5 Lessons Learned In The Last 36 Hours Of The Election Season

Yes I do normally write my posts way in advance, but sometimes I have something to say that’s more timely; this is one of those times. And I have a dichotomy of emotions as I’m writing this. Yes, this is going to be a controversial post so if you don’t want to deal with it, I’d stop now and go read one of my happier posts. lol

Suffice it to say, Barack Obama has won reelection and will be the president for the next 4 years. Yes, I’m happy about that, moreso because I’m happy the other party lost rather than his winning. I think there was a lot at stake and that overwhelmingly people ended up voting for the other candidate for the wrong reason. As a matter of fact, the polls showed that they voted for him for the very reason I wrote this post and accusations against me and my “ilk”, if you will.

In any case, like most things in life, there are lessons to learn that might not be the types of lessons others might see; or maybe they will see them. Let’s find out as I explore these 5 lessons learned in the last 36 hours of the election season:

1. People’s real feelings come out strongly as the death knell is approaching. Some of the things I was reading and seeing about President Obama in the last 24 hours before the results were due to start coming in riled me up so much that I lost my mind. So I got into it on Facebook and, for the most part, people left me alone. There comes a point where things aren’t political anymore, they’re personal, and I was tired of the Muslim, patriot, traitor, “we’re gonna impeach him” and all the other mess that people just kept saying. If you think the link I left above was off the mark, trust me it wasn’t.

2. It seems people can’t filter out truth from hyperbole when it comes to TV political ads. Learn this from me if you need to. When those ads come out saying that so-and-so voted this much of a percentage with other members of their party like it’s the worst thing in the world… folks, they’re supposed to! Most people tend to vote along with their party; that’s just how life is. Now, at the same time every once in awhile someone votes their conscience and goes against their party… well, they used to before the Tea Party folks got there (notice almost no one identified themselves as Tea Party folks this time around?). What’s more interesting is when the number isn’t 100%. That happened locally when one of our representatives backers kept saying the guy who lost in the last election voted with his party 94% of the time, while leaving out that she voted with her party 100% of the time.

Here’s the reality. Unless someone says something really stupid (Akin) or does something really stupid, almost all politicians are decent people. Ads are misleading and vicious; that’s why most of us turn them off. However, in the last hours leading up to the election not only were they more vicious but they just kept coming and coming and coming. And let’s not even talk about the robo-calls; oy!

3. Social media can be both a curse and a blessing. It certainly was for the candidates, but it was for us as well. Every website I went to, and every app I opened on my smartphone gave me an ad for someone who was running for office. On Facebook it started getting really heavy, even after I added the FB Purity add-on to Firefox (you don’t know about this one? Check out this post from our buddy Adrienne Smith; it’s a lifesaver even now, after the elections, for blocking stuff you don’t want to see in your stream). Even on Twitter, where I pretty much only connect with people of “like” values and such, assaulted me with all kinds of stuff. Remember the days when we only had newspapers and the TV news we had to avoid?

And yet, through social media a lot of people learned what was going on, and some people knew what was going to happen early on; not quite sure how they did that. I know I shared the news about the Karl Rove meltdown (it was classic; who knew live TV could be that entertaining?) everywhere. Faux News; never watched it before, was entertaining last night, will never watch it again.

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4. Competition never ends; never. As soon as it was announced that President Obama had been reelected, the politicking began. There was already a discussion on who would run for president four years from now. Both sides were saying they didn’t think anything would happen and each side said it was the other that had to bend; yeah, that’s going to happen. Some people were already trying to figure out how to shake things up. One guy was saying that maybe the Electoral College would change the outcome of the election for Romney (seems that happened once in history; that’s how John Quincy Adams won the presidency without winning the election). It’s like sports now, where immediately after a team wins a championship they immediately wonder if the team can win it again and if not who they believe will be the strongest team the next season. And sometimes it’s all for naught (isn’t it Senator McConnell?).

5. When all is said and done, things usually end with a whimper, grace and class. What makes this country great is ultimately how people accept their own defeat. Former Governor Romney was class last night, as has every person who’s ever run for president and then had to make a concession speech has done (can’t blame Gore since he didn’t learn he wouldn’t be president for about a month or so). This is something about politicians that confuses me and probably everyone else. We get riled up for or against someone, are ready to get into fistfights over all of it, and then these people can walk up to a podium after having lost and say “So-and-so ran a great campaign and I hope they do well” or some such nonsense like that. 🙂

You know what though? That’s kind of a lesson most of us need to learn, but probably won’t. A lot of rhetoric is just that; noise. Often people say things to get us irritated; that’s what trolls do. For me, I stayed out of it for 729 days, only to let myself totally go off the deep end in the last 24 hours. Even as I write this I haven’t gotten it totally out of my system (but I will soon; I promise). But the politicians who participated in the process have moved on and gotten over it, seeing it as business as usual. It’s a strange business but that’s what it ultimately is.

Lessons; I’ve learned a few. Let’s see what I can retain and what I can forget; what about you?
 

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Undecided; I’m Not Buying It

This is a minor rant. I’m about to get political, without getting political. This isn’t one of those posts where I declare my intentions as to which presidential candidate I’m going to be voting for. Instead, this is a post that is addressed to that phantom group that is known as the “undecided”.

Have you?
Oliver Hammond via Compfight

Why am I saying that this group is phantom? Because there is no way I’m buying the excuse from anyone that “I don’t know who to vote for the office of president”. I just can’t believe this, and I’m going to explain why.

This isn’t a decision between wanting pizza or pasta? It’s not a decision between wanting cake or pie. This isn’t even close; you’re one way or the other when it comes to what you believe politically; come out of the closet on this one.

Every country that is a democracy has at least two political parties to choose from. Each political party has drastically diverse beliefs on how things should go. If they didn’t have drastically diverse beliefs, there would be no need to have at least two political parties.

The United States is no different in this regard. Sure, there are some minor political parties that have some candidates in the race (Roseanne Barr would be one of those this year), and yes, third-party candidates have made an impact on electing a president here and there (Ross Perot and Ralph Nader as examples), but it’s not the norm.

There are a few people out there who are saying to anyone who’ll listen to them that they’re not sure who they’re going to vote for because they’re not sure who the best person is for the economy. Are you kidding me? With everything else that’s on the line, no matter what party you belong to, you’re really going to try to convince me that you don’t know who to vote for because of the economy?

What I tend to believe is that the undecided are really people who are scared to let anybody know who they want to vote for. I have never met a single person who realistically could tell me that they didn’t know who they were going to vote for until they walked into the voting station. Come on now, let’s look at a short list of issues:

Are you pro-choice or are you pro-life?

Are you for or against gun control?

Are you for or against universal healthcare?

Do you believe the rich should pay fewer taxes because they create jobs or that everyone should pay their fair share?

Do you believe the federal government should stay totally out of your life or do you believe there are some things the federal government should help protect people with such as Welfare, Medicare, and disaster relief?

Now, those are American issues, and major issues when it comes to the presidential election, and I’m sure every other country has issues that are diametrically opposed that are core to particular political parties. Those are also issues when it comes to any of the federal offices up for grabs. Every once in a while you find a candidate that agrees with the candidate on the other side on a particular issue, but you can bet they’re not going to agree on all those issues and any other issue that comes up. And of course you might support the ideals of a third party candidate; no problem there either.

In general though, this means one of two things, at least in my opinion. One, you’re afraid to take a stand because you’re worried that someone is going to hate you. Two, you have no idea what any of the issues mean and you’re probably going to vote for someone based on a stupid reason such as the way they look or what their voice sounds like. Yeah, I said it.

Something I’ve talked about on this blog and my business blog is that we all have to take accountability for our actions while still being brave enough to take the opportunities to improve our lives. If you are wishy-washy in your political beliefs then you’re probably wishy-washy in the rest of your life. How’s that working out for you?

Frankly, even though I believe more people should take advantage of their constitutional right and get out to the polls and vote, I also believe there are some people who should just stay home and leave it to the adults who aren’t afraid to let their opinions be known.

And by being known, I’m not saying that you need to go out on the street and declare who you’re going to be voting for. What I’m saying is that if someone asks you if you’ve made a decision, just tell them the truth, say yes, and if you don’t feel like revealing it to them tell them that as well.

But if you say you’re undecided, you know you’re lying and I’m calling you out on. Now, try to convince me I’m wrong.
 

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I’m Black…

I just thought I’d get this out of the way: I’m black. I know you probably didn’t notice that from the picture over there on the right but yup, I am. At this point you’re probably wondering why I wrote that; you know I’m going to tell you.

photo of Mitch Mitchell I'm Just Sharing
See, black: photo courtesy
of Custom-Photogenics

Just about two weeks ago a young man named Christian, definitely an up-and-comer, wrote a post titled I’m gay. The fact that he typed “gay” with the small “g” was interesting and probably poignant in its own way. Frankly, I’m not typing anything in my titles with small letters, especially “black”.

Anyway, it was a very personal post, and by its tone I’m thinking that somewhere along the line he must have taken some heat from someone who probably made a comment based on his look, since I can’t figure out any other way they could have made the determination. I knew he was gay (don’t ask how) but my thought was “who cares”. That’s always my thought; if a person isn’t racist or hateful I could care less what they are.

Anyway, he put some of his feelings out there, basically stating his case that he is what he is, other things that he is, and that’s that; you either liked him or you didn’t, but that was that. I thought it was an interesting and powerful post, and it got lots of comments that, unfortunately, he didn’t respond to. Probably too close to him in a way.

So, what’s my explanation for my statement? Because it’s the political season, a presidential political season, and President Obama is going for a second term as president of these United States. And, well, those folks who didn’t vote for him are of two minds. One, he doesn’t really count as black, and two, black people only voted for him because he’s black.

I’ve heard it over 4 years, and it’s starting up again. I could make the argument that all things being equal Obama just might be way more qualified than Romney for the job, but it wouldn’t make much difference. Frankly, I hate getting into those types of political discussions because neither side is going to convince the other, and it won’t be long until either I’m being accused of voting one way “because” or I’m having to say their voting against “because”.

And then a friend of mine wrote something on Facebook Friday night that made me feel good. So of course I’m sharing it here:

For those of you who are proud of having Obama as the first African American president don’t allow people to make you feel bad about it. You have every right to your feelings. Stop letting folks make you feel like you are wrong for doing so. Stop letting folks pigeon hole you and try to attack your intelligence because you like Obama. Don’t allow folks to try and make you feel that you are incapable of making informed decisions because you like Obama. Especially don’t let anybody insult your intelligence by saying the only reason you voted for him is because you are black. Your intelligence and ability to make decisions runs much deeper than that.

We still live in a time where black folks are still having firsts after what over 400 years in this country. The first black president, the first black mayor in a town, the first black governor in a state, the first black legislator in a state and the list goes on. We are still having firsts. Having a love of your own does not mean you hate someone else. Be proud of who you are. Peace

Yes, that’s how I’ve been feeling since 2008. I wasn’t going to vote for Obama because he was black; I was a Hillary Clinton fan. But when all was said and done I wasn’t voting for McCain – Palin and that was that. But the accusations… I don’t back down from those kinds of fights in person but online, it’s an argument that makes no sense to have.

So it’s been stated, I fully agree and feel vindicated, and that’s that. If I don’t have to deal with any stupid mess from this point until the election I won’t be talking politics here. If I do, as I had to do late in October 2008, I’ll do it, but man, please let’s hope I don’t have to go there again.

Yeah, I’m black. With some Cherokee & some other southern tribe as well; none of us are totally one thing, right? 🙂
 

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Goals For A Social Media Strategy

Two posts ago I asked the question Do You Have A Social Media Strategy? I acknowledged that I didn’t have one, and a few steps I was going to take towards having one. I wanted to talk this time about goals, because without goals, a strategy is just a hope. I also wanted to clarify that these goals have nothing to do with this blog, but my traditional businesses.

So, what would my goals be? How would I define these goals? And what about Naomi (that’s for the Electric Company fans in the crowd)? And finally, what are the ramifications of those goals versus my wish to do some other things just because I want to do them? For instance, if I set a business goal, will things such as this blog or some of my political and racial positions impede any benefit a social media marketing strategy might entail?

That last one is the most important one, believe it or not, at least as it pertains to Twitter. I have a definitive political position. I also obviously call out racism wherever I see it. Politics is dangerous because you never know who you might irritate on the other side; you also never know who might irritate you. During the 2008 election, I eliminated a lot of people from my Twitter stream because of some of the outright nasty stuff, including lies, that were being said about people I was supporting. I didn’t mind anyone taking a contrary view; we don’t all agree on everything after all. I wasn’t putting up with certain types of decorum, however. Because I don’t put up with certain decorum as it pertains to people I support, I also won’t act that way against anyone else; well, most of the time anyway. And that becomes a major issue; will my political beliefs, and my penchant for calling someone out on a racial issue, hurt my social media marketing? And if so, how much do I care?

Question answered; I don’t really care. I go out of my way almost always to be as kind as I can. However, there is idiocy in the world, and every once in awhile we have to call it out. The people who usually follow me believe as I do, and those that don’t usually don’t stick around. So, as far as Twitter is concerned, I’m okay with it all. Luckily, I don’t get into politics on either LinkedIn or Facebook, so it’s all good.

The next step is in defining my goals; what do I want to get out of whatever I do. That makes a lot of sense, because how can I set my goals if I don’t know what I hope to achieve. Me being me, I have a lot of things I want to achieve, and each of the three ways I hope to achieve it offers something different. But the overall defined goals are:

          * More brand awareness of my businesses

          * More brand awareness of who I am

          * More consistency in clients and income

On the surface that might not look like a lot, but it is. I have two businesses, but I have many different services I can provide through those two businesses. One is set up for more success, the other isn’t. I also want to market myself, as I keep pushing on my goal of being a professional speaker and presenter, and I speak on a multitude of topics as well.

Social Madness

The last part is every consultant’s dream, that being to make at least a consistent amount of cash, more money than we made working our regular jobs before we became consultants, so we can spend more time becoming more proficient as what it is we hope to do. The way I make my money is in short spurts; I make a lot of money very quickly, then I make a little bit of money for awhile until I get another opportunity to make a lot of money again. Sometimes those gaps between large money go much longer than is comfortable, so I need to shore that part up, and if I shore it up enough I won’t have to worry about the large gaps anymore.

This means that, at this juncture, the final piece is planning my goals, or steps, to achieve what I want to get to. I’m not putting that part down just yet. To me, this is the longest part, the part that needs more thought so that I’m not haphazardly throwing things out without the full plan. I also figure this is enough for anyone else who’s been thinking about setting up a strategy, who might be reading this and thinking that you want to try it along with me, to now sit down and plan your strategy as well. If you do decide to try something, I hope you share either here or on your own blog; I’d love to see where you’re taking it.

By the way, there’s a great possibility that I might be presenting a live seminar in July and August on this topic, which is why I’m now thinking about this entire thing. After all, it makes you much more convincing if you’re actually gone through the entire process as well. Right?

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Video Highlights And A New Page

I have a lot of videos on this blog. Sometimes they’re easy to find because they match up with the content. Other times they’re kind of hidden gems, something I used to add something different to the post.

Overall the videos are all over the place, so I decided it was time to consolidate them, as well as highlight a few of them here. I did this before with my post showing my early videos up to June 2008. Below are 9 others I’d like to highlight, mainly because today is the 9th of March. For all other videos on this blog, though, go to the link above that says Videos, or of course you can click on the link I just created.

This video of Tunak Tunak Tun by Daler Mehndi just thrilled my wife and I when I discovered it last year. It’s infectious and fun.

This was the video of the year in 2009, a funny wedding entrance video.

We’ve talked a lot on this blog about commenting; this was Chris Pirillo’s take on it.

I had someone recently tell me about Google 411 service; told him I’d written about it in 2008, including the video.

I had finally written about the movie The Secret, and this was the 20 minute video clip from The Secret, which is enough to get you going.

This video caused a lot of consternation for a lot of people, mainly me, on my business blog for about 2 years before I decided to move it over here instead; it’s a motivational video of a boy with Down’s Syndrome.

A very recent video showing that stupidity and racism is still alive in America, courtesy of this Rachel Maddow clip with Pat Buchanan being stupid.

Talk about people with a passion that I’m not sure I could ever find again, this one highlights something known as Free Running.

Finally, we’re coming up on St. Patrick’s Day, and even though I’m not Irish and I’m not Catholic and I don’t drink beer (let alone green beer), I figured I’d get into the spirit of things this one time by presenting the Muppets singing Danny Boy.

And there you go, 9 videos I wanted to bring some life back to. I hope you check these out, and if you’re ever looking for some entertainment, remember to check out my Video page above.

2012:doomsday

2012: Doomsday (documentary)

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