[Written on October 25, 2020]
I’m writing this nine days BEFORE the 2020 Presidential Election.
I follow people on both sides of the governmental & ideological aisle. I read articles published by companies that find a negative for everything Trump does (ahem, New York Times). I take in the counterpoints of people like Scott Adams, one of the few who predicted the 2016 outcome.
I try to remain as objective as a human being can possibly be when everyone has a (strong) opinion, most of which are based on emotions (the most volatile brand of opinion there is).
That said, I’m writing this before the election has even happened. I don’t know who won. You’re reading this the day after the election, when it may still be unclear who won, but I predict that someone — a news outlet or a candidate themselves — will be claiming that it’s already decided.
I’m excited for the outcome for 3 reasons.
1) I don’t care who wins. Actually, I do care, but I have no emotional investment in that caring. Compared to most voting Americans in 2020, that’s basically not caring.
2) The level of vitriol and nastiness that will be thrown around by the people who argue this stuff on a daily basis. It will be UGLY. And fun to watch. I think Twitter will explode today or tomorrow, depending on who wins and by how much.
3) I’ll have plenty of material at the ready no matter what happens. Today’s Work On Your Game MasterClass / Podcast episode, for example, provides you a post-election action plan that applies perfectly, regardless of last night’s result.
But enough about me. I’m just an unengaged citizen who, despite the very nature of my daily work, clearly must not care about anyone other than myself since I won’t go hard for either major-party Presidential candidate.
We’re here to talk about your post-election plan of action. The more engaged you are / were in this political stuff, the more you need what follows.
(Especially if the guy you voted for lost.)
1) ON THE WINNER
First, understand the nature of the Presidency.
This person serves all of the United States, 328 million people, who all have different interests and needs. Some of those interests and needs conflict with each other. The President has to make choices. Some of those choices (or their trickle-down effects) will benefit you. Some will hurt you. The math of it makes this inevitable.
This is true even if the person you voted for wins. It’s impossible to please 328 people, let alone 328 MILLION people, all at once.
I paid a bit of attention to the recent Supreme Court Justice appointment situation. In short, Democrats were upset because of how the Republicans maneuvered and broke precedent to add a conservative judge to the high court and now have a majority representation.
Some things I heard from Democrats in response to this outcome involved the idea of expanding the Supreme Court to more than the traditional 9 justices. Since justices serve until they die, the only way to get a Democratic advantage now, short of someone dying, is to add more seats to the Supreme Court and fill those seats with Democrats.
Looking at it objectively, I can appreciate that counter-strategy by the Democrats.
What it really made me think: the primary agenda of politics is not serving the people. It’s about winning the political game.
If you happen to help some percentage of the people while winning the political game, great. If you help no one — or even hurt people — while winning the political game, shit, at least you still have your job in politics (until the next election — IF anyone you hurt even notices what you did and can alert enough of the others).
All this means this: The government is not made to serve you, mere citizens.
Government and politics is a game in itself, a career unto itself. A politician’s number one job is to keep their job; i.e. win their next election. That might mean telling the truth about how they’ve helped their constituency. That might mean telling a lie about it. It may mean talking circles around you to the point that you can’t distinguish the truth from the lies.
This is not stated to dissuade you from paying attention, noting, caring, etc. It’s to let you know that hinging your happiness or success — or any percentage of these — on what a government official does is a bad bet on your part.
Do what you need to do for yourself, and consider anything the government does an added benefit.
2) ON CANDIDATE / PARTY PREFERENCE
I went on a trip earlier this year where three of us were traveling.
We were choosing an AirBnB to stay at and our decision came down to two places. I like place A. The other two people like place B. Two beats one. We stayed at place B. Place B turned out to be amazing. Next time I’m in that town, I’m staying at place B again.
The design of a democracy is, “majority rules.”
Whomever or whatever the group chooses, is what we get. If your candidate didn’t win, you’re still part of the group. Get behind the group and make the most of it. Don’t spend too much time complaining about the outcome when you knew what the design of the game was from the beginning.
Complaining is for losers.
I’ve seen people who I respect say they wish Obama was still in charge, since he was/is the exact opposite of Trump. It reminded me of a wonder I’ve had since 2016: If Obama and Trump are indeed opposites, then we had 8 years of Barack, and (as of this writing) 4 years of Donald. So either way, you had at least 4 years of what you wanted.
That’s plenty of time to do what you need to do — if, in fact, the President has that much of an effect on your outcomes (they don’t).
3) ON YOURSELF
I figured out why people get so worked up over politics (especially when the person they don’t like is in office): there’s someone to blame.
When there’s someone to blame, you don’t need to do anything — all the changing must be done by them. And until/unless that change occurs, you can continue complaining. It’s an endless cycle.
Someone commented on one of my videos this summer with a saying that I like.
“What goes on in YOUR house is more important than what’s happening in the White House.”
Does the White House matter? Yes. 150 Million+ people voted this year. $14 BILLION was spent on election efforts between all sides. You’re reading this article.
But what you do on a daily basis (“the discipline of showing up day after day to do the work…”) will affect your life a lot more than anything the White House does. This is your personal responsibility. You have 100% ownership of what happens in your house. Can’t complain to anyone about that.
This campaign cycle has been entertaining. I’ve learned a lot more about humans in general than I’ve learned about politics. Conflict and crisis generate revelations.
But it’s over now (maybe!). It’s time we get back to focusing on the game that we control, the one that doesn’t require other people seeing “the facts,” “what’s going on,” or “the truth” the same as you see it.
The game that you can’t blame anyone for, as you are the sole owner of its outcomes and are personally responsible for those outcomes. And you have skin in the game: you have to live with every single result of your actions, intentional or not.
To me, that’s the most fun game there is. If it hasn’t been so fun for you, join us at Work On Your Game University and let’s get to the bottom of why. If it has been fun, you should join us too so you can help others learn how you’ve done it.
Get started here: http://WorkOnYourGameUniversity.com