This is a hard one to write. After more or less 15 years of continuous newspaper syndication, this column you are reading is the end of the line. I am not ceasing to write, of course. All of my content -- columns, essays, posts, and, of course, books -- will continue to appear at my website, www.dianawest.net, and elsewhere.
But my weekly conversation with readers in good old-fashioned newsprint stops at the bottom of the page. In some ways, that's too bad. For one thing, there is a kind of journalistic romance to appearing on the pages of a real paper that is still hurled at a front porch. Internet-generated email tends to pale next to the copy of a column that a reader has taken the trouble to cut out of the Sentinel, the Mercury, the Herald, the Register, and mail back to me, highlighted with comments.
There is also the fact that I have relished writing a very conservative column that has appeared not only in identifiably conservative outlets. This, in theory at least, has permitted the column to sing a little outside of the choir -- liberal and conservative both, come to think of it -- even if I know the tune hasn't often been exactly catchy. Indeed, given the subjects I have chosen to probe -- or, as it feels as each weekly deadline has rolled around, the subjects that have chosen me -- I am sure it has been a tough column to read. It is hard to watch the world fall apart.
Back at the beginning, which nearly coincided with the attacks of 9/11, I do confess to writing my little column with the hopeful expectation that simple, direct, non-PC exposure of heretofore unknown facts about then-exotic Islam would eventually, if others and I stuck to it long enough, help shift public debate. This, in turn, would eventually help lead policymakers to enact measures to preserve our liberty, for example, by halting Islamic immigration to prevent sharia (Islamic law) from taking hold here as it has in Europe. I guess I was younger then.
Six or seven hundred columns later, I can't see anything resembling victory, let alone much progress in moving the debate. Indeed, now the U.S. faces the world without a defended border, with increasingly cheapened citizenship and no lawful immigration policy, period (as they like to say in Washington). The prospects of exposing, winning, forestalling or staving off whatever it is that has drawn my bead each week does seem to me to have actually diminished. I know that's depressing, but that's the hazard of taking stock. It's also probably a good reason to take a break.
Since I'm looking back over the past decade and a half, I will state what I think amounts to the most momentous story of our age, a story that begins with, as best I can judge, the near-certainty that Barack Obama's online birth certificate and Selective Service registration card are forgeries. That this has been a non-issue in most conservative and Republican circles for the past six years is the biggest single and essential enabler of the war that Obama and his administration are visiting upon our nation and our Constitution.
Just for the record, I can't say I hold George W. Bush in higher esteem. Just to go out on a high note, I will point out the greatest political hope for the Western world is the Netherlands' Geert Wilders. The fact that his Party for Freedom is currently No. 1 in Dutch polls is a bright spot on a dark stage.
Of course, I am probably not telling readers of this column anything they don't already know -- another reason I am happy to take a pause. It has been a writer's privilege to develop arguments on a published, weekly basis outside the filter of conservative media and the Washington Beltway both. From this platform, I have been able to explore many topics that much of the media, right and left, tend to avoid lest they (horrors) risk missing a cocktail party.
Such patterns of denial, I began to realize over the years, lead to the suppression and inversion of morality. Or, is it that the suppression and inversion of morality lead to the denial of facts? Maybe more than anything else, such questions have framed the work of this column, my blog, and, of course, my books, "The Death of the Grown-Up" (2007) and "American Betrayal" (2013).
I am sure they will continue to do so -- at least until I can solve the riddle.