Thursday, November 10, 2016

Split Decision: The 2016 Presidential Election

 Image result for trump clinton debate

It has been an emotional time for many as this tumultuous election season comes to a close. Many Americans are satisfied with the outcome of the election and many aren't.  It saddens me to read the venom on facebook from people on both sides of the political spectrum. Winning with grace and losing with dignity seems to be a lesson just out of reach at the moment. 

I am fortunate that I have a diverse group of friends ranging from staunch Republican to ultra liberal Democrats. From my LGBT and professor friends to my military and law enforcement com padres', perspectives often clash in their views of how things are and should be. I love them all (people not views), even when I don't agree with them.

The greatness of our country is that we have a government where we hold public elections, choose and change political officials without the violence of a bloody revolution (for the most part). We have a system of checks and balances and term limits. We live with compromise. Compromise means that everyone doesn't always get what they want all of the time. It ebbs and flows.

If you don' t like what's happening in our government right now don't get too upset, it can change. We designed it that way. If you like what happening and are happy with what's going on, don't get too comfortable, because this can change too! Get involved! The least thing you can do is vote. If you want to make more of a difference get more involved. Go to meetings, communicate with your elected officials, serve on a committee or run for office!


Each of us has the power to influence. If you want people to consider another viewpoint, overly negative emotional rants, hate filled social media posts, arguments and other forms of brow-beatings will not change the minds of people who are on the other side of the argument. Venting your feelings and fears in a negative way may feel good in the moment, but after it passes the feeling of regret generally settles in to replace the fervor of the previous moment. Debate and colorful discussions are good, but when respect, empathy and dignity is lost, typically so is the chance to persuade. Live your message, treat people with dignity, be educated on your subject and lead through inspiration. Remember, we're all in this together. Although we have our differences, we are on the same team.


I am fortunate to travel a fair amount (more than some, less than others) and although the US isn't perfect, IMO we're still the best game out there. There's no other place I really want to hang my hat (no, not even Canada... well, maybe Australia, at least in the winter).

Keep going America!

Best,
~Craig
 


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