On October 2nd and 3rd, I submitted my first posts to Ricochet. On October 4th, I was in Denver to speak on a panel at the Mountain West CPAC meeting. It was the day after the Denver presidential debate. Following my talk, I was standing in a line, waiting to say hello to Hugh Hewitt, who has published my weekly columns on his website for more than four years. Hugh was broadcasting, so he could only talk during breaks. I got to chatting with a woman waiting too. It turned out she and her husband lived nearby (Colorado Springs, I think). Eventually we introduced ourselves. When I said my name, she started. “Don’t you post on Hugh Hewitt,” she said, “but didn’t I see you on Ricochet?”
Now understand, since leaving the Reagan White House at the end of the second term, I had published hundreds of articles in journals, newspapers and online. Never before had a stranger not in the media recognized my name because of my work and, particularly surprising, associated it with a presence that began only two days before. In that moment I realized that, like Hugh’s audience, the Ricochet community is remarkably alert, attentive, smart and serious.
In the month and a half since then, I have had that first impression confirmed in the comments to each of my Ricochet postings. Not every commenter has agreed with me. But all have been insightful, civil, goodwilled, a pleasure to be in the same community with. And in this turbulent world, that is a gift.
So on this Thanksgiving weekend, my list of gratitudes extends to all Ricocheters — and to Peter and Rob for inviting me to join this warm and remarkable congregation.