How to Start Blogging: Read Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish10.12.10
Why is this a big deal?
Well, for me, my own year-plus of blogging here on Agree to Disagree started in large part because of Sullivan’s writing. His and John August’s eponymous blog are the two blogs that I’ve read since I knew what a blog was (honestly: I can’t remember the first time that I started reading either, it’s been so long) that I never fail to read on a consistent basis — it used to be daily, but now it’s more like every two or three days when I get the chance to catch up on everything, which takes a while since Sullivan is nothing if not prolific. (Seriously, this guy blogs a TON.)
Why do I read Sullivan (almost) daily?
He’s a phenomenal writer and he has integrity. He’s one of the few out there in the political realm who is willing to admit he’s wrong and change his mind on something if the facts present a different view than he originally saw. Sure, it helps that I see eye-to-eye with him on many levels — gay rights, Sarah Palin being insane, the intellectual dishonesty of the GOP, the appalling stances on the legality of torture, the legalization of marijuana — just to name a few.
On the other hand, he is a classic conservative while I consider myself a liberal; whatever that means. If it’s one thing that I’ve learned over the years of reading Sullivan, it’s that those labels mean much less than the actual stances one takes on specific subjects and policies.
I’ve always had trouble with people generalizing and being overzealous about casting aside an entire group of people — whether based on religion, race, sexual or political orientation, etc. — and Sullivan helped me realize that neither “conservative” nor “liberal” nor “moderate” can truly describe the thoughts and feelings of a person — many in the conservative community don’t even consider Sullivan one of their own.
I don’t mean to give him such high praise as if he’s perfect and unerring. Far from it, just like the rest of us. But, the candid quality of his writing is immediately relatable and inspiring — even when I disagree with him — because I know it’s coming from an honest place. He doesn’t take a stance just for the sake of being sensational.
It’s because it’s how he feels. It’s because it’s what he thinks.
What does this mean for you?
Other than that you read me (thank you!) and probably have seen me quoting Sullivan frequently or giving him hat tips for providing source material for my own blogs. He’s been a huge inspiration to me and it’s blatantly evident in how I write in these posts. I have no shame. Might as well learn (read: imitate) from the best.
Here’s to you, Andrew and the team at The Dish: many thanks for your continued excellence in adding quality content to the blogosphere. I hope to one day hold a candle to what you’re able to do.