Discover more from Political Currents by Ross Barkan
Three Years on Substack
Thank you for coming along for the ride
Three years ago, in the depths of the pandemic, I decided to start a newsletter on this platform, Substack. I knew few people who were doing it but figured it might be a fun place to share my unvarnished voice and, maybe, talk a few people into paying for what I do. At the time, this newsletter was called the Cuomo Files and it was dedicated to holding Andrew Cuomo, then the governor of New York, to account for his mishandling of the pandemic and his cover-up of nursing home deaths. Eventually, the project evolved—I would publish a book about Cuomo—and I began using this Substack, rechristened Political Currents, to write about New York, national affairs, and whatever else was on my mind. Slowly but surely the audience grew, time flew by, and I found Substack becoming a bigger and bigger part of my income in the writing and journalism worlds, particularly as the media industry continued to undergo enormous bloodletting.
I’m proud of the work here and the community we’ve built. I love the commenters, those who email, and everyone who takes the time to read. Many people will not agree with what I write, and that’s perfectly fine. I am strong believer in free speech, the First Amendment, and open discourse. Debate—the great give-and-take—is what informs an intellectualized society. We badly need more of it. We need people willing to listen to those they’ll disagree with and reckon with viewpoints that might, at first, find alien. I try (and sometimes fail) to keep my mind open. As long as I write here, I promise I will tell you the truth and tell you what I think. I’ll do my best to produce worthwhile work.
The media world is evolving. The inanities of the 2010s—scale at all cost, click baiting, social media appeasement—have thankfully dissipated. I am cautiously optimistic about what’s to come. I believe in the subscription model—in giving your best shot and trusting your readers to step up to the plate and support you.
Many of you who are reading this are paying subscribers to this newsletter. Thank you! I hope you can continue to support my work and livelihood. It means the world to me. If you’d like to give a gift subscription to someone you know, head over here or hit the button below.
If you are a free reader—and there are many thousands of you—I want to say I very much appreciate that you’ve signed up at all. It’s great you want to read. What is even more helpful is if you pay to read my work. When you pay, you do more than break through a paywall (I’d rather not paywall anything). You state, fully, you believe in me, what I do, and this community. You allow me to survive. I can’t make it through without paying subscribers. It’s rather simple. Please consider subscribing today. I need your help.
I understand $60 isn’t chump change. You might subscribe to a bunch of different newsletters and magazines. You may feel overburdened. I do get it. I’ve got a lot of subscriptions going. But if you subscribe here, you’ll be supporting the sort of work you can’t read elsewhere. You’ll learn the true story about the American Left, the news media, and New York’s strange mayor. You’ll get the actual truth about the culture war. You’ll get bone fide book reviews and essays on the great world out there.
For $60, you get all of it for a year. That’s something like 250,000 words, all for the price of dinner for two (or one) in these inflationary times. If you’re on the fence about subscribing, now’s an excellent time. Please do.
Thank you, again, for reading and being on this journey with me. I’ll be back soon with another piece. And feel free to download the Substack app so you can chat with me when I do open threads. I always want to hear from you.
See you soon!