Was it worth it?

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Photo by Alison Courtney on Unsplash

I did not write the following to add another entry to the Told You So genre. Anyone who has read me for a while knows I like to look back — and that I have a better record with reflection rather than prediction. Remembering the why’s and how’s of a thing make it easier to, say, avoid the same mistake in the future. Knowing now what we didn’t know then is a fine time to ask if it was all worth it. Besides, there are enough I-should’ve-seens for me in the past 5 years to keep me from getting cocky.

It was the summer of 2016 the first time someone called me a traitor. She, a friend to that point, seemed almost panicked that even after all of the other candidates had conceded, I still refused to get behind Donald J. Trump for President of the United States. My unwillingness to follow the party down that ominous path was — somehow — a betrayal of my country, not just the political party, which I was in fact leaving (or being left by, as the old twist on a Reagan quote goes. …

Aspiring to be fortnightly, for now monthly will do

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Photo by Roan Lavery at Unsplash

This is the opening of my re-booted Collection email curating works from right-of-center women. I will send it out once a month. If you would like to receive it, you may sign up here.

A version of the following appeared in my last post right before the election last fall. It isn’t new news, but it wasn’t easy to find either so I thought I’d bump it. I considered running this magazine as an editing co-op, but there wasn’t enough enthusiasm behind the scenes to pull that off. Most everyone who was involved here has their own projects now. That’s as it should be.

I’m leaving the magazine up because I think we have some good stuff here for any future curious people to find. But I am moving on. I’m going full local for politics and shifting to a project I’ve had on the back burner for too long: modern life administration. As in, I’m going to teach young people how to do it, merging the old ways with the new. It’s still keeping with the same goal I had in my writing, bridging gaps, but using community instead of being another of thousands of freelance pundits trying to persuade. Plus, I’ve complained enough about pundits endlessly chatting about problems that I’m convicted by the irony. …

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Election Night 2016 photo from NBC News.

Just like in 2016 — something that should sound ominous to the independents and Blues — some large swath of the population perceives that they are being ignored. Also like 2016, this perception motivates voters. The Blues, and to a lesser extent the independents, do not see this motivation because they are busy dismissing the concerns of that swath of the public. This is, of course, why that large swath feels ignored. And the world turns.

Imagine a conversation, any conversation from one on ones to public square discussions, that goes something like this:

First person: “Listen to me. You should [vote for, believe, support] X because of reasons A, B, and C.”

Taking a pause. I want to get off this merry go round.

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From this Sunday’s Collection, my last for a while.

My heart is heavy. I’ve been watching the Kavanaugh debacle unfold, as stunned at the early dismissal of allegations before any investigation as at some watchers’ inability to understand why Kavanaugh might have been so angry. I don’t know, maybe you’d be upset about being accused of leading a gang rape you didn’t commit. A correspondent of mine, one of many who asks to remain anon because she has a family that she wishes to protect from the public expression of her opinion, stated it well right before the hearing:

The intersectional, anti “breeder”, groupthink promulgating, men-hating, motherhood abjuring, frenzied factions leave me with a deep revulsion: no room for grace, for humanity, for dignity, for presumption of innocence (and I do not have any a priori beliefs about the original Kavanaugh claims), for general decency, of anything resembling finer human feelings — but also for those who refused to treat the initial accusations against Kavanaugh with any semblance of probity, the women-hating, misogyny-spewing man-boys — I want to get off this merry-go-round. … I kept away from the hearings and Twitter until tonight. I should have stuck with medieval manuscripts and puppy photos. …

Blue dominance of urban government has been a practical phenomenon — and the practical realities have just changed

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Most right-leaning commentary on urban government is insipid. Conservatives largely ignore urban, local issues and focus on DC — well most Americans do that, but it is particularly odd that conservatives do it. Even benign neglect of local issues is inconsistent with classic liberal ideals that are usually part of conservative thought. To completely ignore city governance is at least hypocritical.

On the odd occasions when conservative thinkers do offer policy solutions, they opt for grand urban planning ideas that will either get co-opted by local government cronyism or never pass until we win some urban elections. Nary a thought is given to how the right might win those local urban elections. Compounding the problem, if we won a local election, conservative thought leaders offer little to nothing on how to proceed after decades of urban fiscal mismanagement have left cities with few funds to act on the grand urban planning. …

Living in a state of constant contempt

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Shared in honor of a post from Lydia Sohn, “I’m Normal, I Swear.”

A letter from November, 2011

Comrade C and his family came to London. As my usual habit for friends visiting, I took them to tea at my favorite location: the hotel with the nude shabby chic mosaic. That’s a distinguishing feature of the hotel, not my favorite feature — although it is certainly memorable. (…)

Anyway, the girls are in high school. They are Christian and conservative and sadly accustomed to the “but you seem so smart/normal/nice/well informed” remarks that seem to come with any reply that our cross is real or any admission that we didn’t vote for Obama. …

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A few times a year, I revisit some collection commentary, and Facebook has been a topic of discussion a few times in the past months. In honor of the company’s recent news, I re-present a few pieces of Facebook commentary. If you would like the full comments, the archive is here.

From March 11, 2018, “Conservative and Feminist?”

(This was 6 days before the data scandal broke.)

Analysts have been declaring Facebook dead for a few years. Facebook has been laughing at them. Until now. For the first time since opening to the public, Facebook shed active users, and time on platform is dropping. The easy answer is the algorithm changes [the company just rolled out], but that isn’t quite right. …

We hear all about fertility technology advances, but precious little about their results

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I originally wrote this for The Collection in February (2018), when the where-are-they-now? style story ran in the Washington Post. It was a follow up to the rah-rah egg freezing articles from a few years ago, but unlike the earlier articles, it received relatively little fanfare. At the time, I didn’t see many commentary reactions either, but WaPo and/or the author allowed the piece to be edited and reposted by the National Post in Canada. That article popped up in my social feeds this week, so I am rerunning my comment.

A few years ago egg freezing became women’s insurance policy. Remember? There was a book, a blog, a whole bunch of cheerleading articles, and progressive companies putting egg freezing in their insurance benefits packages. I remember thinking that maybe these women would want to write the books and articles after their babies were born, not when they first put their eggs on ice. …

Observations from taking the Life in the UK test

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Karol Markowicz made a case for assimilation in response to an op-ed in the Washington Post that called for an end to birthright citizenship. And she’s correct, birthright citizenship and our ability to assimilate newcomers has been one of the primary sources of America’s success. And this has never come home more starkly to me than it did in the spring of 2011, when I took the Life in the UK test to become a permanent resident of the United Kingdom.

London, May 2011

Thursday, I took the Life in the UK test. The LUK test (my acronym not theirs) is their naturalization test. For anyone planning on taking the test, I will discuss the process — the unnecessarily drawn out process — at the end of this post. First, however, a bit about the test itself, because it explains much about the UK’s problems assimilating immigrants. …


Leslie Loftis

Teacher of life admin and curator of commentary. Occasional writer.

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