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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Return of the wayward columnist

Doug Thompson: Sort of back together again.
Doug Thompson: Sort of back together again.

Two years ago, I was pretty much home bound a week after spending 45 days in the hospital recovering from a near-fatal motorcycle accident.

Much of the past 24 months have included a lot of therapy and rehab as doctors and therapists have worked to restore my ability to walk and to heal my mind from what they call a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Today, I can walk without crutches or canes and my mind functions at a level that lets me write newspaper articles and shoot photos for local newspapers.  I also shoot a lot of video of music and other parts of the culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia where we call home.

My mind is not at full strength and no one can say if it every will be.  I still suffer memory lapses and sometimes have to pause in mid-sentence to regain my thoughts and topic at hand.

The doctors at Carilion Medical Center in Roanoke, Virginia, call me “a walking miracle” because few, if any of them expected me to survive the accident or — if I survived — to walk or function.

I walk carefully on a right leg reconstructed with braces, rods, screws and plates.  My right eye sits in an artificial socket constructed during plastic surgery and it takes care and pain to turn my head.

For the most part, I’m back up to speed in areas where the doctors and therapists doubted I could achieve.

But I have not yet returned to full-time writing for Capitol Hill Blue.  I used to write three columns a week.  For the past two years, I have written less than a half dozen pieces for this web site.

Since I started this site in 1994 and helped guide it through more than 20 years on the Web — making it the longest-running political news site on the Internet — that lapse is unacceptable.

So, starting today — January 5, 2015 — I am returning to at least three columns a week.  Can I do it?  I don’t know.  All I can say is that I can try.

I see the mess that politics and government has become and I feel a great anger and need to comment.  Government and those who profess to lead it are monumental failures.  Even worse, those who claim they can do better are self-serving, private-agenda-pushing zealots who offer little or no hope for improvement.

At best, America is a dismal swamp controlled by narrow interest groups and those who put political allegiance above what is needed for the nation.

To deal with these problems, we must first answer two questions:

Can America be salvaged?

And should it be salvaged?

I believe the answer to both questions is “yes.”

“How” is the bigger question and the one that I hope to address in the future.

I’m a strong believer in the lessons of history and the wisdom of some who had led us in dire times.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, democracy is the worst form of government imaginable — except for all other forms.

That, at least, is a place to start.

5 thoughts on “Return of the wayward columnist”

  1. Congratulations, Doug! You’ve come a long way back….You’re amazing!

    Good luck on the quota you’ve set for yourself….This web site will be richer due to your efforts.

  2. Welcome back. I remain a wayward columnist, my blogging so far limited to posting photographs on – with the occasional reflections on, for want of a better word, life.
    I still love writing…. satire here:
    And serious here:

    Committing to three columns a week (well, sort of: ” I am returning to at least three columns a week. Can I do it? I don’t know. All I can say is that I can try.”) – all brilliant and incisive of course – is quite impressive.

    Ah, the joy of being an unpaid columnist… nobody will dock your pay if you miss a column or two a week. Better a really good column than stretching (and even the NYT regulars do this) and writing something mediocre.

  3. Welcome back Doug; congratulations on overcoming your injuries. I look forward to reading the “simple eloquence” (sorry, but that phrase is quite articulate) and perceptive analysis of issues you examine. I have missed that interpretation these past several months. Good luck on your continuing travels.

  4. Count me among those who is grateful to know that you have recovered sufficiently enough to share your views and opinions with us once more. I certainly did miss the simple eloquence with which you parsed issues. I send you my best, and hope you continue to regain a measure of health that will inure to quality of life… leaving us the fortunate recipients of your writing! All my best from the city of New York.

  5. Bravo Doug! I’ve been a reader for many years, but haven’t commented much in the last few.

    Your articles and research is just 1st rate, and I’ll be looking forward to reading your work.

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