Those two questions, as important as they are, are seldom asked.
Instead, some rely on assumptions regarding the ‘who’ questions, assumptions that are often based on political clues. In that case, if someone supports candidates of a certain party, that support may serve to reflect on the innate value of that person.
In other words, if a friend suddenly voices support for a candidate from a party other than the one they had usually supported, that friend’s integrity might suffer. The message to the (former) friend might be clearly stated as, “The old you would never have supported such a scoundrel.”
Implications follow. If that friend has switched party preferences, it might be assumed that the friend’s philosophical foundations had shifted too. And the assumption may have been made that the person that friend had been must have changed fundamentally.
Of course, such conclusions are absurd.
Politicians are, all too often, chameleons. That means that adhering allegiance to a candidate or the candidate’s party may have little to do with the supporter’s private convictions.
In fact, for some of us, the most attractive candidate is one who is guided by their integrity, their willingness to find the best answer for the good of the country regardless of their party’s position.
Such candidates are hard to find.
Too many politicians concern themselves with making decisions that are politically correct rather than voicing a difficult, but honest, alternate opinion.
I can relate to such difficulty. Especially now.
That’s why, when I consider what’s best for our country, I allow myself to be open to all arguments.
Likewise, when it comes to interacting with people as ordinary as I am, I listen to their opinions. Often, I’m supportive. At times, I’m not.
But I’ve always been that way since I reached adulthood. Although I falter at times, I am guided by the Ten Commandments and the over-arching Golden Rule.
That’s why I don’t demean those who disagree with me; I don’t want them to do that to me.
If I’ve learned to trust and respect someone after years of friendship, I don’t dismiss our connections because we express ourselves differently at the ballot box.
My values are more stable than that; I know the guidelines I rely on.
And they have little to do with political affiliations.
If you and I have established a friendship, that friendship does not depend on what you do at a voting booth. It has everything to do with the trust we share.
Just so you’ll know, dear friend, nothing matters more.