Yes, it’s true, I’ve been banned. While I disagree about some specifics along the way, I can’t complain. They didn’t have to let me back in again at all, but they did. I’ll always be grateful for that.
Ricochet.com has improved by leaps and bounds over the past several years. The thing seems to have been purchased by Charles C. W. Cooke (not sure if I have the technicality right, but that’s close), and this was a great improvement over some of the previous structure. But things had been getting better behind the scenes for a while, which was blisteringly obvious to me as a “returnee” after being absent through the entire Trump administration and up until shortly after our collapse in Afghanistan. Here at my blog, I get to tell my version of the story, and it goes like this: a cabal of libertarian trolls and mods was utterly flushed from the site, and it made the whole place much better. Also a decidedly insane associate editor (and at any rate not at all a conservative) finally made permanent (sort of) an extended absence. That helped as well.
Meanwhile, Jon Gabriel (“The” Editor) has quite recently pulled up stakes and moved on — I don’t think that is good for Ricochet, as I think that he was influential in making some of the earlier changes stick. Not directly, of course, as some of that would be gauche, but I suspect (without evidence) that he helped change the tone of the place by pruning away some of its occupants. And now he’s gone — I don’t know what that implies (past) or portends. And while I’m on with suspicions for which I have no evidence, I do think that Gabriel’s famed J6 response post was a command performance, which literally means a thing done in one’s own name but at the inflexible direction of others. Yes, I think that the previous regime told Gabriel to publish that thing or else what the Hell would they need him for as editor. He would also be unable to admit this, and would probably argue against it even if true.
The guy whom I suspect is now acting as editor is a stand-up guy who has interestingly recently (somewhat abruptly) had his fill of the angry crunchy-cons who forgive Trump his every thing and who find fault in everything insufficiently Trumpy. I disagree with some of that, and agree or at least sympathize with certainly some of it. Myself, I’m sort of RT this cycle, and have been the whole time. It’s been kind of obvious that we’ll be stuck with him (recall that I was enthusiastic Trump supporter #1 in 2016), and I don’t want to burn bridges. So I have been quite wishy-washy in my stance this go-round — a 99% guarantee that I’ll vote for the nominee no matter whom it is. More on that later, I suppose. I’ll certanily vote for Trump, and I would just as certainly have voted for DeSantis.
Anyway, Ricochet has just gotten better and better over the long term, despite some neo-trolls who pop up. These are not the organized libertarian anti-fa of the pre-2017 Ricochet, but a random assembly of unconnected (unhinged) losers who also bring some great value to the site. One of them is a really intelligent lawyer who was thrown out. Another is a really intelligent lawyer whom I suspect may get himself thrown out soon — I’ll hang a mark for 2024. Another is an intelligent technical kind of guy who has no sense at all how to talk to people or when to stop. And then there are “friends,” that is internet souls with whom I greatly agree and to some extent seem to relate, but who consistently talk in such a way that I find it difficult to so much as LIKE the majority of their comments for being just too much. And of course there’s a trail of prim high-minded and probably very nice people who just have no idea how sanctimonious and condescending they get — regularly. These folks also slide off-topic real fast, which seems to be how they never notice their own appalling behavior (if you ask me).
And then there’s me. Well, that problem’s been solved. See, I write quite well sometimes, and when I lash out, it seems to sting more than I think. Or that I do so more often than I think. Something like that. I disagree with some of the characterizations that landed me butt-first in the dirt a the bus rolled merrily away. But as I said, I’m not arguing. They didn’t even have to pick me up the first time back.
Ricochet.com is a good site with a lot of great people. As is frequently said, the real value for a lot of people is the member community. I highly recommend it to this day.
Aw, what a shame.