Traditionally, a neighborhood was a community of like minded people. Several
decades ago most of us grew up in neighborhoods/communities that shared
common interests and common goals. We were culturally connected. The
Amish are a good example of people being members of a community, though
they don't live close-by. Yet, they can gather together to raise a barn.
Recent societal changes due to affluence, increased mobility and technology
have changed our neighborhoods. Now it is much more difficult to form and
maintain our cultural bonds. Often our local communities are less connected.
Yes, we may live where we are economically compatible, but not culturally.
I want to tell you about the community of RedState. Geographically, we may be
many miles apart. We have no tall apartment buildings, condos or suburban
houses. Yet, RS is filled with neighbors. Each and every contributor,
commenter or reader, is part of the community. Almost everyone comes to RS
seeking a connection to their conservative values and like-minded people. We
don't have to be in the same social economic strata, the same city or even a
village. But we all have this unique membership in the community. All members
are vital to the function its function. When Mark Kilmer passed away this past
year, the community was grief stricken. I do not think that is too strong a
description. I had only recently come to know him through his writing summaries
of the Sunday talk shows, but I grieved for him too. I believe his family was
comforted by the support and condolences that poured forth from the RS
members to Mark's family. He was remembered at the Gathering.
Now, that brings me to that recent, special event. My husband and I went to
Atlanta to join the community. Our friends here at home asked if I knew anyone.
I said no, but I felt I knew them. I did not feel I was going to meet strangers or
would be out of place. Most of the people who visit RedState and stay are
people who share and desire to promote Conservatism. We have similar
values,interests and goals. Of course there may be variation, but those would
be minor, not major, else one would not stay at RedState.
While one is on this site, bits and pieces of ourselves are revealed. Even
members who just read the site are often able to identify with the ideas and ideals
The Gathering did not disappoint. For myself and even my husband, I found my
premise that RedState is a true community validated. Especially unique to our
gathering, was the realization that even our absent members were still very
much on our minds; they were missed. Our moderators were checking in,
monitoring and fixing tech stuff.
To me that is a true community. Welcome to the neighborhood.