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An Opinion of One’s Own

No matter which end of the political spectrum, I found that people seemed to select their candidate, mostly based on their perceived belief system. & By that I mean that they say what their & "tribe" collectively has deemed appropriate.

"Appropriate" based on what? & None of the Democrats I spoke to named their church as a basis for their vote, though some of the Republicans did. Since my purpose was to ask and not to educate, I refrained from occasionally pointing out that the choices they espoused actually ran counter to their own welfare.

Several people mention that they were suspicious of Obama's logo . & I had no idea what they were driving at but when I researched it on the Internet, sure enough, there are factions that see the "symbol" as sinister, or worse. & Who knew?

At my local Farmer's Market , only one of the responders was an enthusiastic Obama supporter. & (He was a recent college graduate & (young, tattooed, plugs in his ears.) & He told me in advance he was an anomaly in that particular group. & Generally a conservative crowd, I heard some of best, as well as the worst reasoning behind their votes. &

One woman was very clear and passionate in her belief that McCain and Palin were the candidates for her, because among other attributes, they were "from the West". & She believed that they were in a better position to understand the problems of the western half of the country, and represent her issues better than someone who was probably not conversant with "rural technology". It was a thoughtful answer and one I could respect. &

One the other hand I encountered people who said they wouldn't vote for Obama because he wanted to give "all their hard-earned money to people who didn't even work for a living. " & I heard the word "socialist " batted around as in, & "you know...all that socialist stuff." & I guess that tells us that McCain and Palin's "Socialist" campaign, only about ten days old, has had an immediate impact on their base. No doubt these same people would have voted for McCain in any case, but this gave them an opportunity to call it something other than racism.

Frankly I was frustrated with people who said they were "undecided." At this late date, it seemed some sort of euphemism that they were uncomfortable talking about their opinion, either because they thought I might not agree, or more importantly, the people closest to them might not condone their choice. & For instance, some of the Hispanic vendors I spoke to at the Farmers Market said they were undecided, but I later realized they might not have wanted the predominately Republican crowd to know who they really planned to vote for.

Among the responders, there were a number of people who began the process thinking they would vote for McCain, but because his campaign's tactics, and his selection of Palin, had & switched their vote to Obama. & I didn't come across any one who had switched loyalties in the other direction.

In speaking of the McCain/Palin ticket, Carol Lemei, of Coronado, said, & " & I am terrified by their appeals to ignorance, which includes making fun of science and education as "elitist". I am offended by their lowering the center of gravity of our election conversation by focusing on ridiculous rumors and soundbites, instead of the serious issues we face. I am deeply saddened by the cynical divisiveness of their messages at a time when we need to work together in America, and cooperate with the rest of the world. I see these people as lacking the most basic values, which to me are kindness and compassion ." &

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