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An endorsement is putting your name on the line. Your name and reputation are a currency.

I wrote about the importance of a name in the past.


The point was that names matter because they carry a lot with them, much more than just a word. Names carry business reputations, family reputations, your reputation, trust factors—when you know a person, seeing them or their name associated with something else causes you to attribute what you know about the person to the new thing. It’s an immediate transfer of hard-earned trust.


Hence, my frustration with political endorsements.


There are all kinds of endorsements, mind you; it’s not just politics.


It is possible to unwittingly endorse or recommend something to someone not knowing a dangerous secret in the background. It is possible to endorse or recommend something not knowing all the information. We might recommend a book or website or a film to a friend, unaware of some backstory that would cause us to pull a recommendation.


But politics?


When there are public records of votes and history?


When experienced politicians got to where they are by making smart chess moves, essentially?


They know what they are endorsing.


This is why, since about 2016, endorsements have worked backwards for me.

If a politician or leader I like endorses someone I absolutely am not okay with…it causes me to remove support to the endorser. If they are truly supporting someone or something I cannot, than those negative attributes are now going to be associated with their name. Endorsing is no longer a trust-forward action, but a trust-removal action.


I cannot simply look at an ad or some publicity and allow myself to be fooled into thinking that if a “good guy” says someone or something is acceptable, I’ll just go with it. This is especially so if that same “good guy” is an experienced politician; I can only assume they know exactly what they are doing with their endorsement and therefore, support the whole spectrum of issues that I cannot.


I understand that’s the game.


You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.


You helped me out in the past so I’ll let you hang my name on your promotions when you run for office.


But an endorsement is of the entire body of work of the politician, not just a single issue. We are not electing people to office to only focus on one issue; they are going to face lots of varied legislation that will come across their desk. So voting someone in because this guy was great on law enforcement issues still doesn’t address the problem if that guy was terrible on social issues. This is especially true if the list of concerning negatives is large and forms a pattern, not just a one-off mistake or minor difference.


This is why I’m losing my mind over endorsements.


Maybe no one else cares, but I do.


I’m sick of living a life of compromise and then complaining that the whole country is going to hell in a handbasket. How do you think that happens, but through this kind of thing? How else, but through compromise?


I’m going to hold people accountable in the voting booth if they’ve been sloppy with their endorsements when they had every ability to know fully what a person stood for in all areas. It probably won’t matter in the scheme of things, but it matters to me. It matters that leaders make tough choices instead of playing the soft game of personal interest.


Nearly every month I get an email from some influencer/keyword mill that wants me to run their content on my blog, content that’s loaded with keywords that they can then promote to trick the search engines to help their clients. This has gone on for decades.


I’ve always said no.


Just this morning, I said no to another request:


We are interested in submitting a new article for publication on your website. In the future, we would also like to arrange for link insertion on your site, but for now, we are focused on getting a fresh article published. Please provide information regarding the pricing for a new article, along with your preferred terms and conditions.


I can tell you, in my many years of blogging personally and also for a startup that specialized in content marketing that this selling of space on a blog is common practice. It’s everywhere.

I’d like to make money, too, but I won’t do that. I never have. No one has ever paid me to run something on my website, nor have I sneaked in some outside linkbait content.


I’ve turned down the money, the social exposure from their platform—all of it.


Why?


Because whether you love or hate my blog/website, you can at least know that what’s written there has been done by me for no other purpose than sharing thoughts with you. I write about what interests me, not what serves someone else. While what I write might help someone else, I’ve only written it because it’s what I wanted to write. There is no one using me to game a system, no one getting access to my readers in a way that negates their honest experience for my personal benefit, no one telling me what to write.


My name is on the line.


The Lone Prairie Blog has a two-decades reputation. It might be one of crazy nutter rant chick, but whatever it is, it’s not available for sale or trading favors. If you read something here, I wrote it and no one told me to do so.


If you become a leader, whether through public office or online platform, your name and endorsement is a currency. If the best you can do is throw it around sloppy-like as an IOU or down payment on a favor down the road, you don’t deserve my vote or my future attention and you shouldn’t be surprised when your currency is devalued.


My recent post might have ruffled a few feathers because the subject of it is fairly well-liked. I suspect the continual coming endorsements will also be liked.


I don’t care.


They are endorsing people whose behavior has been infantile and insulting and if they won’t acknowledge it, then I will. Because I want to.

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