I was delighted to host the distinguished University of Michigan professor, Michael Traugott who is an expert on campaigns and elections. Seventy participants registered, and they represented both party affiliations. We engaged in a very productive conversation in the large group and in the small breakout groups. For those of you who could not attend and would like to see Michael’s presentation and slides and hear about the comments, you can connect to the zoom recording HERE.
I had several key insights from Dr. Traogott’s presentation. “I must communicate that as I am a strong Biden supporter, my views are biased in that direction”. Here are my Calls To Action:
- This is probably the most important election in our lifetime. The outcome will certainly determine the direction of our democracy for the foreseeable future.
- It is crucial that we not only vote ourselves, but that we also support and encourage others to vote.
- One of the best ways to encourage others to vote is to make a commitment to text at least three other people to inform them that you have voted and to encourage them to do the same.
- A real concern is that there may be voter intimidation at the polling stations. If you can, volunteer to be a poll watcher.
- I’ve never seen an election where so many people are trying to do as much as they can to ensure the outcome they wish for. We are seeing democracy in action.
- This election gives voters the clearest choice imaginable. If someone does not vote in this election, they are unlikely to ever vote.
- The best polling source to follow, according to Mike, is Nate Silver’s-Five ThirtyEight. It is a poll of polls. Do not rely on one individual polling source.
- No outcome is assured. There’s always the statistical possibility that the outcome can be different than predicted. All folks who have ever placed a bet or bought a stock should know that.
- It’s still important to talk to other people who have different political opinions than you do. The best advice to follow comes from the 11th-century philosopher, Saint Francis of Assisi: “Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood”. I interpret this to mean that you should not try to persuade someone who has different views but seek to understand why they have those views.
- More advice from Saint Francis that helps me through these challenging days: “Let Me Be an Instrument Of Thy Peace”.