Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Candidate Blogger

When you consider that running a campaign is mostly about "controlling the message", writing unedited every morning at 6 am is probably the worst thing a candidate can do.  Writing-unedited-every-morning-at-6-am is hard enough as it is without having to consider whether this morning's inspiration could result in reams of attack mailers to prospective voters, taking my words out of context or painting me as a one-dimensional candidate.

"What are you going to do about the blog?"

It was asked before I ever announced my candidacy for office and continues well past the point where I thought I had answered the question.  Nowadays people ask about it in the past tense, as in "What are you going to do with all that 'you' hanging out in the breeze?"

I certainly could have deleted it.  Sure, dedicated archivists could recall most, if not all, of what I've written over the past four and a half years, but it would deter the casual drive-by "gotcha".

That would be foolish.  I've said from the beginning that I am owning everything I've said and everything I will say.  I've made mistakes.  Grievous mistakes.  Embarrassing mistakes.  Stupid mistakes.  Even smart mistakes - the ones that were based on perfectly defensible positions, but no longer make sense to me.  I will continue to do so.  But any person who offers themselves as someone who has never made a mistake in reasoning, or will never make one into the future, is not someone I would trust.

The past is not my issue.  The real question is what do I write about now?  I receive constructive advice on a weekly basis about what I should not write about.  Current races.  Syria.  The Stormwater Management Fee.  Taxes in general.  The constant counter-balance is my responsibility to you, the reader, who pay me nothing but your time, a valuable resource worthy of respect and appreciation.  Am I writing something worthy of your time?  Or am I filling space?

I think about this every day in the time I had formerly spent crafting a post.  What knives am I giving my opponents today?  Is it worth it?

At the end of the day, the answer to the second question is "yes", but it is built off of a philosophy held only by me that this effort towards conversational governing will prove itself out; that any attempt to use openness, clarity, and explanation against me will falter under its own weight.

That mindset does nothing for writer's block though.  It also doesn't save me from the temptation to play it safe instead of going hard after my convictions.  And that, dear reader, is the challenge I am sharing with you today:  How to be me without really trying.

Have a great Tuesday doing what you love!