Praxis Circle is a nonprofit that helps its members build their worldview primarily through courses and thought-provoking interviews of our many contributors. We are delighted to welcome our newest Expert Contributor Ross Mackenzie, former editorial-page editor of The Richmond Times-Dispatch!
As the editor of the Editorial Page for almost forty years and as a syndicated columnist, Ross wrote over 22,000 editorials and columns. The Washington Post even once called him “the most feared journalist in Virginia” due to his “fearless” style.
Our interview with Ross is wide-ranging and insightful, moving from his education and the influences on his life and work, through his views on everything from communism to the impact of the 1960’s on the U.S. today, and closing with the revelation of whether he is optimistic or pessimistic about America’s future. For those of you who are worried that America is going over a cliff, Ross offers comfort with his observations about how things really haven’t changed much in certain important ways since the 1980’s.
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On the other hand, he also believes that we might be at a critical tipping point, if not negotiated well, as the nation has from other tight spots in the past, that could lead to true big government “fascism” (our word) . . . and what that might be like.
Of particular interest is his commentary on traditional journalism, the state of journalism today, and the newspaper industry in the past and at present. Ross isolates the exact point in time over the last ten years that led to the sea changes we see today in journalism and in reporting in all American media. His deep experience in professional journalism allows him to provide insights that many others do not have—below are links to three featured clips from his interview on the topic:
Still a master wordsmith, even off the cuff, Ross describes his graduate study under the famed Dr. Leo Strauss as their effort to “reconcile how to have order without oppression” with “liberty that is not license.” He also provides an especially cogent explanation about how we form our worldview and how he attained his.
Ross’s life is not only centered on his journalistic career, but also on his family life and the importance of “home.” He explains how a “concept of place” is so important in determining “how our lives are going to unfold,” not unlike another of our Expert Contributors, Roger Scruton, who coined the term “oikophilia,” or “love of home.”
Ross provides a delightful description of Rivendell, his family’s cabin in Michigan, where they spent part of every summer. No running water, no electricity, and accessible only by boating or swimming across a small river, the Mackenzie family was able to develop strong ties both to nature and a profound sense of place in it. It is also the location of Ross’s recent death-defying experience—an amazing story he also shares in his interview.
This content was sponsored by Praxis Circle.