Two years ago or so now, I had started doing podcasts called Brace for Impact. These were to be opinion-based news presentations commenting on events local to Citrus County and Florida statewide politics. They were a fun way for me to speak about issues on which I felt passionate. Several factors, though, led to their discontinuation. The most predictable was time constraints. I was in the middle of getting married, writing and defending my dissertation to graduate the University of Florida with my Ph.D., and the business ran three campaigns in 2018 as well.
Another factor was the fear of polarization from my opinions. In an upstart business, I don’t want to lose clients before I have the chance to sign them just because of something I said online; the millennial implications of that makes me cringe. Instead I heeded the words of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Aaron Burr from Hamilton and thought it best to “talk less, smile more, don’t let them know what you’re against or what you’re for.” *picture* In theory, this makes a lot of sense, right? But in reality, the exact opposite happened. The fire services episode which had almost 500 listens, a small but substantial following, that was highly critical of a county commissioner in 2017 to the point we had exchanged words offline about it ended up turning into a productive working relationship by 2018. Now, Commissioner Carnahan and I are on what I would consider to be excellent terms. This is probably the anomaly more than the norm but it does lead me to believe voicing your opinion doesn’t disqualify you from even those people you disagree with on some issues, nor should it.
And so I have decided to bring back Brace for Impact, not in its original form, but as a blog-first; audio-second; multi-media friendly place. I have done so not to chase an audience through incendiary opinion, although these entries will have plenty of opinions in them, but rather as a therapeutic way to communicate thoughts about politics, governing, history, and other such topics that interest me and hopefully you too. This is not your Facebook feed full of memes or people “just sayin” their one-liners. This is the start of a discussion that hopes to make a difference even if that difference is just that you feel smarter for having read or listened to this for 10 minutes instead of continuously scrolling through the noise.