Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better.” King Whitney Jr.-1967

I began writing for Common Sense almost a year ago as a place to formalize my own political and social beliefs. It was important for me, as an individual, to really examine the issues of the day and come to some sort of conclusion about how I felt about them. But as I wrote each essay for myself, it became apparent that I needed to share my thoughts with other people, partly to get some feedback from people I didn’t know and partly because the act of writing solely for oneself can lead to abandoning the project entirely. I didn’t want to stop writing, so I began the blog. I thought that if people began to read what I wrote, and offer comments and their own ideas, then I would have the momentum to complete what has become, for lack of a better term, my political platform. Surprisingly, it worked out pretty well. And to each and every one of my readers, I offer my thanks.

I always knew that a day would come when the underlying political philosophy that I was developing would be completed and I would have to decide what I would do next. Somewhere along the line, I decided to try and turn these essays into an actual book, with the hope that I could find a publisher who could help launch my thoughts for reform to a larger audience. In that vein, I have been diligently compiling essays, putting them into manuscript form, preparing proposals and researching agents and publishers. There is still some work to do, but if all goes well, I should be ready to begin shopping Common Sense around within the next few weeks. I have no idea how far I will get, but if the comments from readers are any indication, there is not only a market for these ideas, there is a desire for reform that is not being met by the political masters of the day.

But as I come to the conclusion of this particular project, I am left asking myself “What next?” Writing for the blog, and conversing with all of you through the comment sections, has been as enjoyable as it has been energizing. But I think that all my writings about reform and change could become little more than hollow meanderings if I simply let it stop here. With that in mind, the answer to my question became clear. It is time to move from simply writing about change to actually working for change.

What does that mean? Well, for starters, I have begun a project with some other political bloggers who also sense a need for political reform. This project is still in its infancy, but our goal is to create a vocal presence in communities across the country, in an effort to stoke the embers of reform. There is growing unrest among average citizens about the direction of our government, but little being talked about with regards to reform. The Republican Party is awash with scandal and corruption and has become little more than a PR firm for ultra-religious conservatism or corporate hegemony. The policies of the ruling political party is not leading America to a better place, but only serving to divide us for their own power-hungry aims. But the Democrats seem to have fallen down on the job too, failing to offer any kind of rebuttal to the Republicans. They are cruising on a wave of old ideas and little else, and of course, are also corrupted by the hordes of special interest money that comes their way. America needs a new voice, a voice of reform and hope that seeks to give the people what they deserve- a government that truly works for them. We are hoping to begin in earnest with our planning and goals soon, and when that day comes, you’ll be able to hear about it here. At some point soon, you’ll even have an opportunity to join us in our cause, an opportunity I hope you’ll take advantage of.

Secondly, I am toying with the idea of becoming a political candidate in 2006. As an independent, there are many barriers erected to keep people like you and me out of the political realm. These barriers include higher signature thresholds for ballot qualification and a lack of financial support, among other things. I’m not one to let barriers stop me though, and will make a final determination sometime during the upcoming holidays. If I do indeed decide to throw my hat in a ring somewhere, you can be sure that I will go all out to succeed. If I decide not to actually run though, I will likely throw my support and my time behind a candidate who I can believe in, thus becoming more politically active in that regard.

What will this mean for this blog called Common Sense? Well, a couple of things. The biggest difference to you the reader and me the writer will be a changed course for future posts. Up to now, my essays have been longer than most other blog entries, in large part because I wanted to fully enunciate my thoughts for reform. My posts have also tended to focus on the bigger picture, as a political platform should do. But having completed, to a large extent, this part of my entry into political discourse, I can now turn my attention to the topical issues of the day, framing them in ways that illustrate the positions I have formed over the last year. There is so much to address specifically, and from here on out, Common Sense essays will likely be shorter and more targeted towards a current topic or problem. For those with a short attention span, these newer, shorter posts will hopefully draw more voices into the discussion. I don’t want Common Sense to become a “cut and paste” online newspaper so much as I want to interject my own views on current issues. As always, your comments will be valued and answered, so please keep them coming. Hopefully, the shorter format will allow me to post more frequently, but with the other avenues I’m exploring, it may not change my posting schedule much at all. However, there will likely be more to talk about than ever before.

I look forward to this next phase of Common Sense and the peripheral projects I mentioned above. I hope you’ll stay along for the ride.