I almost never talk about politics with people. Well, certain people I can and no, its not always the people who are sitting on my side of the fence. I like a good debate every now and again. I’ve always believed to understand one side, you have to understand the other. Only way to make an informed decision. But mostly, I don’t talk politics because for a person like me, its a personal thing. I have a right to vote, which means I have the right to vote for the candidate I believe is best. Doesn’t make it right. Just makes it my vote.
This years election seems to be so emotionally charged that a conversation turns into an argument. Or perhaps it starts in an argument. And never even really an argument about the issues.
I started this election thinking one thing, then changed sides, and now? Daffy Duck would make a better president. What I’m really sick of, and I know its been in campaigns since the beginning of time, is the trash talk. I know, it happens every election. Either my tolerance for it has changed, or the trash talk has gotten worse. Worse than a hockey game, and trust me, there is some nasty trash talk there.
I watched the first good hour of the debate last night. I heard very few solutions. However, I did hear a lot about locker room talk, emails, Bill’s sexual exploits, etc. The interesting thing about this election, to me, is not about who is most qualified to run this country. Or who is best suited to run this country. Who has the best interests of ALL Americans. Its about who can elicit the most emotion in the general public. Normally, I’d say that’s a good thing. Its important for people to care. To get out and vote. Emotion brings that out. But what our presidential candidates are doing is creating a negative atmosphere where the world is focusing on what is wrong. Not how to fix what is wrong. And certainly not what is right.
Negativity feeds negativity. Same goes for positive. But it seems negativity is the stronger of the two. Of course, that takes me to Zombie land, simply because I think if the world were to have an apocalypse of any kind, its the bad people and corrupt people who would rise to power. And we’ve taken a lot of whack jobs to power. Read the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Fascinating reading.
I was honestly pretty disgusted by the debate last night. I remember as a little girl watching debates. I just watched All The Way, about Lyndon B. Johnson. That was a really good movie. The first election I remember was Nixon. Of course, then there was Watergate. Another good movie, All The Presidents Men. Hal Holbrook played Deep Throat. I’m distantly related to Hall (my maiden name is Holbrook), so of course I became fascinated with that movie. And oh yeah, Robert Redford! But I digress.
Back in the day, when I majored in Business with a concentration and in Marketing and Sales, we learned in Advertising 101 that its better not to rely on negative campaigns. Leave the competition out of the advertisement, focusing on the theme, image, and benefits of your product. Anyone who grew up in the 70’s probably can recite the words to this ad for Coke. Its a classic. And what it did was invoke a POSITIVE feeling about the product. Brilliant!
But today, we have negative ads. Though this ad for sprint is both positive and negative. But when I took advertising and when I worked as a product trainer, the idea was not to have to put down the competition to make a sale, but focus only on the qualities of the product. This sprint ad puts Verizon down. Actually mentions the competition.
So why do we have to go down the negativity rabbit hole? Come on people. Doesn’t that Coke ad make you feel all warm and fuzzy? Feeling good is as good as if not better than feeling outraged, yes? I know its not the new year, but hell, I’m all about feeling positive now. Negativity just messes with the important things. Also messes with getting things done. All that negativity is why no matter who is president, all this blubbering they are doing about making changes, well it won’t get done. And what does get done? I don’t have faith that it will benefit the masses. I want a president who will look at people’s strengths. Focus on what they can do, not their past mistakes. There is a saying. Live and learn. I feel like politicians don’t live and learn. They just rant.
When I was in Madagascar, just a few days ago, I saw an entirely different world. Talk about a corrupt government. Geez. I was in my daughters local town, where she teaches English. The town had such a strong sense of community it made me want to go live there forever. In that village. I didn’t care there isn’t a waste management system in place and garbage is everywhere. I didn’t care that there was no running water and I had to fetch water from a well to take a bucket bath. I didn’t have time to contemplate the meaning of my life. It was all about daily existence and looking out for your neighbor. Like when we’d go on these excursions at a few the “resorts” we stayed at when we left my daughters town. If we didn’t finish all the food that was prepared for us, it was shared with the locals.
Madagascar is the 7th poorest country in the world, yet I found the majority of the people to be the kindest, nicest, welcoming, caring, and friendly group of people I have ever meet. In general, they are a positive group. Something we all could learn from. I’m sure that’s not true of the entire culture, but I totally understand why my daughter has chosen to live 2+ years there.
Go do something nice for a neighbor. Buy a homeless person a meal. Step outside of yourself for one moment and keep the world company… its the real thing.