2016 Election: Rutabaga or Turnip? (EP.97)

2016 Election

Summary

Don’t like this choice? How about a choice between leftover cube steak and a bunless hot dog? This is how about a third of the electorate saw the 2016 Presidential choice. In round numbers, about a third hated DJT, another third hated HRC, and the last third hated the choice. Yes, many voters genuinely wanted one candidate or the other, and were quite happy with their choice. I am in the third that was unhappy with the choice I faced. Of the 17 Republican primary candidates, I saw Trump as my 18th choice, but then Republicans selected him as their standard bearer. Despite Sanders’ best efforts, that result was never in doubt on the other side; there was never a chance that Clinton would not be the Democratic candidate.

If you were happy with your choice, then I’m happy for you.

However, with 130 million votes being cast, that means about 43 million voters were disgusted with the choice they faced. For the next 10 minutes, we will unpack what that means for the future of our Republic.

Transcript

Don’t like this choice? How about a choice between leftover cube steak and a bunless hot dog? This is how about a third of the electorate saw the 2016 Presidential choice. In round numbers, about a third hated DJT, another third hated HRC, and the last third hated the choice. Yes, many voters genuinely wanted one candidate or the other, and were quite happy with their choice. I am in the third that was unhappy with the choice I faced. Of the 17 Republican primary candidates, I saw Trump as my 18th choice, but then Republicans selected him as their standard bearer. Despite Sanders’ best efforts, that result was never in doubt on the other side; there was never a chance that Clinton would not be the Democratic candidate.

If you were happy with your choice, then I’m happy for you.However, with 130 million votes being cast, that means about 43 million voters were disgusted with the choice they faced. For the next 10 minutes, we will unpack what that means for the future of our Republic.

Here is the evolution of the thinking that I have seen since the 60s when I first started voting. Caution, this is highly anecdotal, but still revealing.

  • “I like this guy a bit better than his opponent.”
  • “The other guy is not at all to my liking.”
  • “I could never–ever–vote for the other guy.”
  • The people who voted for X are idiots, and have no idea of what is good for them. By voting for X, they have proven that they have betrayed their race/gender/class.” (Pick one or more.)
  • The Jackson Pollack approach to voting mail-in ballots. Spill spaghetti sauce on the ballot, let it dry, and turn it in. (Okay, a little dark humor.)
  • “Not My President!”
  • Overturn the election, and change the Constitution so this can never happen again. Both parties are capable of that.

There is a ratchet effect here, creating evermore polarization, division and, increasingly, hatred. Divide and conquer is an age-old strategy, used by rulers and other leaders to do exactly that; divide and conquer. Many of our leaders do this to advantage their careers and their party. All to our detriment. Think about this for a moment; no matter who wins, this kind of deepening division will take us all down. If we stay on this path, one side will emerge triumphant, and the other defeated. That’s clearly a formula for more hating, and more fighting. Including physical fighting.

Today’s Key Point: If we want better candidates and better office holders, we need to be better voters. If let them, our leaders will continue to further divide us for their benefit. If we let them, and so far it seems to be working for them quite well. We’re falling for it. We often quote talking points from the politicians and media we favor. We listen to the voices who all share the same viewpoints, then go with that. We need to do at least a little thinking for ourselves. We were not designed to be parrots or recording machines. Here’s an example; I consult six different news sources, sources with different biases and viewpoints, before I think I think anything. And it is where those sources all overlap that the truth lies.

Knowing history is also key. So much of what we are seeing and facing today has been played out before. What were those historical results? What can be applied to our thinking today so that we do not to make the same mistakes–and can repeat the successes? We all want to trust the media and our politicians, but it is irresponsible if we trust but don’t verify. Get the facts, dig for the truth, then go back to and check to see which sources are worth trusting, and which sources are not worth trusting. Trustworthy sources are becoming like unicorns. We must all do our homework.

Q. What’s the key to finding the truth? A. Wanting to find the truth, and not just wanting to reinforce our current thinking. We have to be more open to learning, and possibly being wrong, than looking to shore up our need to be right. Come to think of it, maybe that’s today’s point. What are your thoughts?

Think about what the 43 million voters who were deeply unhappy with their 2016 choice want today. Do they want a 3rd Party? They might be somewhat mollified if one of the major parties came up with a candidate more to their liking, but for 2020 that does not seem likely. Will they vote for an existing minor party, or would they consider that to be wasting their votes? Might they get so disgusted as to not vote at all?

All of us, all three thirds of the voters; happy Clinton and Trump voters and the miserable last third, need to want our country to succeed, regardless of which party wins on which policy debate. This is not about which party wins, it is about our country winning. And we need all three thirds to sit down in the boat and row. After all, we have only one government at a time. This does not mean that we compromise any of our individual principles and beliefs; it means that we get it that we are on a Team of Rivals. That was Lincoln’s approach to governing. And Franklin Roosevelt used that method as well, much to our country’s advantage in WWII. Rivals, even ones we do not like, have much to contribute. Here’s Lincoln on that subject. “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.” -Abe Lincoln. I am working on rising to that standard.

All of this ties to the core, driving principles at Revolution 2.0, which are:

  1. Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
  2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.

If we apply those two core principles simultaneously, never only one or the other, we will always be on the right path. Depending upon what we face, one principle or the other may appropriately be given more emphasis, but they are always acted upon together.

The Founders, Revolution 1.0,  were declared traitors by the British Crown, and their lives were forfeit if caught. We risk very little by stepping up and participating in Revolution 2.0™. . In fact, we risk our futures if we don’t. I am inviting you, recruiting you, to join Revolution 2.0™ today. Join with me in using what we know how to do–what we know we must do–to everyone’s advantage. Let’s practice thinking well of others as we seek common goals, research the facts that apply to those goals, and use non agenda-based reasoning to achieve those goals together. Practice personal responsibility and be your brother’s keeper.

Let’s continue to build on the revolutionary vision that we inherited. Read the blog, listen to the podcast, subscribe, recruit, act. Here’s what I mean my “acting.”

  • Read the blogs and/or listen to the podcasts.
  • Comment in the blogs. Let others know that you are thinking.
  • Subscribe and recommend that others subscribe as well.
  • Attach links from blogs into your social media feeds. Share your thoughts about the link.
  • From time-to-time, attach links to blogs in emails that mention related subjects. Or just send the links to family and friends.

Revolution 1.0 in 1776 was built by people talking to other people, agreeing and disagreeing, but always finding ways to stay united and going forward. Revolution 2.0 will be built the same way.

And visit the store. Fun stuff, including hats, mugs and t-shirts. Recommend other items that you’d like to see.

Join me. Let’s grow this together.

Links and References

You Can Be Right, Or You Can Change the World

Compromise

Time For a Third Party

Team of Rivals

Contact

As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the blog with comments or questions about this podcast or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google, or Stitcher.

Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act.  And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.

Remember: Knowledge by itself is like running a winning race, then stopping just before the finish line.

Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

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Will Luden

I am your host, Will Luden, former long-time high-tech CEO and Board Chair. I had no idea when I started this podcast that it would become the highest calling of my professional career. Lincoln famously hoped that a government, “…of the people, by the people and for the people…”, would not perish from this earth. My hope, the reason for Revolution 2.0 ”A Booster Shot”, is that a government based on common goals, achieved by applying non agenda-based reasoning to core facts, will allow us to continue to build on our mutual inheritance of a legacy of dedication to seemingly impossible ideals, a legacy that also includes a history of achieving them.
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