Let’s talk politics

 

While I can’t speak on behalf of other countries, I’ve spent 23 years of my life (minus 4 months) in the US. From the day I was born and hopefully not till the die, I have witnessed the volatile stigma that is US politics. Politics in the US isn’t rational, it’s emotional and therein lies the problem.

The Problem

The problem is simple, we don’t talk politics. I’ve spent 5 years in the college of business and it’s always the same story. I’ve invested a lot of time in my communication skills and one common theme is, “don’t talk politics”. Why? Because it’s a sensitive topic. Why is it a sensitive topic? Because we don’t have open discourse. See the paradox? And the same applies for the US as a whole. Instead of having open discussion about the political process, we judge and divide, we pick sides. Emotions run wild. It’s absolutely absurd and could easily be avoided with a simple concept, “don’t make it personal”. Instead, that’s all anyone ever does. It’s very common in the US when you meet for the holidays to avoid politics like the plague because once someone starts talking, usually the college students (good on us), we’re hounded by our older, “wiser” relatives. Or we simply make observations and we’re told that we’re wrong and that we should “read” more. Where’s the respect in that? Respect doesn’t go one way, it goes both ways. I truly believe the young can be just as wise, if not wiser than our older counterparts and yet are we treated as such? No, instead we are looked down upon. I’m not saying this is the case with every family, but it’s common enough to the point where it needs to be addressed. It’s culturally ingrained that we do not speak politics in the US! How insane is that? Where does it start? It starts with the family. Families have an obligation to teach the young to respect politics by understanding politics.

When I voted for the first time 4 years ago, I was so excited. To have the ability to influence democracy and vote based on policy. I respected Mitt Romney as much as I respected Obama. The discourse during the debates was civil and I could see both sides of the issues being addressed. At the end of the day, I chose Obama. Why? Because I liked his policies best. See? Does that seem so bad? Does that make you angry? No! How easy is that? That’s a very basic example, but it illustrates my point so well. But let’s add another element to the story, when I decided to talk about who I voted for to my family. The moment I said “Obama” it was over. It was all criticism. It was “Obama did this, Obama did that”, “Obama takes jobs away, he’s going to make it so difficult”. So what did I do after that? Did I talk more about politics with my family? No. I shut my mouth because it wasn’t a discussion, it was an argument. It’s absolutely disgusting that this is even an issue. And that it is so common. What’s worse is because a lot of people feel they can’t talk openly about politics with their family, they think this applies to the rest of life as well. Strangers, friends, etc. Where are the liberals and conservatives coming together, because right now it’s simply a free-for-all, with everyone pointing the finger. Well, I say enough is enough. So what then, is the solution?

The Solution

The solution is simple. And it is… Drum roll please. Open dialogue! Yes it starts with simply talking politics. But of course, you may be asking “How, where do I even begin”? Well, let me to tell you.

The How

  1. Listen – Yes listening is the first step. Hear what the other side has to say and go in with an open mind. Obviously you’re not going to agree on everything and that’s a good thing! If we always agreed, there’d be no reason to talk with anybody.
  2. Ask questions – What a novel concept! You’re confused on a point? Ask a question and keep digging, “seek to understand, then seek to be understood”. It’s not rocket science! Saying someone is wrong and you’re right will get you nowhere.
  3. Offer a new perspective – Expand on the questions! Ask follow up questions! Then offer your perspective! Chances are you’ll have a meaningful discussion and both parties will walk away happier.

So there you have it, we’ve taken a simple problem with a simple solution and made it overly complex. It’s time to change and that starts with the individual. If we want a better tomorrow, we have to fight for it today. So feel free to discuss, share, and re-post this article. Stay classy people.

A Donald Trump America: A nation divided

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” – Abraham Lincoln



The Road Ahead

As an American, I’m disappointed. I’ve taken some time to sit and collect myself as not to say anything I might soon come to regret. In fact, normally I would say nothing at all. Throughout my time in college I’ve learned to be politically correct and avoid controversial topics as not to set any fires. I’ve always had great respect for those who have advised me throughout my college journey and am forever grateful in the role they’ve played in helping me become the man I am today. Yet in this chapter of my life, I must do what I feel is right. So with that, you may be asking…

How did this happen?

Many laughed when Donald trump first announced his bid, and although I thought it was a long shot, I’ve never ruled out the possibility of Trump becoming our president.It was a nice diversion, a distraction from routine and quite an entertaining show to watch. This has not been the first time Donald Trump has made a bid for the office of presidency. In the past he’s always said he will run and “fix” this country, but as I would joke in elementary school, he simply needed ratings for celebrity apprentice.

The Media

Like I said, it was a great story. You’d be crazy not to cover Donald Trump. People love drama and excitement, and Donald Trump definitely provided plenty of it. Every week you could count on something new. Whether it was the Republican debates or simply whatever Donald Trump did in between, there was always something. But the thing is, the media covered Donald Trump too much. Instead of letting his 15 minutes of fame fade into the abyss, they propelled it towards space. And with all the news, Donald Trump could cherry pick. And he did. So he created an image of “evil” media, so that whatever was said, it would be “bad” and “untrustworthy”, or better yet, “rigged”.

The Silent “Majority”

Believe it or not, The electoral college does not represent the majority. It’s an outdated system meant for a bygone era. It worked in its time, but now it poses a detriment to democracy. Take a step back and think. Does it make any sense that someone can win the popular vote (which Hillary did) yet lose the  presidency? The popular vote, as its name implies, represents the entire nation. The majority of us did not vote for Donald Trump, we voted for Hillary.  A small minority of bigots (yes, I do not use this term lightly) used the electoral college to their advantage. Groups, such as the KKK, endorsed Donald Trump and showed up at the polls to cast their votes. I’m not saying all who voted for Donald Trump are bigots, I am simply saying that the majority of the minority is. Yes there is an appeal for Donald Trump as champion of the common man, but that he is not (that image is built on a foundation of lies).

James Comey

James Comey, the director of the FBI. Some may hail him as a hero, but a hero he is not. Comey directly (or as some might say, indirectly) intervened with the election process. I find it hard to believe that Comey couldn’t wait until after the election to continue his investigation into the Clinton emails. I am so sick and tired about hearing about the “emails”.  If you want something to talk about, let’s talk about Donald Trump being on trial for fraud, where he ripped off God knows how many students of not only their money but their future with Trump University. And perhaps (not perhaps) even worse, he’s due to stand trial for sexual assault after he is sworn into office. He has dozen of charges against him; what message is this sending? Hillary is by no means perfect, but my God. However, coming back to James Comey, I would like to say that it is a sad day when the FBI has become above the law, where the rules of democracy simply don’t apply and they’re allowed free reign. I used to have so much respect for our national security agencies but after this… So James Comey, instead of reading emails, how about you read this; if you’re any kind of decent human being, you should resign from your position. You should absolutely be ashamed of yourself. You claim Hillary was negligent (which she was and she admitted) but have you taken a look in the mirror?

Not my president

I love my country and I am proud to be an American. There is no need to make america great again because we live in one of the greatest countries in the world. Yet Donald Trump tore this nation down and made a complete mockery of us, played us for fools. Donald Trump found the biggest loophole in our system (the electoral college) and exploited it by focusing his campaign around bigotry. The world doesn’t see the majority of Americans, they see the man who is now in “charge”.  I personally will not stand by and watch democracy fail, to watch Donald Trump undo a decade worth of progress under Obama.

We the People

“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” – Edmund Burke

We have a voice.  I am not going to sit idly by and watch my country burn. It is time for change and we are that change. If one man can tear down a nation, then imagine what a collective of progressive individuals can do. America is the land of the free and we have a right to exercise our freedoms. Our constitution and declaration of independence insure these rights. If we do not like our government, we have the right to do something about it. But as a united nation. Donald Trump led a campaign of hate and this is not what our forefathers fought for. United. States. Can it be more self explanatory? So instead of tearing each other down, lets plant our feet firmly and fight. We will not go quietly and we will not go alone.