At a teleconference I attended yesterday morning, which consisted of team members across the globe, those of us in the U.S. were trying to console each other that this election hell will be over soon. “Tomorrow will be the end of it.” From my U.K. counterpart, “Or will it be the beginning?” The world is watching and on high alert. This isn’t just about us.
Regardless of Election Day results, I fear this country has set a new low in politics we may never recover from and wonder how we got to this point. Let’s be honest, politics has always been ugly. But a new level of rage and crudeness has surfaced during this presidential race, and I think it reflects the promise of the American dream that did not come to fruition for all. The pursuit of happiness has met with such discord and defeat that we argue against a candidate rather than for a candidate, seeing little hope for solutions but dreading the candidate who may make matters worse.
Respectful disagreement is non-existent. Friends avoid talking politics so they can stay friends. “Saturday Night Live” ratings have soared because people desperately need the comic relief. People are begging others to vote for fear that our disgust will keep us away from the polls.
Future aspiring leaders should burn the 2016 election playbook and set new standards for running on his or her merit, and avoid dumbing down speeches. Give us some credit. We know good leadership when we see it…and when we don’t. To our new president-elect, whoever that will be, you need to bring back civility and earn respect within and outside America. We deserve that, and the world is watching.