Truth be told, I had a different blog posting I was going to put up today than this one. It involved a candidate for office in Maryland, and something he told – or rather, wrote — me the other day.
But, then I just heard that John Lofton passed away a few days ago.
Who? You might ask…
John Lofton was the guy who asked Larry Hogan his now infamous question about the role of government. Hogan, as many of you may recall, called Lofton’s question the “craziest question” he’d ever heard – and hightailed it off the phone.
But, sad to say, THAT’s probably all most people know in Maryland about John Lofton. Talk about a difference a few years or decades make!
I met John Lofton back in 1982 or 1983. At that time, he was the editorial page editor of The Washington Times and I was a young buck working for the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC). I was a regular reader of his columns and usually caught him, as well, when he’d appear on Crossfire or whatever different show on CNN and/or one of the networks.
Lofton always fascinated me. Not because I was always in agreement with him, mind you, but for the fact that he ALWAYS stood his ground. He could be bombastic as all Hell, very fiery and stridently opinionated – and he always gave as good as he got. If not better.
(John Lofton: 5/26/41 – 9/17/14)
In addition to his time at The Washington Times, Lofton was also an editor of Richard Viguerie’s must-read magazine of the early 80s, Conservative Digest and had also worked as an editor for the RNC in the early 1970s. Even more additionally, Lofton advised Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaign and was the Communications Director for Maryland’s own Michael Peroutka when Peroutka ran for President in 2004.
Interestingly enough, Mr. Lofton’s political views grew well beyond the standard GOP fare – as have mine – but each of our views grew in a different direction. He was a paleoconservative whereas I have expounded on my Libertarian streaked Republicanism to become pretty much a Libertarian with some GOP views.
And, although some would – and did – refer to Mr. Lofton as a “crank” (I’m no t going into who called him that here, out of respect for both Mr. Lofton and for the name caller), I didn’t see him that way in the least. What I saw was a guy with strong opinions, expertly stated, who simply refused to back down. And, although I would not say we’d become friends although we did have some emails back and forth until he was taken ill, I’m going to miss the simple fact that he’s out there raising Hell.
Speaking of “raising Hell,” John Lofton was a born again Christian. And, he openly described himself as a “Recovering Republican.” A firm believer in his faith, he would proselytize on behalf of his Christianity, just as he would attempt proselytizing someone out of their staid Republicanism. Between the two, it’s pretty easy to see why he had so many admirers – and detractors.
John Lofton died at the age of 73 on September 17, 2014 – Constitution Day. How very fitting. It seems that, even when it came to his own death, Mr. Lofton went out in such a way that he made a statement.
Rest in Peace, John Lofton. You’ve earned it.