Let’s Talk Politics

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

November 10, 2022

It’s election week! If you’re a fellow American citizen and had the opportunity to vote this past Tuesday, I’m sure you had plenty on your mind. I know I did. Our country is at a pretty distinct crossroads. And this week’s election will help shine a light on what happens next.

While politics is something I usually tend to avoid in my blog, I felt compelled to try and broach the topic in a valuable way. Because as Brené Brown wrote in Atlas of the Heart, “Avoidance will make you feel less vulnerable in the short run, but it will never make you less afraid.” I’d like to share with you how I went about choosing who cast my ballot for. And while I will not give you the candidates names, I hope you might find some value in my process.

First things first, if there are candidate I’ve spoken with and I trust their platform and believe they’ll listen to me, they’ll get my vote. I don’t care what their political party is. If they take my calls or respond to my emails, they value my voice. And those are candidates I want in my district.

If I haven’t spoken with a candidate, I will send an email or make a phone call. If I hear from this individual and feel as if they listen to my concerns and respond with more than meager pandering, they will get my vote. Again, I don’t care what the political party is. Politics is about people.

And finally, if the candidates are unreachable, I will look at their campaign platforms. If their websites or marketing materials talk down about their opponents, they will not get my vote. I want to know what you can do for me, not what insults you can spew at others.

Again, Brené Brown wrote in Atlas of the Heart, “Very few people can handle being held accountable without rationalizing, blaming, or shutting down.” If you’re in a public office and you’re responsible for making, passing, and voting on laws that will impact my life, I want you to be emotionally healthy. I want you to be able to take accountability.

You’re human. You’ll make mistakes. But what happens after that matters. Will you rationalize, blame, and shut down? Or will stand up and make things right?

This is America. My vote counts.