I’ve written 950 posts for TNB. They have been straight news stories; opinion pieces, commentaries on strange events past and present, book reviews, breakdowns of conspiracy theory, and attempts at humor. (The reason I’m not doing this at post 1000 is that I hope to have something special debut then.)
In the end, President Trump is still President and still being an awful man. The same people are supporting him that always supported him. On at least a few occasions my statements have caused divisions with people I genuinely like. I spend at least an hour a day writing for the site, during which I’ve stopped visiting some other sites I enjoy (like positiveheartbeat.com).
What the heck am I doing here? Is it worth my effort?
When this site was first created, the idea was to create a place where like-minded people could visit, exchange information, and move forward politically. Our initial boom of visitors – mostly refugees from other formerly “traditional conservative” sites like TheRightScoop, RedState and DailyWire – was inspiring. If we could continue to grow at that rate, we could be making a real difference, and quickly!
Well, that didn’t happen. Truth be told, none of us expected that to happen. The original growth guesses were that we’d start out with a handful of comments to any given story, and we’d grow from there. It’s extremely hard for any new site to take off amidst the glut of political sites out there – just look at Politistick, which was around for at least 3 years with 5 to 8 posts per day before going quiet in mid-2018. At their height, I don’t think they regularly received 5 comments on their stories, despite most of their writers having credentials as journalists and political science professors. They went from center-right to strong conservative, then from anti-Trump to maybe-Trump to full Trumpist, yet never grew. They seemed to get momentary bumps when mentioned on Limbaugh or Levin, Fox or CNN… and then fall away again.
Our growth has been faster than that, for which I’m immensely grateful – the simple fact is that my advertising efforts have been horrible. I’ve had some cards printed up and both me and my wife have left them on a double-handful of public bulletin boards throughout Texas, and that’s the extent of it beyond promoting it via word of mouth. Yet we still grow.
I credit you, our readers, for that and I’m grateful… especially because I know that in this current climate, people can’t always talk about something like an old-school conservative site without triggering an argument. Many fully expect that with a stated ideological bent for the writers, Democrats and Trumpists won’t get a fair shake. I don’t believe that’s true, and I work to keep it from becoming so. It’s true that there is pushback against those with different opinions in the comment section. It’s hard for a strong abortion advocate or a strong Trump supporter to not get challenged every time they state their opinion, but I do try to remain supportive of everyone and generally positive, and I know the rest of the site operators do as well.
The immediate spike in readers filled me with hope, and the following slow growth leaves me pleased… slow growth is, really, all that any site should logically desire. But we came here for a purpose. If Trump is still in office and performing awful actions, is that purpose being fulfilled? If the “binary option” is still in full force and the next election holds the potential of bringing us someone like Bernie or Warren only because “They’re not Trump”, is that purpose being fulfilled? Because that would not seem to be any indication of moving forward.
The answer, unequivocally, is yes. Perspective counts.
None of us expects things to change overnight, but we have been conditioned to be able to see things happen. Whether in television show story arcs or the rise of the Tea Party or Occupy, we’re told that events happen and opinions change as fast as the speed of information. That concept is a fiction.
In reality, positions tend to change slowly. The Whigs took down the Republicans in a handful of years – but only after decades of contentiousness within the rank and file. The Libertarians have grown to become a national group, and the Republicans and Democrats have had to respond to that group by continually raising the voting percentages required to get into national debates, but they’re still down in the single percentages.
Growth happens slowly, and then sometimes an event comes along which triggers action, in the same way that a small fire can burn for hours before just the right gust of wind turns it into a conflagration.
I’m not here to get Trump kicked out of office. I’m not here to keep Bernie from getting into office. I’m here to help convince people that neither Trump nor Bernie deserves to hold that position, period, and to give others like me a chance to get together, in comment sections or via guest essays (guest essays always welcome, folks) and work with me to remind people that our system of government, when it is treated under its original intent, remains the best way of elevating humanity beyond its inherent restrictions. Allowing ourselves to fall to the “binary option” or “tears of our enemies” are pitfalls that we must rise above, and it’s going to take a long time.
I’d like to keep an awful person from being in office in 2020. I’ll happily trade that for being part of a pro-Constitution movement that brings us a reaffirmation to principles of liberty in, say, 2032.
That’s what I’m doing here. It’s what I intend to keep doing for another 1000 or so posts… and more… and I hope to see all of you, and many others, here with me.