Monday, February 1, 2016

How we win the day

"Sure winning matters. It matters quite a bit. But how we win matters more."

Today I put something on social media about my endorsement for one of my state representatives. I did not have it posted for more than a minute before someone I don't know put a very rude comment on my post directed at my representative. Totally uncalled for. I was going to take that person to the woodshed using a following comment, but my better judgement took over. That is not how we win the day.

Winning the day. I have been thinking about that almost non-stop as of late. First off, I want to win so bad in November, I can almost taste it. But to win, we must first stop preaching only to the converted. We need to win over the folks who do not believe as we do. Not with sophism, not with trickery, not with pressure. With knowledge. With sound, convincing logic which show our views are rooted in the very fabric of this country. In our founding documents. In our Constitution. 

And when we take that plunge, that journey into conversations with those who do not feel the same as we do, there will be some push back. And sometimes invective and hurtful words will be involved in that push back. When that happens, sometimes winning the day simply means not losing the day. In other words, not to respond with hurtful words. Respond with grace. When you are so mad, you want to kill - kill with kindness. There will be another day. Showing grace is 1,000 times more effective than responding in anger.

One of the things I like to do when talking to someone from the other side of the political street is to dissect our differences. Often times when you get below the top two layers or so, you will finds areas of consensus or agreement. And that can be done without sacrificing or compromising our core beliefs or values. And when you get to that point, real discussion can take place. 

On of the national radio folks I listen to on occasion has a motto - "We are right, they are wrong." The quickest way to lose a discussion (or and argument) is to tell the person he or she is wrong. To win the day, we need to be able to show that person through history, logic or both, that they are wrong. And that person needs to come independently to that conclusion. Some of my biggest "ah-ha" moments in life have been when someone has done that to me. It is then I realize I have been walking down the wrong road and needed to make a course correction. 

To summarize, to win the day, we must do the following:
  • Speak kindly to each other who walk on the same side of the street as we do. We can respectfully disagree, but we must all still walk on the same side of the street.
  • Political experts will tell you this - the battle is won in the middle. In other words, the independents. We need to show the independents we have the best answers, the best solutions.
  • Why is Washington broken? Because we are broken. We are not nice and respectful to each other. Democrats are not Satan and neither are Republicans. We are all Americans and we live here together. We can win the argument with the other side without giving up (or compromising) our core beliefs. Trust me - we can.
Tonight is caucus night in Iowa. It all starts now. This is the sprint for the finish line in November. What can we do? Get involved. Get as educated as possible. Connect with people. Help people understand which precinct, district or whatever they live in. And be nice to each other. Be as nice as we are helpful. We can and we must win the day. After November, there really is no more tomorrow.

It is time folks. It is go time. Game time. Let's win the day.

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