In his June 26 op-ed, attorney Gary Stout offered a gracious handshake to his political opposition, and I would like to extend a friendly hand in return.
As an Obama voter who became a Trump supporter, I feel I can offer a perspective that is free of the rigid fundamentalism that worries Mr. Stout.
In appreciation of the list of five Trump objectives that he is willing to compromise on, I will suggest a list of five liberal goals that I find appealing. They are:
- Affordable health care for everyone (through a direct pay system);
- Affordable secondary schooling (for skilled trades);
- Living wage jobs available (for in-home fathers);
- Effective campaign finance reform;
- Treating drug addiction as an illness, not as a crime.
It appears Mr. Stout recognizes that not all Trump supporters are deplorable. We are not all uneducated or frightened or intolerant. We share the same concerns for this country as the liberals do, as well as the same desire to compromise. I do not consider the liberal friends I left behind as enemies. Rather, I think of us all as castaways on a lifeboat, rowing toward rescue. We need each other to survive, but we disagree on the best path to take.
The only thing that offends me is the accusation that I have been indoctrinated into supporting Trump through listening to mass media, rather than through careful reflection. That is a sloppy argument, unworthy of debate.
I believe that Mr. Stout is motivated by rational, not reactionary reasoning. I also believe the same about myself. Differing life experiences will deliver differing convictions to equally rational minds. No one has a telegraph line to the truth, and there are a multitude of paths to the same destination. Some go right, some go left. The most important thing is maintaining respectful communication. With good luck, a healthy and honest debate will reveal a third path, and we can stop rowing in circles.