Where are the “Young Contrarians”?

“In a time when both rights and reason are under several kinds of open and covert attack, the life and writing of Thomas Paine will always be part of the arsenal on which we shall need to depend.” Christopher Hitchens

Many people like to think of themselves as independent thinkers if not outright contrarians. One of the attributes of a successful contrarian is that it is hard to predict what they will think or write about a specific issue or event. They also seem to have the perfect fact, anecdote, or historic nugget to secure an element of an argument.

The contrarian tends to be a polemicist too. They write to persuade. The best also entertain and educate even if you are trying not to agree. They educate because they are educated. Some have classical degrees from elite institutions and some never went to college. They rarely seem to be trying too hard to convince the reader of one thing or another, but they are.

Their writing is sometimes angry, but anger never diminishes the soundness of their logic or conclusions. It is not a substitute for quality. Some have a sense of humor that softens the blows for the reader who does not want to agree but, finds themselves in the grasp of a superior perspective.

The contrarian is often ideological but rarely political. This confuses people. The contrarian is accused of having no principles or that they have joined the other side. Yet, if you study their writing over time, you can find a thread. For some of the greatest it is anti-totalitarianism.

Hitchens called out what he saw as tyranny anywhere he observed it. That he wrote books on Thomas Paine and George Orwell was not random. Where are the young contrarians fighting the tyranny of our time? Hitchens left a manual for them, but it seems it is being ignored in favor of conformity.

Career consultant turned substitute teacher and writer. I enjoy the outdoors and poker. www.trudgetotruth.com

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