Free Exchange has come a long way in the last year and a half; about a hundred and twenty posts, covering issues from leadership to partisanship, racism to bailouts, energy, education, entitlements, and the economy; from the halls of Congress in Washington to the shores of California and beyond; debating death, taxes, and something more onerus than both, elections. I've tried to keep an open mind with my posts and encourage honest debate on all these subjects and more. I hope you've all enjoyed my writing and been at least partially enlightened, as well.
There is more to this blog than just my opinion pieces, of course. I have three accounts on other sites that I hope you would follow, also. I have a page on Facebook where I hope to start full discussions with my readers on a wide range of subjects. The topics currently include proposed changes to the Constitution, ending the practice of dividing Congress into "majority" and "minority" parties, and reforming elections and education in America. It's also a place to receive updates on related news stories and other items.
It also serves as a feed for my Twitter account, which will contain links to all my posts from here. Twitter gives me a chance to succinctly respond to items posted by news organizations, such as Yahoo, AP, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, etc. As I've said before, this blog is for opinion pieces, and is not a news outlet; but I will post links to news stories on Twitter, and even write out responses to items I feel deserve more than just a blurb. My account there will have updates from all of my outlets.
My third account is at Zazzle, where I create t-shirts, bumper stickers, mugs, etc., with little "nuggets of wisdom" from my blog. Yes, it is an online store, and yes, I am asking you to buy my products. But my purpose is twofold: one, to supplement my modest income; and two, to advertise my ideas (not just my products) beyond the blogosphere. My products serve as reminders to everyone that "It's not about politics, it's about issues," and that "Politics affect politicians, but issues affect everyone." They're non-partisan, and I don't think anyone would feel out of place wearing or displaying any of them during the election season and beyond.
I started this blog to promote issues and the free discussion of them. I have my own view, but I'm happy and even eager to hear other views. I also started it to encourage more activism on the part of the "average" American. We have a great freedom in this country, to choose our leaders and hold them accountable for their actions, and I believe we should all embrace that freedom at every opportunity. I started this blog with that ideal in mind, and my Facebook, Twitter, and Zazzle accounts each serve in their own ways to achieve that ideal. I hope you will help me in this, and keep spreading a free exchange of ideas.
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