The Art of War: Casualties of Politics

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Someone once told me that politics was a blood sport. While I haven’t made a career from this, I have been involved in politics for a few years and can attest to both the productive and destructive side of campaigns. There’s no denying that in politics, camps tend to form organically. To a degree, this is generally accepted and understandable as loyalties and allegiances can breed unions and coalitions.

Over the last several months in my city, so many lines have been drawn and crossed. Characters have been called into question and sometimes assassinated. Seems like innuendo has somehow become a common part of the local vernacular. These are the unfortunate casualties of politics. There are, however, limits that need be respected that unblur the line between general grandstanding and going for the jugular. The former has been around since time immemorial, while the latter is viscerally ignoble.

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It’s all but impossible to find even the most miniscule space of common ground when the din of discord and attacks drowns out the contrasts and comparisons between opponents and the differences in the messages or agendas. Even those who work hard to remain above the fray are not immune to the taint of a venomous tirade. There remains a lesson in it all, though.

The lesson is that, despite the division and rancor, there exists real opportunity to amplify the “why” and accentuate the “how” behind why the choice before us on election day is important. The thing is, regardless of who you support or don’t support, we all have a part to play in writing the next chapter of our story. The ability to stay the course in any campaign is the real catalyst which determines the outcome.

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As we get closer to the day where our voice really matters, it’s time to dig deep within ourselves and define what we want to see and who is best equipped to act upon it. After all, despite all the brow beating and gnashing of teeth, in every race there are candidates motivated by different things vying for a shot at leadership. It’s not so much about running to solely defeat an opponent, and more about promoting a vision. There is ample room for disagreement and debate – this is why we have the benefit of choice – but the constant barrage of open warfare really deters more than it supports and makes voters weary.

With only 19 days before voters flock to the polls, it’s time to start a little of that digging and ready ourselves to show up informed and secure in the choices we are about to make.

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