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Anniversary of the Frederick Citizen

January 3, 2006

by Jack Lynch

Today, I am looking back on the first anniversary of the Frederick Citizen.

It is with a mixture of pride and accomplishment, but a tad bittersweet, and ultimately, a failed, endeavor. 

Still lacking in my original goals for the online content is the building of a broad community of correspondents, of a liberal community to rival the conservative Tentacle.

Mr. Asbury is surely much less threatened now by my missives then when I first publicized them, and thatís a shame, a good controversy and competition is a healthy thing, so hopefully I still draw his eye and his sure ire. 

But great failures are the path of real change, and hopefully this column exists to spark a long suffering change in local politics, trending towards a future of new residents with a different mindset on the world of Frederick County.

While I held my ground in many causes, and offered support of politicians that I felt deserved it and my vote, I held my tongue when I lacked solid vision or knowledge of the subject, or found it simply beneath the pale.

And my sense of the partisanship of politics is greatly increased, having felt the warm fire of support, and the burns of rejection a bit more fully.  For parties first harden opinions, then harden choices, and lastly harden hearts. 

Political fights are fights against our selves ultimately, against our friends and neighbors, and our own overall good.  We must compromise to get along and allow everyone to be a part of the club.   

I turned my support to the other party at times, and in the Mayorís office may yet come to regret it, as the new term starts and the ax falls on any false hopes.  Thatís the risk of involvement and in believing that it matters at all.

Hopefully, I held true to avoiding the ad hominem argument for its own sake, and criticized only when backing it with real ideas, and continued, even in judgment of my subjectís error, to hold up the good in all, even in my oft maligned Mr. Young.  I was certainly very conscious of that effort, I believe that it mattered to the debate, and to the community.

And I risked being misunderstood, and was, on a gay politicianís electoral race.  Heightened emotions at election time can make friends feel attacked, whether rightly or wrongly.

Not being the print journalist of a newspaper, with various levels of editor and copyist to intervene and keep the facts straight, or the innuendo down, or the libel out, I had a tough row to hoe, determining my own glib jibs, and staking my often shaky claim.

Some weeks passed without a Tuesday update, or fell to a Wednesday refresh.  As many issues as pass each week, and often each day, it is sad to think that I could not summon up a column a couple times along the way, but real writing is hard work, do not be fooled.  And the payís the same regardless. 

And some of the best tales laid untold, whether for fear or uncertainty, or too many hidden facts.  My sword was tempered.  Luckily, I wrote many things with enough time to review them in the cold light of day, and thought better of it.

But I held my passion out for review, and wrote with fire at times, with logic in others, and with great malice towards none that did not deserve it.  I hope to keep at it awhile longer, still looking for those other new voices to join my little community of liberality in Frederick.

It is a grand thing to feel the freedom of speech, and the power of having a voice. 

I hope that you will hang with me a while longer, and try to speak truth to power, but that we never are caught and tried, and having been found wanting, hang together.