In 1895, Lord John Dalberg-Acton wrote in The Study of History, that one should "[l]earn as much by writing as by reading." The practice of writing in a public forum has been as useful and knowledge-yielding for me as my avid reading habits. The list of things I have learned in the past six years is long, some of those things immensely personal.
Six years is a long time in many senses and not very long at all in others. The people I have met through this blog make the years seem far too short. I've met former Marines and former Republicans; I've had the privilege of working with journalists and politicians; I've encountered Idahoans and Ohioans, Texans and Arkansans; and, most of all, I've become much more acquainted with who I am and what I believe.
Let me quote another blogger (and one I am going to miss dearly in the blogosphere), P.M. Carpenter, before I go any further:
"Opinion columns, unsurprisingly, should reflect the columnist's opinions. I hadn't been hired to act as the captain of a booster club or to cheerlead the latest in progressive conventional thought or to rack up a wall-full of blue ribbons for online popularity. A columnist should work to stir and stimulate, not soothe."In the past year I have learned exactly what P.M. Carpenter is pointing out in his farewell column. Which causes, progressive or otherwise, that I choose to support in this space are entirely of my discretion. It is not my responsibility to sing the praises of any one party, my own included, unless I feel such praise is called for. It is not my responsibility to support candidates of my own party simply because of their party affiliation. It is, however, my responsibility to put words to the things that truly matter, even if they are things that only matter to me.
I like to write, beginning to end, in one sitting. In fact, spurts of writing that result in that beginning-to-end finished product tend to be my best work. Writing, for me at least, has always been very fluid. I have always adapted to writing pressures, cranking out the pieces I feel are warranted and abandoning the topics that aren't worth the effort it would take to write about them. I've blogged through eighteen-credit semesters, numerous health battles and the biggest professional project of my young life.
It has been six long years of writing posts multiple times per week, at times multiple posts per day. There is so much in my life yet to do. I have many a research project to continue, many an academic article to write, a thesis in my future and books stacked to the ceiling I would like to read. So, from here on out, The Political Game will be a one column per week blog. Hopefully this will allow for better research, better writing and a lot less stress on my part. Hopefully this will save this blog from ending prematurely. Whatever is premature about six years.