It’s the week before an election here in Israel, and I am in the 18% of Israelis still “undecided.”
Completely and utterly undecided.
Which means: My vote is still for sale.
If you can convince me that I matter to you.
It will be hard to convince me.
You’ll have to come up here to Northern Israel, to the Galilee where I live and work.
Or you’ll have to find me on Twitter, where I spend half my time.
You’ll have to speak to me in English or in very slow Hebrew … preferably in present or past tense because I’m still learning, and English is still the language that turns me on.
Don’t bother advertising on TV, not for little old me, I’m not watching.
I’m reading a book in bed or scrolling through my feed or liking a stranger’s instagram pic of a bench overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
Your radio interviews might pique my interest if I was listening on the way to work each morning. But I’m not. I’m grooving to Adele and enjoying the view.
Don’t give up on me so easily, though.
My one vote could turn into three or four … or more votes.
Because I like to influence people, especially on topics critical to me, like:
Equality in the workplace.
And because I like to influence people, I write and talk about the issues that matter to me.
I do this a lot.
In my community. In my bi-weekly women’s group. Outside my child’s Gan.
At my workplace. In the lunch room. During coffee breaks. At conferences.
And in spite of, or thanks to, my loud mouth, sometimes people listen to me.
Sometimes they make choices that were influenced by the blog I wrote; the article I shared; the comment I made.
This is not because I’m “somebody.”
This is the magic of social media. This is the magic of community building. This is the magic of key influencer marketing. It’s the magic of the modern age.
Magic that may be used to politics’ advantage.
Politics is opt-in. People vote only if they think their vote matters to them. Now, more than ever before, you have the ability to make me feel like I matter.
I speed past billboards.
I ignore 1500 word political op-eds.
I can smell a hollow slogan a mile away.
Don’t speak slogans.
Speak my language.
Speak environment. Speak health. Speak education.
Speak in and on modern technology platforms.
Speak outside the city walls. Literally, and figuratively.
Speak about something other than “the conflict.”
Speak about something other than “religion.”
Yes, these are hot topics, but they aren’t the only topics. And some of us in the 18% don’t care.
There I said it.
I don’t care. Or, I care less than. I care about the conflict and religion less than I care about climate change.
I care more about chemicals in our food and pollution in our air and rising asthma rates in our children than I do about the rabbinate.
I’m a college educated, employed, tax-paying, opinionated, semi-intellectual, loud mouth potential voter. And yet no one is vying for my vote.
No one has reached out to me. Not by mail, email, social media.
Worse, no one has reached me.
And I am so easily reachable.
If you do it right.
In an era in which almost every single person may be reached; with very little money and very little man power, the fact you haven’t reached me one week before the election is pretty pathetic.
You might say I’m pathetic.
That it’s pathetic a smart girl like me isn’t spending more time trying to understand the candidates. Trying to make a smart decision. Taking advantage of my voting power.
I say: you’ve missed the point.
It’s not my job to get you. It’s your job to get me.
I’m so easily converted. And so ripe to be the commander of your volunteer campaign army.
If only you spoke my language.
And it’s not just me. It’s thousands of me. Hoards. Ready and willing to spread your message.
You know who I might vote for next week?
That guy gets it. He gets me. In less than 140 characters, he makes me feel like I matter.
Politicians: You need to widen your reach. Broaden your understanding of influence.
Cut back on the political speak, and up the personal engagement.
Because I will vote for you if you make me feel like I matter.
If you light the spark of hope in my heart that really, really wants to ignite, I will vote for you.
If you want it, my vote is up for grabs.