About Edwin Lyngar

Edwin Lyngar  is a freelance writer living in Reno, Nevada.  After growing up in rural Battle Mountain, Nevada, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard as a public information officer / journalist. Later, he graduated from Antioch University in 2010 with his MFA in creative writing, and he also holds an MA in Writing from the University of Nevada Reno. His essays have appeared in newspapers, periodicals and journals. He was also a columnist for Salon magazine www.salon.com/writer/edwin_lyngar and is most known for two viral essays “I lost my father to Fox News” and “I Was Poor but a GOP Die hard; How I left the Politics of Shame.”

 

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131 thoughts on “About Edwin Lyngar”

  1. Hi, Edwin. Just read your short sale piece in Salon. Great article, but you left one key thing out — how did you get financing for the second home when you already were $400,000 in debt and obviously didn’t have the money to carry two mortgages? Looking forward to your reply. Thanks.

  2. I’m a 68 year old investigative journalist. That means I was around when the weather underground sent 4000 radicals to Cuba to learn how to kill police and on up military bases, all while wearing a fake smile. I don’t think you have the information or experience to know about the dirty tricks from the left. Down load a copy of Masters of Deceit. Then get on scribid or the Fbi vault and read the reports on Bill Ayers and Stokely Carmichael.

    1. Sounds like more bullshit, conflating terrorists with liberals to me. Liberals haven’t overthrown a half dozen elected democracies in Latin America. I could go on, but I won’t.

      1. I think they’re not equating the left with terrorism more than there’s an equating of Governance with Corporatism and the Military industrial complex. By which terrorism of the left, as much as the right have been committed. Central America for instance, and Honduras specifically, you’re equating to a Libertarian utopia or rather Dystopia. Meanwhile the left among congress and politicos in the US supported, lobbied and profited from the same corrupt, crony capitalist, and ultimately corporatist endeavors in Honduras and other CA nations. Your article on Libertarianism is an absurd correlation when one of the core principals of Libertarianism is the Non Aggression principal. Which was meant not only by the State but by private business as well. Citizens in general. The coveting of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” which corporatism and it’s political bedfellows in D.C. clearly profit from both overseas and here at home. Very divisive and propaganda driven article. The left has employed the same tactics against the citizenry of our nation as the right has. Why? because money and control is the same in anyone’s hands. Libertarianism is something we’ve never had, not for at least 100 years. But it’s something worth a try. It would certainly save us money, cease borrowing from other countries like China(an extreme Left country by the way = Communist) , cease nation building, cease international consumption of natural resources through war which does what? Upholds the Corporate regime, represented by the State.

  3. Your article about the anti intellectualism of the right hits home. I work for the Navy and the top leadership is in the process of dismantling large sections of the training stream and/or insisting that Sailors can just train each other and do not need education. I have never really seen such a strong strain of anti education until the last two years. What you wrote sent chllls up my spine because I see those same tactics to “dumb down” our military, making them less likely to question illegal or immoral actions.

    1. That’s frightening. To think that it’s going on in the military is too much. Thanks for the comment.

  4. Hi Edwin,
    Just read your SALON piece on the right’s fear of education. Aside from the fact I’ve always been a Democrat, I could have written parts of your essay. I ran out of money for college, married, divorced, enlisted in Navy, went to DINFOS, finished journalism degree, stayed in journalism, married again, traveled all over the world thanks to Navy and journalism career. My travels in the US and abroad made me appreciate what we have in America, namely opportunity , especially to get an education and improve one’s self and one’s family .
    I see the right tearing down these opportunities one program at a time, dancing to the tune of corporate America’s insatiable need for profit at the expense of jobs, training, worker income security and retirement. American know-how is becoming extinct because students don’t learn what they need to complete in the world. This has nothing to do with a liberal arts education vs science and engineering or business degrees. Xenophobia, monolingualism, intellectual disinterest, hatred of the left – these issues cannot stand in the way of America keeping it’s place in world competition. The right talks about American exceptionalism.
    What the future may hold is the American being the exception, as in having the dullest students, fewest curious minds, least number of engineers, scientists, professionals, artists, teachers, entrepreneurs, all because the right fears and hates education wants to squash it, monetize it or make it so costly it returns to the realm of the elite. Not the 21st century I bargained for.

    1. A fellow Dinfos grad! That education was important for me as well. I agree with your analysis. You don’t have to win votes and minds if you can destroy the latter. There is an attack on not only education but facts as well. If we can’t agree the world is round, we have no place to even start a conversation. We can only hope this latest (and worst in my lifetime) spate of anti-intellectualism fades at some point. Be well.

    2. This is like a weird ex-military meetup. I just read the article and came here to find out more about the author and write him a similar response!

      I, too, have a similar story and was in the Navy after dropping out of college and was a proud conservative defender of “freedom.” I ended up going back to school to the horror of my parents–we have similar anti-education, blue collar backgrounds as well it seems. During my time as an undergrad, I slowly came to realize how badly we had been misled and finally got away from the anti-intellectualism and backwards thinking of the right. I also learned the USA isn’t the shining example to the world that conservatives want us to believe we are. I agree with Joe above that American exceptionalism is another big problem the right has which clouds their perceptions of reality (and yes, I just learned that term 🙂 ).

      You describe much of the confusion and shame I felt about myself and the difficulty I had going back to school. I was practically shunned by our family And, like you, I was welcomed and supported at school and I slowly grew into a thinking adult. In the end, I loved it, and went back for more several years later. My parents of course could not understand this and came to see me out of concern for my sanity. They pleaded with me to keep my job and told me then how I had messed up my life by going to that liberal school (I had a history degree from a liberal arts school). They still do not understand it. My brother and I (the two in the family that have been to college) are the black sheep of the family now. I’m not joking.

      I’m nearly 50 now, a practicing physician with an unbelievably good job: a satisfying, usually fulfilling, and yes, well paid job. I love it. My parents came to see me shortly after I started my practice and they saw my office and staff, met some patients, and my father even had some treatment at our hospital. The nurses treated him like royalty and he loved it. The visit went well and I thought they were suitably impressed by my new job. My father took me aside as they got in the car to leave. “Why did you leave the Navy?,” he asked. ” You could have got your twenty years and retired by now and got a good job somewhere else. You never should have quit.” Then he got in the car and left. (Thanks, pop)

      1. Thanks for the comment! What a great story. Your dad still could not see his way clear to recoginze the good moves you made. It’s funny and sad. I’ve often thought of how different my life would have been if I had stayed in the service. And I am so glad I didn’t. Be well.

        1. Thank you for the response and what I meant to say in my earlier note (before I started sharing my own tale of woe) is that I just discovered Salon today (I’m slow) and read several of your articles. Good stuff and insightful! I don’t tweet or facebook so online I am useless, but I wanted you to know you reached a new fan today. I will be back for more.

  5. Thanks so much for your thoughtful and frank story, “The Right’s Fear of Education.” There is hope. And I truly appreciate your comment about leading by example. Third compliment: your story on your surprisingly pleasant experience of having a colonoscopy: my experience as well ;o)
    Keep up the good work!

  6. Mr. Lyngar: Thanks for a spot-on essay on education and its continuing importance to young Americans. Like you I found grade school a wash (failed the 2nd grade) until my sixth-grade year, when my teacher, Mr. Edwin Nelson, got me going. A very tough eighth-grade English teacher (Thank you Miss Walsh.) lined me out on American/English grammar, and away I went. An MFA from the University of Montana (Thank you, Bill Kittredge!) and two books later, I understood that without all those second chances in elementary and high school and college, I could have spent 34 years in a blacksmith shop just like my dad.

  7. Good article on Honduras. Your opening paragraph comment on New Orleans sort of threw me, and it only detracted from the rest of a well written article.

  8. I read your article “My Libertarian nightmare”. You should take your article with you and visit Sri Lanka for a for a few weeks. After you are done with your holiday see how many times you can replace the word “Honduras” in your article with “Sri Lanka” going by what you saw during your time in Sri Lanka. Going by what I have seen myself in Sri Lanka and from what I have read in your article, the two places are interchangable as long as you use Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo for comparison.

    But there is one major difference. Sri Lanka is a highly socialist country. Free education is the major education provider for primary secondary and tertiary sectors. The upper class only enrol children into private schooling when public schools won’t accept their child. Health care is free, vital drugs are subsidised and the best doctors work in the largest public hospitals. And the government have all their fingers and toes in pretty much every major business sector in the country. Tea, rubber,mattresses, cars, white goods etc etc… You name it and the government will have a department for it.

    Yet it is hardly any different to hondurus. Surely then libertarianism can’t be the cause of Sri Lanka’s problems? Did your article really debunk libertarianism/conservatism/the right? For tyhe logical thinker, it really didn’t debunk anything about politics, left OR right. What you did do was claim suffering and a libertarian environment coexisted, and therefore one was a cause for the other. A classic example of mistaking correlation for causation.

    I don’t really care for much for politics, left or right, and i don’t really have any agenda, but the misplaced fear mongering is uncalled for. If you are not going to put in the hard yards and provide some proof for your arguments, at least try to create debate and not misguide others into the other corner of the room with outright fallacies.

  9. In your article “The Right’s Fear of Education” you captured perfectly how I feel about the right’s dismissal of the value of education. I grew up in Texas in the 1960’s and would have been a mindless, unthinking provincial had I not had the good fortune of attending Trinity University. My liberal arts studies there changed my life immeasurably for the better, and outside of my family it is the single most important factor in my life. I would not trade my experience there for any sum of money – it meant and means everything 38 years later.

    Thank you for such an eloquent, important article. I hope our society comes to its senses and rejects the anti-intellectual propaganda of the “modern” right.

    1. Thanks for the very high praise. Anti-intellectualism continues to be a huge issue in American. I greatly appreciate you reading and commenting.

  10. Edwin,
    There is a very potent argument against libertarianism. It is the evidence of 13,000 years of human history. Once we abandoned the hunter-gatherer mode of existence in favor of agriculture the beginnings of civilization were instituted. And civilization and libertarianism are incompatible opposites. What, after all, is the evidence of these last 13,000 years? Namely that society has become ever larger and more complex. Societies cannot tolerate anarchy, and will set up and enforce rules designed to stabilize society.
    To sum up, libertarianism has been in steady retreat during this time while society and its rules move from strength to strength.

  11. Mr Lyngar – A point that I have not seen raised about libertarianism is just that we are able to discuss it in language, language that is capable of great subtlety and complexity. If we were by nature all meant to be “rugged individuals” there would be no need for such linguistic power. You don’t need much to say “I’ll do whatever I want” or even “You do what I tell you”.

    Language exists, with all this complexity, because by nature we are a social species, surviving for millennia because we cooperate to help and defend each other (true even if you believe in recent creation – in our earliest years our numbers were small and there were predators like the Middle Eastern lion). In other words, the idea of the libertarian individual is a defective idea, a neurosis. If they can’t treat other people in a cooperative way, they are abandoning their humanity.

  12. I get pleasure from, cause I found just what I used to be taking a look
    for. You’ve ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man.
    Have a great day. Bye

  13. Thanks for the Salon article. I thought I was losing it, my brother and mother both on the Fox News and WND needle. Can’t talk to them anymore without labels flying and end-of-the-world scenarios, FEMA camps, paranoia, O’s marxism, on and on. They are beyond reason, and I just wondered, why? They are “worse”now than ever and they say it’s because IT (the world) is worse now… so relieved to see it is a cultural and societal syndrome that is shared, but not really relieved, it is very tragic. Thanks again.

  14. Interesting articles, read several of yours at Salon and then headed here to actually contact you because I try to stay away from most social media.

    I’m a long time independent (and a military vet) who has flirted with libertarian concepts because of the “freedom” mantra, but not enthralled with the rabid hate “Tea Party” side; or unwillingness to acknowledge that it only works on paper or in books, not in real life, as then it just resembles feudalism, which isn’t very pretty. My experiences in several countries mirrors your Honduras piece, but I’ve seen it in my travels over the last 30 years (including Honduras).

    In the interest of starting other articles you could write about, I wonder if you are aware of the following books; The Zero Marginal Cost Society, Abundance, and Sex at Dawn. As pessimistic as I can get at times when I’m abused by standard media and social marketing crap in public, I still have hope for the future, and our young people specifically, as I see a progressive trend starting to take shape, and I have been personally hoping for it; for decades.

    Also, what do you think about I think the next Presidential election is going to set the direction that the US goes, heading back up or continuing on down the path of the last 40 years.

    Thanks again, keep on writing, we need more voices like yours.

    1. I have read Sex at Dawn, great book. The others I have not but I’ll look into them. Thanks so much for taking a moment to reach out.

      Libertarian thought is seductive, but it ultimately fails to address real life. I’ve spent so much time reconsidering my position on it that I don’t have a lot of room to be critical, but I am so pleased to see other people sharing my kind of experience. You really nailed it with the word “feudalism.” It is really on my mind of late.

      Thanks for reading and supporting my work. Best — Edwin

  15. Hey, how is it going?

    Have you seen the Facebook post “Why I fled liberalism and became a libertarian”? This post talks about a young guy called Alex Portelli from Albany, NY. In his opinion liberalism has economically screwed up NY state and he feels libertarianism is the numero uno reason why New Hampshire is so prosperous and how neighbours look out for each other there and churches are responsible for welfare and whatnot. Hell, New Hampshire’s state motto is even “Live Free or Die”, you can’t get any more libertarian than that. Alex Portelli became a Ron Paul style libertarian.

    Would you like the link? 🙂

  16. Edwin,

    I read your “A liberal at 40” piece in Salon & want to communicate something to you. That harpie, Ann Coulter, infamously wrote a book called “How to talk to a liberal…if you must.” Well, I’m convinced Progressives must talk to Conservatives like you once were, if we’re ever to succeed. I’ve got a plan to do that en masse based on the game-changing work of George Lakoff. I want to run my plan by you & see if it would have gotten through to the old you. You’ve got my email, please send me yours.

    Mitch

  17. Just wanted to say thanks for your article, “I lost my dad to Fox News.” I’m in my 30s, my dad is in his 70s, and Fox News has stolen his retirement and our relationship. I constantly ask him to not talk politics with me, but it’s all he wants to talk about…anything else lacks “substance”…even though we could be talking about my return to school, or his 20 month old granddaughter. I regress…just wanted to say thank you. It meant a lot and except for those $50k words you used, I was telling my wife that I could have penned that article. 🙂

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your dad, Matt. The Fox News effect is both real and painful. There is always something besides politics, and I hope you can find that middle ground. I struck a nerve with this piece, for sure. Thanks for reading and sharing your own experience.

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