Election Manners

Vote YES for Manners!

Trent Armstrong
4-minute read
Episode #50

I'd like to make sure you know who I want you to vote for in this election. "Which election?" you ask.

Talk Softly

I mentioned something about an election, but you're probably not interested in my opinion anyway, right? You don't listen to this podcast for political information. So it really doesn't matter which election or which country you might find yourself. Unless you are a political analyst who has been sought out for your mental prowess or journalistic integrity, it's probably best for you and me to be careful when we bring up politics or respond to a political conversation. Beating up candidates on Twitter or constantly filling your friends’ email inboxes with political information will most likely foster a sense of dread whenever your name shows up.

And Bury a Big Stick

Almost nothing outside of Steeler football can elicit such an emotional response from those around us as election talk. Politics concern us all. Even if we don't pay close attention to the news or candidate websites, the majority of us take politics VERY personally. Even the most harmless slander of a candidate or a political party can stir someone to anger. So, I would like to encourage you to put away that big stick. If you are someone who likes to argue or debate, you might find another topic about which to do your mental fencing.

From time to time someone could offer his or her opinion of your favored candidate in a distasteful manner and not even realize your position. I would encourage you to refrain from becoming angry in that situation. Verbally attacking their comment will usually further polarize you and the other person. Furthermore, an undecided bystander could see your intelligent lashing of the other person as a reason to dislike your side altogether.

When you realize someone has made a factual error, make a concerted effort to remain calm and respond with factual information – not anger. If someone asks about your political views, feel free to, again calmly, offer your passionate opinions and truthful insights about your party or candidate. Avoid mean-spirited bashing of others.

The old adage still holds true: We catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Your gracious demeanor could even persuade someone to change their mind.

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

Now, what about political signage?