An Undecided Voter Will Not Vote

Over the past few weeks, social media and news outlets have tried to predict who will vote on November 3. Also, the discussion about absentee and mail-in voting has received more attention during this election cycle than any other in recent history. When looking at how voters identify according to political parties, 29% say they are Republicans, 40% say they are Democrats, and 27% identify as independent (Ballotpedia, 2017).

A natural inclination is to believe the independent voter will swing to either the left or the right. However, that is a very difficult prediction to make considering that independent voters usually vote Democrat or Republican, they just prefer not to share their true party preference. The undecided voter is the voter each party should be concerned about and focused on winning over. Due to the nature of the social, economic, and political climate, I believe undecided voters at this time simply will not vote. They have no incentive because each candidate does not have clearly defined policies and ineffectively articulates how they plan to move the country forward and help others.

After the first presidential debate, these are thoughts shared from undecided voters with NPR:

Javon McMillan, an undecided voter, stated “I feel kind of scared about Election Day honestly. don’t feel like either party has Black people or poor people’s best interests at heart because one side, I feel like, wants to keep people poor, and the other side doesn’t even care.” Another undecided voter, Zoey Shisler, stated “the problem is there’s just constant conversation about the overall – like, GDP or the stock market. Is that really a good economy if people are not getting the wages that they used to and they don’t have job security and they don’t have health care?  Shisler feels there is a general lack of substance to help her decide. “All Biden has to do is convince me that he has policies that are going to replace Trump when he gets into office, and he hasn’t convinced me of that.”  These sentiments reflect the essence of what voters want to know: how are you going to help me? What are you going to do to change my professional trajectory, help improve my community, and ensure safety for my loved ones?  

Sometimes, policy issues focus more on facts instead of appealing to the hearts of voters. Below are the published list of policy issues each candidate supports.

Economy

Trump

  • Grant tax credits to companies that move manufacturing back to United States, tariffs on those that don’t.
  • Continue improving trade deals after USMCA, China Phase 1, South Korea, and Japan deals.
  • Continue to cut regulations for businesses.
  • Fund on-the-job training, apprenticeships.
  • Make major investment in infrastructure.

 Biden

  • Increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.
  • Strengthen worker organizing, collective bargaining, and unions.
  • Make major investment in infrastructure focused on reducing carbon emissions.
  • Make racial equity part of the mandate of the Federal Reserve.

Taxes

Trump

  • Signed tax cut legislation.
  • Cut capital gains tax to 15 percent.
  • Increased the estate tax basic exemption amount from $5 million to $10 million.
  • Proposes a cut to payroll tax.

Biden

  • Greatly increase capital gains tax to same rate as income tax.
  • Increase taxes by $4 trillion over 10 years, including raising taxes on people making over $400,000 a year.
  • Directed federal agencies to move out of D.C. to opportunity zones.

Health Care

Trump

  • Rescinded the individual mandate in Affordable Care Act and supports repealing the entire act.
  • Protect those with pre-existing conditions.
  • Supports health care price transparency.
  • Stop “surprise billing” by banning out-of-network charges when the patient doesn’t have control over provider choice.

Biden

  • Introduce “public option” health insurance plans run by the federal government.
  • Protect and expand the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  • Increase tax credits toward health coverage. Give the tax credits to higher-income people who currently aren’t eligible
  • Provide free health care to illegal aliens.
  • Expand Medicaid in states that rejected expansion offered by ACA.

Education

Trump

  • Support school choice—homeschooling, career and technical education, private or parochial schools, magnet schools, charter schools, online learning, and early-college high schools.
  • Wants funding to follow child (currently an average of $12,000 per student per year in public school).
  • Ensure First Amendment protections for students on campus.
  • Sue colleges for discriminating against Asians and whites.

Biden

  • Triple the funding for Title I schools, increase teacher wages.
  • Double the number of psychologists, guidance counselors, nurses, and social workers in schools.
  • Increase federal funding for public school infrastructure.
  • Provide universal Pre-K for all 3- and 4-year-olds.
  • Double funding for home visiting programs for parents of young children.
  • Make public colleges and universities tuition-free for all students whose family incomes are below $125,000.
  • Forgive student debt for low-income and middle-class individuals who have attended public colleges and universities.

Border Security/Immigration

Trump

  • Halt the diversity visa lottery program that randomly gives out 50,000 green cards annually.
  • Clarify birthright citizenship to exclude illegal immigrant children and “birth tourism.”
  • Possibly resubmit DACA repeal to Supreme Court.
  • Increase merit-based immigration from 12 percent to 57 percent, and possibly higher.

Biden

  • Provide a pathway to citizenship for the more than 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, including Deferred Action to Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status recipients.
  • Rescind travel bans from terror-prone countries.
  • Stop workplace enforcement of illegal workers and promote union organization.
  • Decrease detention and Immigration and Customs Enforcement interior enforcement efforts.

Environment

Trump

  • Focus on clean air and water, not carbon emissions.
  • Expedited environmental assessments.
  • Fund national parks cleanup.
  • Rejects U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of U.S. sovereignty, and opposes any form of global tax.

Biden

  • Invest $1.7 trillion over 10 years for “climate and environmental justice.”
  • Implement Green New Deal; move away from fossil fuels and fracking.
  • Promises 100 percent clean energy economy and net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Require aggressive methane pollution limits for new and existing oil and gas operations.

November 3, 2020 is election day: Be sure to exercise your RIGHT & VOTE!

What’s in a Name?

A person’s name is the one feature that will follow them their entire life. As children, we experience varying pronunciations beginning at school. Teachers are usually the first individual’s children encounter and may have a negative experience. For those who do not have a unique name, it is important to put yourself in the other persons’ shoes. It is a good practice is to ask the person how to pronounce their name prior to doing so; this demonstrates a certain level of respect and understanding for others. Your name is displayed everywhere, it is seen on a driver’s license, college transcript, car loan, house loan, resume, your office door…you get the picture. In today’s climate, virtual interactions require those to be more aware of the “simple” and “small” things. Many people with unique names have stories they can share of uncomfortable interactions that occurred in person with someone who has been dismissive or uninterested in pronouncing their name correctly. This too can occur in a remote and virtual environment.

Regarding employment (Need to change not sure what to say here), resumes are a tool to learn about an individual’s skills, knowledge base, and experiences; however, the name can be a hindrance due to unconscious biases. In classroom settings, some students may begin to experience anxiety if they feel the teacher is not going to try to pronounce their name correctly.

The history of names dates to prehistory, when descriptive names were repeatably used until they became a part of the culture. With the rise of Christianity, trends in naming practices manifested and the oldest of these names were Jewish and Greco-Roman. By the Middle Ages, the Christian influence on naming practices was pervasive. Today, therefore names such as Mary, Matthew, James, Anthony, Mark, Edward, and Richard, William, and Robert are popular.

It is important to remember that names tend to have an original meaning, usually descriptive, then a pleasing collection of sounds.”

Here a few tips to ensure we make those with unique names feel acknowledged and included.

  • Always ask how to pronounce a name instead of guessing or assuming
  • Be sure to address the individual frequently using their name as a sign of respect
  • It is understandable if you forget how to pronounce a name or are unsure
  • Remind yourself how you would feel if you were in that person’s position

 Follow Up Exercise – food for thought

Look up the meaning of your name.

Can you think of an experience when someone mispronounced your name? How did it make you feel? How did you address it?

Can you think of an experience when you incorrectly pronounced someone’s name? How did you react? What can you do differently?

Until Next Time

Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset

Fixed: The same, limited, doesn’t change

Growth: constantly evolving, changing

Mindset: how you think and believe

A fixed mindset vs. a growth mindset is not a new topic- but it is well worth discussing. Your mindset determines not only the way you think but influences what you believe and more importantly what you do. Your mindset affects how you act upon your thoughts and beliefs.

Therefore, if you possess a fixed mindset, you tend to believe things will always be the same and never change. If you possess a growth mindset, you believe in the saying that “This too shall pass.”

In life, some people are forced to adopt a growth mindset as a result of living with a fixed mindset and not seeing or experiencing optimal results.

Yet, some people are wired to have a fixed mindset, and thus struggle to develop a growth mindset.

Throughout life, we will all face numerous challenges, and the only way to supersede the previous one is to have a growth mindset. When you adopt a growth mindset, you constantly challenge yourself to do better and be better. You push yourself outside of your comfort zone and you make decisions that will move you forward, not backward. The whole growth mindset stems from the concept of progress over stagnation.

If you read the post from last week, I am sure you will see the correlation between those who have a “perfectionism mentality.” Usually, the perfectionist has a fixed mindset, even though they have convinced themselves they have a growth mindset. Perfectionists will only stretch so far out of a fear of failure. Therefore, that is still within the realm of a fixed mindset. 

Yet, the growth mindset allows you to make progress and strive for a change instead of relying on continuity for comfort.

The challenge for this week is to think of two ways in which you can adopt growth mindset principles and strategies.

Leave a comment below stating the two principles you will implement to GROW, EXPAND, and MULTIPLY.

Until next time,

The Perfectionist Mentality

About a month ago I was speaking at a virtual conference and I made the comment that perfectionism creates pressure which in turn affects productivity.

A lot of people agreed with this statement and it seemed to be widely accepted that many people suffer from what I call the “perfectionism mentality.”

This mentality means that we feel as though things must be perfect before being implemented. This can take the face of a business venture or even a simple decision regarding a family matter. Either way, we are placing unnecessary pressure on ourselves to be perfect.

The fact is- no one is perfect and the sooner you realize this, the happier and less stressed you will be. You cannot go through life being against yourself. And if you are a perfectionist, then basically you are against yourself because you are not allowing yourself to grow, expand, and multiply. Instead, you are preventing yourself from achieving great things all because you think it has to be “perfect.”

I can assure you that you are not alone.

According to psychologist Hamachek, there are two types of a perfectionist: normal perfectionists and neurotic perfectionists. Can you identify which one you are? Essentially, normal perfectionists pursue perfection without compromising their self-esteem. On the other hand, neurotic perfectionists strive for unrealistic goals and feel dissatisfied when they cannot reach them.

The key is that when you desire to be perfect you fear imperfection. Also, you feel that people will only like you if you are in fact- perfect. Therefore, being perfect creates a false sense of confidence that is not healthy for your overall sanity. Also, perfectionists tend to view mistakes as a sign of personal defects instead of an opportunity to work harder.

Finally, the fear of failure resonates deeply with people who suffer from the perfectionism mentality. They feel as though being perfect is more of a burden than anything else.

My challenge to you is- if you or someone you know suffers from the perfectionism mentality- then start to self-reflect on when you feel as though you must be perfect and what situations challenge you to think this way.

Diversity of Thought

A recent article on “Why We Need to Stop Talking about Diversity of Thought” indicates this is a risky approach to diversity and inclusion efforts. Diversity of thought is “the idea that people don’t need to look different or identify with an underrepresented group in order to bring varying diverse viewpoints to the table.”  The author posits that “diversity of thought is an outcome of DEI efforts and we become distracted from the real reasons we need to be focusing on DEI initiatives.”

I would challenge this and say that diversity of thought is an input of DEI efforts. Incorporating diversity of thought into companies is important for a few reasons.

·       For employees to be valued, their opinions, ideas, and perspectives must be acknowledged.

·       The article emphasizes diversity is “the right thing to do.” Even though it’s the right thing to do, we must equip leaders with the proper tools to ensure employees do not feel forced to participate in DEI efforts. I would say that encouraging your employees to embrace and value differences is “the right thing to do.”

Increasing company diversity includes improving workplace culture, employee experiences, and embracing the diversity of thought.

Lastly, it is diversity of thought that allows individuals to generate new and fresh ideas. This is how we learn to appreciate innovative approaches to problem-solving.

What is your perspective on diversity of thought? Feel free to share in the comments!