political rant

I just had to close my Facebook page. The “debate” and “commentary” of people I actually care for is getting out of hand. Two people are arguing about the George Bush video (I agree with the Atlantic on this one). Others think Ruth Bader Ginsberg is right on, while others think she needs to temper her comments considering her role on the Supreme Court. Some think Trump is the anti-Christ; others thing he is the Messiah. Hillary Rodham Clinton is either the greatest role model EVER, or the most corrupt politician since her husband (or Nixon). And voting for a third party candidate was brought to my attention as being un-American, and will ensure that the person they don’t like might make it into the White House.

Enough already.

I know when you are sitting at home, or in your office, alone, your comments seem pithy and witty. You get lots of likes from those who agree, and some debate from those who don’t, but the majority of us are rolling our eyes and wondering:

“Did he really just say that?”

or

“Wow, I thought she had better common sense than to post that … and her FB feed is open.”

And then they’re asking themselves,

“Do I want them coming in and remodeling my bathroom?”

or

“Wow, I was going to ask them for some spiritual advice, but they’re not really acting too spiritual. I suppose I’ll have to seek help elsewhere.”

or

“Well, they did say. ‘Screw all the [other political party] a$$h****.’ I guess I’ll take my business elsewhere.”

Oh, wait, that was me thinking all those things.

I believe in open political discourse. I am open about my politics, but I am respectful of yours. I keep my “partisan” political opinions to myself, and I refuse to participate in the political-party baiting of one another. It does not shift the other person’s opinions, and only creates animosity amongst people who used to be friends, colleagues, or business acquaintances.

At the end of the day, the majority of us will never, ever, ever meet or have interactions with the presidential political candidates, but we will have to work and interact with one another.

How about we all take a deep breath, and before hitting that post button ask ourselves:

IS IT TRUE?

IS IT KIND?

IS IT NECESSARY?

In our industry, it’s about being known, liked and trusted. Unless you live and interact in a bubble and prescreen everyone you will ever come into contact with, you actually know people who will passionately vote for the other guy or gal. You will work with people who don’t share your opinions on any hot-button topic. And you know what? That’s a good thing.

If we can all create a little buffer around our mouths and keyboards, perhaps we can learn something new, and maybe, just maybe, change a viewpoint or two.

  • You nailed it Heather. We don’t all have to agree. But in business, we do need to get along. I have removed at least 10% of “friends” (IRL friends and colleagues!) from my FB stream because of the nasty politic they preach. Who started that? I dunno. If they only knew the impact. Hope they read your post. What I do know is that most folks wouldn’t say that stuff in person to a crowd of, oh, 950 or so personal and business acquaintances. Right? I know of one biz acquaintance who I had to unfriend because the memes she posted were so offensive and I knew I could never (a) do business with them or (b) refer them to a client. So bold, so proud to say their mind virtually. It’s a slippery slope.

  • Spot on, Jayne. There are people I will never hire, refer, or recommend based on the vitriol that is taking place on Facebook right now.

    The question I would ask all of us to consider is: “Would you coach a lawyer that it is okay to walk into a ballroom at an industry conference and start sharing their partisan political opinions so loudly that everyone else can hear?”

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