What is your central motivator in your political statements and actions? Are you driven more by a deep sense of being “for” something or “against” something?
Everywhere I look many days, it seems like I see people spending more time and energy devoted to their strong feelings of dislike than in acting in service towards what they want to strengthen.
Recently, current Presidential candidate, businessman and entertainer Donald Trump decided to hold a Twitter campaign encouraging people to ask him a question. Instead of getting many intelligent questions, his offer simply opened the door to a barrage of online insults from people who don’t like him.
On another occasion, I watched a Periscope live video of a speech by Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. The onscreen Twitter-like commentary from viewers was filled by such a large number of people expressing their dislike of him that I had to turn off the commentary so I couldn’t see it.
Our Republican Congress has repeated voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act all the while knowing there was no chance of any of those actions ever going into effect. I have yet to see a reasonable bill introduced that would offer an alternative to addressing the issue of the large uninsured population in our country — a problem with which the bill is helping, even if imperfectly.
A recent round up of studies reports that more and more political advertisements focus on a negative message than a positive one.
Of course, one can also watch cable news commentary programs if they haven’t had enough of negativity! It seems like most of it is about creating “debate drama”.
Time to Evaluate our Focus
Many of us are holding on to disliking – if not outright “hating” — someone or something. Your enemy may be an individual you know in person — or it could be someone in the public eye that you have never met. Your enemy could be a specific person — or it could be a nameless, faceless group of people that you have decided for some reason to despise. Or, your enemy could be a policy or political position that pushes your buttons.
Ask yourself this — do I spend more time pushing against those things I “hate” or more time in support of that which I “love”?
If your honest answer is that you consume more time and energy on the negative, then I would suggest you reevaluate your political approach to life. Is that really how you want to show up in the world? Angry and negative?
Positive Political World
What would a world of positive politics look like? Here are a few things I think it might exhibit:
- Political advertisements would focus on the policies of the person they support rather than attacking their opponent or the other position.
- Television news programs would model respectful behavior, allowing each person to express their opinion and the opportunity to be heard. Individuals would exhibit their true understanding of the other person’s statements. Differences of opinion would focus on the policies they support and avoid tearing down the other person or their beliefs.
- Online dialogue would be respectful. Those who disagree with someone (or don’t like them), would either offer their alternative ideas in a constructive way — or simply ignore the person and the posting.
- Politicians would work together across party lines, focusing on solutions to concerns, seeking win-win resolutions rather than attempting to win at the cost of the other.
- Politicians would publicly state what they are supportive of rather than spending time tearing down the beliefs of others.
- Politicians who disagree with laws that are enacted would not attempt to repeal them without first developing some other law to take its place that would serve to solve the original problem.
- Politicians who continue to focus on the negative would be replaced by more positive politicians.
I know you think this sounds like a pipe dream, but you have to admit that it certainly sounds better than our current political environment.
What would you add to this list? [Post your thoughts below.]
Personal Positive Actions
Of course, a world of positive politics starts with each individual. It takes you and I both evaluating our actions and shifting how we show up in the world in our personal sphere of influence.
Here are a few suggestions to help us get started:
- Avoid political programs that focus on confrontation and negativity. Write them and let them know how you feel about their focus.
- Avoid negative and argumentative online debates. Yes, state your opinion and hold firm in your beliefs, but in doing so, don’t attack the other person or spend your time pushing against their ideas.
- Write your congressional persons and let them know that you want them to model public actions that show dignity and respect for everyone, even those who are from different parties or hold different beliefs.
- Support politicians who are respectful to others, even those who believe differently from themselves.
- Support politicians who run positive advertisements and avoid negative campaigning.
- Support politicians who “work across the aisle” to find real solutions and move us forward on positive governmental actions. Write them and let them know you support what they are doing.
- Get involved with the issues that are important to you! But be sure that what you are doing is in support of what you favor and not an attack against what you don’t like.
What would you add to this list? [Again, post your thoughts below.]
Remember — it’s up to you….and it’s up to me to make this a more affirmative place.
Here’s to our creating a more positive political world!
If you like what you read here, consider checking out all of Mark’s action oriented inspirational books. Click here to visit his author page on Amazon….or here to check out his book Becoming a Spiritual Change Agent, only $2.99 for Kindle.