I've engaged in online debates and exchanges with all number of folks in my day. The challengers have ranged from one of Ohio's gubernatorial candidates, to a self-described intellectual, to some idiot on Twitter who uses as his avatar pic a photo paying homage to Saddam Hussein.
This time around, however, there has been a spirited exchange with an established and respected journalist. I choose not to be shy about any debate or other such dialogue. If I need to hide my conversations -- regardless of the forum(s) where they may take place -- then I am wasting my time and everyone else's with this congressional run.
If you need to get caught up to speed, pause here and please read my previous blog.
After that, please take a moment to read the latest entry at "Ron's Rants."
And then, below, is my reply (which I have already posted in the comments section but is -- at the time I'm posting this -- awaiting moderation).
Actually, Ron, I have been the first to admit I'm a johnny-come-lately with the Libertarian Party.
Much of that was due to what had been a lack of resources about the party and where it stands.
I overcame that, however, by taking the time to contact and connect with members of the Libertarian Party of Ohio, pick their brains, exchange thoughts and ideas, compare their points against mine, and spend time evaluating both positions where I hadn't agreed with them.
I understand you're frustrated with people who have been stepping up within the last year and acting as though they've always harbored libertarian leanings.
As I alluded to in my blog, so many folks have been spoon-fed crap for so long, even some of the most intelligent among us need time to sift between what they're hearing and seeing now and all with which they've been bombarded for years.
Now, I'll be the first to applaud you for standing up for libertarianism much longer than a lot of us, myself included. Our state and our country both would be much better off if many more had joined you on this matter much sooner.
But, how does insulting people for arriving later to the ball serve to help achieve what we agree is an all-important goal to convince the public at large that big government serves no other purpose than to keep us all dependent on its whims.
As I mentioned previously, displeasure with Washington was reaching its fever pitch after T.A.R.P.
Many who began attending rallies last year needed an outlet that was not yet there for expressing their/our frustrations with what was happening -- and this was BEFORE the November '08 election even took place.
Much of the delay up until the fall of 2008 for conservative outrage was due in large part to a widespread sense of disbelief among the right-of-center in America that those who'd proclaimed to be fiscal conservatives were spending us out of a surplus and into record deficits -- disbelief born of Partisan Derangement Syndrome.
I can understand that explanation won't satisfy you. But to suggest that simply because people are late arrivals they may as well not even show up is as equally divisive as simply being "anti-Obama."
It also serves to further the mindset of "why bother," which is what led us all to this point in history over the last four or five decades.
I find myself smirking when I hear speakers insist the answer lies in "restoring the Republican Party." I personally don't share their optimism on that regard.
And also to be completely honest, my campaign isn't about a carefully crafted strategy: for better or for worse. What I am all about is simply telling you and anyone else who will take the time to ask where I stand and where my principles lie on whatever subject about which you're curious. Equally as important, my motivation is to give the voters within this congressional district a third option on their ballots that has been long overdue.
I am not a remarkable person -- just in case that wasn't already glaringly obvious. But something remarkable is taking shape in America. Instead of attempting to shame folks for missing a vague sociopolitical deadline, more can be done for the betterment of our state and our country if we all debate/argue/discuss (all three terms mean the same thing) our points of view (Republican, Libertarian, Tea Partier) based on the idea that dissecting the premises and talking points will accomplish more than dissecting the people presenting them.
If that latter tactic has been directed at you, then those who have done so are representing the Tea Party movement as ineffectually as the Peanut Gallery to be found on MSNBC has presented opposing viewpoints. Both groups ought to be ashamed. Period.
I know my tone in my blog flirted with it. But, I cannot conceal my tendency to bristle at comments suggesting that I spent this past decade in lockstep with George W. Bush.
Did it take me longer than it should have to recognize the failings of the Republican Party? Undeniably, the answer is yes. But this is NOT something upon which I stumbled within the last few months.
Do I wish my own personal epiphany on sociopolitical affairs had happened 15 or even 20 years ago as opposed to two years? Absolutely!
But awakenings are positive and powerful events, even if they don't happen within the timelines some of us would have preferred.