I have progressed past my libertarian stage, but this piece at the libertarian venue Reason.com does a good job of capturing the gist of what made Andrew Sullivan’s blogging so mercurial and important: A Fond Farewell to Andrew Sullivan, Who Is Retiring From Blogging – Hit & Run : Reason.com.
Sullivan himself says:
One of the things I’ve always tried to do at the Dish is to be up-front with readers. This sometimes means grotesque over-sharing; sometimes it means I write imprudent arguments I have to withdraw; sometimes it just means a monthly update on our revenues and subscriptions; and sometimes I stumble onto something actually interesting. But when you write every day for readers for years and years, as I’ve done, there’s not much left to hide. And that’s why, before our annual auto-renewals, I want to let you know I’ve decided to stop blogging in the near future.
I want to spend some real time with my parents, while I still have them, with my husband, who is too often a ‘blog-widow’, my sister and brother, my niece and nephews, and rekindle the friendships that I have simply had to let wither because I’m always tied to the blog. And I want to stay healthy. I’ve had increasing health challenges these past few years. They’re not HIV-related; my doctor tells me they’re simply a result of fifteen years of daily, hourly, always-on-deadline stress. These past few weeks were particularly rough – and finally forced me to get real.
Sullivan is part of an increasingly rare breed. Even when you disagreed with him, vehemently, you always appreciated him. The way his mind worked, the way he could write…and write and write and write. He helped define the best of what blogging could be, while also, like all of us, struggling with the realities of displaying deeply held passions in real time, of working hard, maybe harder than anyone, to synthesize a genius’ command of historic, social, political, and religious metanarrative with the many strains of their echoes across great and vast swaths of “digital saturation.” He was and is brilliant. He was and is essential. I can’t imagine my own development as a writer or thinker without him. He wasn’t always right, and it wasn’t always pretty. That he could and did evolve in public on any number of issues was always part of the deal. That he loved what America can be at its best was clear and infectious.
Spread love, Andrew Sullivan. Thanks for teaching us a whole hell of a lot.