Rick did me the honor of asking if I could help out at his blog while he is enjoying a much-deserved break. I was pleased to say yes. Before I begin, though, I thought it might help if you knew a little bit about me.
My blogger name is Bookworm. I've been blogging at Bookworm Room for eight years now. I started blogging because I live in a very liberal enclave (Marin County, California), and I needed an outlet for all the conservative thoughts swirling about in my head. It was impossible to have a meaningful political conversation with someone whose idea of debate involved repeating "Bush is evil" as often and as rapidly as possible.
I actually understand those "Bush is evil" people, because I grew up as an unthinking liberal. Coming as I did from a Bay Area-based, intellectual, Jewish family, and then having attended Berkeley, there was no worldview but the liberal worldview. Every year, I dutifully filed into the voting booth and left my mark in the little boxes next to the Democrat candidates.
But even then, my politics sat uneasily with my values. I knew welfare was a good thing, because I was told it was good, but it seemed irrational to give young women a financial incentive to have children, but not to have husbands. I believed that government was the efficient source of all good things, except I couldn't help noticing that my interactions with government were always painful and inefficient.
And of course, I knew that NPR was the radio for smart people. My real problems started after 9/11, when I'd find myself in the car screaming at my radio because an NPR story was (a) illogical; (b) fact-challenged; or (c) anti-Israel. (Sometimes the stories were all three.)
Where do you go when NPR fails you? If you're me, you try something completely unthinkable: you tune in to Rush Limbaugh. Rather than being the combination of idiot and monster that I'd been led to expect, Rush was delightful. He was funny, informed, logical, and all-around enjoyable. He also discussed subjects for hours, instead of for minutes. He took challenges from people calling in, rather than offering listeners a hermetically sealed liberal package of information. From Rush, I went to Dennis Prager; from Dennis Prager, I went to Michael Medved; and from Michael Medved, it was an easy step to Hugh Hewitt.
Next, I discovered the blogs. Daily Kos? Stupid and obscene. PowerLine? Logical, insightful and funny. Wonkette? Stupid and obscene. Michelle Malkin? Informed, trenchant, and powerful. And so it went. Every day I learned more and backed away from my old ideas.
As with most converts, I was excited about my new intellectual discoveries, and kept emailing articles to my friends. I eventually realized that this was burdensome for them and that it made the die-hard liberals angry. Blogging seemed to be (and was) the answer.
I've had a wonderful time writing about politics, social issues, education, parenting, and all manner of things for the last eight years. I've also been fortunate enough to make wonderful friends in the blogosphere, Rick included. I'm very much looking forward to sharing my ideas with you over the next few days.