In the most polarized and combative election season in modern history, it’s easy to get jaded. As the insults fly, the parties and candidates spend their efforts vilifying each other rather than searching for common ground. Out with decorum, in with a street brawl. Unfortunately, both sides remain focused on the bad in one another. Let’s face it, if either of the candidates were children, we’d hurriedly put them in time out.
Reminiscing about more civil times, I long for the days when we tried to find the best in each other instead of the worst. Isn’t that the message we want our kids to embrace? Aren’t civility and respect the underpinnings of democracy? To that end, I decided to take an unbiased view of each candidate in an effort to celebrate the good.
Donald Trump, for starters, is a master promoter. He paints a compelling vision for his followers and connects with them on a deeply emotional level. Where other politicians can over complicate their messages, Trump is highly effective at communicating in a way that lands. His world-class marketing instincts helped him win an against-the-odds victory and they continue to inspire deep support from his party. Never boring, Trump knows how to put on a show and to a large degree, politics is show business. He also is relentlessly focused on winning, figuring out what needs to be done to deliver his desired outcome. If he was a football running back, you’d give him the ball every time. Finally, he’s not bound to conventional approaches and is always willing to try the never-been-done-before.
Next up is Joe Biden, who spent his entire life in service of his country. Clearly a compassionate leader, he has developed great empathy through his own personal tragedies. He’s earned the respect of colleagues on both sides of the aisle, who have praised his collaborative nature and his unyielding work ethic. His early announcement to nominate a female Vice President shows his commitment to equality and diversity which is further supported by his decision to enter the race following the racial unrest in Charlottesville. He’s experienced in both domestic and international policy and is unquestionably qualified to handle the complexities of the job.
You’ll notice I’m not making a political point, nor taking any political side. I’m simply recognizing that there is good in us all, even in our political rivals. If the candidates remain focused on tearing each other down, let’s take it upon ourselves to lift each other up. If they want to slug it out in the mud, it doesn’t mean we have to join them.
There’s more that unites us than separates us in our politics, businesses, families, and communities. In these contentious times, the anecdote for hate is love. Let’s find the good in each other instead of the bad. Let’s find ways to lift each other up regardless of our differences in order to forge a brighter future for our kids and our country.
Finding the good in others – in all aspects of our personal and professional lives – is what put our great nation on the map. And the same respect for our fellow citizens is what will keep us there.