Saturday, January 21, 2017

If You Want To Be Heard

I don’t know if this is a saying or not, but it makes so much sense to me I have to believe someone before me has said it.

“If you want to be heard, you need to have a seat at the table”

That seems simple enough to me. I don’t know a thing about politics. I suppose that’s why I am so perplexed at the reaction coming from the legion of “I Hate Trump” Democrats. At the time I type this there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 Democrats in the House of Representatives that have refused to come to the Inauguration of the President-Elect Donald J. Trump. Citing reasons anywhere from “He has said inappropriate things” to “ Her is Illegitimate”.

All of these politicians must have a clear understanding of how things work in Washington. They are completely outnumbered. The breakdown in the House of Representatives of the 115th Congress will be

- Democrats -  194
- Republicans - 241

They are clearly outnumbered. Yet the have decided to display a big middle finger to Donald Trump. Doing so they are doing the same to the Republican party. This on a day that is supposed to be a day of unity.

My thoughts on this particular situation come from my years of dealing with people in a non-political environment. Specifically, the many years I spent in lending. As distasteful as it was, a good amount of my time was spent working with people who we’re paying on time.

It was my job to make sure these people made their payments and honored the commitment they made when they signed their loan papers. I’d like to think I was pretty good at it. I believe that it was mostly due to my approach.

I learned early on that you cannot force anyone to do anything by using insults, threats, or intimidation. It is also impossible to convince someone to do anything if there is no conversation or you make yourself unavailable to them. The only way to get your message to someone is to develop a dialog with them.

The only way you have a chance to convince someone of anything is through respectful dialog. You have to acknowledge that they have an opinion. You have to speak with them in a non-aggressive way.  You have to win them over.

These Democrats aren’t doing that. What they are doing is an aggressive act that I believe will be taken into consideration when it comes to future votes in the House. If they thought they had a difficult fight before, they have really made things much worse. It’s my belief that they are creating a wall that will block any real communication they could have had with those that they so vehemently oppose.

The only end result I can see for them is that they will be completely ignored by the Republicans in the House. They will become unnecessary and their ideas, even if they are good, will be ignored. It’s my belief that they have only made things worse.

But I’m not a politician, so what do I know …

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