Many of you may not know that when I started reading FDL way back in the blogspot days, I was a life long Republican* and thought of myself as a conservative — fiscally conservative and socially liberal but overall, I considered myself to be a conservative. Yet I felt no connection with the Republican Party and knew there had to be people like me who didn’t like the way things were being done in DC and didn’t like the direction we were headed.

I never would have thought that I would find my online home at a site full of DFH’s with a decidedly lefty liberal viewpoint.  Yet, I found truth in reporting here.  I found articles written by folks who knew what they were talking about — not just repeating party issued talking points — writers who took the time to explain the why and the how of they formed their opinions.  Even though I was a Republican, that was never held against me — I was not ostracized or shunned when I finally worked up the courage to admit that I was a Republican.  I found a community of activists who were working for the same things I wanted — the truth, justice, and the American way that I had grown up taking for granted and had been tossed aside in today’s politics — and they welcomed me and encouraged me to become more active.

After a year or so,  I was asked to be a moderator.  Me!  A Republican!  Working backstage at Firedoglake!  After picking my jaw up off the floor, I accepted and worked hard to do the best job I could in an effort to show the trust in me was not misplaced.  When FDL began its membership program last year, I quickly joined and I was honored to be asked to make calls to members, thanking them for joining, and encouraging them to become more active.  When I was asked to lead the Membership Engagement Team (MET), a group of members who volunteer to make these calls, I jumped on board with enthusiasm.

One of the best things about making member calls, whether the traditional MET calls or calls looking for Occupy Supply Liaisons, is the opportunity to talk to so many people from all over with a wide variety of viewpoints.  The FDL community is amazing — you are the smartest group of commenters on the internet — and yet you are so much more.  Commenter Dearie said it best:

There is a fine community here at FDL … I think any of us could go anywhere and know that there would be a friend wherever we landed. That’s pretty special.

I call the FDL community my FDL family and I mean it in spite of that sounding so hokey.  I’ve watched our community celebrate good times (such as when long-time unemployed commenters finally getting a job) and seen the outreach of support when something bad happens (such as losing a job).  Our FDL family is very special and unique — I doubt there is anything else like it on the web.  I love making member calls — I wish I could match the fonts with a voice for every person here FDL.  If you join as a result of this post and would like me to call you, please let me know in the comments and I promise I will call you.  If you join and do not want a call, let me know that too.

There are better writers at FDL than I am — folks who have articulated such eloquent reasons to become a member.  Me, I’m just going to ask – Would you please join the FDL Membership program?

*I switched party registration in 2008 and am no longer a Republican.