Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
I have been an active poster and commenter on Ricochet since the beginning; way back when Peter came down the mountain with the Code of Conduct and Rob was still scribbling graffiti on the side of NRO cruise ships.
The concept and the membership really haven’t changed much. Contributors come and go. Ever more podcasts elbow each other for a place in the spotlight. We have more options on the site now, like groups and private messages. We have more meetups. Ne’er-do-wells are still sacrificed to the PIT.
But the heart of it all is the comments. Whether on the Main Feed where outsiders are thrown a few crumbs or in the Member Feed where anything goes, Ricochet is about conversation. The post that kicks it off is only the beginning.
Free expression isn’t just a legal allowance. It’s a culture of daring interests, the stubborn pursuit of truth, and a community of endless surprises. Not every conversation must be a challenge. But we learn so much by generous exposure to the ideas and experiences of others.
Ricochet is a site for civil conservative conversation. So we are committed to free expression. But what about that bit of being a “center-right” community?
We have had many discussions over the years about conservatism, classical liberalism, libertarians, Republicans, and all that jazz. Our community involves a very broad and often contentious variety of values and priorities. Members come from all walks of life and even many countries. It’s an alliance, not a dogmatic order.
But there are, I believe, general commitments that unite us. They can be summarized as follows: limited, local, lawful government.
Limited: We embrace the US Constitution’s faith in natural rights that precede any political arrangement. The freedoms to share one’s beliefs and to defend oneself from aggressors, for example, are universally due and not fundamentally subject to any authority.
Furthermore, governments are always imperfect vehicles, as human nature itself will always be imperfect. Human beings are vulnerable to corruption, so governments are prone to misuse as well. Consequently, we reject all-encompassing authorities and remain ever wary of political overreach.
Local: We all subscribe, to some extent, to the principle of subsidiarity: concerns are best addressed at the most local level possible. Broader authorities might be welcomed only when more immediate groups and individuals are unable to provide similar necessary functions.
Individual liberty is crucial to the flourishing of the human soul. Families and local communities can provide many necessary supports which modern governments have assumed. Historically, they have proved more capable and more mindful of liberty than government. We have great faith in the potential of voluntary service and voluntary organization.
City, county, state, and nation all have roles to play in public life. But they should do so in ascending order, ever mindful of the individual citizen’s free will.
Lawful: Sadly, it now seems necessary to add this priority to the pillars of conservatism. The United States of America are/is a republic. A just government cannot proceed by fleeting whims and uncontested edicts. Changes must occur by careful deliberation, free debate, consent, and continuity. Laws should be clear and knowable.
We believe that the instruments of justice must treat all citizens as equals. Any law, established by due process, remains in effect until it is formally rescinded. Laws can be contested by the prescripted means only. Authorities have limits.
That is undoubtedly an imperfect and incomplete summation of (American) rightwing philosophy. But it is, I believe, a recognition of bonds that have united so many wondrously different Ricochet members throughout the past decade. I hope those values will continue to unite us as political and cultural alliances are shaken, altered, and renewed.
Not every member of the Ricochet community looks to the same Providence that our nation’s forefathers entrusted with its future, but I pray that we will remain optimistic and amicable in defense of the greatest nation on earth.Published in