This is not a political blog. It never will be, nor should it be. It’s a blog about business and digital marketing. My goal in writing it is to provide tips and insights that business owners can use to improve their advertising and enhance their digital presence. I even had a wonderful personal story about a job interview ready to post last week. However, with the uncertainty facing us as a country following the recent elections, I feel the need to share my thoughts on our situation.
I posted this to my personal social media last week in response to other’s reactions. It was my way of staying calm through a chaotic period. Often, the best reaction to such tumult is to stay measured and analyze the situation, planning your next course of action by what is known at the time. There’s your business lesson for this week, kids.
I didn’t expect the reaction that my post received.
Many strong reactions, especially about my closing thoughts. Seriously, if you choose to read this, stay with it to the end. Tons of likes, comments and shares later, I feel the need to bring it to a greater audience, or at least give it a permanent home. It was even submitted (not by me, I should add) to the local newspaper to run as election commentary.
So that’s why I share it now here on the Digital Pudding blog. Feel free to ignore it. I’ll be back with your regularly scheduled business and marketing advice next week. Promise.
To the side that lost, you lost. This awful election is over, and we can all claim some sense of relief from that. No amount of sulking, fear or anger is going to change the outcome. Take a moment to mourn if you must and come back stronger, learning from the battle.
To the side that won, you won. More than you bargained for, in all likelihood. Do so gracefully. There’s no need for gloating, destructive meme sharing or otherwise foul behavior. You’re now on the clock with a target on your back. Run fast.
To third party vote-shamers, shame on you. This is America. Our free elections guarantee citizens the right to share their one vote with whomever they so desire, no matter how superfluous. Political parties are private organizations. It takes true believers to get them moving.
To those making some sort of martyr out of our president elect, don’t do that. He has been driven entirely by self-interest his whole life. This is no exception. He is not sacrificing his way of life just to make the country a better place. There are significant benefits to him, his friends and his business empire for becoming president. Anyone who says otherwise isn’t paying attention.
To those rationalizing this as not as bad as it seems, don’t do that either. This man’s ascendance has been reasoned away every step of the process as a necessary part of the overall narrative. We didn’t think he’d win the nomination, let alone the presidency. We were wrong. Given that, it’s dangerous underestimate his ability to unilaterally alter the geopolitical landscape in ways not seen in decades. We are right to be nervous about the consequences.
To liberals, hope is not lost. Progress is often made in fits and starts. While some of what you’ve done in recent years will indeed be reversed, some of it will stick. Take those victories and build on them when the pendulum inevitably swings back toward progress. Use the tools you have available to you to affect more change. This isn’t a time to be sad. It’s a time to be invigorated by the possibilities of the future. If this election taught us anything, it’s that people can still make a difference when they act on their sincerely and deeply held beliefs.
To conservatives, this is your moment. You’ve spent the last 8 years as a party of obstruction. As of January 20th, 2017, you will control every major branch of federal government. You are taking over a relatively prosperous economy, an increasingly free society and a tenuous yet stable global situation. Americans are counting on you to improve from where we are. From that date forward, you must be held responsible for any outcome, good or bad, that results from your actions. You need to govern. There are no excuses.
To my child entering this world shortly after Inauguration Day, I love you. While you’re coming into a country more divided than it’s been at any point in the past 150 years, know that your family will always be united in our support for you. People will hurt you. People will disappoint you. Some things won’t go your way and you will have no control over it. This is called “adversity” and it’s up to you to rise to it. Your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles will always be here to comfort you in times of despair, guide you when you are lost and love you unconditionally. Be strong. Be curious. Be gracious. Be the best person you can be.