Are You Ready to Be Part of the Solution?

All politicians are corrupt and only looking out for their own interests.

Hopefully, you don’t really believe this. But if you do, spend a few moments asking yourself why. Is it because of what you see on television, read in the newspaper or just comments by people you follow on social media? If that is the case, remember you are only getting a very brief synopsis of an incident, or especially in today’s word, perhaps, fake news. It is one person’s opinion or narrative of what transpired. And how often is it only the most outrageous or headline grabbing stories are actually reported?

There’s always more to a story than the hype.

November 6, 2018, was the mid-term elections nationwide with a historically large voter turnout. And if you stood in line for early voting or on Election Day, or even waved signs for your favorite candidate, I hoped you noticed what was happening. People with very different political and philosophical beliefs were actually having cordial conversations with each other.

I remember back in the 2008 presidential election standing in line to vote for over three hours. But no one ever complained, not once! We were all there to do our civic duty. It didn’t matter what our party affiliation was, everyone was respectful of their fellow Americans, because we were all there for the same purpose…to share our voice.

This scene played out across the country then, and again in 2018, but unfortunately didn’t get much media coverage because it defies the perception that politics is an ugly business. And for the states that experienced recounts in 2018, this opinion was perpetuated by constant stream of social media finger pointing by both political parties.

But the reality? The majority of people have gone back to their day-today lives. One of my dearest friends has political philosophies that are very different than mine. So one of the first things we do after many significant political events is meet for dinner and talk politics. In fact we both look forward to the lively debate. But at the end of every evening, we walk away with our friendship still very much intact and even more respectful of each other’s beliefs.

But if you believe politics is sleazy and the politician’s corrupt based upon these perceptions… then don’t be part of the problem, but the solution by getting involved and help change them!

This starts by always being respectful of the person and the office. Elections are over which means the winner is the winner. You can’t change that now so don’t let your personal feelings get in the way of your professional judgment. If you are a leader in your community, or CEO of a company, constituents or your employees and clients are listening to what you say, and many place a high value on your opinion.

Attacking legislators only serves to further the perception that all politicians are alike and only looking out for their own interests. And whether you do it through social media or in a public forum, you never know if their friend or a supporter will hear or read your comments and convey them to the lawmaker. If you disagree with them, try to talk privately and really listen to what they have to say. You may discover there is much more to the story and their decision making process than you know.

Politicians are human, just like you. They are committed (just like you) to make a positive difference in their communities. And most adhere to the highest moral standards. They are honest, hard-working individuals. You can help them and your organization, city or business succeed by looking past the “political noise” and focus on opportunities to work together for the betterment of the people you serve.

Excerpt from “A Journey to Yes, How to Influence Leaders to Get What You Want” by Kathy Till. Scheduled to be published in March.

Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy