CHICAGO, October 4, 2012. I am one of a rare breed in this year's Presidential race..an undecided voter. That makes me pretty much disliked by everyone. My friends on the left can't understand how I lack the intelligence to see things their way. My friends on the right agree.
My independent status does, however, make me valuable to both the Republicans and Democrats as a swing voter. Can I be bribed? A night in the Lincoln bedroom or a week's stay in one of Romney's properties notwithstanding, I will not be bribed, I will by election day, make my own decision.
As a former debater and debate coach, I tend to look at both sides of an issue. In this election, I see two intelligent men who want the best for America. I like and agree with some of the stands of each. I also totally disagree with each on other issues.
Neither man is perfect. Nor is either of the candidates evil. Neither man will be able to keep all his promises. There will still be problems with the economy, health care, unemployment and unsolved social issues no matter who comes out ahead in the win column on November 6.
I believe it is my job to listen, to research and to choose the person that will be best for America regardless of my personal prejudices.
Although I was fortunate to get invites to a number of watch parties from both the right and left wing, I decided to skip the parties which were sure to be filled with lots of high fives, good snacks and camaraderie. Instead, I stayed home and watched the debates under a cozy blanket on my couch, with a big bowl of popcorn at my side--just me and the candidates.
I wanted to hear what President Obama and Governor Romney were saying without the groans and cheers of those around me and without anyone explaining to me afterwards what the candidates really meant to say when they said what they said.
So what did I hear? I heard there are no easy answers. I heard a lot about the middle class, about taxes, about taking a different path. I heard from two men who care and want the best for our country even though they don't agree on the path to take.
I will continue to listen and carefully weigh what I hear. I will support whomever wins. Because, I believe in America and the democratic process. And no matter who is President we are still a government of checks and balances.
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