There are a lot of people out there who thought 2016 was a banner year for awfulness. You might even be among them. It wasn’t easy for me to roll with the punches. As if losing David Bowie and Prince was not enough of a blow, we witnessed a grinding and divisive presidential election that embittered many of us. Hearing the world-weary voices of fellow college students as their apathy, anger or ambivalence reached new heights left me dispirited. What could I do?
The political events of 2016 coincided with my decision to become a journalist. I had already been harboring a desire to find direction in a world that feels like it’s spinning out of control. I knew that the only way to center myself would be to serve as my own compass—to become informed and educated so I could then try to inform and educate. That’s what I could do. That’s what I hope to do here.
This is where you come in. You’re more important to me than anything else that’s going on out there. Why? Because you’re an essential cog in a political machine that is going into disrepair. I try not to generalize, but with voter turnout in Texas being so low there’s a good chance that you’ve disengaged. I want to give you reasons not to. I want to give you tools to make it easier. I want you to challenge me along the way.
Why would you listen to me, though? It’s a question I asked myself before I started. I can’t deny that this is going to be hard, but I’m putting already putting in a lot of the work anyway. I mean I have 192 apps installed on my phone and a good portion are directed at finding more about current events and politics. If I see a useful app, listen to an interesting podcast, or read an interesting news story, you might hear about it. If I read a book that changes my views on the world, I would like you for you to know. If I’m going to be at the State Capitol talking to an elected official or one of their staff members, I’d like to show you how easy it is to get there. They’re your elected officials and they’re not that scary. I smoked a cigar with one of them yesterday.
I want to do it in a way that makes it worthwhile to you. You’re going to be my check and balance in that regard, because if I feel like even a few people are watching me then I’ll keep going. And maybe you’ll feel included in that act. That’s why I named this blog “Extend The Sphere”—a reference to James Madison’s Federalist 10. So we can move the sphere to include our voices and interests and feel like we’re a part of something larger than ourselves.