Monday’s Person I Want To Be

1 Dec
cartoonandrew

Hero of the uncommon man.

This week, I want to be Andrew Sullivan – writer for The Atlantic, and political blogger-at-large.  Throughout this past election season he, along with Nate Silver, provided a sane, reasoned, and honest accounting of the crazy (seeming) events as they swirled about.  He was a calming voice in the storm, something remarkable not only on its own merits, but also when taking into account the man that it was coming from.  After all, the guy is an interesting blend of distinctive things, old-school conservative, gay, and British, and has absolutely no qualms about breaking with the right and the GOP when honesty and his principles demand it.

The thing I enjoyed most of all was his absolutely hardcore rejection of the entire notion of Sarah Palin.  Her candidacy was, in his words, a “farce,” and he gave no quarter when discussing it.  There was no argument that any of his conservative contemporaries could make, be it about her likeability, everyday-charm, or perceived political skill, that could budge him from his (in my opinion, absolutely correct) assertion that by picking someone so unbelievably unqualified as his second in command, McCain effectively disqualified himself from consideration as a serious presidential candidate.

Like my other favorite conservative these days, Kathleen Parker, Sullivan took a lot of flack for speaking his mind and refusing to adopt the bunker mentality displayed by so many other bloggers and columnists on the right.  Now, as then, he remains steadfast in his belief in the fundamental strength of conservatism, but also is open to the ambiguity of the American and global socio-political systems that so many idealogues, on both the right and left, try to reduce and deny. His posts about the ongoing battle against Prop 8 are particularly interesting and well-reasoned.

Back in September, at the height of the post-convention craziness, Sullivan coined a phrase that became a bit of a mantra for me at times when the election’s outcome seemed grim.  It was, interestingly enough, also a phrase that embodied what, in the end, made the Obama campaign so successful:

“Patience,” he advised, “Patience, and steel.”

Indeed.

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