Your Voting Options: Abandon Your Beliefs Or Abandon Your Tribe

Posted on July 20, 2016 by Nate Regier / 1 comments
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I am fascinated by the energy being spent by Democrats and Republicans alike to discredit the other party’s candidate. If I had a dollar for every infographic and speech explaining why NOT to vote for Hillary or Donald, I’d be rich! This is a reflection of the intensely adversarial climate in which we are living. Polarization trumps collaboration, hateful messages trump meaningful conversations. Emotional volatility trumps rational thought. Fear trumps everything.

I feel a lot of empathy for anyone heading to the polls this November. Beneath the surface of all the acrimony is something nobody wants to talk about.

Has our country ever faced this sort of dilemma? For many in the United States, the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump poses a soul-crushing dilemma; Abandon my beliefs by voting for my party’s candidate, or abandon my tribe by voting more consistent with my values. Either way, I lose. The problem, the lesson, and the reality applies far beyond the presidential election.

The problem: We’ve been cornered by the very polarization we’ve been supporting.

The lesson: Be careful who you throw under the bus today because tomorrow he or she may be the lesser of two evils on your ballot. Burning bridges limits choices.

The reality: Who you vote for may be a big deal to your tribe, but probably isn’t going to change your world. You’ve already been busy creating the world in which you live in. How you conduct yourself before and after you vote will make the biggest difference.

Copyright 2016, Next Element Consulting, LLC

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Photo of West Seegmiller
West Seegmiller
Posted on July 20, 2016

Look Nate. The party left us long ago. We didn’t leave it. I was Republican for 40 years and from a long line of conservatives. I left when torture was justified. That was pretty much it for me. I just had to decide who I was going to be. Which set of beliefs hued most closely to the principles of the Gospel. Love, compassion, generosity, forgiveness. These things were not there. So I drifted as an independent which is really no mans land. Then I just changed parties because you dont have to believe it all. Abortion is terrible for example. But I don’t have to accept it and choose not to and I can still be a Democrat. It’s just a label. It’s your belief system you have that defines you not the party. It’s the worst election I’ve ever see and i think you agree.
Always a pleasure to hear your thoughts.
West Seegmiller

Photo of Nate Regier
Nate Regier
Posted on July 20, 2016

West, thanks so much for your comment. I love your authentic perspective. If more people appreciated that life isn’t black or white and that we can be against a behavior without being against a person, think how much more progress we could make!

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