Publisher’s Letter: Wise as Serpents, Gentle as Doves

Dear Readers,

It is with the greatest honor that I assume the duties of the Publisher of the Princeton Tory for the upcoming year. I have been involved with the Tory since my freshman year – first as a writer, and subsequently as a managing editor – and in that time there have been real strides forward in the quality of this magazine. I’m also excited to introduce to you the names to the right of this letter: Editor-in-chief David Byler, as well as the rest of the editing and production staffs. It is with full confidence that I entrust to them the various duties which are part and parcel of producing a top quality magazine; I look forward to working with them in the upcoming year, and I know that they will do a great job.

As I stated earlier, this magazine has made significant forward steps in terms of appropriating a wiser, gentler tone even just in the last few years. Such is indeed remarkable when it seems that all around us discourse in the general media is moving backwards. Thoughtless name-calling and baseless character assassinations exist on all sides, and arguments are made without a clear eye to the best counterarguments to one’s own positions. This problem is exacerbated when conservatives themselves respond to situations in visceral, reactionary ways. Undoubtedly, there are certainly radical liberals who are equally foolish, and in certain contexts it is our place to point out hypocrisies and follies, but I propose that we conservatives also introspect and consider how we might go about conveying our message in a wise manner.

Similarly, though certain situations may merit justified anger, we must be careful to approach those topics with calmness and even-handedness. Here, the sentiment of the proverb of flies, honey, and vinegar is a valid one. Conservative discourse must also define itself in meekness and gentleness, for it is most likely with these attitudes that we will properly convey our sentiments, and it is most likely with these attitudes that our sentiments will be properly received.

Part of how we might be thoughtful, as conservatives, involves first the conversations we have amongst ourselves, as conservatives. These conversations, in turn, depend on who we actually have in our midst. In this vein, the Tory has always prided itself on being an organization open to a wide variety of viewpoints, and it is my firm belief that the current set of editors, managers, and staff writers continues this tradition of diversity. This is why I believe that this organization will continue to move forward, and just as we sharpen each other, we also hope to be a relevant and constructive voice in the overall campus discourse.

The contrary fear is that if conservatives soften their message too much, we might cease to convey – and eventually remember – what we stood for in the first place. This is a sentiment I fervently agree with, so if we are to be wise and gentle conservatives we must remember first that we are wise, and gentle, conservatives. For while it may be good to be wise and polite in thought general, it would be a tragedy if we were to lose the specific orientation towards political and philosophical thought which informed our wisdom and gentleness in the first place. I feel that the issue you hold in your hands (or before you on your computer screen) represents a well-struck balance.

However, part of wisdom requires that we be willing to admit our mistakes, and so I beseech you, our readers, for any questions, comments, and opinions you may have about a story we’ve run or an article we’ve written. I can’t promise that any or all of the letters to the editor we receive will be published, but I can promise that we will consider very carefully all serious inquiries sent our way. In this manner we also hope to improve as a magazine.

Before I sign off, I also want to thank the Publisher and Editor-in-chief emeriti, Sam Norton and Will Herlands. Both have been incredible sources of wisdom and knowledge in this period of transition. More importantly, the service that these two men have given this magazine is immeasurably great, and they have left us grand shoes to fill.

It is my hope and belief that in the upcoming year the Tory will continue to move forward as it has in the last year, and I’m excited at the responsibility of skippering this voyage. Won’t you please join us on our journey?


Toni Alimi ‘13

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