December 6th, 2011
09:04 PM ET

Letters to the President #1051: 'The anti-vote'

Reporter's Note: I write to the president every day. Even when I'm off. Like today. So there.

Dear Mr. President,

An acquaintance from Canada was asking about the upcoming presidential election. The conversation went sort of like this.

"So what do you expect?" he asked.
"I think we're going to see a very hard fought, very nasty, very close race in which most people will not vote for the person they want in the Oval Office."
"What?" he said. "How can that be?"
"Because," I said, "too many people seem to be basing their vote on whom they don't want in office."

It really does seem to be true. A great many of the people who voted for you last time (and sorry to tell you this) will quite readily say they are not excited about voting for you again. Instead, they are simply so appalled at the possibility of the Republicans taking the White House again, they will vote for anyone who might stop them, and you are the only contender.

On the other side, I have heard a great many other voters who are not at all thrilled with the Republican choices, but are so fed up with you that, they too, are going to hold their noses and vote against.

This is, I fear, not a good way for us to go about such an important decision. To that end, I think the greatest challenge for both parties right now is to change that; to spend less time tearing down the opposition, and more telling us what positive elements are being brought to the race.

Of course I don't expect that. But it would be nice.

Hope all is well.


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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1 • Tom Foreman
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