As a bi-monthly contributor to Staffing Talk this will be my last column before November 8th, and as such my last chance to weigh in here on an issue, our upcoming presidential election, that has probably become even larger than a national presidential election should be, if that were even possible.
Yeah, I know, I know - EVERY election is the mostest importantest election ever, but you know what? THIS election really, really, really IS arguably the most critical election of our lifetimes, if only because control of not one, but two branches of government are at stake.
It's also, thanks to two extremely polarizing candidates, by far the most fascinating.
As I write this I'm sitting in the airport in San Diego, California, having just finished a fantastic week at Staffing World 2016, the opening session of which featured an interesting text poll conducted by ASA President and CEO Richard Wahlquist. The question posed to attendees, all or most of whom are staffing industry executives and business owners - Who do you plan to vote for in the upcoming election?
Easy, right? I whipped out my phone and cast my vote for what I thought was the obvious choice, then smugly looked around the room and waited for the results. Surely this crowd would be at least 90 percent Trump, maybe 86 percent if a few pressed the wrong button on that tiny texty thing.
However, as the results came in an astonishing result emerged. Yes, Trump did carry the day, with (if I remember correctly) almost 50 percent of the vote. A small percentage chose neither or third party candidates, and even a few chose legendary ASA attorney Ed Lenz (hey, really can't blame anyone for that!). However, shockingly, sadly, tragically, almost 30 percent of attendees chose ... Hillary Clinton!
Oh, it's not that Hillary doesn't have her supporters, because we all know she does, but the fact that such a significant percentage are represented in an industry almost entirely dependent on the regulatory whims of our government 'masters' is actually quite shocking. I shouldn't have to explain why Democratic policies, from taxes to regulations, are detrimental to us and the businesses we seek to help. Everyone knows this. It should be as plain as the nose on your face, and yet here we are, with fully thirty percent of Staffing World attendees supporting someone who will clearly act against their self interests and the interests of their clients.
Which begs the question - why?
The answer, of course, is complicated, but I think it mostly boils down to people's perception of the Republican nominee, Donald Trump. In a classic 'forest, trees' fallacy, many have unfortunately allowed their personal dislike for Trump and his statements and even past actions to get in the way of the fact that what he plans to do policy-wise would actually be good for business.
And here's the deal - Regardless of how you feel about Donald Trump's recent scandals, the media spotlight on them is meant to elicit just that - feelings. Pay no attention to the issues and especially to the man (or woman) behind the curtain, they say. Instead, let's point and shriek at Trump because of the latest Apprentice contestant he's supposed to have groped a decade ago.
For the life of me, I honestly don't get it.
Some people would rather see Obamacare continue and their healthcare premiums skyrocket than vote for Donald Trump.
Some people would rather see taxes go through the roof, stifling economic growth and indeed their very own businesses, than vote for Donald Trump.
Some people would rather see the Supreme Court shift irrevocably to the Left than vote for Donald Trump.
Some people would rather see half a million more unscreenable Muslim refugees brought to this country, a percentage of whom WILL commit terrorist acts on American soil, than vote for Donald Trump.
Some people would rather see the American manufacturing base continue to erode as businesses spurn American taxes and regulation and take advantage of greener pastures overseas to make their products, than vote for Donald Trump.
Some people would rather see a corrupt individual CURRENTLY under FBI investigation hold the highest office in the world than vote for Donald Trump.
I could go on and on. In truth, Trump's Contract With The American Voter is a masterpiece of sound policy that would dramatically change our country for the good if implemented, but some people are still hung up over whether or not the Republican nominee made fun of somebody somewhere or once said crude, disrespectful things about women.
Nobody is defending the billionaire businessman's past actions in these areas, but to reject him in favor of the oncoming train that is Hillary Rodham Clinton is the height of folly, and the real tragedy is just how many people are.
So, if you are in the staffing business, assuming Ed Lenz isn't on the ballot, who are YOU going to vote for, and why?