A Year is a Lifetime
One year ago today I made my first post here at Charging RINO. Since the anecdotal evidence suggests that the vast majority of all blogs don't last this long, I suppose making it this far is something. I went back this morning and read those first few posts, and wanted to share just a few of the things I said way back then - which are still true today:
"I'd much rather be a Republican 'In Name Only' and still stand up for the ideals upon which our party was founded than get in line with the current party leadership and surrender those ideals to the demands and whims of those on the radical fringe. (Note the intentional non-use of the term 'conservative', as I do not believe that today's Republican leadership has any right to describe themselves as such.) I'm charging now because I can't sit back and watch partisan gridlock overtake America, and because I am hopeful that if more moderates like me (whether you're a Republican, a Democrat, an independent or something else entirely) stand up and speak our minds, instead of getting frustrated and becoming disillusioned, we really can 'change the tone' in Washington and solve some of the many important problems facing our country today."
"Compromise has, from the very beginning, been a key part of our government's structure. In recent years, however, compromise has come to play an ever-decreasing role in the way things get done in Washington. The administration likes to 'bring people together', but only with the sort-of-important caveat that you already have to agree with their position ('I'll reach out to everyone who shares our goals,' Bush said on November 4, 2004). Seems to me we could get a whole lot more accomplished if we put people who had different views in a room and urged them to reach agreement. Pick your issue: Social Security, judicial nominations, global warming, you name it -- find a common point of agreement, get people talking, and eventually a compromise will be reached. It might not be exactly what each person wanted at the beginning, but isn't that the point? Republicans need to learn that there's nothing wrong with working together with Democrats to solve problems, and in fact our country would almost certainly be better served if that were the case."
Some of the early issues I discussed (Terri Schiavo, John Bolton, the nuclear option) have faded from our current discussions, but almost all of the topics I've spent time with over the last year, from stem cells to Darfur to redistricting reform to the role of centrists in government, are still at the forefront of what I'm reading and blogging about almost every day. While I have consciously abandoned "moderate" in favor of "centrist" as an adjective to describe myself, my overall approach and vision have not shifted to a large degrees.
It's true, we haven't changed the world yet. We've won some important victories this year, but have also suffered a few setbacks. The centrist moment is still on the horizon, and it's going to take much more time and energy to make it happen. But the wheels have begun to turn, and that moment is closer now than it was one year ago. Whatever tiny little role I've played in that, I'm proud of it. I'm proud also of the new people I've come to know, including all of my readers who leave comments or send me emails to tip me off to a story, offer suggestions, praise, or criticisms, or even just let me know I've made a typo (I appreciate [typo corrected 3/24, d'oh!] that, I hate typos).
I won't linger any more on anniversarial musings, since there's work to be done. Thanks for reading, and I do hope you'll stop by again soon.