Can Small Business Lead the Way Away from Polarization?

Small business has the potential to balance the politics of social media

 

Editor’s note: This is part two of a two part series. The opinions soley reflect the author’s views, Latin Business Today provides a platform for perspectives on both sides of issues. Part one of this two part series:  Social Responsibility of Politics and Social Media.

Can small business feed open dialogue and better communication in a politically polarized environment? 

    As an independent and someone who considers themselves somewhere in the middle, I look at the world in terms of balance. Nothing is black and white. The world’s problems aren’t going to be solved by a comply or coexist bumper sticker.

That being said, ultra conservative is not where I want to head. Taking the religious road as an excuse to discriminate really frightens me. If you allow one group to take the religious road to say yes or no to someone, then the next group can do the same and you are winding down a very dark staircase. I’m a woman of faith.  God is love. Love thy neighbor. On the flip side, I don’t believe everyone deserves everything across the board.

Capitalism, Russia and rewards

I had the privilege of visiting St. Petersburg, Russia in 2001, just two weeks before the world changed. Russia was just getting out of its communist boots and into its more capitalist shoes. The resounding feedback from the Russians we spoke to was that when someone can’t achieve, work for, or own their own rewards, then they don’t care about those rewards, they don’t take care of them, and they don’t respect them. It was very enlightening.

    My independent thinking has left me teetering on the political seesaw and wondering can there be a future where people embrace dialogue instead of choosing sides? If so, is there a catalyst who can move us from splitsville to cohesive accountability and sustained communication?

As hard as I try, I can’t foresee big businesses being that catalyst. I’m sure dropping off of Facebook doesn’t make the big companies whose advertising is every where, very happy.  At face value, it would appear big business isn’t about to lead the way. Big companies have CEOs with big bank accounts. They make big donations to candidates who serve their profitable needs. 

Is it possible for small business to lead the way away from polarization?

    I’m wondering, is it possible for small business to lead the way away from polarization and towards dialogue and open, respectful debate?

Small business owners don’t usually fall into the “big” category when it comes to bank accounts and donations. Sure candidates talk a good game about small business and how important small business is in the economic machine, but when the chips are down deep pockets win candidates. When I was a small business owner my income was comfortable enough and balanced. I never had “deep pockets.”

Small businesses can be a catalyst for debate

    Although most small business owners aren’t in the position to make big contributions to politicians to feed their agenda, we can make big contributions as one large group. Small business owners do have the ability to lead by example and make a ripple which can turn into a wave with regards to how they vocalize and support our country’s future.

What if every small business had a “Communicate” sticker in their window, or some other slogan, promoting positive dialogue instead of picking a side and holding a pitchfork. Sounds small and trivial but who knows?     

For better or worse, we’ve seen through the guise of a wedding cake that small businesses can be a catalyst for debate. Perhaps small business can plant the seeds for a garden of change on a landscape that right now is being choked out by the weeds of hate? Small business comes in big numbers. It could be a really big garden. 

    Soon I will be bidding Facebook adieu and will stay away until after our next President is elected. Then, I will get back on and see what’s happening, although, I’m pretty sure I already know; who ever the next President is someone out there will be miserable.

    In the meantime, understand that your posts have a broad audience and can be a positive reflection of you and your business or a negative one. If you have a great candidate full of awesomeness, then post his/her awesomeness.

Leave the opposition bashing out and please, for all that is holy, stop posting that Obama banned the Christmas tree from the White House. Really?

Related articles:

Part one: Social Responsibility of Politics and Social Media

Small Business Social Media: It’s All About Word of Mouth

Avoid Teaching Elephants to Fly

Is Social Media Good For Business?