Chris (my father) is fifty-six years old and has a twelfth grade education level. Back then vocational school didn’t really exist for those who wanted to become electricians. He studied underneath his father who was a self-employed electrical contractor, and as years went on he would take classes to update his licensing. He is originally from Wall Township New Jersey and his childhood home is not a far walk from mine. Growing up he attended Catholic school from first grade through senior year of high school, although now does not find himself very religious. As for political leanings he is a registered Democrat.
Chris didn’t have trouble or hesitate to answer any of these questions. Not that there’s any incentive for answering them well, but I believe he was the only person I interviewed who felt confident in any of their answers. “My parents didn’t really speak of any politics in the home growing up.” This was easy to believe, I don’t remember my grandparents ever having the news on when we visited them growing up. (We saw them weekly.) Chris isn’t one to engage purposely in a political conversation. “If I know the person. Say its my wife, daughters or brothers then sure we can talk. Otherwise it’s uncomfortable.” Working for other people through his business there isn’t a lot of political discussion you want to have. “All you can really do is politely nod and hope the conversation ends. I work for all different types of people and you really don’t want to engage.”
“Not everyone fits into an exact mold of their political party,” says Chris. “That’s exactly what I would say not only to people on the opposite side but people on my side as well.” Chris has not participated in any type of protest, march or rally before.
Chris didn’t have many things to say about this topic, but what he did say he was pretty passionate about. “Healthcare. There should be public healthcare and there should be private healthcare without people going broke. Its a human right.”
*There was nothing specifically Chris said he would vote against.*
General Government and Policies
If there was a third party in American politics Chris imagines it only being one way. “Half and half of each? Or something wackier than what we already have? It wouldn’t matter to me, it’s based on the person. Chris believes a woman can run for president and do the job efficiently.
“I never felt like I had to lean a certain way politically to fit in with family and friends. I can hold my own pretty well.” For dating someone with different political beliefs that’s another story. “I would have to say no on the dating. Being friends with someone who is politically different is fine. There are boundaries you respect.”
Holidays and family dinners aren’t tense for Chris, but they can often be an amusing time for him. “Not for me, because my side of the family pretty much all agree. My in-laws are opposites but I don’t care what they say. Although, I’m not really one to spark a political conversation. It does depend on who I’m with. Sometimes its fun to stir the pot.”
When asked “if the government were to propose a new budget plan, what do you believe should get cut first to save tax payer money?” Chris had one thing to say. “Building the wall.” “I work with people from all over, you don’t know their background or their story, we were all immigrants at one point.”
Chris doesn’t worry about the government taking away any of his own rights, but the rights of his female relatives. “A woman’s right to choose. It could impact any of my family members.” Chris doesn’t see himself doing anything too drastic if those rights were to come under attack, but he would try to vote everyone out who is part of it. Chris votes in all elections because, “being a citizen of this country is supporting voting and having your say.”
“I believe in paying taxes. Everyone should pay their fair share.” In the 2016 presidential election Chris shared that he voted for Hillary Clinton. He has never relied on government assistance. For the question “what do you look for in a presidential candidate?” His answer was simple, “anyone but Donald Trump.”
Cutting social security and medicaid are policies that would effect Chris. “These are things I have been paying into my whole life. I am also worried that they will dismantle the Affordable Care Act. There are people who truly need it.”