I like Donalde Douglas. He teaches at a fine community college, and published an important article eight years ago in the prestigious journal PS: Political Science and Politics entitled “Tenure-Track Employment Opportunities at the Community College Level: A View from the Job Candidate’s Perspective”.
He also blogs, and comments avidly on other people’s blogs, even those with which he doesn’t agree – something few bloggers do. I think I first saw his comments on some of my posts at Duck of Minerva, and our earliest email exchange consisted of his requests that I read his posts and engage him in “blog wars” – a flattering and humbling invitation given that his skill, renown and interest in that activity far exceeds mine.
He’s also a genuinely nice guy. For example, he once called me a “nice women” on his blog, and he publicly refers to me as his “good friend,” even though we’ve never met.
But Donalde’s finest quality by far is his unflagging patience with young, wet-behind-the-ears academic bloggers like myself, his concern for our professional welfare, and his generosity with advice and mentorship. He rarely agrees with me politically, and he doesn’t much care for my
drinking buddies friends. Yet despite all I’ve done to earn his dislike, he has refused to give up on me, unfailingly encouraging me to become a better political scientist, blogger and neoconservative.
For example, some time back when I joined the roster at LGM he expressed fatherly concern for my “reputation” and has continued to patiently remind me that I’m running with a crowd dangerously threatening to my respectability as the neoconservative femme fatale I could surely be if only I would accept his guidance. In fact, when “speaking to me” recently (I think he must be referring to a brief email exchange prompted by my accidental erasure of one of his comments on my Wikileaks posts) he even extended a gracious offer to assist in my conversion to neo-conservatism. Such acts surely indicate his honest concern for my well-being (if not his comprehension of my actual foreign policy perspective). I can only assume he has seen some potential in me that I had not dared to recognize in myself, and could only dream of living up to.
As you can imagine, my heart jumps a little whenever someone of Donalde’s stature offers me a scrap of intellectual kudos along with his usual helping of
taunts constructive criticism. So I was truly crushed to learn when reading this that he thinks I lack the potential to become the “feminist ‘Charli’ Krauthammer” I’ve always aspired to be. Indeed, I expect few readers realize that this has actually been my most cherished goal since leaving graduate school, second only to securing American Power’s approval of my professional choices.
I’ve clearly failed in both, and I only hope, for America’s sake, that sometime Donalde can find a prominent (high-traffic) blogger that’s a better fit for his vision, and whose name is not so tricky to spell.