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Emotional Politics

Have you ever made an emotional decision?  Can you recall how you felt the day you purchased your first car?  Or made a decision to fire a staff person based purely on emotion?  We all have made decisions and choices based on emotion, but sometimes it backfires on us.  Our emotions, positive or negative, can drive us to make an impulsive choice without much thought or contemplation. Emotion motivated choices often come from fear, guilt, or anger.  Unfortunately, sometimes these choices lack adequate reflection, knowledge, and/or analysis.  We react rather than respond to a situation without taking the time to consider the consequences of our decision.  Do Americans have significant emotions related to government, politics, and the direction our country is headed?  You better believe it!

Emotions are running high during this presidential election and people are reacting with intense feelings.  These are often fueled by the media reporting sensationalized news to boost ratings.  Some politicians are very skillful at playing off of our emotions and convincing the public that these emotions require a drastic change and they are the one to make it happen.  Unfortunately these emotions not only can drive our decision-making, but can also create more conflict and division within a political party, a state and a nation.  While passion/emotion can emphasize a point and position, it can also alienate others.  Most of us are angry about the country’s state of affairs, but may I suggest looking for a leader who can constructively and effectively work  to unite people and find constructive solutions to the issues reflected by our collective anger.

How can we decide who is the best candidate without our emotions consuming our decision?  Hopefully, we spend time analyzing each candidate’s record, experience, and attributes.  We gather information about their plans for the country and attempt to discern their trustworthiness and genuineness.  Ideally we make an informed decision that takes into consideration their character, integrity, and leadership skills.  I recognize that all of the candidates have flaws and weaknesses, but consider the best choice based on knowledge, not emotions.  Our emotions matter, but not when selecting our next president.  Vote with your head, not your heart.

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