This will be short and bitter-sweet (yes, 500 words is short for me).
Evidently we at TAC have had the dubious honor of being recognized by the National Catholic Reporter, or one of its contributors at any rate, as “a little kookie.” That’s alright by me, since I’d rather be greatly kooky [is it kooky or kookie?] than to be even a little boring or unimaginative.
What is smugly dismissed as “kookiness” in this case, however, is the diversity of opinion we have here, as opposed to perhaps the rigid ideological uniformity of some other websites and blogs that I won’t name.
I’m not interested in defending or rejecting the positions that were criticized in the NCR, but I would like to defend the ideological diversity we have sought to foster here. We have our Reagan conservatives, our rather moderate conservatives, and a few left-of-centers. And there’s our resident Distributiarian (a rather disparaging term someone coined for my distributist-libertarian ideology that I choose to wear as a badge of honor).
We have no desire or inclination to become the thought-police for the sake of polite society. I am of the mind that we arrive at truth through a free and vigorous exchange of ideas, provided that we remain civil and keep personal attacks out of the discussion.
I have always been, and always will be, troubled by those who genuinely believe that there are so-called “unmentionable” ideas or “unthinkable” thoughts in the political realm. It is all too easy for uncomfortable truths to become suppressed by completely unwarranted and untestable assumptions about the benevolence of certain social and political institutions. And all too often, it is some vested interest that is proclaiming in the loudest voice what is or is not acceptable in a public debate. This sub-Straussian impulse to protect us from our own thoughts is incompatible with a free society and obstructs our efforts to find real solutions to real problems.
I don’t like Dennis Kucinich’s politics on the whole, but I would rather spend an evening with him and Ron Paul than I would the lock-step conformists, careerists, and opportunists that make up the bulk of either national party. And so I would have it here. People may say things that others find unmentionable, terrible, execrable – but what matters in the end is what can be supported by facts and logic, not who is offended or placated.
It may well be that one of our bloggers said something that “crossed the line”, that was manifestly unreasonable or uncharitable, and that does not faithfully or accurately reflect a Catholic point of view. All I can say is that every healthy organism leaves behind its excrement.
I hope that didn’t cross the line
So here’s to our kookiness, our diversity, and our freedom – may it last as long as God wills.