Thursday, April 14, 2011

Interview with Brian Garst of the Conservative Compendium

Pundit Press is proud to present interview number 31 in our ongoing series. Today we're interviewing Brian Garst of the site Conservative Compendium. Brian contributes to Big Government, Right Wing News, and Double Taxed. We thank Mr. Garst for taking part in the interview.

1) When and why did you decide to start Conservative Compendium?

I started the Conservative Compendium in 2006. It was actually not originally intended to be a blog. My first idea stemmed from my penchant for arguing politics on the internet, which is a great way to see my ideas challenged and craft my philosophy, but it can also get very repetitive. I got tired of citing the same ignored facts over and over, constructing the same dismissed arguments time and time again. In Computer Science (the only degree I had at the time and once intended career), we don't like to code twice what we've already coded once. Reusability is key. So why not take that approach to my hobby as well? I decided I would craft my arguments once, cite all the relevant facts, and put them somewhere so that I can grab them when necessary. And since I'm going through all this trouble, I figured I might as well put it online for others to use, too. The Conservative Compendium was born. Looking back, it was a bit overly ambitious - I was essentially trying to build a one man think-tank. Then I went back to graduate school for political science, had no time for the project, and CC eventually morphed into your standard, one-man-screaming-into-the-virtual-wind blog.

2) What is the best part about running your site?

It educates me. I hold no illusion that I'm influencing the debate in my tiny corner of the political arena, though I do reach some decent sized audiences at some of the larger sites I also write for. But the real benefit from Conservative Compendium is that, with the constant pressure to produce content, I am forced not merely to think my thoughts, but put them into words. I don't find my thoughts to be really fully formed until they have been expelled into some form or another. It also forces me to research. I don't like to speak, and particularly write, about things which I don't know a whole lot. So I have to research topics I'm writing about. It's continuing education.

3) What article that you've written are you most proud of?

Wow, this is a tough one. I have trouble just remembering where I put my keys, much less what I've written over the years. There is one that stands out, though. Back in 2006, I wrote a piece called "Why We Fight," which laid out my thoughts on The War Against Global Jihad. I can't say that my views haven't evolved at all over the years, but for the most part it still represents my thoughts on a very important topic. The post is here, if anyone cares to read it.

4) Has President Obama been better or worse than you expected?

I'd say he's about what I had expected. He's much more ideological than the last Democratic President, Bill Clinton, but equally as deceptive. The latter has turned out to be a good thing in at least one regard, which is that a large percentage of his campaign promises will not be carried out. His ideological stubbornness, unfortunately, also leaves us with a man completely committed to growing government at a time when all the forces of history are wanting, and needing, to pull us in the opposite direction. Such a stark contradiction necessarily introduces instability and chaos in the body politic.

5) Any favorites for 2012 yet?

Not really. I like Herman Cain, but have some reservations. I don't foresee anyone particularly exciting, and with an actual chance at winning the primary, coming along this cycle for Republicans. It's early, though, so we'll see. But the more time I spend in DC, or maybe just as I get older, the more I realize that all politicians inevitably disappoint.

6) Has the new Congress disappointed you?

Speaking of disappointment... Actually, they really haven't. Not yet, anyway. There's only so much that they can do with a Democratic Senate and President. Without even the Senate, it's not like they can just pass bills and force Obama to take political stands. Harry Reid will just run interference and let anything die in the Senate (by refusing to even give it a vote) that might put the President in a tricky position, such as vetoing a repeal of his unpopular health care law. So I don't expect a whole lot. Just keep the discussion about the size of government and the need to reign in spending. That's all I really expect, and so far they're doing a decent job.

7) Anything else you'd like to add?

Yes, this seems like a good opportunity to mention a new website I'm working on. It's called Left of the Mark, and will serve as a repository of outrageous, asinine and demagogic statements by liberals and others on the left. The media has a very short institutional memory for stupid liberal statements. While they obsess for days on whether Sarah Palin used an aggressive font in some political ad 2 years ago, they ignore Democrats who have made actual death wishes. Imagine if, with a one or two clicks, you could come up with hundreds of quotes of liberals wishing death on conservatives, or using other violent rhetoric? It obviously wouldn't be comprehensive, but it would be a number to use, and the examples and sources would be there (including links to any video if available). So I want it to be a useful tool for conservative bloggers and activists, and my goal is to make it both powerful and user friendly. Right now as I'm finishing the code and (more importantly) populating the database, it's not accessible - but when it's complete it will be up and running at So keep an eye out.

Please bookmark!

No comments:

Post a Comment