The Guy List: Andrew Sullivan
Why he’s one of us:
As Guy Shepherd reports in this PM story:
“Andrew Sullivan is among the most courageous, independent, popular and necessary voices at this death-of-common-sense moment of ours. He tells the truth as he sees it, and for the most part, I think he has good eyes and a genuinely liberal heart and mind.”
Guy’s statement above is packed with powerful observations, so let’s use just focus on the words “courageous” and “independent” to add context for why Sullivan is one of us:
“Andrew is one of our generation’s greatest men of letters.”
– Guy Shepherd
While he describes himself as a conservative and supports, for instance, traditional conservative positions on limited government, he also stands far to the left on issues that include same-sex marriage (he has been openly gay for years), social security, progressive taxation, anti-discrimination, the Affordable Care Act and capital punishment. His support for presidential candidates is also a mixed bag; he supported Bill Clinton in 1992, Kerry in 2004 (because of G. W. Bush’s handling of the Iraq War and support of the Federal Marriage Amendment), Obama in 2008 and 2012, Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Biden in 2020. Yet he still considers himself a conservative. Whether you agree with his views or not, you can’t deny that he is guilty of both courageous and independent thinking.
More signs of Sullivan’s independence:
He is an Englishman who has made a career of commenting on American politics. He became a US citizen in December 2016, then as a self-identified conservative cast his first vote for President for Hillary Clinton. As an openly gay man, he identifies himself as a faithful Catholic while disagreeing with some of the Catholic Church’s doctrines. As a conservative, he has written for and been editor of some of America’s leading left-leaning publications, including The New Republic, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast and The New York Times. Although he is a conservative, he smokes pot every day and calls himself a “daily stoner.”
He is a controversial observer and commentator who is trusted by many because he’s not afraid to voice unpopular views he believes are right:
He’s never been afraid to speak his mind, even when he knew it would controversial or that voicing unpopular opinions might damage his reputation and career. Instead, even when he knew he was bucking the views of mainstream conservatives, he has expressed his support for what he believes is right even his views have not been embraced by “the right.”
This fearlessness as a thought leader has earned him many fiercely loyal fans on both the right and the left. In fact, a year after he moved his blog The Daily Dish from Time to The Atlantic in 2007, The New York Times reported that his blog accounted for as much as a 30% jump in traffic to The Atlantic website. In 2009, his blog was voted best blog in the world in a global poll that attracted nearly a million voters. And it was national news when he announced he would stop blogging in 2015, and again when he announced that he would return to blogging (his blog is now called a “newsletter” on Substack; you can learn more about why his move to Substack is so important in 2020 below.
Recent controversy: Defending Dave Chappelle against transgender community backlash.
As Guy Shepherd points out in his PM article here:
“I was made aware of Chappelle’s Jolly Roger performance by Andrew Sullivan. I knew The Closer was in the works, that it was being billed as his “last” because he was to speak his mind on human biology and the trans-movement. Sullivan was ready and ably defended Chappelle’s truth said in jest…Andrew, thank you for standing up for Dave to ‘your people.’ Andrew Sullivan is among the most courageous, independent, popular and necessary voices at this death-of-common-sense moment of ours. He tells the truth as he sees it, and for the most part, I think he has good eyes and a genuinely liberal heart and mind.“
Here is a taste of Sullivan at his best; while standing in the line of fire and speaking out passionately about what he believes is right even though he knows it won’t be well-received by, as Guy Shepherd puts it, “his people”:
“The Closer is, in fact, a humanely brilliant indictment of elite culture at this moment in time: a brutal exposure of its identitarian monomania, its denial of reality, and its ruthless tactics of personal and public destruction. It marks a real moment: a punching up against the powerful, especially those who pretend they aren’t.”
– Andrew Sullivan
If you want to see more of PM’s coverage of Dave Chappelle on-going battle with the transgender community. See below: