A Letter to the Weepy Left

I have said elsewhere that more wisdom might be found in arguing not with people we disagree with entirely, but with those who share nearly (but not all) of our opinions. That’s what I want to do here.

If, like me, you find yourself more left than right, but also find that the description given below of those on the left—whether on college campuses, in the media, or in entertainment—doesn’t describe you at all, we have to wonder just how that happened.

If there is even the smallest chance that Donald Trump’s election can bring into the mainstream something like uninformed white nationalism, anti-Semitism, and various other historically-ignorant ideologies, then the left must become more mature and less historically-ignorant itself, and more able to face the uncomfortable facts of history directly, rather than believing they can be cleaned up by renaming and banning things or people or ideas. If the decadence of our culture really does mirror that of Weimar Germany, and if Trump’s election really is anything like Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor in 1933, we need a better and stronger media and culture to go up against it.

Please pass this post along, and tell me in the comments where you think I’m right or wrong.

***

My wife and I don’t have cable, but on New Year’s Eve last year, we were visiting friends who wanted to watch the ball drop in Times Square, and among them was at least one Trump supporter. I forget which network we watched, but suddenly there they were: an endless gang of dumb rich celebrities being snarky, cruel, and sarcastic about everything. At one point they began picking apart this or that persons’ gaffes from the past year, wondering aloud who was the bigger racist. Probably none of the potential culprits actually were, though, since all they’d done was that very human thing of saying something vaguely uncouth in public.

Watching this, I was reminded of why I don’t have cable, but it also became clear that the Trump voter seemed to think that everyone on the left acted and thought this way: that they were mostly drunk on the perceived power and influence their “ideas” have over culture and politics, and that they were ready to deal out endless amounts self-righteous shame while also being extremely sensitive to criticism of any kind.

So that if the Trump vote turns out to partly have been from insulated, uneducated white people, you can’t really blame them when the other side is seemingly populated with insulated, overeducated, privilege-paralyzed white people, who adopt every minority they can find as their helpless pet project.

The kind of liberals that get all the attention are just as insufferable as anything Trump ever did or said. Their well-meaning arrogance mixed with knee-trembling guilt only makes for expressions of heightened emotion, and such are the things which made a real conversation about race, immigration, gender, and so much else, as impossible with them as with anyone on the right.

Trump’s vapid ability “to say it like it is” was only matched by the left’s paralysis to say much of anything at all, other than emotional clichés.

***

During that same trip home last year I happened to see an old Jimmy Stewart movie from around World War Two, clearly a propaganda piece carrying the simplest of messages. For a second I wondered how 1940s audiences could have been so naïve to ever pay to see such junk; but then I realized what had been happening for years in Hollywood.

Because even if you agree with the sentiments behind them, is anything more tiresome than the slew of bad movies being sold as entertainment, or even as art—whether in promoting gender or sexuality or racial issues (or even anti-fracking)—many of them so blatant in their politics and obvious in their bias, and in their sneering?

If the vocal right are really to be dismissed as brainwashed rural bigots, what has the popular left done but use their dominance in the media and education, not to skew or rig anything—which requires intelligence and planning—but to merely accomplish something much weaker and insidiously mundane: produce a populace of terrified victims who have slid into online and other censorship, and who these days need counsellors on hand if they happen to hear an opposing viewpoint?

***

Will there be consequences for any of the polling people, the pundits, or the talk-show hosts who proved themselves completely inadequate at their jobs? Will any of them be fired, will any of them stop writing, in the wake of the election? Will any of them humbly resign, realizing they’re just clueless? I doubt it. Everyone on the left who laughs at religion seems nevertheless to have fallen prey to the most mistaken preachers and theologians. But we can at least stop visiting their websites, cancel our subscriptions, and stop watching. We can at least cobble together some reliable way of receiving the news, and expressing ourselves.

In many ways Trump is the President we actually deserve. Since the left is obsessed with judging and shaming people for the smallest comments or slights, our entertainment and news have been filled with little else for years, and Trump seems to have run his campaign knowing that a string of nonsense and gaffes would have everyone salivating rather than critiquing. He is our reality TV star come home.

Because if it’s assumed that the alt-right is largely composed of racist make-believe conspiracies, then the supposed “mainstream” media is just as self-destructive, self-deceived, and isolated. If anything, they helped create Trump by mocking and following him the entire way. And now that the election is over, the only circus dumber than Trump’s is the social media outrage coming from our celebrities, all threatening to leave the country. How much more well-informed might we be, if we ignored all of these people who have never been paid for their ideas?

And now that places like The New York Times have suddenly realized the prevalence of “fake news” on social media, will they do anything to improve their own reporting, their own editorials, their own research, their own presentation? (Admittedly, this article is a good start.) Perhaps a crackdown of sorts on Twitter and Facebook will happily eradicate social media as we know it—or just force them to hire nannies for all of the offended users on all sides turning each other in—but the dominant print and television media will still be there in some way. And is their brand of clearly unreliable and cloistered news any better than outright fake news?

***

America went with the entropy vote, the chaos vote, not the vote of any organized upheaval, let alone a coup. The world as we know it ended with a whimper, with ineloquence, with a distrusted mediocrity, not with any kind of major threat; and like an addict who needs to hit bottom before they can get back up, maybe we need to see the worst of ourselves before any recovery can really happen. But that bottom is composed, more than anything else, of our media and our culture, which we choose and wallow in every day.

By all means keep protesting, but there must be an inward reckoning as well as an outward one. If the anger over Trump’s win or the tears over Clinton’s loss reflect anything like reality, and if the choice of Clinton was so supposedly self-evident, the left has to ponder the limitations of their own message beyond the ignorance of those who voted for Trump; and it has to ponder the uses and abuses of a condescending celebrity media and celebrity culture, not just upon opposing voters, but among their own supporters.

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29 Comments Add yours

  1. Khatara says:

    Beautiful.. I myself always saw liberals that way

  2. Great post. 🙂
    After much of my own thought about the matter concerning the mass hysteria of the left, this is the quote that seems to sum it up succinctly (in my humble opinion)

    “When Fascism comes to America, it will (be in the name of/come under the guise of/be called) anti-Fascism!”

    *Attributed to Huey Long in 1935 by various writers in 1938-1943

  3. franklparker says:

    Although this clearly relates to the situation in the USA, I think it reflects much the same thinking that accompanied ‘Brexit’ in the UK and the resurgence of the political right in France and Italy. That’s why I want to re-blog it on my site. Your comments on the media do not, however, reflect the nature of the UK media. Here we have the state funded BBC which purports to be independent, though many on the extreme of left and right would disagree (and it is, by implication therefore, probably genuinely so). And we have the print media most of which supports the right and has been heavily criticised for its coverage of issues like race and immigration.
    I was not aware that the US media was as biased to the left as you seem to be implying. My perception – probably from reading the wrong on-line posts – is that it is right oriented, especially Fox News. I have seen it referred to by those on the left as ‘lamestream’ media.

  4. Cascadian Girl says:

    There are reasons much of the left, particularly the young left, is stuck in emotional mode, and cannot argue logically. Classical Liberalism is nothing like what we see today. What we see today is a cult. A thorough study of the Tavistock Institute, from its inception to present is a good place to start understanding the who, what, how, and why.

  5. franklparker says:

    Reblogged this on Frank Parker's author site and commented:
    This article is not the first to blame the self confidence and complacency of the left for the resurgence of the right – Trump in USA, Brexit in UK and Right wing candidates for the French and Italian presidencies. I am surprised that Mr Miller sees the US media as generally left leaning. My impression of, for example, Fox News, is the opposite and that is certainly the case with the UK print media (though not the BBC).

  6. Tim Miller says:

    ….and the conspiracy theories come out. I hope anyone reading the comments does look up the Tavistock Institute to see what grand schemes they’re blamed for, the world over. The right is as cultish as the left; Trump and Obama both won thanks to cult of personality. Taken at their core, though, the left’s hesitancy over pride and certainty of all kinds–racial, national, religious–while it can be overdone, is more than legitimate to me. I criticize the left to help it, & don’t really see the right offering much beyond fear.

  7. Tim Miller says:

    Fox and much of what’s called the alt-right toe the Conservative line, but the TV and print media skews left to a fault. To be honest, I have no problem with this so long as it’s honest & thorough; pretending to be unbiased and objective is pretty silly. But the medium is the message, as they say, & it’s the *way* in which the American left, through media and entertainment, have been making the points I (generally) agree with have been their downfall here.

  8. franklparker says:

    Thanks for that clarification, Tim. We desperately need a way to communicate to those who feel left out that the right cannot solve their problems. It is also important that the left – that is to say the official ‘left’ in USA ie. the Democrats – need to offer alternative employment and education/retraining opportunities rather than welfare for those in rust belt industries which Trump certainly will not be able to bring back.

  9. garyhorvitz says:

    Wow. This is such a mish-mash of half-truth, innuendo and unsupported generalities, I hardly know where to start. You have completely overlooked actual issues behind your half-informed opinion: voter suppression, the sexist double-standard applied to Hillary, the incitement to violence, the possibility of actual Russian hacking, actual data on the influence of fake news, the reason the electoral college was created in the first place; that the “tears of the Left” are not because Hillary lost, but because Trump promises to set civil rights back 100 years, that there have already been about 500 incidents of race or ethnic-based assault in the first week since the election, the parallels to fascism, the possibility that Trump voters are not under-educated at all but merely delusional that Trump can actually plug them back into a dying American Dream, the fact that there is now a Christian Supremacist in the office of Vice President, that the theocrats are cozying up to Putin for a reason. Shall I go on? Yes, you got a few things right, the media failure, the cluelessness of the DNC, the long-running Democratic abandonment of white working class voters and the blind arrogance of many “liberals.” But “over-educated”? WTF, dude?

  10. garyhorvitz says:

    And, you may dismiss everything I have said. Your prerogative. But one question: when the registry for Muslims is created, what will you do? What will be your first thought? You first act?

  11. Tim Miller says:

    I’m happy to respond, since you sound like someone I mentioned in the first sentence: someone I probably agree with *almost* entirely. It’s more worthwhile for the two of us to talk, I think, than either of us to debate a Trump voter. But just because this is so doesn’t mean I can’t be a bit harsh with those who most closely represent my own views.

    As to over-educated: go to the submissions page of any literary journal or mainstream magazine. For good reason, most of them will end up saying something like, “please no academic writing.” If you haven’t encountered somewhere the words of that cliche fellow in his ivory tower, talking in buzz-words and arcane phrases, who has very little experience of the real world (and ditto many of their students), I’m at a loss. Yes, it is possible to be over-educated and over-insulated.

    I won’t call anything you’ve said half-formed, or a mishmash, or half-informed–that’s the kind of merely rhetorical emotionalism I’m talking about. All I would say is this: if any of the things you mention come to pass (Civil Rights setbacks, Muslim registry, etc.), that is all the more reason to point out how awfully those bastions of the American Left (media, entertainment, education) have been as messengers of understanding and truth. If those things are really on the verge of occurring, those institutions deserve harsher words than what I’ve given. Our culture, media, and education have largely failed us. That is all I mean to say.

  12. garyhorvitz says:

    Tim- you may well be correct…that we almost agree on many things. Yes, there is such a thing as being insulated, as ivory tower-ness. But to paint the “Left” with a broad brush of being over-educated is unfounded. Bernie Sanders? Elizabeth Warren? William Barber? (I could go on) If you are trying to say that it’s the insulated that have had far too much influence on rhetoric, platform construction, campaign strategies, Dem messaging, I might agree. But more accurately, it’s the corporate democrats that took the party away from its principles for the sake of money. They aren’t more educated. Just more craven.

    As for media, you clearly have a different view. The NYT has spent a year taking down Hillary. Compare the column inches given to Comey’s BS about emails (a violation of the Hatch Act) and the space they devoted to the TrumpU settlement.

    Media Matters collects actual data on the topics discussed in the media, the number of conservatives on the talk shows compared to the number of leftists, the minutes of coverage of various candidates, the number of minutes devoted to, say, climate change compared to eg income inequality or emails. It’s not even close on any of these measures. Conservatives win. It’s the “liberal” media that has given Trump $1B in free coverage of his rallies early on. They made him because it was such a spectacle. By the time they started doing more critical coverage, it was too late. CEO of CNN even said so. I don’t know where you get the idea that the media is liberal. Oh, wait. You get it from conservative media.

  13. Mel & Suan says:

    As a common folk from a tiny island nation, I have to say that this has been the election that galvanized Americans into political discourse. Saw that in family stateside that was not seen before.
    The trend globally as someone mentioned earlier appears to be a rejection of the establishment. It is also possibly a rejection of the people who claims to speak for the people.
    Media has always been a weapon wielded to swing the minds of the commonfolk. Since the days of ancient Egypt, Greece and China, it has been recognized that the will of the people has to be “shaped”. We can expect this battle for the mind to only get more intense in the coming year. Let’s respect each others opinions and agree to disagree.

  14. @tyrannyinPR says:

    I’m an old brand Leftist, but I have always been battling the left precisely for what you say about them here. I’m not a blind follower of anything. I agree with everything you said here. I would make an exception for those who voted for Hillary; they voted for a woman, a human being, not for a Saintly politician like Sanders. Those who voted for her are the ‘realists’, knowing she is not perfect but better than the alternatives, not ‘less evil’, but someone who truly tried. Even those who voted for her without liking her are ‘realists’, for they instantaneously knew the difference between her and Trump. I spend this year denouncing the left in my blog. It’s beyond my comprehension that they sided with Trump, literally did. Their open racism (“it’s not race, is class, stupid”) and misogyny have made me question whether they have become willing minions of the conservatives. They are ideologically bankrupt, and for it they are dangerous to the rest of us.
    Like you said, there’s a LOT going on here similar to the Wiemar years. Unfortunately, there are no political party or organization to work with against what is to come under El Duce’s presidency. Sanders and the Left are destroying whatever is left of the DNC. The love of profits is the only thing that unites the right wingers, including those who can make no profits.
    Well, thanks for you visit. And I’m sure will be coming here to continue reading your posts. Seriously, in one whole year, this post is the only one I have read that has really touched me.

  15. erinb9 says:

    Interesting take. I’m a member of this very-left, progressive set myself, and have been at odds with some of my comrades lately.

    I was devastated by the election results, but after the initial shock wore off, I’ve been thinking long and hard about where we went wrong, how our strategy should change…

    And I’m realizing that while I’m in line with most of the left’s policy goals (healthcare access, better benefits, equal opportunity, etc), even I’M getting fed up with some of the rhetoric.

    It feels like we were once the working-class party, but now endlessly talk about guilt, internal bias, and micro aggressions. The whole thing feels like a therapy session. The PC culture prevents anyone from having direct, practical conversations about very complicated issues. There’s an oversimplified narrative about the oppressors & the victims that’s never subjected to scrutiny in the marketplace of ideas.

    I’m not saying for a moment that racism, sexism, homophobia, and religious intolerance aren’t ongoing issues, but I wish my party would come up with clear policy goals to address these problems. Something we could *do* about it, something that takes research into logical account. Instead, it’s become a weird 12-step program where we all come to terms with how bad and guilty we are.

    But whenever I bring this up, I mostly told that “my privilege is showing.” So, I kind of understand how folks have been turned off.

  16. Cascadian Girl says:

    The label “conspiracy theoy” loses its teeth as a backdoor ad hominem attack with those who have extracted themselves from the most dangerous cult of all; the cult of authority.Seeing the damage it has done to human consciousness for centuries, through institutions across the political spectrum is the first step to healing, and should not be feared. Pointing it out to those who interpret it as something to be feared was obviously misguided.

  17. jimbelton says:

    Good article. The progressives have become the boy who cried racist, sexist, homophobe, to the point that some people got so fed up with their rhetoric that they voted against the Democrats. I’m not sure how many people were turned by Clinton calling them deplorable, but it might have made the difference between winning and losing. Now, the deed is done, and you will have to live with the results. Stop whining, suck it up, and if you are on the left, start getting it together before the mid terms. And BTW, I am a Canadian, and I voted socialist in our last election because I was sick of the corporatism of our conservatives, so don’t think I’m a Trump supporter, but I understand why so many people voted for him. People are sick of self serving politicians like the Bushes and the Clintons, so sick they are willing to roll the dice on Trump. As Michael Moore said, this was a big FU to the establishment. I’m hoping Trump won’t be too bad, and that the rest of the government will rein him in if he tries to go too far.

  18. Tim Miller says:

    Sorry, fictional authority doesn’t frighten me, nor does some fictional red pill that will suddenly Make Me See How Everything Really Is. I’ve yet to come across one group–religious, political, etc.–whose claims to ultimate authority and control don’t come apart at some point. More insidious are those who follow them anyway; we’ve always been easy prey Big Theories that remove chance from history and only leave a few dozen or so conniving controllers that we can blame. Modern versions of these–Bilderberg, Tavistock, or old favorites like Jewish bankers–have never convinced me either. All of them assume a level of competence and forethought in people who don’t seem to have any. The comparison between 1984 and Brave New World maybe illustrates our difference: my own interpretation of history leans more towards Brave New World, where if people are enslaved and dumbed down, they have largely done it to themselves, and done it happily. We are more to blame than a cabal of rich guys.

  19. David Lim says:

    The ‘mind’ is a very useful element of the human psyche. It is a link to assist in the mobilisation of instinct to put our emotion and thought into effect. The process is like a tug of war rope, where both emotion and thought constantly engaged in a game of dominance. The experience is an internal battle of the psyche which could pass off as a case of self-denial. Either way in the middle of it all, ‘truth’ lies somewhere along that rope (ie. mind) moving from right to left, left to right…. The rise of Donald Trump onto the world stage has catalysed that process.

    Trump may appear to be a bigot, racist and all the traits somewhat of an anti-Christ as he portrayed himself on public stage when he first took on his fellow Republicans in the primary. However, the voters who chose him to lead the country might not necessarily mirror him. For me, that realisation is more important than the character of Trump himself. Should Trump’s character reveals impulsive political radicalism, the thought of his supporters rising to rebuke hopefully will guide him to appropriate and just response as Trump thrives on image recognition. It’s crucial to humanity that faith without prejudice remains existential.

    “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” – Jesus Christ

    Though the remark made by Jesus referred to a different circumstance, I believe it was a statement which had implied the spirit of God is eternally ingrained in each one of us. When the spirit is summoned, love feeds through the mind to unite emotion and thought.

  20. i find American & English political problems trivial compared to say, Turkey, where woman have just had to demonstrate in the street to stop a law being passed whereby men who raped them can get out of jail time by marrying them. do you think Trump could ever be this bad? i thought Brexit was terrible, now, i think, as long as i don’t have to suffer something as horrible as mentioned above i think polar positions about essentially trivial matters compared to above are of little consequence. if people learned more about what is going on in the world, which we all live in, they might see their problems as ridiculous compared to say, a little boy in Syria who loses every member of his family in a single night with no conceived end in sight to his suffering, where hospitals are dwindling, food, young kids travelling across continents with hope of safety only to be ignored. & we quarrel about a fat Billionaire with a Perry Comover. i have no answers, non of us do. Tim encourages dialogue & that is all we can do, which doesn’t mean talking over one another, but picking a problem apart, together, without the pussy footing around being kind, just being forthwith.

  21. I will introduce myself here as an ethnic nationalist, rather than a white nationalist because the term “white” is somewhat vague, and not very concrete. I am also not some rural uneducated bum, but a young (barely old enough to be an adult) man, who has been living in one of the most multicultural parts of the US for his entire life. I think one of the reasons the right wins sometimes is because (for some) existence in the modern word seems to utterly lack any meaning or purpose. You appear to touch on this idea in your post “We Are Our Own Slaves”. We live to work at a job we don’t necessarily like, then pay bills, and perhaps have something left over for self-interests. As (the despised) Richard Spencer says about a modern country based on abstractions, it’s “just another place to go shopping”. I honestly think the reason more conservatives don’t become liberals is because being a liberal would require them to give up everything that gives their existence meaning, namely their strong religious, and/or ethnic loyalties. I myself support ethnic nationalism because I think it would produce a more stable and well-functioning nation state than one based simply on a vague proposition like “Americanism”, or “freedom” etc. However, I also see that what we call the “left” and “right” are based on two fundamentally different ways of finding meaning in human existence (which perhaps evolved with r/K selection), and this is something which we would all do well to recognize sooner rather than later.

  22. Cascadian Girl says:

    I completely agree that efforts to claim ultimate authority have come apart historically. I also agree that people “do it to themselves”, albeit with a lot of suggestion and support from social engineers, some of whom are well-meaning; others who are self-loathing and are not. Huxley did seem to have it right. I add that it’s good to look at the whole picture if we desire to evolve into a healthy, voluntaristic society with no masters and no slaves…and yes, those who follow are the most insidious!

  23. Tim Miller says:

    The more I write these essays, the more I see that the problems outlined all really center on what you bring up: meaning. For a million reasons, the left & the right both want to offer that meaning in different ways. I’ve little use for the right’s propping up of Christianity, American exceptionalism, or any other kneejerk “pride” in a dozen supposedly American things, along the way denying that America has ever really done anything wrong; but I also have no use for the left’s obsession with denouncing everything America has ever done just because the people who built it were beyond imperfect, and did immensely horrible things in the creation of the country. Everyone on the right needs to spend some real time reading a few slave narratives, and something like Nabokov’s “Native American Testimony,” but the left also needs to realize this isn’t everything. Neither side have the ability to see or find meaning in the muddy and imperfect middle: that, if America is great at all, it is because of the good that we have turned our sins to (and I don’t use the word sins very often). As another comment has mentioned, America is still in a pretty good place, overall. At least we generally mean well. I could never be a nationalist of any kind, let alone an ethnic one, but it’s hopeful at least to me that you say you lean that way not because it is some Universal Truth that everyone should adhere to, but simply that you think it works, it’s a way to organize and be “well-functioning.” What “works” and “functions” will inevitably change, & hopefully that will move more towards the middle, away from both extremes, at some point.

  24. David Lim says:

    It’s healthy to exchange thoughts in a dialogue like this one as long as they don’t stray to far into future much to our dismay. We can only interpret the futures, and there is no truth in that. Meaningful action to bring that balance everybody wanted could manifest from a constructive dialogue. Afterall, that was what happened when Trump was elected president after the ‘action’ of casting votes in which the nation had lots of time to think and talk about before taking to the polls. And, the cycle will return. As is, the cycle has already begun with our conversation. So, give Trump a chance to bring that balance the people believed that he can deliver. As an outsider, strictly from an observatory point of view I never liked the insults and accusations he’d made towards fellow candidates as well as others in public during his campaign. I’d to change tv channel to save myself the aggravation of his ‘trash’ talk. It was so senseless, but the people are taking his ‘trash’ home!

    Trump is no idiot, even though he demonstrated like one. Let’s see if he is as smart, capable and successful as he thinks himself to be. The middle path that Tim mentioned is never fixed. It’s constantly moving as the population’s opinion changes with time.

  25. Grandtrines says:

    Reblogged this on Debatable News: Mainstream to Tinfoil Hat and more and commented:
    I am your mirror: a bit more right than left but a centrist, like you. GREAT piece. Thanks!

  26. WhatNowDoc says:

    I’m coming late to this post, so much to read yet so little time! Thank you, Tim. You know that feeling, always erroneous but all too easy, that I must be the only person who feels this way? You just have to look a little harder because we don’t make as much noise as the rest. I was stateside in NYC for a couple of weeks over Christmas and dreaded it, for precisely the reasons you illuminate. My wife, a born again NY democrat and I have been struggling lately. Apparently, if I don’t condemn every word and act of DT and as I didn’t have anything complimentary to say about HC or the appalling financial disaster that is about to depart the White House then I had clearly taken sides with the Devil and abandoned all humanity in my soul – or something… There is no tolerance for original thought that doesn’t fit neatly into party lines and not given space to elucidate a thought, I prefer not to speak than to be labelled and lambasted. Refreshing to hear your thoughts. Thank you.

  27. Tim Miller says:

    Thanks for this; I was actually dreading reading yr comment since I usually assume an angry lefty or a righty who thinks I’m on their side will have chimed in.

    It was especially difficult to find a voice like yours in the weeks after the election, when I felt obliged to at least post something. Empathy, nuance, difficulty–so many things!–don’t fit party lines or media trends, & are always glossed over.

    & it was immensely hard to point this out with Trump in the race, since with him it seemed Civilization Was On The Line; but my answer to that was, “If it is, how can Hillary possibly be your choice???”

  28. WhatNowDoc says:

    Now I’m feeling guilty for setting you to worry! I think we’re not miles apart. I’m fed up with all the taunts, Republicans this, Liberals that, Tory, Socialist, for heaven’s sake, no one person has all the answers, no party, no country, no system. Try this as a thought stream http://whatnowdoc.com/2016/12/13/revisiting-democracy/

  29. Tim Miller says:

    Not at all–it was a pleasant surprise to read your good words. I usually close comments to overtly religious or political posts. Appreciate the link.

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