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A personal explanation and appeal

To help narrow the gap between good wishes and good will

For the first several decades after completing my formal education, (which culminated in a Ph.D. from Harvard. Hold that against me if you must, but not without acknowledging God’s hand in a minor miracle: I came out of my sojourn of 8 years and more in Cambridge, Mass. more committed to America’s principles than when it began.) I lived in a whirlwind of activity.  I spent a decade or so in government service (firstSmallLogoLTL as a Foreign Service Officer, than as one of Ronald Reagan’s political appointees), and several more involved in other activities dealing with public affairs, as an activist, a candidate for office, and a commentator on radio and TV.

I spent a good deal of time in public speaking of one kind or another.  I’ve heard so-called communications experts who talk as if, in our day, effective public speaking requires that one focus on punchline phrases that convey and exploit sentiment without inviting rational thought. That has not been my experience.  My recipe for public speaking is to think things through as best I can and let the results speak for themselves, doing my best to clothe the body of thoughts that results in whatever words and feelings they choose to wear.

Reason is, as it were, the DNA that informs that body of thought, determining its form and instructing its development.  Contrary to the common fallacy that starkly distinguishes reason from emotion, I have found that Blaise Pascal was right when he said “The heart has its reasons that reason does not know.”  (Pensées, « Le cœur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point. »)

Reason depends on God for its natural authority over us, and when we speak of the heart we are referring to that aspect of our being directly provisioned and informed by God’s will and understanding.  As we respect the requirements of reason, therefore, we are moved by God’s activity within us. This gives rise to the will to act accordingly (as Lincoln said, to “…do right as God gives us to see the right.”), which expresses itself in heartfelt emotions. These can be communicated along with the words we speak.

This combination of reason and emotion moves the people being addressed to action, action that includes deliberate thought.  As a result after I’ve spoken to an audience people approach me to ask whether what I’ve said is available in written form. They want to review, digest and think through what they’ve heard.  In the past I could sometimes satisfy their request.  But because I speak without a written text or notes, oftentimes I could not.

When I began this blog I was partly motivated by the desire to remedy that situation.  It has taken several years, but the writing I’ve done here now offers a resource to such people. It’s also a resource that can be useful to homeschoolers. Like my speeches, the posts here are usually occasioned by, and related to our public affairs, especially politics and government. But they often deal, as well, with the moral things and matters of faith that have, since the nation was founded, informed and sustained the decent character we must have to remain, on the whole, a free people.

This blog is a personal endeavor in the strict sense.  The writing is mine, and so are the resources that mainly sustain my ability to devote time and attention to it.  My livelihood in that regard depended on activities that were mostly sustained by middle class people.  If you are a regular visitor here, you can easily understand that many of the wealthy donors who sustain supposedly “conservative” activities are not supportive of my work.

As I learned from hard experience, the base of wealthy “conservative” donors includes a significant majority of people who a) think that America’s moral principles are secondary or unimportant; b) believe in the fallacy of purely secular politics; c) misunderstand and reject the premise of human equality set forth in the American Declaration of Independence; and therefore do not support the imperative priority I give to the self-evident truths set forth in it.

Such donors profess to believe in and support the U.S. Constitution, and the constraints it places on government power in respect of rights.  But they either don’t see or refuse to accept the fact that the meaning and content of those rights depends on moral premises, without which they cannot be capably articulated, much less defended against distortion and attack.

Because I will not let go of the true connection between America’s liberty and America’s understanding of justice as God-endowed right, I cannot let my work and livelihood become dependent on donors who reject that connection.  In my experience the day always comes when they attempt to use that dependency to bribe or compel one to surrender the stance that gives priority to respecting and applying God-dependent moral principles.

I therefore have no reliable recourse but to the patronage and support of like-minded people of the middle class, who have no agenda but their desire to support someone willing to articulate and act on the sense of priority they themselves share.  Of course, there has been a damaging attack on the middle class. I and others have talked about and experienced it, especially in the years since the fall of 2008. It has adversely affected our base of support. With every passing month and year I’ve found it more difficult materially to sustain the independence that allows me to write and speak with the strict and consistent respect for true principle that, God knows, these times require.

I share this brief explanation by way of background for the changes I’ve made in recent months that seek systematically to improve and assure the flow of resources needed to sustain my ability to produce this blog.  I’ve been somewhat taken aback, however, to find that people who often express the wish that what I write could be communicated to as many people as possible, are nonetheless unwilling to consider contributing to my efforts to achieve that result. Some even seem to resent them.

If you are in a position to give a little help, I hope you will think it worthwhile to do so.  Over the years I’ve seen voices for good fall silent because they would not give in to the corrupt temper of the times, and yet could not get vitally needed support from the very people who praised them for standing firm.  It’s the difference, I guess, between good wishes and good will.

I thank God for the faith that allows me to pray, with actions trusting in the Lord, that the good will prevail.  Help in that prayer, if you can, and by God are so inclined. And as you do, please know that by my actions I will also strive continually to express my thanks to God, to Christ, and to you.


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