To my Ohio friends and family

Posted Nov 4th 2017.

To my Ohio friends and family —

A few months ago I consciously decided to be more active on social media with my political perspective. I was always critical of folks who “got on their high horse” and waxed poetic on politics. Then, last month I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Ohio visiting Miami University, my alma mater and joined our business schools board of advisors to discuss Miami’s future. It became obvious I couldn’t sit on my political views anymore and if even one Trump supporter thinks more carefully about their choice, this post would be worth writing. Because of my time at Miami, because I’ve spent significant time in my mother’s home state of Ohio growing up, and because of the many friends I’ve made in the Midwest, it has a very special place in my heart. I’m writing this post to those friends, who I believe have an important role to play on November 8th.

It’s hard to drive through Cincinnati, and then up Highway 27 towards Oxford and ignore what feels like overwhelming support for Donald Trump. That’s very scary to me. I’ve heard from friends and family how frustrating this set of candidates may be. And, I’ve seen from the onslaught of political ads while watching Monday Night Football and the solicitation calls how annoying this election season has become. But I’d ask one final moment of your time and attention on an election outcome that I believe is critical for all of us.

First, let me state a few things about the factors that shape my perspective; as a personal philosophy I believe self-awareness is the foundation for all learning and all productive communication, so I’ve tried to stay very aware and very open:

  • I’m fully aware that living in San Francisco for the last 7 years, among the furthest left cities in the country, has had an impact on my perspective.
  • I’m aware that being in tech, one of the most progressive industries, has certainly had an impact on my perspective.
  • I’m aware that, as a leader of growing business, my views on progress, labor, taxes, opportunity creation, and the impact of the private market on the public sector and vice versa have contributed to my perspective.
  • I also know who I am, and I know my values are anchored in a deep care for people, for our future, and anchored my faith as a Christian who works hard to “love thy neighbor.”

Please understand I don’t claim to be an expert on many political topics, but with those foundations in mind, here is what I believe this election is really about:

This election is about making a clear statement to the world that democracy as a political structure actually works. This election is undoubtedly a global issue, and it’s not about geopolitics, it’s about showing the world that our system and our influence can be trusted. Let’s unite to. show the power of. smart citizenship and our ability to. elect an informed leader who can continue our progress on a global stage.

This election is about making a definitive statement to women — my wife, my mother, my sisters, my female friends, and coworkers — that respect and equality matters. I want to raise my sons in a world in which equality and respect for women is the foundation. The way Trump speaks to, and about, women is nothing short of abuse, and I can’t wrap my head around having a man like that lead our country and for my son’s to call President.

This election is about setting an example for our children — simply it’s about decency. With all of the mudslinging and “locker room talk” it has never been more crucial to reiterate to our children and to each other to treat all people regardless of age, color, gender, or perspective with basic human decency and respect. Donald Trump’s rhetoric is a terrible statement to the next generation about who we are and what kind of leadership is necessary not only to lead a country, but a business, a sports team, any organization.

 

This post is only meant to appeal to my friends and family, who will have a tremendous impact in this election, in states where the votes matter most. My ask is that you play a proactive and productive role in the future of our country. Don’t vote for Trump, vote for Hillary. Recognize that not voting is as good as a vote for Trump. A vote for Hillary will inspire generations of young leaders, boys and girls, and show the world that our country has a system of democracy that can be trusted in its influence and impact, and a future we can all be excited about. #ImWithHer

Source img 1: fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/ — Nov 4th, 2016

Source img 2: my ballot — Nov 2nd, 2016

Ryan Graves