writerly priorities

Usually when I write a post, it’s not because I think the subject is the most important thing going on in the world. Sometimes I write about a topic because I don’t think anyone else will make the same point, or because I happen to know something about it, or because something caught my eye and I can write a quick comment about it. Very often that means there are other topics that I consider more important than the one I’m discussing, but about which I don’t feel I have anything to add to the conversation, or don’t have the time to address adequately, etc. …

It is certainly fair to look at someone’s body of work for a sense of what he thinks is most important – although even that exercise can go awry, because a person’s sense of his comparative advantage might not line up with his sense of importance – but it’s wrong to look at one or two posts that way. I find, though, that even the occasional tweet gets treated this way by some readers. So, for example, any jape about liberals, no matter how mild, is sure to draw the response that obviously I am trying to divert attention from some terrible thing Donald Trump is doing, which is what everyone really should be talking about. It seems to me that this is not a healthy way to read, think, or be.

Ramesh Ponnuru. I co-sign this vigorously.