Politics…The Social Media “Third Rail”
Politics can be full of passion, emotion and inspire many to have their voice heard on a large platform. As we enter the height of the political season, the speeches of our leaders become the rally calls to all who wish to be enticed to side with their chosen party. We are pulled in by the inspirational words, promises that are masterfully spoken by these leaders. It is understandable how some may feel compelled to take to their social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter to let their voices be heard alongside these leaders. But is it the right call for you as brand, a business owner or individual to let go of your emotions and put your feelings on display for the world to see? Are you going to live by the words you write on these posts after the elections are over?
Every four years, politicians come and go, but your brand, your business, and frankly, you, are still here. Will you want to be known for the emotional outburst in the heat of the moment that you wrote on that night during the convention or the debate? Are you willing to stand up with your words after the party is over?
As has been seen in many cases, there are some who have lost their jobs or business, even clients due to their political views. Politics can be very local when it hits your wallet. It is possible to alienate a potential client, sponsor or even a partner with your views if they are not aligned with another. There are many well known CEO’s who have spoken out on their political views, and yet, they are lauded for their stance. However, these ladies and gentlemen have a long history of their own political aspirations and they are not going to suffer with the loss of one or two clients like so many small business owners or employees who may not be able to take the backlash from such views being demonized by many who feel their views are out of left field.
I’m not one to shy away from a good debate on politics; my preference is to keep between friends and family. We can be passionate about our country and its direction but smart about how we voice our opinions in the public domain. In the end, it’s up to each of us to decide how we wish to display our political views and whom to which we wish do business with in the end. Principles, values are the foundations of great leaders as are decorum, tact and self discipline in how we present ourselves in public with regard to our message that we put forth. In the end, after the balloons have dropped, the elections are over, we must live by the words we have spoken and deal with the consequences of our actions in the reality that we have created. The internet is written in pen, not pencil, it cannot be deleted or erased.