THAT’S my best advice at this point in time….well, also, JUST CALM DOWN. It’s pretty amazing that so many people from so many corners of our country and from so many diverse beliefs are taking a stand and expressing themselves — and according to media reports, many voting for the first time in their lives.
And since that upward trend of getting involved for the first time is significant, my suggestion is that we listen to ALL of the opinions….But I think it would be easier to do so if the opinions were delivered in a more “digestible manner.” I don’t know about you, but I quit listening when someone is yelling. In fact, it’s a pretty automatic response for most people. Yelling evokes mild fear, sometimes far more than mild fear. Consequently a defensive posture clicks in….we are ready to protect ourselves and our position, even if the threat is verbal vs physical. But I also quit listening when the same thing is repeated over and over rather than providing an expansion on the belief or opinion being stated. Consequently out of control rallies, slogans being chanted/yelled…and especially threats and some acts of violence distract us all from the important underlying messages. So, what are they?
Obviously people are angry. People are out of work, or making so little money even when working hard, that every area of life becomes a struggle — health, education, food on the table! It’s possible that many of the people in our country who are doing well are actually paying too little attention to those who are NOT doing well — not doing well at all! And it’s serious. A recent article in The Atlantic reports that 47% of the people in the U.S. would not be able to handle a $400 personal or family emergency. That’s serious!
It makes sense that the psychology of the financially disadvantaged fuels a search for a potential leader who HEARS what they are saying….and equally important, possesses the belief system, the knowledge and capability to act on what the needs of so many disenfranchised people in our country actually need.
The media analyzes constantly, and often in an inflammatory manner that makes real dialogue unlikely. So how much do we know about the motivation of people who hold views dramatically different from our own? We may be paying too much attention to the revolutionary aspects of this current campaign — analyzing and predicting — vs getting to the deep understanding necessary to figure out what makes thousands stand in line for hours to hear a candidate as well as vote for that person for the first time.
People are afraid! Fear is what fuels the anger. The anger separates us from one another. The divisions intensify and we are more likely to say “what could these individuals be thinking?” vs really trying to understand what has motivated this swell of people “showing up” in this campaign.
What about some in depth interviews with angry voters, and protesters, and those who show up at rallies? How good are you at talking across the differences you feel with people who support a candidate you do not? I must confess it’s truly hard for me…but I’m working on it. I’m fearful we do not understand the breadth and depth of the changes we see in this political year. And I’m convinced we need to get our hands and arms around the reality of where the changes are taking us. And that we need to make sure we elect a leader who has the knowledge, the skills, the experience, and the will to make our country work for everyone.
Listen to Dr. Linda Moore and Mike Manko discuss politcs on the SteveAndMikeRadio.com podcast.