The author – Niles Wimber
I’ve always wanted to have a… public voice, so to speak. When I was, say, ten or eleven, I got a gift that (crazy to say) really changed my whole outlook on life: a simple video game, the venerable Civilization III. I don’t remember why I got that gift; whether or not I myself picked it or someone else thought it a good idea. Suffice it to say, I slaved over it in my spare time as any ten year old would.
In my slaving, I learned some things that struck my ten year old self quite deeply. I often wondered why I was seemingly the poorest, most backward nation in the world until one day, I discovered that my strategy of spending all of my money on every new military unit or building drained my fledgling economy. I immediately put everything into infrastructure and money generating buildings. This worked well until a neighboring country demanded some of my hard earned cash as tribute. I refused, as any noble leader ought to (no negotiation with terrorists here), and I was promptly ground under by a crippling invasion. It was a… traumatizing day, to say the least.
I eventually found a balance that worked and things improved. But, I was a different child from that day forward. I’ve ever since been interested in politics and political reality: getting important things done in context of (sometimes in light of) the system. I’ve studied it in college, stumped for local leaders, even worked on a US presidential campaign.
Through all of that, I’ve seen a lot of things that people often avoid addressing as “too sensitive” a subject. Often, that’s just a code for “ignore a politically correct problem, hope it goes away”. I hated that. It bugged me that sometimes we “had to ignore a necessary discussion because someone somewhere could “be offended” for the sake of political gain and, accordingly, the discussion would fester. That’s why I created “An Hard Saying…” I want to address the “sensitive” subjects so that we can have a meaningful, real discussion. I want people to ask themselves if they can hear what I have to say. I want to see if I can hear what they have to say. Once we can all hear each other’s hard sayings, then we can actually get some stuff done.
I first read the “An Hard Saying…” blog when Niles announced that he would be creating his own column on his website when he posted his first article. After scanning through it, I was reminded of Niles’ writing talent and ability. He and I both lived in Russia for a few years, an experience that I’m confident not only changed the way we view the word, but reinforced certain beliefs that we already had while altering others. He knew I enjoyed political discourse, and we discussed an option of me also writing for the blog, which I was happy to be a part of.
While Niles and I have somewhat different (yet similar) backgrounds and views on issues, we both see the importance of becoming involved in the political system, whether that’s through the distribution of information, analytic discourse, or becoming involved in elections and legislation. The more I learn about and research current issues, the more inclined I am to the idea that there is an extensive amount of knowledge and information (a seemingly limitless amount) that I am not even aware of, let alone have yet to master, and that makes it all the more intriguing to expand the mind to such a pursuit.
I hope that what we write can inform others as it has us, and that views can be changed and/or expounded upon. If you’ve read this far I would impressed, I suppose I could tell you more about myself but that would probably be even more boring than this introduction. Read on.
Words and their power have always fascinated me. As a child I taught myself to read and very quickly discovered a yearning passion for writing. Over the years I’ve completed three novels (two of which I’ve eternally considered publishing) and countless essays and poems. Politics didn’t interest me enormously earlier in my life, but people’s reactions to them did greatly. I always wondered at how so many people can believe so strongly in such widespread ideas; and how they could be so passionate in their beliefs that they would defend them to the point of sporadic inability to reason and, at times, even violence. After growing up in California I moved with my family to Salt Lake City, Utah, where I met some very dear friends who introduced me to the realms of debate and politics. These melded rapidly and irreversibly with the stubborn streak for which I seem to be known for amongst my acquaintances, and through that process was born who I am today.
I’m very passionate in my beliefs, though they may change occasionally as I am not too closed-minded to hear differing opinions. In fact, I often quote myself in saying that the proper development of opinion requires opposition.
I first was introduced to this site by Travis Skene, a very close friend of mine whose opinions I take great value in. I read an essay of his and spoke with him about the site and shortly thereafter he extended to me an offer to contribute to “An Hard Saying…” on the basis of hoping that I would bring some new and, at times, differing deductions to the board. In writing for this site it is my goal to share both sincere thoughts and views, and to learn from the introspection of others as well.