On speaking

Well, the Script-dotting (q.v.) of my reaction to Bush’s press conference seems to be slowing down. Thanks to all the readers who participated in what must be the most spirited discussion ever on this blog yesterday. Special thanks to Gary Robinson, who kept the tone of the discussion high and brought forward some interesting points.

At some points during the discussion yesterday, I had one of those “oh no” moments. I normally don’t worry about things I write on this blog, but at one point I began to sweat a little. I now know co-workers, old friends from high school, and others who read my blog, in addition to my RSS subscribers and all the Google visitors. Am I making a mistake by putting my political views out there? Maybe.

But I’ve had my political views out on this site almost since it began, certainly since 9/11. It’s not possible to put the genie back in the bottle.

I think this is one of those deep-breath moments that must come to every blogger. To really blog, unless you blog exclusively for work (or everything you write on your blog is untrue), you have to put it out there. Otherwise it’s just lists of links or news about gardening. But even with lists of links, you’re subject to having people guess your politics. In these echo chambers, one’s choice to link to Oliver Willis or Joshua Micah Marshall (or Greg Greene) instead of Instapundit or LittleGreenFootballs says a lot about who you read and who you think is worth talking about. But if one is to add any value to a blog it has to have your voice in it.

I talked about this with Esta some time ago. She’s now blogged her concern about her blog’s effect on her employability as a minister. So I’ll present my side of the conversation. One: your blog shows, if nothing else, that you can think and write. Really well. Two: your blog shows that you are a real person with real experience. I think that knowing about an individual’s struggles with the Black Dog, or about their difficult life decisions, makes one’s appreciation of their work that much richer. Particularly if the job they are going into is one where empathy is a very large part of the job.

So that’s good for Esta. I would argue that being as open as possible about things that matter is good for all of us. If nothing else, it can get you into conversations with a CEO you might never otherwise meet.