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Stephen Silver
  Stephen's Column Archive
July 26, 2006
They Don’t Always Love Me, But I’m A Democrat

My name is Stephen Silver, and this is my first column for the North Star Writers Group. I’d like to thank the editors there for giving me the opportunity to write for a wide audience, and I very much appreciate it.

I am a journalist and have been for many years. I’ve lived in the Minneapolis area (where I grew up), followed by stints in Boston and New York, until moving to Philadelphia about a year ago. I’m the editor of a newspaper called the Trend Leader, which is a community newsweekly affiliated with the Philadelphia Inquirer (and formerly Knight Ridder). And on top of being the editor and main editorial writer, I’m also the paper’s film critic.

My writing has covered all sorts of bases over the years. In New York I was a business writer, covering the energy industry for an international news service called Argus Media, and later a wide variety of niche subjects with Royal Media Group, a publisher of business journals. I’ve also written about the Jewish community for The Blueprint and the American Jewish World, about pro football for New York Press, about the wilder side of sports for, and about the 2004 election campaign on a special blog for the Detroit News.  And in another life, I was a copy editor for a company that produced game-day programs for professional sports teams.

I’ve interviewed movie stars, politicians, comedians and two different original “Star Trek” cast members. Everyone from Barney Frank to Kevin Bacon to a Jewish klezmer musician named Benjamin “Ben” Laden.

And in addition to all that I’ve run a blog, called, for more than four years, in which I’ve tied all of those topics, and more, together.

The focus of my column is going to be politics, primarily through the lens of media and culture, although I do plan to write on occasion about specific policy issues. I am listed as a liberal on NSWG’s masthead, which is true, and I have always been a registered Democrat. But my politics, like most people’s, can be a bit unorthodox.


I don’t believe there is anything wrong with having strong convictions on many different things, and for some of them to correspond to the general views of one party and some to the other. For instance, my views on social issues are closer to those of the Democrats, while the way I feel about foreign policy, especially in the Middle East, would tend not to win me many fans at most Democratic gatherings. I frequently find myself arguing about politics with friends and co-workers of all political persuasions.


I’m much more in line with The New Republic than The Nation or The Weekly Standard, and my contempt for the far left and far right is roughly equal. Depending on what I’ve written on my site, I’ve had people refer to me both as a “lefty blogger” and a “conservative blogger.”


Much as I may have negative things to say about Howard Dean, Michael Moore and Markos Moulitsas, I still agree with the Democrats more often, and that’s why I still call myself one. But beyond that, I have always positioned myself more as an observer and “junkie” of politics than an active participant. In elections, I often root more for an interesting campaign than for either candidate.


I expect to deal each week with major topics that are in the news, in the realms of domestic politics, foreign policy, media, popular culture and other relevant topics. I’ll talk about the war on terrorism, about the 800-pound gorilla of “media bias,” about the nexus between religion and politics, and about the “battle for the soul” of the Democratic Party. I also plan to deal often with the lack of civility in American politics, and the way that disagreement has way too frequently devolved into pure hatred. And as the summer and fall roll on, I expect to deal often with the 2006 election campaign.


Thank you for reading, and I greatly look forward to having the chance to share my writing with you.

© 2006 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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