Political campaigns have a tendency to bring out the best and the worst in us.
In the last month or two I've watched the intensity of social media posts from people I respect, on all sides of the aisle, go up, while their own bar of what's acceptable rhetoric gets lower and lower.
For some, they legitimately believe that getting voters to see their way of thinking is a matter of life or death, so they operate from a place of fear. The idea of "other side" getting their way is threatening enough to bring out their worst instincts.
Fear, as you'll learn if you spend enough time around professional communicators, is a wildly motivating factor. Which is why fear-based messages are constructed to scare voters off their chairs and to the polls.
I get it. I'm afraid too.
I'm afraid that the division that's being created is doing way more harm than the results of one vote will ever be.
I'm afraid that the social media bombs being thrown will irreparably harm relationships and widen the gulf that used to come back together in the "off season." (Although never having campaign down time is still an issue that's not helping.)
I am scared out of my mind that outright lying and deliberate spreading of misinformation has become an almost mainstream part of campaigning -- up and down the ballot. And the thing that really gets me: that so many people aren't embarrassed to be caught in a lie. What is that about????
I'm scared. And I'm motivated. But not in the way they want me to be.
I'm encouraged at the number of people who have communicated to me, publicly and privately, that they're scared too, and want to help fix it.
2022 is going to be a big election year, with plenty of fear tactics. Majority in the Middle will continue to elevate the voices of experts, give you a place to gather outside of the back-and-forth, and work on ways to bring a little more civility and a little less partisanship to our politics.
So tomorrow I'll be voting, then going right back to work.