Election Day is tomorrow and every candidate on the ballot deserves a thank you. Yes, even those candidates we would never cast a vote for.
Putting your name on the ballot isn’t always an easy thing. Long days. Late nights. Time away from family. Friends became enemies, simply because of the party you are in. You’ve made new friends along the way, too.
Ideas you thought were brilliant, people called stupid. The ideas of your opponent you thought were stupid, people called brilliant. The joke you shared on social media nearly 10 years ago became the subject of an attack mailer. Now your neighbor thinks you’re a jerk, even though he told you a similar joke a week before that mailer landed in mailboxes.
You opened yourself up to being attacked by political opponents with negative mailers, radio, TV and web ads. The old media and new media, including us, may have said or written unkind words about you. Now you’re afraid your dog might hate you too. Don’t worry, the dog still loves you, dogs love unconditionally.
Your character has been questioned, often times by people you’ve never met. Augh! The social media trolls.
First time candidates just spent an entire electoral campaign getting the best civics lesson money couldn’t buy.
If you’ve held office before, or a position of authority, then every single thing you’ve ever said or done has been scrutinized AGAIN, and it still sucks.
All this happened because no matter what office you chose to run for, or currently hold, you are asking people to trust you with millions of tax dollars. That alone means you are held to a higher standard, as should every person seeking or holding elected office, because should you win your election every decision you make affects many people, some of whom didn’t vote for you.
It’s hard to put your name out there. We know it, we’ve both held public positions and have both been attacked. Now we host a radio show and author a blog about politics, we still get attacked. Since July we’ve been called liars, racists and words we can’t say on radio. It’s part of the process. Politics requires a thick skin.
The one thing we ask is that if you lose, don’t take your ball and go home. Stay involved. You cared enough to get involved, some now consider you a leader in your community. If you lose, stay involved and become that leader, but understand there will still be people out there talking trash about you. It’s not easy, but ignore it, because for every person talking trash, there are many more cheering you on.
We know it wasn’t easy. So, to every candidate, even the ones we aren’t voting for, The Bob & Steve Show thanks you for putting yourself out there.
And, if our most sincere thank you isn’t enough, remember the words of Gordon Gekko, “If you need a friend, get a dog.”