The Political Jerks, Morons, Pigheads that You Love
Friends and Family Who Voted for The Other Guy in the Presidential Election
Regardless of who you voted for in the 2020 Presidential election, three things are likely:
- You felt strongly about the outcome of the election.
- You are appalled that millions and millions of people supported the other guy. You worry about what that says about your country.
- You have friends or family members who voted for the other guy. “Geez,” you think, “I didn’t realize they were like that.”
This election has been polarizing. And we are even divided about why we are so mad at each other.
“Trump is so hateful. That’s the reason everyone is so rude!”
“It’s the left-wing media spewing lies that get everyone so riled up!”
What is Going on in the United States?
Let’s go back to the part where you were worried about the country. So you care about the country. That’s a good thing. If you care about your country, please try to understand the people who voted the other way because…
We will never get anywhere in our country or lives by constantly hissing and fighting with each other.
Watching the election results Tuesday night and believing Trump was going to win again, I commented to my husband, “It just bothers me that so many people in this country think that his behavior is okay. That they want someone who acts like that as their leader?”
“You shouldn’t assume that,” John said, “you don’t know why people voted the way they did.”
“But they voted for Trump to be their president,” I said, my voice rising.
“Right, but it’s possible they are worried about Democratic policies. They may feel strongly that the Democrats will spend recklessly. Or maybe they own a business that will have to close if Covid restrictions are increased. My point is you just don’t know. You can’t assume someone who voted for Trump is okay with everything he says and how he behaves.”
Clues from the Presidential Election Exit Polls
Over the last few days, as I checked election results, I also started looking at some exit poll information. Why did so many people vote for Trump? What were they all thinking?
According to the New York Times exit polls, voters who considered racial inequality, the coronavirus pandemic, and health care policy, the most important issue voted heavily for Biden. But voters who thought the economy or crime and safety was most important mostly voted for Trump.
In terms of personal qualities, they considered most important, voters who felt ‘the ability to unite the country’ and ‘good judgment’ was most important voted predominantly for Biden. Voters looking for a ‘strong leader’ primarily chose Trump. Interestingly, voters who said the most important personal quality was a president who ‘cares about people like me’ were evenly split in whether they chose Biden or Trump.
As I write this — Friday morning of election week — it now appears likely that Biden will be elected and the Trump era will end. Much has changed in the election count, but one thing remains the same. A lot of people voted for the other guy. Some of them are probably your family, friends, or co-workers.
Your Challenge Should You Wish to Accept It
I challenge you to do one of the following:
- Take a moment and come up with a valid reason (other than being an ignorant, pig-headed jerk) that someone might have supported the other guy (the candidate you didn’t vote for). Look at exit polls.
- Talk with a friend with opposing political views. Ask a lot of questions and drop it if things get heated. In preparation consider reading Taking the War Out of Our Words by Sharon Strand Ellison or Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High (authors: Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, Switzler).
- Demilitarize your comments about the other guy. Stop using terms like: liar, geezer, insane, fat, orange, criminal, brainless, extremist, senile, pig, spineless, stupid, clown, and chump.
- Stop Liking and Retweeting people who are using these terms (liar, geezer, insane, etc.).
Leadership isn’t a term that should be used only about elected officials. We all have the opportunity to lead in how we conduct our lives.
Let’s truly make the United States of America great again by having meaningful, helpful conversations about important decisions in our country. We are all in this together, and it’s time to start being nicer to each other.