Andrew and me

When I recently visited Hong Kong, one of my old friends there asked me why my blog always refers to Andrew Sullivan, whom he had never heard of. It’s a good question. Liberal friends of mine ask me why I even read Sully at all. They all hate him.

There is only one magazine I subscribed to after college that I still subscribe to today, and that’s the New Republic. I remember many years ago how thrilled I was to learn that Andrew Sullivan was going to become its editor. He was young, something of a wunderkind, Oxford-educated, and open about his sexuality — something that at the time was simply unprecedented for such a visible position.

I also rememer how my enthusiasm rapidly dwindled as I learned that the new liberal prince I’d envisioned was conservative and outspoken in his love of the Republican Party. I felt betrayed, and I often felt like shouting back at his columns, I disagreed with him so vehemently. But whenever he wrote about social issues, I was always in total agreement. As much as he bothered me, I read him religiously.

I was a daily reader of his site long before the word Blog became part of the popular parlance. It’s the first thing I go to, whenever I turn my computer on. As usual, when he is on target he is the best commentator out there. When he goes into Republivcan attack-dog mode, which is sadly more the rule than the exception, I thoroughly loathe him.

I sometimes feel a twinge of guilt when I blast a Sullivan post, as I often do. It’s because of his touting the new medium called blogging that I started this site. Also, he was the one who put me on the map by linking to one of my most heartfelt posts back in January.

I want to believe that he really knows, deep in his heart, how pooI guess maybe I hope that if I say it loud enough, Sullivan will hear me and, eventually, renounce his Republicanism and see the light. I feel it’s only a matter of time that he finally recognizes that oil and water won’t mix, that in the eyes of his beloved Republicans — as in the eyes of his beloved Church — he is The Enemy.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

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