As I reflect on the past year, I am genuinely surprised the great majority of us are still here and in more or less the same condition corporately as we were 365 days ago. The world continues to be in turmoil, notably Europe and the US politically and the Middle East is an ever present source of news and morbid politics fascination as we sit in the awkward silence waiting for the Western world to answer the great question of their generation. The silence has only just been broken in the US and UK, but the matter is far from decided. Whether we go quietly into the night as a culture and people, relegated to past triumphs and dusty historical tomes or find the vitality to once again secure a place for ourselves among the cultures of this world will etch its mark indelibly into this coming year as it has in 2016. My record of picking presidential candidates, unmarred since Clinton’s second term, was snapped. The most unlikely of political candidates now stands poised to become president. Nearly ten months ago I first put my fingers on the keyboard and wrote my first post. In many ways it was my own personal way of spitting on my hands and hoisting the black flag. Prior to that many of you knew me by a few of the comments I had made on various blogs, but rather than simply be a spectator to the very real information and psychological struggle that was being waged, I elected to be a participant. I will be the first to admit it is not the true solution to the problem, nor everything one can do, but every mind swayed and individual influenced is a tiny bit of progress.
Since then I have had the great privilege to correspond with many of you, in person and via other means, and have been truly humbled by the overwhelming level of encouragement and respect for my ideas many of you have shown me. Those who insist we are uneducated, unsophisticated and intellectually myopic need only to scroll through the vast majority of the comments here and my inbox to know that is anything but the case. I may be the one whose name is on the site, but it is each of you that truly makes this work, particularly those who have helped provide content for this site. Every email, tweet, share, repost and comment you make pushes a better narrative and makes the adults in the room heard just a little bit more. Thank you. I would also like to thank Pete, Kenny, NCScout, JC Dodge and all the others who have reposted and provided words of encouragement and directed traffic my way. I couldn’t have gotten this off the ground without you. Lineman, brother you are what gives me hope for the future of this movement. We are nothing if not a community and the sooner we realize that the better. In the words of the philosopher Iceman, ‘you can be my wingman anytime.’
A person you rarely hear about other than in passing, probably wields more influence over this site than anyone other than myself. My wife is a woman of singular character and resolve, tempered by the very rare ability to be open to new ideas. She is the silent partner to this, supporting a harried and often absentminded husband while I spend hours on a single post after a day at work. Virginia Freeman’s Society would be a poorer place without her inspiration and encouragement. She reminds me daily of the reasons why we do what we do, and who we do it for.
Given this past year, I cannot begin to imagine what the next year has in store for us. What I do know is that the events happening on the Potomac can have a significantly less impact on your life if you are surrounded by a community of resilient individuals. As much as I enjoy political theater and participating in the commentary about it, the way to make the next year a success in this regard is to be sitting at this time next year with a group of people who can and will sustain each other during the worst of times. At that moment you will realize how truly irrelevant the statists are and how impotent their ideology is. By that standard this year has been enormously successful and I look back over the last dozen months and realize there is an inverse correlation with your community ties and the influence of talking heads and empty suits a thousand miles away. We are the future, we are the producers, innovators, and job creators. I’ll leave you with this, you cannot conquer a free man, the most you can do is kill him. Be a free man.