Saturday, November 5, 2016

Undecided: My Civil Discussion with a Confused Voter

I had a rare experience the other day -- a conversation with an undecided voter who was interested in hearing my thoughts. It was particularly interesting because she was a nurse helping to take care of my daughter during a scary stay at the hospital.

In a setting like that, I'm pretty good about not raising politics or forcing my views on anyone. But it was the day after the Cubs had won the World Series, and I mentioned that my Facebook friends seemed pretty excited about it, and it was a nice break from all the political chatter.

She said, "I know what you mean. Boy, what do you think about Hillary's emails? It sounds pretty bad." I told her that I think people are suggesting the "scandal" is worse than it is -- and that if Hillary had broken the law, she'd be prosecuted and convicted. She's not above the law and has never claimed to be.

But the nurse said she just doesn't know what to believe because there's so much bad stuff on both sides -- and many of her friends have told her some really negative things about Hillary. I asked innocently, "Would you like to hear what I think?" And here's what I said:

1. EXPERIENCE
While many people don't like Hillary, there's no doubt she's experienced. She's been First Lady, the Secretary of State, and a senator. She knows our international allies, and understands the complex relationships we have. So I think she's the best choice for people who care about national security international stability.

2. HEALTH
One of the issues I most care about the most is health care. (And since she's a nurse, I assume she cares a little about that too.) And an independent analysis shows that under Trump's health proposals, as many as 25 million people would lose health coverage. And low-income families and people with complex medical needs would be hurt the most.

3. TEAM
The president is only one person. Hillary will appoint good people, and I don't care if they're "insiders" if they will work toward positive change.

She then asked about the Supreme Court, and I conceded that if that's the only thing she cares about and wants the NRA and right-wing groups to select our justices, that's what Trump would do. But I told her that even if I shared her views about that, I'd still vote for Hillary for all the other reasons.

It was a civil, candid exchange of ideas, which is all too rare this year. And it was obvious that she's pained by this choice. She will vote, and she wants to make the right decision, and she's confused by all the name-calling, rumors, and accusations. So yes, there are undecided voters among us, and they're not all jerks.

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