Here are some of my thoughts as the fall political season ramps up.
Let’s eliminate the divisiveness. You control your input. Quit getting worked up by sources that make a profit from getting you worked up. They’re not on your team. You’re their customer. That’s different.
We all have friends or acquaintances on both sides of the aisle. Have a conversation. Have a real, in-person conversation with someone you know who doesn’t vote like you.
I believe the only way any of this gets better is through one-on-one conversations. Not tweets. Not polarizing Facebook memes. Not social media bandwagon posts where everyone who thinks like you tells you how right you are. “Followers” have become the modern day “yes men.” You can’t grow if you’re never disagreed with.
You need people in your life who aren’t just like you. Especially when it comes to politics.
I’m convinced that deep down, beneath the rhetoric, we really do want good things for each other. At the end of the day, we’re all here … human and stuck with each other. Neighbors. That’s a beautiful thing when we don’t let the stuff on the surface get in the way. “People over politics” isn’t just a campaign slogan. It should be a base-level acknowledgment of how we live together.
That whole “love your neighbor as yourself” thing really does work when you lean into it. (But it has to be all of your neighbors.)
Justin Bailey is CEO of Realty Executives Associates in Knoxville.