He’s right: it is stupid and weird for some stranger (probably a strange old lady with no life anyhow) to presume to write to Scalia and ask her such a pushy question.
When you’re a writer (or on TV or whatever) strangers sometimes think you are their ‘friend’ (see ‘strange old lady,’ above…) and presume a relationship with you that does not exist.
It’s annoying as hell, when it isn’t downright creepy.
What that Washington Beacon writer (and Rod Dreher by extension) are calling ‘politics’ I’d call ‘principles.’
Irritating, pushy strangers are one thing, but then he switches to talking about the exact opposite:
If a friend or family member doesn’t share most of my core principles… how can I really be ‘friends’ with them or respect them?
We’re all supposed to be so impressed with William F. Buckley because he palled around his Alpine chalet with big shots from the left and the right?
But how seriously am I supposed to take this guy as a “conservative” if some of his close personal friends think, for instance, that abortion is awesome?
The answer is: I can’t.
Buckley started out great but turned into a rich, shallow, status-conscious careerist hack and bully.
I don’t WANT to be around my NDP-voter half-sister who thinks The Simpsons (!) are a symptom of shallow American stupidity and cultural imperialism, or my former best friend who thought America deserved 9/11.
Why? Just because we shared some DNA or a cigarette?
I’m not saying you have to stick on a plumed velvet hat and go around shouting, “Good DAY, sir!”
But I can’t respect people with totally asinine, destructive, corrosive views, either — so why should I embrace them out of nostalgia or “tradition” or fear or something?