Posts Tagged ‘elections’

voter-instrux-1116I’ve voted in every general election since 1984. As a registered Independent, those are the only elections I can vote in but I never considered that a limitation to having my voice heard. I appreciated being able to vote for the person I truly thought could do the best job regardless of their party.

But Tuesday, for the first time in my voting career, I’ll be voting for the person I think will do the least amount of damage.

Clinton and Trump have definitely made the 2016 Presidential race one worth talking about. People I’ve never heard discuss politics before are talking about it now…loudly. Friends who haven’t been registered to vote in years, if ever, will be casting ballots on Nov. 8.

There’s a multitude of reasons why we vote for who we vote for. But there are a few I just can’t accept.

I’m only voting for Hillary because she’s a woman.

It’ll be an historic moment if we finally elect a woman president. Other countries have long had female leaders; it’s crazy that it’s taken this long for our country to get on board. The first woman president of the United States will be under tremendous scrutiny and face a lot of criticism if they screw it up. Plenty of people are waiting for that to happen. Don’t vote for Hillary just because she’s a woman; vote for her because you believe she’s the best PERSON for the job. History will write itself on the gender issue.

I’m only voting for Trump because we need a change.

Change is coming no matter who wins. Trump’s appeal is that he’s the anti-politician and Americans are tired of the typical politician. Don’t vote for the Donald because he’s promising to “change” America; every politician runs on a platform for change. Vote for him because you believe he’s actually got a plan – a viable, specific plan – to change America for the BETTER.

I’m only voting for Clinton/Trump because I don’t want Trump/Clinton to win.

Leave that kind of strategy to high school homecoming elections where the winner’s biggest duties are riding on a parade float and posing for a yearbook photo. The person who’s elected on Nov. 8 will spend four years making important decisions that affect all of us – our families, our businesses, our financial stability, our future. They’ll have a lot of power and if they don’t know how to use it, we’re all in trouble.

Most of what we’ve heard about our presidential candidates in the last few months are reasons why we SHOULDN’T vote for them. Is Hillary Clinton the first political candidate who’s made questionable decisions, acted in secret and has blood on her hands? No. Is Donald Trump the first political candidate who’s groped women, insulted minorities and run an entire campaign without detailing what he’ll really do once he’s in office? No.

In South Dakota, we’re limited by law (SDCL 12-18-15) to no more than 10 minutes in a voting booth on Election Day. I’ve read the Secretary of State’s pamphlet on the ballot measures and marked my sample ballot already. When I walk into that voting booth on Tuesday, I’ll spend about 3 minutes actually voting. Which leaves me 7 minutes to stand there and wonder if I’ve made the right decision.

Are you nervous about the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election? Why or why not?


Honors from Ronald - circa 1983

Yes, my mom DID save everything. So she could give it to us as Christmas presents when we became adults and de-clutter her house…

“Hey, any McDonald’s employees in the house tonight?”

Our table at the Riviera Comedy Club was so close to the stage we could have tripped the comedian on his way to the mic. He couldn’t help but notice my hand in the air; it was the only one in the room raised.

“Oh my God, you actually ADMIT it?”

Yes. Yes, I do. My declaration of McDonald’s loyalty provided about three minutes of comic fodder along with enough embarrassment for my husband that I’m no longer allowed to raise my hand at comedy shows (I have to keep my hands at my sides for auctions, too, but that’s another story). I’m sure there were more of us in the Vegas crowd that night. There had to be. Roughly 1 in 10 workers in the United States have been employed at McDonald’s at some point in their lives. And their website currently touts 761,000 employees in their U.S. restaurants alone. That’s a lot of Hamburglars.

I worked on two different McDonald’s crews, several years and hundreds of miles apart. The lessons I learned as a grill jockey became an important part of my work ethic and while working at McDonald’s may not be anyone’s dream job, there are a lot of people who could benefit from being part of the crew.

In this election year, what if we required every candidate for public office, regardless of the level, to work at McDonald’s for one week? Here’s what they’d learn:

Basic Economics: The simple rules of supply and demand. Estimating quantities to avoid excessive waste. Handling money responsibly. And learning to make change because sometimes things should cost LESS than people expect.

Teamwork: McDonald’s employees work stations during their shifts: drive-thru, counter, grill, fries. When one person doesn’t man their station, it throws everybody off. Do YOUR job and encourage those you work with to do THEIRS. One person can’t, and shouldn’t, do it all.

Flexibility: Work a McDonald’s counter on a Friday night when two busloads of high school kids pull in right after the grill is cleaned and the floor‘s mopped, and you learn to roll with the punches. Put a smile on your face, say “How can I help you?”, listen to what they want and give it to them if you can.

Respect: For yourself, your co-workers and the public you’re serving. You get what you give; give respect and 85% of the time, you’ll get it back. Don’t expect 100% because it‘ll never happen. There will always be that customer for whom the fries are too salty and the coffee‘s too hot.

One week, working for Ronald McDonald, can make you a better leader. It worked for Mayor McCheese. And if you don’t get elected, at least you’ve got some marketable skills for life after politics.

What lesson do you think political candidates should learn before they run for office?