Politics: It’s Personal

13 Nov 2016

politics

I’m reading through all of the comments from the past election – before, during, and after – and it reminds me why I rarely say anything about politics. It’s a breeding ground of chaos, especially online. Some of my colleagues had the guts to say what I would never, and I give them credit. It’s not easy to voice concerns as leaders in an industry that advocates avoidance in order to protect a brand.

First, I want to share that I value our country. My Dad is a veteran. My husbands’ Dad is a veteran. Our grandparents were veterans.  We believe in country. Our family would die for it, which gives us great honor.

But, patriotism and political activism are not the same.

What I’ve found, especially from this past election, is that the way we vote – and the honorable, but mostly deplorable announcements of our preferred candidate – is a personal choice.

Should anyone feel the need to claim misogyny or anarchy – or worse – well, that’s an entirely individual decision. Everything about this election was personal. And, as such, should probably stay that way.

I confess that I considered voicing my opinion on a myriad of different matters, but I remembered the age-old saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

I would like to add to that, “If you don’t know shit [about politics], don’t say anything at all.”

Admittedly, I don’t follow politics consistently because I don’t fully understand it. And, well, I’ve never been able to make the connection between how political appointees affect our daily life, as individuals. I hear isolated stories, which gives me hope. But, the majority of us put so much weight in the presidential election that’s it’s easy to lose sight of what’s happening in our own backyard.

Most of us are uninformed. This is my PSA to remain mindful of what we say in relation to what we actually know – especially online.

As my client says at the end of his posts (which are now syndicated), take my advice for what it is… it’s just as I see it.


Comments

  1. Kris Bradley Says: November 14, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Love this post because you not only communicate the importance of preserving your brand integrity when you post online, but you also bring up an important point which is if you don’t have a true understanding of political science and each candidates platform, then you should be very careful trying to establish yourself as an expert in a subject that you are anything but.

    What bothered me the most about the posts that I’ve unfortunately had to see re: this election (paying particular attention to those professionals that I have connected with on social media) is that they often didn’t show me any knowledge or true understanding of the candidates, but they had no problem sharing online articles that were NOT credible. It was like they didn’t have the balls to share their own thoughts, instead they hid behind articles that supported their agenda while completely disregarding the articles credibility.

    • Rachel Strella Says: November 14, 2016 at 10:56 am

      Very interesting observation, Kris. I wonder if they were trying to self-manage by sharing articles without additional commentary. Or, maybe they didn’t know how to articulate what they wanted to say, but they agreed with the article. I guess you could make the argument for or against this tactic, depending on how you look at it. I suppose, for me, I would prefer that they share articles rather than rant-off about something, particularly if they didn’t know what they were talking about. But, I could see how it could be annoyance – perhaps even passive aggressive, too. I would need to know more about what ‘not credible’ means in terms of the sharing, to be sure.

      I appreciate your insight. You have given me something to consider for next election!

      • Kris Bradley Says: November 14, 2016 at 11:00 am

        The articles that they were sharing contained a massive amount of information that was not credible and that communicated things about the candidates that were not true. Some of the articles were so bad that I was shocked that these people that I have a high opinion of shared them and unfortunately that negatively affected my perception of them as professionals.

        • Rachel Strella Says: November 14, 2016 at 11:07 am

          I am not sure why the shock factor is of value to people. It’s clear that those types of articles are misinformed. But, based on what you’ve said here, perhaps that’s what these folks are thinking – internally – and this is the only way they felt comfortable voicing it. Needless to say, it’s not helping their community or their credibility, if the information is inaccurate.

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