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To go partisan or not to go partisan

July 15, 2010

That is the question.

When I started this blog I wanted it to be a place where I could blend my personal and professional interests into one space. As a part of the young, digital native generation I’ve always lived with a fairly mixed personal and professional life. I’ve always had jobs I’ve been passionate about and done work that I loved, so I carried that passion naturally into my personal time, and I’ve typically liked many people who I work with, making even time in the office a bit personal.

When I came to Washington, D.C. for college I had a huge passion for politics. The ability to stay current with the political scene was a key bonus of going to college in this city. My first post-college job was all politics, all the time. And I even met my husband on the political scene (thank you, College Republicans). But when I started my job with the Army I felt a strong personal conviction that it was time to put the political aside. (And quite frankly, after 2006 I was ready for a rest!)

I’ve now severed my ties to civil service and am free to speak about all things political again, but I’ll admit I’m a bit gun-shy. After keeping it party neutral for so long I wonder how political I should be and how much I should talk about politics in a professional forum – especially considering as an independent consultant I have to fight for my own business, and I don’t want to risk losing clients.

I’ve carefully considered it and I think you can walk a careful line and introduce some politics into your professional environment. And these days, it helps that I hate both parties equally. Well, I kind of lie – I hate more democrats.

For me, politics has always been about values. I vote for the party that supports my values and pick candidates based on their personal values as well as their policies. And when it comes to talking about politics – in this blog or in any other forum – I think I’ll always find myself focusing more on issues than endorsing certain candidates. Yes, you risk offending or putting people off if you reach into political or even issues-based conversations. But at the end of the day, it’s not to hard to figure out where I land on the left-center-right spectrum. (Have you seen how much I talk about loving guns and babies across my many personal social networking profiles?)

And at the end of the day, if I lose a client, I think it’s a risk worth taking to get back to talking about topics I love. After all, Planned Parenthood wasn’t going to be knocking on my door, anyway.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 17, 2010 7:13 am

    Lindy! Sorry to see you leave Army Public Affairs! We need talented young folks to energize the field. However, I wish you the best in your endeavors. You did great things to move us forward in Social Media. I’m sure you’ll be a success wherever you go.

    V/R,
    Dave McNally
    P.S. I’m a Democrat 🙂

    • July 21, 2010 10:33 pm

      Dave – thanks for your comment. I was definitely sorry to leave Army public affairs, but I might be back. Hopefully others keep pushing the career field forward, and I’ll certainly keep doing what I can from the sidelines – which is sometimes a more powerful position, anyway! (And I’ll try not to hold the fact that you’re a dem against you ;).

  2. July 18, 2010 6:27 am

    People are going to be positive or negative no matter what you do, so you might as well just speak your mind. If you just sit on the fence, you will be like Humpty Dumpty, waiting to be knocked off.

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