Dear Undecided FilAm Voter

I get it.

You are still on the fence five weeks away from the election. Not committed to either Donald Trump or Joe Biden, still figuring out which of the two candidates is deserving of your invaluable vote.

I don’t know how big a population you are, but pooled together with all undecided American voters, you make up at least 11 percent of a projected 156 million voters in 2020, according to an Atlantic report. Seventeen million is a huge number. You can decide the winner of an election, depends on where your votes go or what swing state catches them. It’s a number both parties are lusting after.

As an Undecided FilAm Voter, you are probably registered in any the populous states of California, Hawaii, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, New York, Nevada and Florida. Of these regions, only one is a Red State (Texas) and Florida is a toss-up, which makes us truly Democrat-leaning. It used to be that the FilAm community was viewed as 50-50 GOP-Dem, but in the 2016 election, our votes were tracked by the Asian American Legal Defense Fund to be 27 percent for Donald Trump and 71 percent for his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. Whether that divide still holds true will be tested in the November 3 election.

The election is really a choice between a candidate legendary for his bad behavior and horrible decisions as a leader, and a challenger who is a middle-of-the-road traditional politician. Can our nation afford four more years of gaslighting, violence tied to racism, personal insults, nepotism and corruption, cronyism, lack of respect for the people in uniform, and other reprehensible acts? Or should we try a different kind of president who we hope will restore trust and decency in public service and repair our relations with our allies?

As Trump did not take the public health pandemic seriously, more than 200,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. The number is expected to climb to more than 300,000 by November 3. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs when the economy collapsed as a result. We see no pathway to a solution  moving forward because he did not offer any platform for his second term.

If the only reason you are having this dilemma is that Trump, who  is supposedly ‘pro-life’ is against abortion, that is not the only guidepost for being a good Christian. Father James Martin, SJ offers a more expansive definition of what being a pro-lifer means when he said,  “…my respect for life extends to all people, but most especially those whose lives are at risk: the unborn child, to be sure, but also the refugee whose life is threatened by war, the L.G.B.T. young person tempted to commit suicide, the homeless person whose life is endangered by malnutrition, the uninsured sick person with no health care, the elderly person in danger of being euthanized, the inmate on death row. I have come to value all life, from conception to natural death, and believe that our laws should reflect this important principle.”  

“Where’s the government?” asks the Brookings Institute in a recent article.

Where, indeed, UFV?

Yours truly,

Cristina Pastor

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