Troy and I exchanged a few emails this morning–just routine matters about who might be posting later in the day, topics that might prompt good conversations, and so on. My fellow White House speechwriter–as you’ll recall, Troy wrote for Dubya, just as, an even 20 years earlier, I wrote for the Gipper– closed our exchange with a couple of paragraphs at once so lovely and so powerful that I’d like to share them:
Re: this weekend, it has been tough sledding, though I’m glad to hear things are potentially looking up. One thought to keep in mind, though: We can spend our lives writing presidential speeches (which — the good ones, anyway — matter greatly) or penning op-eds (which matter a little), but I hope you, Rob, and George Savage have paused for a moment in this maelstrom to consider the fact that what you’ve created here may, in some respects, be your most meaningful professional accomplishment (well, maybe not Dr. Savage — in his day job, after all, he saves lives).
You set out to start a conversation. Instead, you started a family. The bonds of affection run so deep on the site that we basically had a virtual wake for a member of Ricochet this weekend because we’d all come to love Kennedy Smith. That’s something to be proud of. When everyone was hand-wringing about how the internet would isolate us, you guys came up with something that actually brought strangers closer together. And in that way, you’ve contributed your bit to human flourishing. I’d be proud.
I can’t thank you enough, Troy. Honestly, I can’t. And I am proud.
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