So here are some things that I learned from this awful, drawn out election:
1) Keep it positive - Negativity, divisiveness, and hate hurt you more than it does anyone else.
2) Don't play the *ism card - Using racism, religion, gender, and sexual orientation to divide people and get what you want from them is dirty politics and empty promises for votes; stick to the facts and the issues.
3) Focus on service to others - "Public service" is about service to others, not self service; it is more important to give than to receive any of the fame, fortune, and favors.
4) No one is above the law - Corruption, collusion, and cover-ups are a boomerang that eventually come back to hit you in the proverbial head.
5) Action speaks louder than words -- What you actually did, accomplished, and how you behaved is the much louder message than what you say you did or claim you will do.
6) People are not sheep - Regardless of how strong and biased a position the media and others take, hammering and hammering away, in the end people are not sheep and can and do think for themselves.
7) Polls, statistics, position papers, conventions, and debates - There are many tools for manipulating the masses and they, like the people who prepare and administer them, have biases and lie.
8) Branding yourself and others - Creating an image for yourself and others by weaving a tall tale narrative only goes so far unless the words and deeds are consistent and ring truth.
9) Speak from the heart - Preparation and practice make perfect, but a perfect what? Prepared lines and zingers are great sound bites, but speaking from the heart goes to the heart.
10) Moral high ground - Just saying you are taking the moral high ground does not make it so; you actually have to have integrity to stand that ground.
11) The political machine - Politics and the money and operatives behind it, are very strong and dangerous, and those that wield it can and will do anything to gain and stay in the much coveted positions of power.
12) Don't think you're so deserving - Be humble and compassionate on others, instead of believing you are so great and the world owes it to; the more you run after something, the more it tends to elude you.
13) Listen to your gut - There are great orators, writers and influencers out there, but you've got to listen more to your gut and moral compass than to anyone else trying to bend your mind and will.
14) Star power - Bringing out the big gun superstars to speak, sing, and endorse you is some nice added glitz, but the real superpower is the one Almighty who ultimately decides who wins and loses.
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)