This article appeared in the Vail Daily on October 16, 2020.
I’m not going to tell you who to vote for. That’s up to you. And I’m not going to tell you who I’m voting for. That’s up to me.
What I have learned is that, depending on where we come from and what our life experiences have been, we’re inclined to use that as the basis for our decisions.
So here’s mine: I grew up in a fifties suburb and had a perfect Eisenhower era education. I attended a suburban high school where we were a microcosm of the country. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college and I later earned a master’s degree.
My life has gone through many reinventions since those idyllic years when I was growing up.
Among the many influences in my life: teaching in the inner-city schools of Washington, DC, in high schools in the Illinois prairies near an Air Force base, in a college community, and in the suburbs like the one which I attended; working in a mega media corporation; and owning and operating a small business. Among the strongest influences were the jobs I held before I became a college graduate: as a waitress, a receptionist, and as a counter person. I have enjoyed a long-time marriage and have a great family.
I’ve watched life change from those ideal Eisenhower era days and I’ve tried to change with them. I am grateful that I have a relatively comfortable life especially here in Vail.
I think my experience and my background skew me to deliberate beyond my own needs. I understand what it’s like to have experienced small-town life, what it’s like to be a military brat, how a corporation runs, and what it means to be a parent.
So as an American, and as this election is upon us, I ask myself a lot of questions. Do I make my decisions based on my pocketbook? Do I make my decisions based on thinking of the needs of others? Do I make my decisions based on who I want to represent me in the world? Do I place more importance on the needs of my state as opposed to the needs of other states that might be very different than mine? Who do I think would know best how to run our country?
Rather than getting on the bandwagon and just voting with the herd, I ask people to individually examine their life experiences and think carefully as to why they are making their personal choices.
I consider myself open minded. I just want to know why people vote the way they do. Maybe it comes down to whether you vote with your head, with your heart or maybe both.