A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
I used to be right down the middle. But America’s changed, and so have I.
In my late 50s, at a time of life when most people are supposed to be drifting into a cautious conservatism, I am surprised to find myself moving steadily leftward.
This is unexpected. It comes even as I am financially comfortable and enjoying my work. (I’m writing this from my summer home in Maine.) I’m not a natural progressive—I spent the last quarter century covering the U.S. military, first for the Wall Street Journal and then for the Washington Post, and now for Foreign Policy magazine. I have written five books about the Marines, the Army and our wars.
I am puzzled by this late-middle-age politicization. During the time I was a newspaper reporter, I didn’t participate in elections, because I didn’t want to vote for, or against, the people I covered. Mentally, I was a detached centrist. Today I remain oriented to the free market and in favor of a strong national defense, so I have hardly become a radical socialist.
But since leaving newspapers, I have again and again found myself shifting to the left in major areas such as foreign policy and domestic economic policy. I wonder whether others of my generation are similarly pausing, poking up their heads from their workplaces and wondering just what happened to this country over the last 15 years, and what do to about it.
The things that are pushed me leftward began with…[continue reading]
— by Thomas E. Ricks writing for Politico