Politics in the Office
Its election season, and everyone has become an expert on public policy. It seems everyone knows exactly what will happen if either candidate wins, and this or that is why each person should vote for someone or the other. The thing is, with 330 million political experts, everyone wants you to listen to their point of view. It is unavoidable that political discussion will spill over into the office, and with the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United, your company may actually have endorsed or given public support to a particular candidate. Unfortunately, they did not consult you–the political expert–before supporting this candidate.
In many offices political discussion has become taboo; Patriotslog feels this is bad for society. This nation was formed because people discussed politics at work. If nobody had voiced their distaste with the British rule, nobody would have had reason to revolt. In this day and age it is all the more important. With 24 hour cable political propaganda channels nobody thinks past their ears. Everyone “informs” themselves by hearing the opinions (which almost never tells the other side of the story, let alone the whole story) of someone they are naturally inclined to agree with. Because they heard the opinion from Rachel Maddow, Glenn Beck, Bill Maher, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, MSNBC, or the like, they
assume it is a well thought and factually founded opinion. The problem is most of the opinions from these sources are biased by design, because the intent is to make money, informing you will always be secondary.
People are going home each day and listening to or watching their favorite political pundit, and having their biases confirmed, despite the fact that they rarely understand the issue; the hear someone in the media say what they are thinking, and take it to be fact without actually hearing the facts, or trying to understand the other side of the story. If political discussion is banned from the office because the office is so worried about feelings being hurt then this problem is perpetuated. Without political discussion nobody ever has to actually think about what they believe. That, in a single sentence, is the largest problem facing America. The government does not cause problems; we do. The government derives its power from you and me. If every person in America were to start really thinking about what they believe we would excavate that ancient moral courage that used to collectively guide us—no matter your political party—and we would preserve this nation for our children as the shining light our forefathers created. If we do not stop thinking out of our rear ends we cannot ask ourselves why the rest of the world is losing respect for us. If we want to be respected, we must be respectable. The problem is not the politicians, the problem is us.
If your beliefs cannot stand up to criticism or inquiry, they are not worth having in the first place. Office political discussions force one to consider their beliefs. Without them, workers are left to the biased media that will never challenge their beliefs, never make
them think with their brain, and never make them expand their intellectual and civil capacity; the biased media will only pull the wool over our eyes and continue making billions by dividing the United States.
Obviously, no office political discussion should escalate to a shouting match (or worse), but that is what management is for: to manage. It would be a great learning experience in civility to have political discussion that had to be civil. The propaganda biases from cable “news” stations has become so great that civility has depleted to the point of two presidential candidates ready to fist fight at a town hall debate this year. Obviously there should be disciplinary action should a discussion escalate. If someone becomes an animal, shorten the animal’s leash, but for an office to ban political discussion? This leaves no room for healthy growth.
Often, in workplaces in which political discussion is permitted, workers fear the discussion because of what their boss might think. If they disagree with their boss, will it keep them from a promotion? Will it put them on the layoff list when they otherwise would not have been? Will
others see it as sucking up to the boss if you agree with them? There might be no end to the ramifications of a strong political opinion at the office, but that fear should not exist. This is a nation of free speech; that ought to include political discourse. If Fox
Propaganda and MSNBC can get away with the fecal matter they masquerade as news, surely we can have political discussions at work with no repercussions. Many states currently hold laws which ban disciplinary action or preferential treatment on the bases of politics.
For this to happen, the rampant hypersensitivity in our culture has to end. If someone in the workplace challenges your political views, this is not a personal attack—there is no need to get offended. Challenge their views with yours. A civilized discussion is how each of you will grow politically. The other political party is not stupid; they simply have a different point of view. I dare you to listen to it, and even do some research into the facts they site. Your paradigm might be enlightened; you may understand a side of the world you have never seen before. You may not have your mind changed, but at least you will have a respect and understanding of the other political ideology. If nothing else, you might at least have a reason to disagree with them. That alone is better than the secessionist-era style of bickering and partisanship most of the nation now participates in.
1 November, 2012
Posted on November 3, 2012, in Patriotslog Articles, Politics and tagged confirming bias, election 2012, free speech, office politics, political discussion, political pundit, politics, propaganda. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.