I’m writing while listening to Ta-Nehisi Coates on a podcast… On the National Review… which is weird? Love the man.
My friend Nancy said that I get influenced by people pretty easily… It hurt me at the time. But ultimately, I’ve come to accept that its a good thing. I find joy and get overwhelmed by smart people. I can be lead, it’s ok! I love the idea of a person able to articulate great ideas easily. It’s hard to do! So maybe what one person saw as a weakness is a strength. I do find that when I read a new book, or hear a great idea, my mindset will bend. It stays within the context of my ethos but I am happy to listen. I’m not going to become a right-wing loon, but I can be moved back and forth.
We live in weird times where we think that people who are stubborn are venerated. That if you stick with your convictions in the face of overwhelming evidence, its a good thing. People will see you as a leader if you stand alone in your thought. There are values there I can see, but I just don’t agree. You can stand by your BELIEFS and PHILOSOPHY but you cannot stand by your own FACTS.
I wish we could have more intellectual conversations. Less pundits, more smart talk. More disagreements, more nuanced discussion. More intelligence in general. More James Baldwin, more Ta-Nehisi Coates… MORE William F. Buckley…. more Gore Vidal… we need it.
I just want hope that we’re moving in the right direction.