Messages converge – trust becomes the major issue

In the third Presidential Debate at Hofstra, both candidates did a more effective job of articulating their ideas, but their messages are converging. Public trust in the candidates will be the differentiating factor.

Their proposed solutions are becoming more aligned as the day draws closer when one of them will be elected and have to lead all Americans, not just their supporters. They have different philosophies, but it seems that both recognize the practical realities of life in 2008 and are sincerely trying to propose workable solutions to those problems.

It comes down to a matter of trust now. If two groups propose similar results through different approaches, who do you trust to achieve a meaningful result?

Take education for example: Both candidates agree that our school systems are not producing the results needed to give America a prosperous and secure future. One candidate thinks lack of money is the answer. The other thinks the school systems need to be improved by introducing competitive offerings, such as charter schools and vouchers so that parents can choose the schools that provide the education they want for their children.

Your choice will be determined by your trust in the person proposing a particular solution as much as the desirability of the solution. If you have real experience with the problem being addressed, it will make it easier to recognize real solutions.

Becoming informed on the issues that matter to you will help you decide what candidate to vote for. All candidates have strong points and weaknesses. Each has a balance of style versus substance. You can’t know everything about each candidate, so you choose the candidate you feel you can trust. In that way, you will probably be able to live with whatever that candidate brings to the table.

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