8 100-year-old tips for writing about controversial topics...

B)Posted in Content Marketing

G.K. Chesterton, a leading journalist of the early 20th century, would have made a great blogger. He was popular in large part because he was controversial. Via his quotes I will show how bloggers should approach controversial issues to promote debate rather than stifle it.
Image Credit: G.K. Chesterton, By Herbert Lambert (National Portrait Gallery)
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
He was born in 1874. He was fat, unattractive, disheveled and absent-minded. His ideas were dismissed and often ridiculed by many of the era’s most exalted men and women of letters, science and state. Nevertheless he remained popular with peers and the public during his lifetime, and his ideas are every bit as relevant and provocative today as they were 100 years ago.
His name was Gilbert Keith Chesterton, and he was one of the most prolific, and in my judgment one of the finest, writers of his day or any other day.
G. K. Chesterton was a leading journalist of the early 20th century. An Englishman, he wrote about everything under the sun: politics, religion, history, philosophy, literature, culture and economics were among his favorite topics. He wrote voluminously: novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays and Christian apologetics. In addition to all of this, he was an active and sought-after public speaker whose debates with George Bernard Shaw attracted worldwide interest.
Chesterton was popular in large part because he was controversial. He attacked communism and socialism at the very time these ideologies were picking up steam. He attacked capitalism and predicted its downfall while it was basking in its glory. He was a convert to Catholicism in an Anglican society that was rapidly becoming secularized, and a man who respected history at a time when the culture was in rebellion against it.
What does all this have to do with blogging?
Today we live in a world that is not all that different from Chesterton’s. We are confronted with problematic and contentious issues everywhere, issues which seem unresolvable. Just as then, dark clouds hang over our heads, even though one man’s cloud is another man’s sun.
However, one thing that is different today is that we seem to have lost our ability to discuss contentious issues with civility, and with the purpose of finding common ground and solutions. It is in this area that I think we can learn from Chesterton, because he had the ability to tackle tough issues head-on, make his case with complete conviction, and yet still hold the respect of his opponents and continue to engage them.
So what advice did Chesterton give us bloggers? So what have we to learn from this writer?