As we pull into the holiday season, many Americans are now estranged from their families. They’ll sit at the Thanksgiving table, mumbling bitterly at Cousin Bob the Trump supporter. Or, Cousin Bob might be mumbling bitterly over Aunt Carol, the Hillary fan. Either way, the pumpkin pie will not be as sweet.
How did things get this way? Well, there are many reasons but I think one thing is clear…
A microphone is not the same as an audience.
1.) Stop with the Political Commentary on Facebook
This should be obvious by now. Everybody that’s politically ranted on Facebook has been muted by their “friends.” Many of these “friends” might actually agree with the comments being made, but that’s beside the point; Facebook is no place for political ideology. A plethora of sites have already been made to handle these discussions (Huff Po, Breitbart, etc).
I spoke with a friend about a month ago on this topic. He told me that he blocked around 50 friends on Facebook because of their daily political commentary. This included both conservative and liberal posters. I’ve muted quite a few people myself. However, I also installed “Kill News Feed” to my Facebook page, which virtually renders it useless. It’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done, because it was becoming a serious drain to my positive nature.
I think Gene Wilder said it best:
Years ago, I performed in a rock band. I realized how difficult it was to actually build a following. It took years to gain the support of fans: continual touring, quality performances, interaction with fans, etc. Through that experience, I witnessed how hard it was to gain the loyalty of the general public. With Facebook, I see that many people never learned the same lesson.
2.) Stop with the Political Commentary at Parties
There is an old saying—you never discuss religion or politics at a party. Sadly, many people break this rule. I was at a party two months ago and a woman got up on a chair and stated, “Anybody who likes Donald Trump can leave right now.” Mind you, this wasn’t even her house. It’s that kind of intimidation that turned voters into Republicans, by the way. But that’s beside the point.
People don’t go to parties to be lectured at. They go to enjoy themselves. They are looking to escape the world and not be threatened by people with poor social awareness. It’s troublesome, no doubt. I’ve had to make a new rule for myself—refusing to attend a party if I know that political pundits will attend. It’s just no fun.
Many people feel that a party is a microphone, a chance for them to unleash their diatribes on the crowd. They fail to realize that just because you silence your opposition, it does not mean you have convinced them. It just means that you’re a buzz kill.
3.) Stop with the Political Commentary in Public Places
I was at a Starbucks around three months ago, and a man started yelling profanities about Trump. Mind you, he was not a street person; he was somebody sitting at his table, drinking coffee, and reading the paper. Clearly, he believed it was Ok to yell political commentary out to the customers.
Thankfully, some of the people in line started shouting back at him. The manager walked over and asked the man to leave. But either way, this yelling man did not convince anybody of anything. He just annoyed a group of strangers–nothing more.
4.) Stop with the Political Commentary in Sports
Sports has stopped being a vehicle for escapism. Now, it’s merely a platform for rich athletes to recite Sociology 101 talking points. Thankfully, ESPN has started to feel the pinch for their programming changes. They have been losing subscribers left and right. The drop in viewership has started to ruffle the executive decision makers:
- “…at ESPN, cord-cutting and cord-shaving eating into the affiliate revenue base. Cable affiliate revenue has been the bedrock of earnings for media conglomerates, and Disney is no exception. By some estimates, ESPN accounts for as much as 30% of Disney’s operating income, and the sports powerhouse has shed 10 million subscribers in the past five years.”
10 million subscribers…that’s not peanuts. Don’t expect the company to change anytime soon, however. Remember that when political ideologues take over a company, they’re virtually incapable of adapting their beliefs. To do so would be to deny their existence; their whole Weltanschauung is identity politics.
And the professional athletes will not surrender anytime soon either. They fail to realize that people watch sports to be entertained, not lectured at. If they continue to push their SJW talking points into the face of their fans, expect more financial losses from ESPN.
A microphone is not an audience. An audience is earned through years of hard work: people see your diligence, your integrity, and your talent. They come to trust your perspective, and they reward you with their time. That’s no small exchange; it takes hard work and dedication.
Anybody can purchase a microphone; it takes years to earn an audience.