What makes a great columnist? Or a not so great one? It may boil down to the difference between writing and Persuasive Writing, which is a whole different breed of feline. Schematic, calculated, synthetic. Much like the difference between writing and Creative Writing, which isn't writing so much as a college course, a "workshop," a bore. (It was the late great Kingsley Amis, who would have made a helluva columnist himself, who once observed that everything that's gone wrong with the world can be summed up in one word: workshop.)
Have you noticed? Once a qualifier is attached to any art, it's no longer an art. Any more than Social Justice is the same as justice. It's a way to reduce an ideal to a special interest.
You be well, new friend, and, as another fixture of the old days used to say, "thanks for the memories."
Another Old Timer