I have been overwhelmed by the support I’ve received from the community in recent months.
It really makes a guy feel good to know that he’s appreciated — especially in a time of declining respect for journalists.
Back in July, my friend, mentor and three-time former editor Corey Friedman commented that I have raised the level of conversation in Richmond County in my four years as a journalist here.
Part of that has been due to the freedom to enterprise a few stories from time to time, combined with my personal philosophy.
Being a die-hard libertarian and former alternative media writer, I’ve tried to localize topics that don’t get much play in small-town news.
Those topics include property rights, police militarization to the war on drugs (specifically cannabis) and jury nullification, in addition to, of course, free speech.
Through news articles, columns and editorials, I’ve mentioned the names of several high-profile thinkers in the liberty world including Lysander Spooner, Frédéric Bastiat, John Locke and H.L. Mencken — names most people have probably never heard of.
Some of my opinion pieces have been a bit controversial and that’s by design.
It’s not that I’m trying to make people angry, but rather to get them to think outside of the left-right paradigm; to give them a point of view they may not have considered.
Truth be told, if I espoused all of my opinions, I’d probably be strapped to a CSX train at the depot and sent out of the county.
With my commitment to the free exchange of ideas, I plan to post columns from writers across the political spectrum on the Richmond Observer’s opinion page.
The late R.C. Hoiles, publisher and founder of Freedom Communications, said that the editorial page of a newspaper was “a daily school room made available to its subscribers.”
Although the RO is not a physical newspaper, it still serves the same purpose.
We also welcome letters to the editor. Those don’t have to be political. Letters to the editor can be a public “thank you” or can express support for community organizations and events.
Or, you can tell me what you think I’m doing wrong. We’ll run it.
I look forward to hearing from you and continuing the conversation so that we might, together, make Richmond County better.
William R. Toler is managing editor of the Richmond Observer. Contact him at email@example.com.