2016: Ego vs. Idea

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is what happened at my small, private company when it was bought out by a global corporation.

The private company I worked for celebrated individual responsibility, with the mission statement: see how far ideas can take you.

It was a world that understood that the best idea can come from anyone, anywhere. It didn’t matter your title or position or salary or ranking in the bonus structure: if your idea was best, it won. On its own merit. Not yours.

When we were bought out, everything rapidly changed. Everyone at the top was replaced by people famous in their own worlds. The rest of us stuck it out or bailed. I stuck it out.

From a place that promoted ideas, the company became a place that promoted personalities — or, more specifically, names. If your idea won, it was because it was yours, not because of its merit.

From #imwithher to #lovetrumpshate, Secretary Clinton’s campaign was a place that rewarded ego, not idea.

When you’re a name going up against a name, you better have some damn good ideas.

Instead of ideas, Clinton went with insults and threats. Instead of engaging voters, Clinton hosted expensive and fancy fundraisers.

Don’t get me wrong — I give a shit about what people like Katy Perry think. I even get to hear it on the local radio station behind the conversation about harvest and hunting spots old men are holding at the Greek restaurant on weekdays before 8 am.

Did this election decide whether The Boss is still the working class hero for the people in little pink houses (Johnny Cougar is my forever working class hero)?

Running on the merits of your name is a little more difficult when a large percentage of Americans think your name means failure. Certainly this argument can be made against both candidates, but President-elect Trump ran on ideas.

If soon-to-be President Trump ran on only one idea, it was America First.

What was Hillary’s answer? Stronger Together.

If we’re going to pretend that she ran on that idea, then she did a terrible job convincing voters that America would be made stronger by anything other than globalism.

I would argue she didn’t try. Because she didn’t have to. Because 8 years of President Obama had turned the US into a global corporation — one that she is not even uniquely qualified to lead by my description above.

I am still at the global corporation, but have since moved to a team that values what I’d taken for granted at the private company: integrity.

In this election, ideas fought (no thanks to Secretary Clinton’s campaign of backrubs and gloating) and America won.

The American Dream is rooted in individualism: that you can make for yourself a life that you can be proud of. Americans do that through work. Not ego.