With the New Year Comes New Hope

First of all, let me say Happy New Year to all of my readers, both the right- and left-leaning among you. Thank you for making me feel like what I do is worthwhile. Yes, that includes those of you I disagree with.

As the title suggests, the dawn of a new year, to me, brings new hope. A sort of starting over if you will. I don’t place too much precedence on New year’s Resolutions, but I do have a few I’ve made that I hope to stick to, but no guarantees.

Rational political discourse in this country is at what I believe to be an all-time low. This has to change if we want to get our country back on the right track politically. I know that some of you are laughing right now, but it can be done.

I propose to try and tone down the rhetoric. Sure it feels good to call someone an asshole if they deserve it, but it accomplishes nothing but to cultivate hard feelings and completely eliminate any chance of the getting other people to see my point of view. This doesn’t mean I’m going to avoid being snarky when the situation warrants it, nor does it mean I won’t stop exposing hypocrisy either.

I will also try to avoid the hot-button issues like abortion, gay marriage, etc. when debating with some on the right, at least in person. I have to face it, I’m never going to get my opponent to switch sides by debating the hot-button issues face-to-face. When trying to persuade others to open their minds, I gotta stick with the core values. Again, this doesn’t mean I won’t continue to post about these issues.

On a more personal note, I resolve to start a plan for running for public office. This includes going back to school and basically becoming a sponge concerning educating myself about local and regional issues. Everyone says that reform begins at home, so that’s where my focus is going to be. I’m probably still a few years off from actually running, but without planning now, I’ll never get there.

For the site, I resolve to look into revamping and redesigning the site in an effort to become more influential in this so-called blogosphere. I’ve been toying with the idea ever since being invited to contribute to Main and Central by Jo Fish and how that site turned out. I’m basically a one-man shop here but I’m not opposed to adding some contributors. I may even start with asking one of my brothers to contribute for a more balanced view. That’s a tough thing for me since he and I are such opposites politically and ideologically.

I also want to beef up my blogroll. I need to add some of the more heavy-hitters in the blogging community as well as highlighting some of the lesser-known sites that have great commentary.

On a miscellaneous note, I will try to add a few more chapters, if not finish, my sci-fi military thriller book, Instinct and Reflex. It’s sort of a labor of love that just seems to come to me. I’m kind of at an impasse right now and need to devote some more time to figuring out how Jake gets out of the situation he’s in. If you haven’t read it yet, drop by my category Fiction, or not and give it a read. Feel free to comment, good or bad. Every writer needs critics when honing his craft. Not that I really claim to be a writer though. I guess I just dabble.

I also vow to try and meet some of you commenters in the flesh, although that’s going to be kind of hard to do considering my work schedule. I definitely want to meet Scroff and Ruthie . We almost hooked up last September and may have a chance again in March. I also came close to meeting Barndog, but our timing was off. Maybe this year.

Anyway, now for the shout-outs. Speaking of Scroff, I want to thank him since his insight and blog have helped me find my voice. I literally stumbled across his site back in 2004 and like what he’s doing there. You should all stop by and peruse his archives at Any Which Way.

I want to thank Nick Badway, our lone Republican commenter, for sticking around. Hopefully he sees that we’re not all liberal commie pinkos and that we occasionally open his eyes to a point of view that isn’t just a right-wing talking point.

I want to thank Barndog as well for not only being my brother-in-arms, but for succinctly putting word to what I feel a lot of the time. His in-depth research and knowledge of the issues I talk about here has been much appreciated. Scroff is another one who does that so well.

I know I’m missing a lot of you that have made this site what it is today, but rest assured that I am grateful for each and every one of you. Lastly, I ask that each one of you take a moment to pause and reflect on what we can ALL do to find common ground and get this country back to greatness. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions as to what I can do to make this site better, don’t hesitate to comment.

Let’s all have a Happy, Hopeful New Year!

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