By: Pat Austin
SHREVEPORT — Piggy-backing on Pete’s post in reference to Stacy McCain’s post, I feel obliged to chime in on that conversation for a moment. Both Pete and Stacy referenced Tucker Carlson and his discussion of the deteriorating social fabric and I’m all in agreement on that. No discord here on what either Pete or Stacy wrote.
What tickled my muse was Stacy’s post which took me back to 2009, to the first Tea Party protests, and to blog wars. My own blog was born in 2008, and for a long time I looked to Stacy McCain as a sort of mentor. I still do. To me, Stacy is an old-school journalist; he does the research and he’s a gifted writer.
In his post, Stacy wrote, “Sometimes, survival is victory.” His words are a little more literal than blog survival, but they resonated with me as survival in the blogosphere as well. One of the points Stacy made was that he spends so much time working, “staring into the abyss,” that he hasn’t spent as much time with his six children as he might have liked, but that’s the cost of this battle in which we are engaged. Stacy, Pete, Instapundit, and other conservative blogs that have been around for years have been on the front lines trying to bring real journalism and real news to the forefront when mainstream media has so often failed to do that.
I’m not including my own blog in that list, even though I was strictly a political blog for about eight years and I held my own with blogs like Stacy’s. I got my Instapundit links and was linked by Michelle Malkin, but I eventually got burned out and distracted by other issues. My blog turned to education matters as Common Core began to infiltrate our schools. I backed off blogging for three years so I could write and publish my book. I think in truth that political discourse became so hostile and people so deranged, that I felt myself being sucked into a perpetual mood of hostility and anger; I had to back away.
And so, what that means here, is that I’m grateful to people like Stacy and for Pete, who were able to keep those lines clear, to protect themselves, and to stay on the front lines. Am I less of a blogger for having backed away? I’ve wondered that a lot. I’ve done a lot of navel-gazing about that, and in the end, backing off of politics was what I had to do for my family and for myself.
I still dip my toes in the water, and I still pay attention. I’m still writing, too. For the most part, when I write about politics now it is about state level politics, a lot of which you have seen on this blog.
I haven’t watched Tucker Carlson’s video; that’s not really my focus here. Tucker Carlson is perfectly capable of speaking for himself. But Stacy’s post made me long for those early blogging days. We did have fun! My point is that it’s important to support bloggers like Pete and like Stacy who are doing the heavy lifting. If not for these blogs, and these fine journalists, where would we be?
Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and Her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter paustin110.