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A Form Letter for Defecting Conservatives


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To: the New York Times

Dear Editors,

I am a [choose one: Catholic, Evangelical, Mormon, Orthodox Jewish] conservative, who is well known in the conservative movement as a [choose one: magazine editor, think-tank president, scholar, activist] and public intellectual. 

Despite my longstanding opposition to [choose one: same-sex marriage, abortion], next week I will be coming out publicly in favor of [choose one: marriage equality, a woman’s right to choose], and was wondering whether you might be interested in informing your readers of this important development in the world of [choose one: Catholic, Evangelical, Mormon, Orthodox Jewish] conservatism.

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My statement will include an apology to my [choose one: gay, female] friends for the hurt I have caused by my slavish adherence to the conservative line which, my statement will say, is actually not true conservatism because true conservatism is all about freedom, and respects [choose one: the freedom of people to live as they choose and have their partnerships treated by the state with equal dignity, the freedom of women to decide what happens in and to their own bodies].

My statement will say that the recognition of [choose one: gay marriage, a woman’s right to choose] makes America more fully and truly itself.

Of course, I have no wish to draw attention to myself, but I am aware that this development (which only incidentally and contingently happens to involve me) will be of significant public interest, so I feel it is my civic duty to cooperate with responsible media to ensure that the public is apprised of the facts.

I wish that there were a way for my name to be left out of this, because, honestly, this really isn’t about me — and I really do hate calling attention to myself. But since I know that is impossible, I note that the spelling of my name is [here spell your name in BOLD CAPS]. I am also attaching a professional publicity photograph that I was forced to have taken against my will when I was [choose one: editor, president] of [here name the magazine or think tank] [please note: If you are an activist or professor, simply insert here a statement that the publicity photograph was taken secretly by admirers who were determined to publicize your excellent work], and my (embarrassingly flattering) Wikipedia entry, which, of course, I didn’t write.

Because the Times is the nation’s “newspaper of record,” and you are unquestionably the nation’s leading reporter of stories about the [choose one: evolution, personal growth] of conservatives on social issues — no flattery here, just stating facts — I also feel that it is my civic obligation to give you an exclusive on the story. If you would like to send a photographer for a photo shoot, I will be happy to make myself available at her or his convenience. (Please be assured that in saying “her or his” I do not mean to imply that these are the only possibilities.)

Sincerely,

[Here sign your name and provide e-mail address and mobile-phone number]

 



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