Politics & HR

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I always love reader requests.

Love your writing, but miss your political edge. [Shouting request at stage]: how about a riff on politics — specifically, now — in the workplace? Some *very* hard changes may be on the horizon (“Benefits? What benefits? This isn’t 2011.”), depending on what happens next….

Dude, I know.

I am a big advocate of discussing politics. Let’s go. In the workplace, at family parties, and just about anywhere it makes people feel uncomfortable. I think the interaction is awesome. Talking about politics forces people to flex a different part of their brain and either listen or restrain themselves.

We don’t do enough listening or restraining in our society. Practice makes perfect.

The problem with blogging about politics is that it’s not really a conversation where body language, tone, and eye contact come into play.

Here’s an example of a blog post I started to write.

Running a clinic to ‘help’ gay men & women repress their sexual urges through “therapy and prayer” isn’t a real business. Much like tarot card readers and chiropractors, people who want to appeal to a spiritual power and ‘pray the gay away’ are con artists. There’s no space in a legitimate economy for those businesses.

And if we allow people to operate businesses based on pseudo-science, we ought to label them as ‘entertainment’ and tax the hell out of them.

Okay. Perfect. Awesome. Captures what I know to be true. Now here’s what happens next.

  1. Someone reads my blog post and doesn’t hear my tone, doesn’t see my smile, and thinks that I’m the anti-christ.
  2. He leaves a comment, sends an email message, or contacts me via DM on Twitter and calls me a bitch.
  3. He tells me that I’m gay, labels me a whore, and tells me that I deserve to be childless.

That’s the insane power of the internet. And this is the #1 reason why I stopped writing for AOL. Who needs the hassle?

You can write anything when you are anonymous because you’re not accountable for your language. And our society is getting really good at being cruel & anonymous and really failing at having honest, brave, and courageous conversations.

And with higher unemployment — thanks to rising corporate profits and the unwillingness of businesses to reinvest in their workforce — more and more people are pissed off and out of work. They have time on their hands, access to the internet, and a misunderstanding of why they are unemployed. These unemployed men fart around on the internet and scream at career coaches (like me) instead of using that downtime to take to the streets and flood congress. They should demand more federal spending, more investment in our infrastructure, and a fairer tax system.

But I digress.

Instead of zero marginal product workers getting pissed off at the entrenched powers that got them there, they call me a bitch when I write about politics. So what’s in this for me? I would love to do a riff on Chris Christie and how he lies about his conversations with business leaders and union representatives and spins a tale of his greatness while using taxpayer funds and state coffers to build a platform to run for president…

…but that doesn’t get me anywhere.

Sigh.

The internet sucks for thoughtful discourse, which is why public speaking is a better place for me to insert these thoughts. When you see a person face-to-face, it’s easier to assume good intent.

My intentions are good. I want to get people back to work.

And I’m right about my political beliefs. 100%. Now shut up.

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