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The Venn Diagram of Voter Decisions 

-A Personal Perspective

by Cynthia Marek Lundeen
 

As the world watches the American voters go to the polls, we Americans know that the choices we make are not as simplistic as they may appear. Political thought and affiliation is often described as a spectrum or straight line, with extreme ends and a moderate middle, but the reality more closely resembles a confusing overlap of Venn diagrams. Here are just a few examples:
While Donald Trump is referred to as a brash billionaire and Bernie Sanders as a Democratic Socialist, seemingly diametric opposites, both opposed the Iraq War and both expressed concernfor the loss of life among the military as well as the innocent civilians of Iraq.

Bernie Sanders, as a senator, voted against the Iraq War, providing a number of reasons, stating in part: “One, I have not heard any estimates of how many young American men and women might die in such a war or how many tens of thousands of women and children in Iraq might also be killed. As a caring Nation, we should do everything we can to prevent the horrible suffering that a war will cause.”

Mr. Trump, who was not a member of congress, and therefore did not have a vote, none-the-less opposed the war as a citizen. When interviewed by the magazine Esquire for the August 2004 issue, shortly after the war commenced, Mr. Trump stated: What was the purpose of the whole thing? Hundreds and hundreds of young people killed. And what about all the people coming back with no arms and no legs? Not to mention the other side. All those Iraqi kids who’ve been blown to pieces. And it turns out that all of the reasons for the war were blatantly wrong. All this for nothing!”

Hillary Clinton, a senator and Democrat, however, did vote for the war and in this regard, the Venn diagram has no overlap with her colleague at the time, Bernie Sanders.

Many older Americans see a parallel between our times and the era which ushered in President Ronald Reagan. In 1979 President Jimmy Carter gave what became known as the “Crisis of Confidence” speech, in which he was more reproachful of the American people than inspiring; it soon became clear that the American people had lost confidence, not in themselves, but in the president himself.

Today it is evident that there is widespread dissatisfaction among the American people for the leadership in Washington and those watching the American election process may wonder why particular candidates receive support. In reflecting upon this question it is important to remember that just as we do not always agree on every issue with those who are close to us, voters may not always agree with a candidate on every issue either. Thus each voter must carefully consider if there is sufficient overlap with a candidate on the Venn diagram of issues as well as which candidate may offer the best prospects for a brighter future.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 

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