Talkin’ Politics

As we are halfway through the primaries, I thought a good topic for today would be how to respectfully discuss politics. You see, I disagree with many who believe that politics and religion shouldn’t be discussed in polite company. I believe that we are all unique, and I love learning about what makes others so unique. Their political beliefs and their religious beliefs are two huge components of it.

I have a list compiled of ways I believe we can open the conversation up respectfully. We have so much to learn from each other, and shying away from certain topics doesn’t do us any good. Getting into arguments with others, however, also hinders progress, in addition to ruining friendships.

I hope this list helps you open the door to conversation. Please let me know if you have anything to add to it!

  1. Listen to the other members of the conversation instead of forming a rebuttal in your mind. Listen to learn.
  2. If it makes someone uncomfortable, don’t talk about it. This goes for anything, not just politics and religion. Not every time is a good time to discuss a particular topic.
  3. Don’t raise your voice. This is a discussion, not a debate.
  4. Don’t try to get a rise out of someone.
  5. Seek to find out what is important to them instead of stopping with party affiliation.
  6. Remember that agreeing to disagree doesn’t make anyone a “winner” or a “loser.” This should be a mature discussion.
  7. Remember they are more than their beliefs on any topic.

Election Etiquette

Today begins early voting for the party primaries. To me it seems like this day has been a long time coming. Each election cycle, candidates begin earlier and earlier with this campaign season, even beginning prior to officially turning in their paperwork. I expect this on the national level. It takes an excessive amount of time to campaign across an entire nation. I’m more surprised when I see this taking place on the local level. Additionally, some forums turn into mud slinging instead of informational sessions, which benefits no one.

I currently serve on our local city council. I’ve been personally attacked. I’ve witnessed personal attacks on others. It needs to stop. Therefore, today’s post is all about election etiquette.

I’m not sure when we first entertained the notion that everyone we encounter is dying to know our position. Let me be the first to say, they’re not. Some of the people I respect the absolute most rarely volunteer information regarding politics. That is not at all implying they’re uninformed or that they don’t care. They volunteer. They donate. They seek to become informed. When asked, they’ll happily state who they support and why. However, at the end of the day, the also understand that some people dig their own graves. By being overly forceful in supporting someone, it is often a turnoff of that candidate to others who may still be in the decision-making phase.

If you feel the need to strongly support a candidate, make sure that you don’t dominate the conversation with only your candidate’s information. Be willing to listen. Be willing to learn. You may very likely stick to the person you were initially supporting. However, you may also learn why someone else doesn’t. When we ask for change simply for the sake of change, you may get what you ask for. By listening, you’re opening up the conversation to dialogue as opposed to a monologue.

This next bit is important to state. Don’t wear candidate-specific items while voting. You will likely be asked to leave if you wear anything supporting a particular candidate to the polls. Make sure you leave the campaigning at home or at least outside of the specified area during early voting and on election day.

Most of all, seek to be an informed voter, and don’t feel pressured to vote a particular way. Listen not only to what people say but how they say it.

There are no perfect candidates. None. However, there are people you will find who are willing to listen and willing to prioritize items that are of utmost importance to you.

If you are a candidate during this election cycle, I wish you luck and peace. Also, know that there are many other ways of contributing aside from obtaining an elected position. If you do not win, please consider this.

Thank y’all for your time!


Election Etiquette


Some of you may know that I am involved in local politics, currently serving as my town’s mayor. I recently ran for re-election to our city council and won. While I won by more than 2/3 of the vote, the campaign season was not easy for my family or myself. It was hard to remain quiet while slander and lies were being thrown from the opposing side. However, I stayed above the fray, and I’m proud to have done so. This all lead to my hesitation to write this post. As we enter a much larger election cycle, I feel this post is now timely and appropriate. Additionally, many may not understand campaign etiquette, so it needs to be said.

During a campaign, etiquette dictates that only facts are used – not hearsay, assumptions or anything else not based on facts. Additionally, the campaign should stick to issues at hand. There are enough true issues without bringing up a candidate’s family or personal appearance. To be quite honest, it you have to rely on slander or bullying to win, you are part of the demise of the American government.

Politics are only effective when people vote. So, please do so! When you are at the polls, etiquette dictates that you are quiet and respectful of other voters, not rushing them or waiting too closely to the person casting their ballot. As a candidate, there are laws legally enforcing your proximity to the polling place. However, out of courtesy for the voters, proper etiquette would dictate you not post camp right at the border, either.

If you are running for a position, no matter your choice of campaigning, you should never badger your potential constituents. Yes, absolutely get your name out there. But try to get to know the people because you genuinely care – not because they are a means to an end. Likewise, understand that your credibility will be shot in a “do as I say, not as I do” situation. Do you want people to vote? VOTE! And do so in times you’re not up for election.

Finally, regarding the results from the election day, it is up to the losing candidate(s) to reach out to the winning candidate(s). I’m making this plural in the event of a potential run-off election. It is NOT the responsibility of the winning candidate(s) to reach out to the losing candidate(s). In fact, it is considered pompous of the winning candidate(s) to do so. It will come across as “rubbing it in.”

So, now that election etiquette is out there on a small level, I hope to see it utilized more frequently in both national and local elections. At the end of the day, our integrity is what we must live with.

As always, thank you for reading! Thank you to the three readers who specifically asked me to write on this subject. I agree it is needed.