I'd like to introduce a friend of mine, who will remain nameless because I'm not sure he'd appreciate his story being emblazoned on this website. Nevertheless, I really think you should meet him.
He attends church at one of the mega churches in Northern Virginia. He's an evangelical Christian. He's single. He loves his aging mother, whose physical health is not what it used to be but boy, she's still sharp as a tack.
He's pro-life. He's an accountant, so he's very concerned about fiscal policy. He's in Mitt Romney's demographic....and he's undecided.
It was a shock to me when I read his status on Facebook last night:
"I'm watching tonight's debate because I'm undecided about my vote."
A bunch of his friends responded by saying they couldn't believe he hadn't made up his mind yet. There were jokes about the President's birthplace. Cracks about the unemployment rate, etc... He replied to none of these.
"I understand how tough this decision must be for you. I appreciate your care and consideration of this important choice."
You see, I didn't need to pile on or try to convince him to my side. He's Facebook friends with me. i'm not shy about posting political stuff. We've had exchanges before. He knows very well what my position is and if I haven't convinced him to date, I never will. But I'm left to wonder if some of our exchanges made a difference.
I wish you could meet him. He's a great guy. He's friendly to everyone. In Northern Virginia, I can only imagine that he runs into a number of people who vehemently disagree with him on a variety of issues. I'm one of them, yet, we're pretty good friends and share a lot of common interests.
His mother is in an assisted living facility. She's still as sharp as a tack...and devastatingly funny...a lot like her son. He knows that if her Medicare were ever reduced or taken away, the burden on him would be immense.
He's an accountant, so fiscal matters mean a big deal to him. He believes in balanced budgets. He's concerned that maybe government is getting a bit too big, but he also knows that there are rich people out there who use people like him to skirt the law, find loopholes and avoid paying their fair share.
He goes to church every week. He posts a daily affirmation on Facebook every morning. It's usually a message of hope, a reminder that we need to get the best out of the day, a reminder that Jesus is with us, or that we should see the best in each other.
He really should be squarely in the pocket of the Republican party, a safe vote for Romney, who is also a religious man, but he's not. I can only imagine that there are others like him in states like Virginia and North Carolina. Of course, we tussle back and forth with our more strident Republican friends and acquaintances. Just keep in mind that the quiet ones who don't always wear their politics on their sleeves are watching us, reading what we write and taking it all in. Romney shouldn't be having this much trouble winning my friend over.