I’ve been on Twitter for almost 12 years and I’ve been on Facebook a couple of years longer. I’m getting tired of them. While they have enabled me to keep up with friends, offered me new perspectives, introduced me to new thinkers and magazines, and given me more than a few laughs, it’s also promoted too much polarization and too little nuance. Instead of hearing other voices, we retreat to those who already think like us. We need more diversity of thought and we need to question our own assumptions more often. The truth is not always convenient. 

In that spirit, we are bringing posts from Rick Henderson to PoliticsNC. Rick is the former editor of the Carolina Journal. He’s comes from a center-right, libertarian, free-market perspective and spent most of his life as a journalist. Before his time at Carolina Journal, he spent years at Reason which describes itself as a journal of “free minds and free markets.” Today, Rick has a substack, Deregulator. I urge you to read it and subscribe.

In addition to bringing a slightly different perspective, Rick brings in depth knowledge of the workings of North Carolina government. He’s been covering it for more than a decade. He’ll bring information that might be missed by the traditional capital press corps. And finally, Rick will introduce you to great music. 

I’ve known Rick for years. We met doing radio shows, representing diverse views—Rick from the right, me from the left. We also enjoyed talking after our segments and while we often disagreed on issues, we found respectful and insightful dialogue. I hope we can replicate that on the blog.

Rush Limbaugh fans called themselves “Dittoheads” because they agreed with everything the man said. Today, social media has created Dittoheads on both sides of the aisle. Too many people spend too much time listening to people who tell them what they want to hear. Instead, they should be reading and listening to people with whom they don’t often agree. They will be better informed and better prepared to defend their own point of view. Walking in ideological lockstep is a scary prospect in a democracy. 

I urge you to read Rick and even disagree with him. I only ask that you be respectful. I think you will find more common ground with him than you expect. Like the good journalist he is, Rick brings a skepticism toward government, so don’t look for a cheerleader for either side. Look for someone who can inform you and sometimes challenge you. It will make you a better informed person. 

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