When I admit that it is a possibility — even a probability — that my husband will vote for Trump, there is often a gasp or a head shake or a disapproving look followed by the sentiment that “I could never be married to someone that would vote for that man.” And while I fully grasp revulsion at Trump’s candidacy, it strikes me that when I pledged to love my husband in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer or all that other stuff, there was not an exception for the day there was a Republican candidate that I found really repulsive.
While it is beyond my abilities to explain why any person would vote for Trump, I recall back to a humiliating memory in my own life. In 2004, just weeks before the election, I was down in South Carolina at a friend’s wedding. Afterwards, several of us were knocking back yet a few more cocktails and I got involved in a political conversation with a friend’s boyfriend who belonged to a category of people that my closed-minded liberal self did not know existed – Gay Republicans.
I remember pressing him at length about his Republican identification. I was appalled that he could be faithful to a political party that rejected his civil rights. I questioned him not out of curiosity, but out of indignation and a false moral superiority that allowed me to weigh his conflicting values better than he could. Whether fuelled by this indignation or the cocktails, I kept going long passed the point where decency or common sense would have led me to change the topic.