Man is by nature a political animal – Aristotle
Apparently, I’m an animal, too.
Things have been pretty quiet around The thinks Tank the last few weeks. We’ve been busy building up a batch of content that we’re proud to present and will start releasing new updates about the social, local, mobile web next week.
But, I ask a simple indulgence. Allow me a moment to address the upcoming election. And, more important, what follows.
I support Barack Obama. I’m proud of that fact. Speaking as someone who has successfully hired many individuals to fill many roles, I think he’s the right person for the job.
But, guess what? We could do worse than John McCain. He’s a good and decent man. I voted for him for senator when I lived in Arizona. He would likely do a reasonable job as president. I can readily support your decision if you support John McCain.
Which is what leads me to write this. For as much as I enjoy the theater it presents, politics frustrates the hell out of me. Why? Because politics these days has become a zero-sum game; my side wins only when your side loses.
Screw that. I don’t care to play any longer. The stakes are far too high to think that any one individual, any one party or any one side has all the answers. The question is, are you prepared to do something about it no matter who wins the White House?
We live in difficult times. Not the worst of times. Not yet, anyways. But, clearly, times that call for every American, every citizen to roll up their sleeves and work for a common good. And we are better than the noise and the nonsense, the silliness and, sadly, the slime that accompanies most campaign seasons. As this election season comes to a close, it is time for that to stop.
We, as a people, have never failed when united in a common purpose, a common belief in our ability to do what is right. Americans love to tout our independence. And rightfully so. But independence is not what has led us to our finest moments.
Our finest moments have always followed from our willingness to support one another. Our finest moments always begin, “How can I help?”
To paraphrase Senator McCain’s extraordinary acceptance speech, it is time we learn the limits of our independence.
We are at our best when we face our problems head on. When we seek solutions instead of scoundrels. And when we place the good of the many ahead of the good of a few.
No one is smaller than the simpleton who stands and shouts, “Ha, ha. Your end of the boat is sinking!” Sadly, our political process – or at least the media that feeds on that process – willingly hands these morons the megaphones and the milkcrates from which to spew their bile.
You’re smarter than that. Ignore them. Find something that ignites your passion, find a fellow citizen who shares your concern and work with your civic leaders – regardless of their political persuasion – to find solutions. Not to score political points. But to make the world around you a better place. That’s an outcome worth voting for.