Take back the debate in 2017





In 2015, I started the blog chartwellwest.com to create a safe place to explore rational political expression. I was becoming increasingly distressed at the quality and delivery methods being used by both mainstream and fringe or “fake” media outlets. Today, it’s damn difficult to find even basic information on important issues that might help those seeking to form their own opinion do so. We’d lost the signal in the noise. In response, I launched chartwellwest.com to help those seeking a better, non-partisan commentary, find one.

The response has been far beyond what I would have anticipated. Within the first 18 months of launch, the site has generated over 1.3 million views with over a million unique visitors. At our core, we are followed by people who seek to understand first and react later. We’ve found a niche voicing the thoughtful vision that does the work to find ways to drive progress while still protecting our conservative roots as a people. We respect and consider all informed opinions. And we appreciate principles. And we feel it’s due time, that became more than a niche.

The events of this past election cycle have been troubling. For me it was less because of the results and more because of the dialogue that got us there. And though I’ve found some common ground with the outcomes in a burning desire to break the political “nonage” and a departure from the crippling political correctness that prohibits speaking truth to power on both sides, I’m concerned at the growth of anti-intellectualism. And perhaps even more troubling, I’ve grown concerned at the limited depth of those-liberals, academics and those with an agenda of opposition, willing to stand up against it.

I’m no elite academic. I’m a veteran with three tours in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom and I’m a Christian father and a business leader. And I’m grounded by the principles my life’s experience has taught me. But I’m not blind to the truth or immune from the responsibility to seek it. And I’m on a mission to push back against those who ignore facts, data and information in service to feeding their own political confirmation or blind ambition. We’re going to grow this site in service to delivering that message because I love this country and all of her people. Every kind. And we have to be better than we are now to be as great as we have been past.

This week, we launched a Kickstarter campaign with the modest goal of raising $10,000 dollars by the end of January. If you’d like to kick in, click the picture at the top of the page.

Here’s how we’ll use those funds:

Web Design and Architecture: We’ve had days where a million people have been on the site. We’re not built for that right now and we need some help to fix it.

Marketing: I’ve self funded and bootstrapped the social media marketing of the content on the site myself. But if we’re going to grow the way we need to for the movement to grow with it, we need to move beyond that. It doesn’t take much when the content is good. But it takes something or you’re just yelling in the dark.

External Content: I’ve had a lot of requests to incorporate other authors onto the site. I love the idea. But there’s some legal and copyright items that need to get worked out. And I’ve learned that lawyers aren’t free.

I’m sure there’s more to think of. But that’s what I’d like to take on. I have a goal of increasing the traffic to the site 10X this year. That’s what we did from year one to year two. And I think we can do it again. That’s 13 million people, which makes us a major player in helping shape the discussion and strengthen our democracy. It can be done. We just have to decide not to settle for less.

Every little bit helps. So if you can help, then great. If you can’t, then sharing this post is free.

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to read what we put out. It’s why we do it.

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2 replies »

  1. Grateful to you for taking this on, Sean. I am also organizing but on more of an interfaith dialog level – for lack of a better explanation at the moment. More about that later. One of the things I’m really stuck on is getting the money out of our system which I think, without a doubt, would alter political discourse for the better — not to mention the eventual results.

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