in the common man, I believe he's capable of seeing things, from his humble post, that the hired eyes and ears miss. He certainly has a different perspective. And in my common opinion, every perspective is valuable.

You will hear me laud the words of conservative-to-moderate bloggers, for the most part, because I consider them my mentors. But I'm also one of the few conservative bloggers you'll ever see who makes a point of recognizing the right of a celebrity to use their status to make a political stand. I don't care if Actress X never finished college, and is presuming to question the opinions of the President. Acress X, regardless of her income, is one o' them thar common men I'm talking about. I have faith in her. I have faith in those who listen to her.

And I'm not about to give Barbra Streisand a license to run her mouth off, and not permit myself the same privilege.

I voted on November 2nd, 2004, and I voted for George W. Bush.

By comparison, my starting a blog is a paltry gesture.

* I chose the phrase "hosting commentary" very carefully. Assuming I ever get read, and say anything remotely controversial, there WILL be commentary. I just don't consider myself responsible for its feeding and stabling.