the pen mightier than a wet noodle?
Columnists, Commentators and Pundits:
defined: one of the current crop of common adjectival pejoratives.
While the application is obvious, the target is so disfunctionally
ignorant and implicitly stupid so as to be incapable of what the
pointy-headed would refer to as "Deductive Reasoning 101."
Certainly, the derision goes, one with a mere modicum of intelligence
would posses a keener sense for the obvious. No one wants to be
clueless. It takes a special person to admit to being clueless.
do you do it?
starters, I'd blame Al Gore for inventing the Internet, the Solomon's
Mines of resources, with new-found instant access to the finest
intellects, providing life-changing opinions and perspectives for
anyone with a mind sufficiently open to welcome a new thought. In
my business, how did we ever live without it? We came. We read.
We learned — and likewise tried helping others to see the light.
Epiphanies less traumatic than Saul's blinding road trip to Tarsis
may be more important for what they have produced than the details
of how they happened. Subsequently, as a talk show host, I invited
my new-found writers to visit my show to work their magic on the
audience: Jim Bovard, Tom DiLorenzo, Joe Sobran, Harry Brown, Rep.
Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Ward Connorly, Samuel Francis,
Nat Hentoff, Reed Irvine, Tibor Machan, Wendy McElroy, Stephen Moore,
Paul Craig Roberts, Lew Rockwell, Tom Sowell, Jacob Sullum, Vin
Suprynowicz, Gore Vidal, Walter Williams and many others have regularly
carved out time to inform, inspire and, on many entertaining occasions,
piss off liberal or conservative listeners (or both) from San Francisco
to Dallas to D.C. Regretfully, Sam Francis and Reed Irvine are no
So why do you do it?
read Joe Sobran's eloquent piece on the passing of Samuel Francis.
As with many guests, we never met except on the air three times
he was on my morning show in DC some years ago. "Beautiful
Losers" became part of my personal "Continuing Education"
program. Sam introduced me to the beautifully apropos term, "The
Stupid Party" and taught me about "Anarcho-Tyranny."
Reflecting on Sam Francis, the curmudgeon-esque interviews and the
void left by his passing, the question first appeared: why do you
all, isn't The End inevitable? Not only the death of an individual
but of the Republic? We all agree "things" run in cycles.
"Government" is a thing. A "constitutionally limited
republic" is a thing. We have read about the 200-year average
life span of great nations and how America is several years overdue.
Doesn't most every worthwhile columnist rail against the Empire
in some way, employing their verbal scalpels to fulminating machetes
disemboweling both the subtle and the obvious transgressions of
government, the erosion of freedom, lost rights and, left unchecked,
impending doom? And despite all the reams of writings and warnings
and precedents and evidence – historical, hysterical and anecdotal
— haven't the transgressions continued unchecked? Is there any bona
fide reason to believe they will stop? Ever?
why do you do it?
so insightful, informative, inspiring pieces – does the choir require
another great sermon? The truly needy audience is busy contemplating
the saving grace of "American Idyll." What appreciative
readers see as a compelling rain of intellectual cruise missiles
on the enemies of liberty, the Establishment, along with Joe and
Jane Sixpack, see a BB gun fired at a charging rhino.
it for karma? Posterity? Is it self-acquitting: May the Written
Record for the Ages proclaim "See? We told you so!"
is it desperation? Is the infestation of government's regulatory
termites so massive and unrelenting, inexorably chomping away at
the base of our constitutional cornerstones, that in the end, you
realize we are ultimately powerless to overcome the aggressive ignorance
and contagious apathy to stop it? Isn't to continue like telling
to the tide "Don't come in!"?
why do you do it?
Ego? Paycheck? Idealism? Patriotism? How about Orwellian? "We
have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is
the first duty of intelligent men."
understand I write with all due respect and honest inquiry with
no expectation of an answer necessarily – nor to say the question
is rhetorical or merely existential. Just the recognition we all
lead busy lives and have other priorities. On behalf of the audience,
thank you for sharing. Thanks for your brains, your talent, your
still…why do you do it?
Wilson [send him mail] is
a talk show host, author and speaker. He’s heard on better talk
radio stations across the country through his Vacation Relief Service
and most recently vented his libertarian views on KSFO/San Francisco.