Hearts and Minds

Psst. You with the protest sign. Yeah, you. I just want to talk to you a minute. No, no, it’s not about your politics. That’s you and your business. I just wanted to ask if you thought about what you’re doing.

Yeah, I know that. That’s kind of obvious. The thing is, you’ve been going on like this for eleven weeks now. Yeah, I know you don’t like him. You and a lot of other people wanted Hillary to win, and most of them are thinking about the midterms and 2020 election. No, I don’t care if you protest or not. If it floats your boat, go for it. I just wanted to ask if you’ve thought about the cost.

What do I mean? Well take a look at this. This is a map by borough, county, and parish of how the 2016 election went down. Places that went for Hillary are in blue; those that went for Trump are in red:

2016 Election

I’m not surprised you’ve seen this before. They come out after every presidential election. Yes, I know it’s a geographic map and Hillary won the popular vote. By 2,862,903, to be exact. But when you leave out California, Trump wins the popular vote by 1,404,475. So if you get rid of the electoral college, it’s easier to throw an election just by concentrating on places like –

Yes, you’re right. I wasn’t going to talk politics. Sorry. My point? Well, you’re going to a protest, and that sign calls Trump voters racists. That means you’re talking about those right here:

2016 Trump

When you protest, you’re mostly appealing to those here:

2016 Hillary

Actually, you’re appealing to less. Those thinking about the midterms and 2020? A lot of them live in those little blue islands. Mostly cities, to be sure, but still, you’re not appealing to as many as you think. You’re turning a lot of people off.

It’s still a handy map. See, when someone – oh, I don’t know. Maybe a CEO; maybe an actor or singer or writer or what have you. When they call Trump voters and rural America all sorts of names, they’re only appealing to a few people in that blue right there, while ticking off that vast sea of red and telling them they don’t want their business. That’s cool, because most in that sea of red doesn’t want to give it to them. Not anymore, anyway.

My guess is that they – and you – are “virtue signaling.” That’s when you make an effort to show others you think the “right” thoughts. Lots of people do it, and not just through protests. It’s in the books and magazines they read in public; who they support; who they diss; the whole nine yards. Middle school students do it all the time. When –

Oh, I never said you didn’t believe what you’re saying. My point is that trying to say and to the “right” things might get you accepted in some circles, but it’s also going to p*ss off others, and if you depend on the public to make money, that’s going to cost you.

No, no. I’m not trying to get you to shut up. If you believe that strongly, by all means speak out. Just know that if you’re going out of your way to p*ss people off, you’re going to be spectacularly successful. There’s nothing that says people have to do business with those who insult them and what they believe.

Just remember that how you express yourself is going to have a huge impact on how many you p*ss off, and whether anyone listens. I’ve already heard negative comments from both sides. You’re not exactly winning hearts and minds. A little tact goes a long way.

Yes, what you say and what you protest is your business. Just wanted you to think about what you’re saying – and how you say it.

Good day.

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