Political food for thought

We need to change the political conversation before it's too late.

I'm breaking one of my rules today. I'm talking about one of the two topics I typically avoid: Politics.

I don't want to talk about policy or support a candidate. I don't think what I have to say is even particularly controversial with most people I know, though it may not make this person's supporters happy.

You see, America has a problem - a very big one. And it's not the person whose name is on the tongues of so many pundits, voters, and onlookers these days.

Every time I get online lately, I see this man's name trending. The majority of posts talk about what a horrible person he is for his controversial views and actions. I totally agree. He's not a human I want to know and I most certainly don't want him to win the nomination this summer - that he would get that far is too big a gamble.

No one believed he was a serious candidate.

No one thought he could win Super Tuesday.

No one has stopped talking about him since June 16, 2015. 

He does something newsworthy or comment-worthy every day - always in a negative sense. It's a tactic that is getting him attention and - unbelievably - support. Support I never would have predicted. 

The conversation needs to change

There's a reason I'm not using his name in this post. You know who he is and I won't talk about or mention him online anymore after today. He lacks simple human decency to an extent that I can't fathom the impact on America and the world if he were elected. Think about leaders we learned about in history class who lacked human decency. 

What concerns me about this presidential race is how little discussion there is of the other candidates in both parties. Name recognition plays a huge role at the polls with uninformed voters. And no matter how much uninformed votes may bother us, they happen and won't stop happening.

So, by talking about this one person almost exclusively, even in a negative sense, we may actually be helping him get one step closer to the White House with every mention. From day one, he's been getting the attention of the media. Less than two hours after he announced his candidacy, Twitter and every other social media network was buzzing with jokes.

Support a candidate

The uninformed voter may not ever hear why they should vote for another candidate if things keep going this way. Hearing about one single candidate that has increasing support could very well backfire on all of America. (For Canadians, think back to the 2011 non-confidence vote that lead to a Conservative majority. Everyone thought the conservatives would be out. Also, Rob Ford - 'nough said.)

Tell me all about the other candidates. I'd love to know what you think. The good, the bad, the ugly. I don't even care what your leanings are - every candidate deserves enough attention for voters to know whether or not they qualify for the job of running the country. I think we've had enough of hearing about one candidate to the practical exclusion of all others, though.

Like the class clown who acts out to get attention, we have a presidential hopeful clown and I wonder if the way to shut him down is to stop playing into his hands by talking about him. Instead, we need to get the other candidates trending so that this race has a prayer of a chance of being balanced and fair.

We're officially at the point when those who don't support this man need to show it by talking about someone else.

And now I'm done talking politics.

Karen Wilson

Karen C. Wilson Communications, 110 Didsbury Rd, M035, Kanata, ON, K2T 0C2, Canada

Karen Wilson is a social media strategist and coach with extensive experience using social media for business and building online communities. She’s a proud member of the Women’s Business Network of Ottawa, Equal Voice, and WOW - World of Women. She is currently serving as the President of the Women's Business Network.

Karen also spends time volunteering for QuickStart - Early Intervention for Autism to help in some small way with the work they’re doing to help families in the Ottawa area. Karen's consulting work helps market small businesses through the use of strategy, coaching, content creation, management and workshops. Connect with her on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.