Thursday, November 8, 2012

And My Election Night Social Media Winner Is...

....Ben McKenzie.


Well, it is not because he has amazing forearms and looks good in a gun belt (see: SouthLAnd).

And it is not because there weren't many other good people -- both men and women -- putting themselves out there on social media during Election Night.

And it is not because I agree with his positions on most things.  In fact, our votes were probably diametrically opposed.  The majority of them, anyway.

It is because he played the game the way I believe it should be played.  Kind of like the best sort of football coach.  He said nothing nasty about his opponents or their positions.  He just rallied his team and pushed them on toward the goal line until the game was won.  He used very few words, but he did have an intensity about him.

He said only three things:
     1.  Folks, get out and vote please!  I'm looking at you WI and OH voters.  Also IA and NV and CO... #forward
     2.  #stayinline
     3.  Tammy Baldwin wins.  Historic.  #forward

In the weeks preceeding the vote, he rode on buses and spoke in some cities across America which his party realized were part of the key to victory in the election.  And, again, when he used social media, his words were few.  But, he comported himself in a dignified and positive manner.  Here are a few examples:
     1.  Excited to come to Iowa Friday....on the campaign's RV tour to reelect Barack Obama.
     2.  Iowa, are you ready?  #BeTheFirst to vote early for Barack Obama.
     3.  Can't wait to rally the Obama troops in Reno!
     4.  Thank you Reno!  Amazing turnout at UNR.  On to Vegas! #packdecides

He did not use inflammatory language when discussing the "other side."  He did not post pictures of Mitt Romney with glowing, demonic eyes photoshopped in.  He did not accuse the Republicans of having a desire to "persecute" him.  He did not declare that if the other side won that it would be the "downfall" of our country or culture.

He kept it positive.  He kept it upbeat.  He kept it fun and spirited and lively.  He kept it the way it is supposed to be during an election season and on Election Day in America.  You get with your team, you rally your side, and then you accept the results of the process with dignity and grace.  And you have hope for the future, as an American should.

As my kids were growing up, I made sure they each read Rose Kennedy's autobiography.  In case you don't know, she was John F. Kennedy's mother.  My parents were big Kennedy fans, and Rose's book was one that my mother read aloud to me when I was a little girl.  It is truly enjoyable.  And in this story, Rose describes her son's presidential campaign.  Her description of that campaign reminds me a whole lot of the way Ben McKenzie behaved throughout this most recent election cycle.  You get on the bus.  You talk to the people.  You give them some hope and optimism.  You encourage them to vote.  You do the grassroots thing.

I hope the Republicans can learn from this for the next time.  I don't want to hear another word about the "47%".  Anyone who hopes to win the presidency needs that 47% -- at least a good number of them.  I don't want to hear another word about how the Democrats are going to ruin America.  I am tired of hearing them be compared to commies and fascists.   Let's take a lesson from Ben, and others like him, about how things should be done from here on out.

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