This week’s upcoming convergence of political campaigning and trick-or-treating boggles the mind.
Whoa! We sure are living in the midst of some strange days.
So, in acknowledging the prevailing strangeness all around us, I’ve come up with 5 WAYS POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS AND HALLOWEEN ARE ALIKE.
The strenuous intellectual exercise involved with this isn’t as worthless as you first might think.
There’s a clear connection between Halloween and political campaigns that can’t be ignored.
(At least I can’t pass it by.)
The connection between the two gives me the opportunity to share some campaign and election gems with you throughout the rest of this week.
But you may have to sort through them, though, in the same way a young trick-or-treater sorts through an assortment of candy piled up inside one of those orange plastic pumpkins (as some will probably be better than others).
Monday’s Similarity #1
• The most successful trick-or-treaters and political campaigners offer a clear choice.
They leave no room for ambiguity.
The eager kid hiding behind a mask yells, “trick OR treat.”
The eager politician hiding behind a big toothy smile beckons, “choose me, not her.” (or him)
To get the result they want (more often than not), they’ve reduced their request to its most basic:
It’s this or that.
It’s yes or no.
It’s trick or treat.
As school leaders and communicators, we need to make sure that our election requests are structured in similar fashion.
Just like the nicest, most respectful, and cutest trick-or-treater on your doorstep… we need to present our clear choice in the same way.
This is where all election campaigns should begin – with a clearly defined choice.
When my daughters were trick-or-treating years ago as toddlers (using the nice, respectful, and cute tactical plan, of course), I remember that they often fumbled my “clear choice” instructions.
They’d just show up on a doorstep and yell, “treat or treat.”
Because Cindy and I were nearby, I could easily hear that they said it all wrong.
“It’s trick or treat, girls,” I’d gently coach while we turned to go to the next house. “It’s not ‘treat or treat.’ Keep thinking trick or treat, trick or treat, trick or treat.”
As the girls ran ahead of us, Cindy said in a hushed voice.
“Tom, you should probably just leave well enough alone. ‘Treat or treat’ is fine. Why confuse the girls ? And you know, if they ever start chanting ‘trick or trick’ I’ll have to join them.”
“Because then, they’d be telling the truth –‘Welcome to life with dear ol’ dad!’“