THE BLOG

How Not To Lose An Election

14/11/2016 13:21

There is a sad and dangerous habit infecting our politics. It is happening on all sides. It is unnerving, unacceptable and it needs to stop. Now.

Trying to shame people into voting a certain way does not work, has never worked and never will work.

It happened again this week.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, I jumped awake to the sound of a text from a friend. A text that informed me of what, while not yet official, was becoming clearer and clearer.

Donald Trump was heading for the White House.

The news, Social Media and even my usually quiet bus to work exploded with reaction to the result. Some were happy, some were torn, some had not got the result they wanted but accepted the need to move forward together and make it work.

However, there is an ever increasing voice out there. One that prefers to sink into negativity, insults and a refusal to accept a democratic result.

We have seen it before. We saw it after the 2015 General Election. We saw it after Brexit. We are seeing it again after the Presidential Election. Unless something drastic changes, we will see it again in future.

I see it all over.

People who, when votes did not go their way, instantly refuse to recognise the outcome of the democratic process - often denying it is democracy. Instead they drop into a vat of negativity; belittling everything, not giving people a chance and overlooking any bit of good news.

Instead of trying to understand or engage in any way with people who voted the other way, they judge, condemn and jump to conclusions.

People speaking and writing full of self-righteousness, condemning how others have voted. Often, appallingly, labeling them as not intelligent enough to vote and assuming that they voted for all the wrong reasons.

Many of the same people who are quick to point out hostile messages from their opposition are those who post pretty shocking things themselves, but because they label themselves 'liberal' they think it does not count as nasty.

It does. It so does.

Take a scroll back through your last tweets/posts/blogs/texts. If your opposition had said something similar, would you be screaming at them for 'hate' and 'threats' and 'insults'? If so, perhaps you should re-evaluate your own language, intentions and motives before you judge others.

I am not saying you should not oppose something you do not support. You should always stand up for what you believe in. But do so in the right way.

Do not marginalise those people whose minds you want to change. Communicate with them. Connect and respond to the electorate as they are, not as you wish they were.

Moreover, if you do not like something then get off your computer and actually do something to change it. Do not stand on the sidelines and moan, an experienced keyboard warrior; get involved, engage with people and try to change things.

The supposed 'liberal left' will not win another election until it realises that you cannot win back voters by insulting them. They stand on the left hoping that the country will move towards them, not realising that it is about time they moved with the country. They have had wake up call after wake up call recently, but they still ignore them, standing on their supposed moral high ground looking down on anyone who thinks differently.

It is time people got their head out of the sand. It is time for a revolution but not like what most people are thinking of. A revolution where society once again engages, listens and works together.

You do not change the world through ignoring, condemning and judging. You change it through listening, understanding and engaging. We would do well to remember that.

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