But Tell me Why! On the train.
Why!? Tell me why!
I was talking with my 16-year-old daughter recently who was complaining about how dad always has to bring “politics” into every discussion. She had to tell my wife how even on the Auto Train from Florida I had to broach the subject of why the older couple we were paired with for dinner in the dining car voted for Trump. I set the context about his three marriages and infidelity and crude language about grabbing and reports about him actually committing sexual assaults. The woman was from Austria, an immigrant as well as a writer of software, a bright intelligent woman. “Well,” she began, “I just could not vote for Hillary because she was a crook.” I would have pursued the conversation but for the kick under the table from my daughter.
As a trained psychologist, devout political junkie, and life-long liberal Democrat, I remain completely baffled by the number of intelligent individuals who put Trump’s cargo shipload of baggage aside and voted for him not because they liked or respected him, but had major misconceptions about Hillary Clinton. It were as though he had that Teflon skin that nothing stuck to while Hillary was a sticky mess of warm honey that everything clung to. I still need to know why. And I will continue to ask those difficult questions when it becomes obvious to me that people I would otherwise admire and respect voted for a man who deserves neither.
The reason I need to know is many-faceted, but beside my own intellectual curiosity is an overpowering urge to do my utmost to convince people that they not only made the worst possible choice ever, but they needed to right the ship of state in 2018 by electing a legislative branch, Congress, both House and Senate to restore the balance of power alongside a pretty healthy Judicial branch. For me to convince people, I have to know what they are thinking, and what their issues are. I have an expression I altered for this purpose. Instead of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” it’s “Don’t Tell….Ask.” Rather than steamroll the undecided with Democratic talking points and all we have accomplished in their benefit, we need to listen to them to find out what they need, then align their needs to the Democratic Platform. What is it they say about the Truth? That it will set you free? Well I’m poised to find out.
Frank L. Miller is a retired school psychologist and life-long liberal Democrat who has authored three books and now writes from his home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.