Monday, September 26, 2016

264. A Second letter

Here's a second letter to my conservative friend.

I think about the issues raised in the piece a lot. It reminds me of back on campus when Christopher Horner (a speaker brought by Students Fostering Conservative Thought to debunk global warming) came to speak. He caused quite a stir the first time he came and he became campus enemy number one for many of my fellow Environmental Studies Majors.

A few months later, he was invited back to be a part of a debate over the issue "Is the free market the best way to protect the environment?" He would be on the yes side, while Dennis McDonough--then an aide to candidate Obama, now Chief of Staff--would be on the no side. I volunteered to be a student contributor on the no side. I studied hard for that debate. I didn't want to be humiliated. Unfortunately, McDonough had to cancel and so the debate was called off, but Horner still came. Many of my fellow ES major who planned to go, decided they didn't want to. I had done a ton of preparation, so I decided to go. I came prepared with questions. During the Q&A I got him to say "I don't know" a few times. I'm still proud of that.

We don't learn things by talking to people who agree with us. I'm afraid that students today won't want to be challenged. It's sad and scary.

I'm writing this about an hour before the debate. I'm not excited about it. It's not going to be a substantive exchange on the issues, it's going to be a reality television show. Blegh.

To bring it back to the election. I don't know who you are voting for, but I remember the last time it was brought up in discussion (I think at Joel's baby party) you said you didn't know. If you don't mind sharing, I'd be curious to hear how you came to your decision. No judgement from me. By laws of math, I know there has to be some smart, thoughtful people voting for Trump. I don't hear those thoughtful responses. While some of the Trump voters shows like the Daily Show picks on flabbergast me, I know that's not everyone. (I'm sure there are plenty of "Bush did 9/11" liberals who hold just as shocking viewpoints.)

I'm not incredibly enthusiastic about HRC, but I've boiled it down to this. Jer Graney and I were talking about this and he said that the president is faced with hundreds of decisions per day and their main job is to not react to 99.99% of things. I don't think Trump has that capacity to not react to things. He hasn't shown that at all. Looking back on it, I probably was too harsh on Bush, McCain, and Romney. While I disagreed with many of the viewpoints of those men, they probably could have handled the rigors of the job just fine. I don't believe that's true about Trump.

I don't know if you're thinking about switching parties, but if you are, I could see how it would be difficult. It would take a lot for me not to vote for a Democrat. I'm trying to think of who I wouldn't have voted for. I probably would not have voted for John Edwards had he received the Democratic nomination in '08 and all that terrible infidelity stuff had come out afterwards.

I think the thing we forget is that people just want to have dignity. It's a core value. That's easy for big-money politicians to forget. The coal miner who lost his job because a mine shut down wants dignity. The single mom raising three kids in a bad neighborhood wants dignity. The migrant worker who works a number of crappy jobs wants dignity. The family who lost everything in the housing crash wants dignity. We all want dignity.

I'm going to early vote tomorrow because I want to get it off my chest. There's too much worry and dread, and not enough action.

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” - Julian of Norwich

I hope the family is bringing you tons of joy.

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