I did advise Austin, “Go left, young man, go left.” With his wit, research abilities, and passion he could have made a fortune on Medium.
A few times I considered turning in a few stories to the Medium staff as violating their code of conduct for hate speech. Had the writer substituted the word “white” for black, gay, transgender, etc., the level of venom would have been obvious to anyone, but then I noticed these were members featured stories, and I realized they were being endorsed by the staff.
I hoped I don’t get banned. I’ve put up over a hundred stories on Medium, most of it short stories, travel stories, and essays that have little to do with politics. Even though I write a lot of outdoor adventure, I’d guess the majority of my readers are liberal educated women, mostly over forty. Somehow, when I stay away from politics these women understand that the thought processes of a man writing about a life and death situation deep in the Northwest Territories or Alaska or on a wild mountain farm just aren’t the same as something they might expect from a university professor in an effete establishment of like-minded people in say London or San Francisco.
The unlikely thing is that I’ve developed a huge affection for these readers who will almost always cancel any vote I cast. Most people really aren’t on the extreme of either right or left, if sometimes it seems that way because extremists will almost always be more motivated to write political essays. Maybe they have a hard time seeing the humanity of people who disagree with them.
I’ll miss Austin.