Tonight I knocked on the door of an 84 year old man. He didn’t answer the door. Instead his adult son met me in the driveway. His father was not feeling well and his son was there helping him out.
I introduced myself and his first question was my political party. I told him I was a Democrat. He responded, “Are you pro-life or pro-choice? I vote my morals. “
I paused and said, “I’m pro-choice and I’m pro life.” He looked a little surprised and I continued to explain. “I will never vote for legislation that puts a woman’s life at risk because she’s forced to carry a pregnancy. I will protect a woman’s right to make her health and reproductive choices.” I continued, “I think voting based on one issue can be problematic because it can contradict the very morals that are important to so many. May I explain...”
He started to relax and we continued to chat.
I told him I strongly oppose those in office who block what I consider “moral” legislation. I talked about how we are desperate in NYS for affordable healthcare. Seniors like his dad shouldn’t have to worry about paying for prescriptions. Families shouldn’t have to live in fear of medical expenses. He agreed 100%.
I also mentioned the Child Victims Act and abuse of children in the Catholic Church. He wasn’t aware of this but, I explained that the Republicans in the Senate won’t allow that bill to go to the floor. He was really surprised and agreed perpetrators need to be held accountable.
I spoke briefly about corruption and corporate tax breaks.
I suggested these are morals issues and we should try to vote in a global way.
The conversation ended up going from cold to a very warm. The man took my card said he would tell his father to vote for me. He revealed that he owns a house around the corner and he would make sure to put my card on his refrigerator and tell his children to vote for me as well.
It was amazing. I wish I had more time to have conversations like this with people. It’s really about respect, listening, and having honest conversations. I don’t expect to always walk away with a vote but it certainly is encouraging to feel mutual admiration even though we don’t 100% agree.
Now, here is the very fascinating thing. I mentioned that my dad lives in this neighborhood. I told him he’s 91, a World War II Navy veteran with a little dementia. I told him that I am his guardian. Lo and behold, this man knew who I was talking about. He actually helped my father out during the October storm years ago. He removed tree limbs from his roof and backyard. Wow!
I thanked him for his time and continued my walking. Towards the end of the evening, we came upon his house. He was pulling in the driveway and jumped out of his truck with a big smile. He ran across the street and asked us for a few door hangers. He such a good guy. His neighbors are out of town and he’s taking care of their mail. He said he will make sure they get one of my campaign pieces.
He finished the conversation by saying he would put a sign in his yard. It’s something he has never done before and normally wouldn’t do. For me though, he will do it.