Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I Don't Know You but I. O. U.

When I inventory my blessings this Thanksgiving, the blogosphere will receive special attention. I am so grateful for this free and open venue where anyone can express their opinions without having to raise their hand or wait their turn. The talent and generosity of bloggers are awesome and every voice is welcomed. I may never meet any of you, but I am honored to share with you the community of ideas.

Admittedly, this has been a trying year for those of us on the center-right. I feel like I have been living in an unnatural state of suspended hope, always braced for the next dirty trick or unlucky break. This week and every week I thank God that President Bush was re-elected. Although many of us grew discouraged throughout the long, bruising campaign, especially after the first debate, Bush never seemed to. He possesses a constancy of spirit and faith in democracy, faith in us, which never wavered.

Except for my husband, no single person helped me maintain my faith in the wisdom of the electorate more than Hugh Hewitt. I listened to his Salem Radio Network show since its inception, but this year my world became very Hugh-centric. I think of Hugh as a modern day Don Quixote – not deluded but charmingly clueless sometimes about the mundane. In Generalissimo Duane, he found the perfect Sancho Panza to rescue him from cultural and grammatical gaffes. Hugh tilts at real windmills like corporate callousness (Target), partisan purging (Arlen Specter), and media misrepresentations (too many to itemize).

Through Hugh, I discovered the Northern Alliance of bloggers and their radio show. I always harbored a fondness for the Minnesota of Maud Hart Lovelace’s childhood (it’s a chick thing, I guess), but I never knew until this year that the land o’ lakes is our national clearinghouse for political analysis and humor. Captain Ed, John Hinderaker and Scott Johnson, Chad the Elder, Mitch Berg, James Lileks, et al, are among the most gifted writers of commentary today and I am so grateful they are on our side.

I still look to Kathryn Jean Lopez, Kate O’Beirne and their Corner homeboys at NRO for my daily dose of the truth without a hint of sugar. There you will find thoughtful conservatives of every prefix, including the brilliant Mark Steyn, and I benefit from their diversity of dialogue. I am no female chauvinist, but I appreciate the unique demands on our time that make blogging regularly a challenge for many women. Like me, Theresa Kiihn is a fledgling blogger who favors a personal style from the perspective of a wife and mother. She has been especially generous to me, as have Hugh and Chad the Elder. I am grateful for their many acts of kindness.

With the end of the election cycle comes a return to normalcy and I am relieved to dust off my CDs and books and sheet music and all the other wonderful blessings for which I give thanks to God. The intangibles that I prize above all are the love of my husband and family and God, the patient devotion of true friends, improved health, and all the advantages I enjoy as an American.

Now let's go eat some turkey.

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