I’ve been writing conservative political commentary under the name Lester Dent for a little over 10 years. Much of it has, perhaps mercifully, gone down the internet memory hole, since the web site I primarily published on is no longer around. You may find some references to my work (mostly with dead links) in old posts by Michelle Malkin and Rich Lowry, and Swift Vet blogs. I even had some things reprinted by anti-war sites (!) because I explained that there was no chance President Bush would institute the draft (I was correct, as it turned out…).
After the 2008 election my wife and I were so disgusted we actually fled the San Francisco Bay Area where we lived at the time to stay for a week in a remote cabin in Oregon away from TV and radio. We did not want our son and ourselves to have to endure all the hopey-changey hoopla. I had been writing non-stop for a year trying to warn people of what they would be getting with a President Obama. I pretty much stopped writing after 2008 election, although I did a few things under a few other pseudonyms in the 2012 election cycle. The problem was I could not get behind Romney like I could behind Sarah Palin. I knew Palin was no Ronald Reagan for intellect, but she was a conservative to her core and had good instincts; those instincts could lead her to choose good people to advise her. If I knew what I know today about John McCain, well…
I’m a lawyer whose job is to help families; in my checkered past I’ve been a minister, a counselor, an educator, in law enforcement and a businessman.
For much of my adult life I considered myself a liberal (literally a Berkeley liberal) until 9/11 but I was always uneasy, because liberal solutions never seemed to work. But I knew I couldn’t be a conservative because I wasn’t a racist, and I cared about people, and conservatives were terrible people who only cared about the rich. I bought into the MSM narrative, and what I was fed by academia where I had spent some 18 years. After 9/11 I discovered talk radio, a local station in San Francisco that had few hair-brained callers but lots of interviews with people like Jonah Goldberg, Mark Levin, Thomas Sowell, Paul Johnson, Michelle Malkin. Bill Bennett, Mark Steyn, Rich Lowery, and Ann Coulter. I submerged myself in conservative writings of the day and the past, spending ten to twelve hours a day in a world I had no idea had existed. I met and traveled with many of the greatest contemporary thinkers in the conservative movement on National Review cruises (I stowed away).
I wrote a little. I had to keep my head down; I had contracts with the San Francisco Chronicle, so used a pen name, as I was often skewering that publication (as well as publishing on a site called Chronwatch.com!). I lost at least one large legal client because they learned of my association with the Swift Vets organization. And after President Obama’s election I simply lost the motivation to keep trying.
Now I have at least a temporary desire to start again. Partly I have some more time than I’ve had in years. Partly I was struck by reviews on Rotten Tomatoes for Dinesh D’Sousa’s new movie America. Now, Dinesh and I have an interesting history. I greatly enjoyed some of his earlier works, including Illiberal Education and What’s So Great About America. I interviewed him on a cruise after the 2004 election. But I found his ideas began to get more bizarre and I pretty much ignored him for years. I was mildly interested in the concept of his movie 2016 but never saw it, not being able to overcome my reservations. But I was intrigued by the (basically false) advertisements for America (he never really runs with the theme of what the world would have been like if America had never existed, one true criticism of the film) and decided to take my son to see it. When I checked the reviews, I saw the “professional” critics had rated it at 10% and the viewers had rated it at 90%. That stunned me – that was a bigger spread than a Schwarzenegger movie! After watching the film, I read the reviews and was amazed at how bizarre and inaccurate the critics’ reviews were. One of my first substantive posts here will be to address some of them. It has motivated me to start writing again.
My tag line for my Chronwatch pieces was “Making a dent in liberal disinformation.” This site is a vanity piece. I naturally hope I get lots of readers, but I’m basically writing about things that piss me off. So, as General Waverly says in White Christmas, “Well, even if it just for you and me, it’ll be well worth it. Now you’ll have to pardon me, Emma has me on KP.”