When in doubt, redoubt.
Redoubt is the most regurgitated word heard ‘round here over the past few weeks, thanks to national exposure over the prepper/survivalist/off-the-grid conservative movement that’s bringing North Idaho a certain kind of settler and a little bit of notoriety.
All of that’s fine with Chris Walsh, a Coeur d’Alene real estate agent who has been running low on sleep and high on adrenaline since The Economist magazine and then The Washington Post redoubled their redoubt efforts in the last month. Owner of Revolutionary Realty in Coeur d’Alene, Walsh was a key source in both stories — both boons to his business.
Walsh considers himself one of “them,” and not just because he’s peddling properties to the preppers like a 21 dealer at Tahoe. The 53-year-old Detroit native who sounds like a disc jockey lives off the grid himself. He told a Press reporter he openly discriminates against liberals looking for property because liberals aren’t a protected class.
OK then. What do you think of Chris Walsh now?
We ask you to think again.
Having talked with Walsh this week in the aftermath of all that national ink, he reminded us of two quintessential American truths.
One is we should get to know folks before judging them.
Walsh spent three days with The Post’s Kevin Sullivan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for what Walsh and fellow conservatives consider a liberal rag. Boy, was Chris impressed. He said he thoroughly enjoyed his time with Sullivan, whose piece published last Sunday was superb, Walsh concluded. Walsh now considers Sullivan a friend.
The other lesson is no matter how far apart we might seem, we’re probably a lot closer than we thought.
In the post-publication tempest, Walsh received a blistering phone message from a left-leaning citizen whose recorded verbiage was stronger than an EMP strike. Walsh and the heckler traded messages — Walsh really wanted to just talk to the guy — before they finally connected. Walsh pointed out that as a man who lives with 100 solar panels and stellar self-sufficiency, Walsh’s carbon footprint is likely far smaller than his critic’s.
Mr. Conservative, meet Mr. Liberal. And note that in some very important ways you’re really not so different at all.
From our perspective there’s room for every kind of law-abiding citizen here in beautiful North Idaho, the more diverse, the better.
We believe that’s the formula that made America great and the spirit that will lead to a bright future.