I just learned that columnist Charley Reese has passed on. You can read about him here, here, and here. Here is an archive of some of his columns.
had seasons in my life when I read him, and I've had seasons when I
have not. When I was a child, I read him, for his column was in my
local paper (and someone who worked at the paper told me that Reese's
columns were usually much saltier than they were after the paper edited
them!). Reese leaned more to the right than to the left, but he felt
free to criticize hypocrisy wherever he saw it. He also was not afraid
to think outside the box.
I later read him
when I lived in New York City and then in Cincinnati. He was a major
critic of the Iraq War. In one of his columns, Reese contradicted Sean
Hannity by saying that the war's destruction of the Iraqi Museum truly
was a tragedy. That comment impacted me, even though I was a supporter
of the Iraq War at the time. Moreover, reading Charley Reese and other
conservatives who voted for John Kerry played a significant role in some
of my own ideological shifts.
Some of you
may read wikipedia's article or some of Reese's columns, find something
controversial, and ask me if I agree with those controversial
positions. Let me respond. For one, I liked Charley Reese's columns,
but I did not agree with all of what he said. But, second, there was
much more to the man and his thoughts than a couple of controversial
positions that he held. Yes, maybe he held a controversial position
here and there, but he also was quite progressive on a number of
And I had to appreciate his blunt honesty. If you're
the type of person who gets tired of hearing the same banal soundbites
and talking points over and over again, or of seeing people try to
justify someone simply because that person is in their own political
party, read some of Charley Reese's old columns. You might find them
refreshing, like I did!