Last week, I wrote an article called, “How Will Trump Fail?”
The article lightly applies the science behind insights to predict the ways in which the Trump administration will fail the American electorate.
It’s a piece meant to stimulate a response. My audience consists of mostly upper-middle-class readers who work in HR, marketing, IT, and finance. They have the intellectual capacity to read a story about politics — and disagree with the political POV — but learn a thing or two about how to prevent failure by applying the premortem methodology to work and life.
Except for the HR portion of my audience.
Well, some of them.
My friends over at Human Resources Today published my blog post, as they normally do, but this time it caused a bunch of HR professionals to have a hissy fit.
Like, for real, some of them were very hostile.
I’m not shocked. Middle-aged HR professionals over the age of 45 — without a VP title — have a low rate of job satisfaction. They complain about everything because, as they near the final stages of their career, they don’t have a sense of autonomy or purpose.
So, yeah, they sent me all sorts of crazy messages and left a bunch of dumb comments that I stopped approving because most of them are lame.
“How does this relate to HR? Give him a chance. The Obama experiment is over. It’s time for something new.”
The fiery response to my article had me thinking about Jackie Robinson. He integrated Major League Baseball, and some people called it an experiment. During his time in the MLB — and even for years after — people felt like it was an experiment that went wrong. And it took years for professional baseball teams to integrate because southern farm teams “course corrected” and refused to expand the minor league talent pool beyond young white men.
But, eventually, change happened.
So I’m not surprised that, in 2016, a bunch of HR weenies who love to complain about Obama’s job-killing programs — but seem to have a job, themselves — complained about the political nature of my post. Simply put, it’s a natural (and racist) reaction to eight years of an Obama presidency that shook many people hard.
“Who are we as a country, and who am I as a person, if we have a black president? And now you want a woman? No way.”
And those big HR whiners — who cash their paychecks every two weeks and never created a job of their own — went a step beyond the friendly confines of my blog and complained to Human Resources Today’s founder and aggregator-in-chief, a dude named Tony Karrer.
“Why did you publish such a political article? This isn’t HR.”
As the founder of Human Resources Today, he likes his subscribers to be happy. And I knew this would happen, so I proactively reached out to Tony and thanked him for having the courage to syndicate my post.
It’s not really courage, mind you. It’s an algorithm that grabbed my article and sent it out via email before anyone at Human Resources Today noticed it. Nobody is getting a Pulitzer Prize here. But I wanted Tony to know that digital aggregators, also called content thieves, are an important part of our digital landscape.
Simply put, diverse opinions matter. Great publishers (and great aggregators) should give the people a healthy mix of what they want — and what they need — instead of jamming sycophantic content down people’s throats. The decision to publish a dissenting article in a tightly-knit ecosystem like Human Resources Today isn’t a straightforward calculation; however, the fear of losing a few subscribers shouldn’t factor into the decision on whether or not to publish a post.
Well, I’m an idiot because Tony Karrer took down the article. It no longer appears on Human Resources Today, which is disappointing.
But I don’t take this as a loss because I know that, for a brief moment, I riled up several thousand HR professionals and challenged their beliefs.
If that’s not what blogging is all about, then I don’t know what I’m doing here.