Introducing: Yield the Floor

Photo credit: http://www.affairscloud.com/banking-awareness/letter-writing/
Photo credit: http://www.affairscloud.com/banking-awareness/letter-writing/

You may have noticed that the name at the top of this page is no longer “The Common Sense Market.” If you hadn’t noticed before now, you might want to get your eyes checked. I decided to change the name of the blog (and the URL, so make sure you update your bookmark if you have one!) as we begin the new year. I’m normally not one for the whole “new year, new me” concept, at least not in my personal life. That notwithstanding, I think that 2016 showed me more than ever that we simply don’t listen to each other.

I started this blog as an avenue for me to express my anger, frustration, excitement, and basically every other feeling about politics and the world as I see it. And while it has certainly served to fulfill that purpose up to this point, I think it’s time for a change. For the record, this is actually something I’ve been thinking about for months, long before my Facebook was flooded with New Years Resolutions that will mostly be broken before I can finish typing this post.

Cynicism aside, my point is that I think everyone needs to listen more and truly try to understand other people on more than just a basic level. Yes, that sounds incredibly cliche, but it’s true. We missed the bigger picture during the 2016 election: that millions of Americans are so concerned for their basic well-being that they would cast a vote for someone that they don’t truly believe is a good candidate for president (note: this applies to both of the major candidates). That’s not a good thing. We should not be a “lesser of two evils” country, and we shouldn’t have divisive and hate-fueled political discussions that lead to violence and a lack of faith in basic facts.

FriendsOf course, this dynamic is not going to change with legislation or battles in Congress or another election. It changes when we decide to change it, and while I admit that I don’t have an abundance of hope for such a change to come about soon in this country, that isn’t going to stop me from trying to do my part to make it happen. So with that, I have done away with The Common Sense Market. I realized that the title lends itself to arrogance and shame, as if to say that I have more common sense than you because I believe in X, Y, and Z, and you believe in A, B, and C. That’s not what I think of myself or anyone else, and it’s time that my blog reflects what I think of myself and others.

So here’s what I want with this change: I want to have more substantive conversations that go beyond what some politician did or said that made me feel the need to type out a thousand-word post at 2 a.m. I want to hear what you think, and what you feel. I want to know what makes you tick, and I want you to know what makes me tick. None of that happens if I don’t pause every once in a while to hear your objections or your criticisms, and that’s why this blog will now be called Yield the Floor.

Yes, I stole the phrase from Congress. No, I am not ashamed. Going forward, I will work toward listening more and talking less. That isn’t to say that I won’t voice my opinion here or speak up when something is factually wrong or in opposition to what I believe. You aren’t getting off that easily. But I want to read more than I write, and I want to truly understand why you’ve read any of my posts over the past few years.

Caucasian voter waiting to vote in polling placeWith that being said, I am optimistic about this new direction because it doesn’t just revolve around me. I want you to write about politics in your own way, here on the blog. So I’m opening up my space to anyone who might have something to say. Even if it’s something I vehemently disagree with, I want you to say it. I want others to hear it, because listening is the key to communication, and we (as a nation) suck at communicating.

There are a few things to note here: barring anything slanderous or overly offensive (i.e. you can’t use derogatory language toward groups of people or plaster your words with hateful propaganda), I’ll publish what you send to me. If there’s something you want to express without having your name attached to it (for whatever reason, I won’t pass judgment or question it), I would be happy to attribute your post to an anonymous contributor.

The best way to submit a post is by sending it to me in an email (yieldthefloorblog@gmail.com) or through a private message to the Facebook Page. If you’ve never written a blog post or you aren’t sure how to express yourself in this kind of format, I invite you to get in touch with me through email or the Facebook page. I will do my best to give you some direction or ideas for putting your thoughts into words.

I will still post as regularly as is possible for a college student in his last semester with a job and responsibilities, but I am truly looking forward to seeing what you might have to say. You can write about politics, how you feel about the blog, what you’re thinking about following this election, or whatever else you can think of in regards to the past, present, and future of this great country. Your voice matters just as much as mine or anyone else’s, and it deserves to be heard. So now, I yield the floor to you. What do you have to say?

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