Two lawyer neighbors of mine invited me to lunch today. Let’s call them “lawyer #1” and “lawyer #2”. This purpose of this lunch was to gauge my reaction to a guy that lives in our neighborhood who also happens to be a lawyer and his plans to possibly throw his hat in the ring to represent our district on City Council. We will call him “the candidate”.
Now when lawyer #1 called me last week he explained what he and lawyer #2 wanted to discuss with me. Both of these guys voted for Trump. Both of these guys know that I didn’t. Both of these guys simply couldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton and both of them knew how I felt about Trump. I stood behind lawyer #1 and his wife in the voting line for 45 minutes and they were both Dicks (I don’t know what the equivalent word is for his wife so let’s just go with dick plural) telling everyone that would listen how their boy Trump was going to shake the world up tonight. Sadly, they were right, but still Dicks. I know and like lawyer #2 though I was not surprised he voted for Trump (his wife didn’t, she told me so). It was what was expected of him, voting for the candidate with the Big R next to his name.
Sorry, I got off track. So why me for lunch? It appears that I was the only 50+ year-old, white male that they knew or at the very least felt comfortable being seen with who freely admits voting for Hillary Clinton. Lawyers #1 and #2 wanted to get my “impressions” and “thoughts” about the candidate they were encouraging to run for City Council.
Now I live in a “mixed” district, that is to say we have a lot of rich white Republicans that live in big houses but we also have several African-American and Latino neighborhoods in our district, who, Lawyers #1 and #2 assumed rightly or wrongly, would be Democrats. So enter me, the Democrat, and the liberal. What did I think about their candidate?
Our current City Council representative wears the Republican brand but I also know him as a kind, considerate and compassionate guy. Certainly more moderate than a hard ass conservative. I know the candidate, I use to go to Church with him until we got all “warm and fuzzy” with the LGBT community. He and his wife left after that and are attending a Church that understands what God really thinks about gay people (hint, at least according to them, God doesn’t like it).
So I was able to sum up my “impressions” and “thoughts” about the candidate rather succinctly for Lawyers #1 and #2, “I wouldn’t vote for that homophobic piece of shit if he was the only man running”. Turns out it was a very short lunch.
I walked out with lawyer #2. I got an update on his kids and I offered him the same with mine. And then he said something that he asked I not repeat, if he could do it all over again he would vote for Hillary Clinton like his wife did. I told him we all know that would not have made a difference and knew that, but he said it would make him feel better. You see, he thought Trump would “settle down”. He assumed the “crazy” act was just for the campaign and television. He really didn’t figure thirty days later he would still be acting like this. Then he said something that chilled me, “A lot of us that voted for him think like this but it is not socially advantageous for us to talk about it.”
My wife and I don’t get invited to any of the neighborhood cookouts or Christmas parties because we are not socially advantageous. When our kids were little we bit our tongues a lot so that our children wouldn’t be social outcast. It is hard enough being a teenager without your parents opinions pulling you down. But our children knew our political and social beliefs. They also knew, as they got older, that those views didn’t match-up with most of their friends parents.
It is sad that we let our peers define our views. But I understand why it happens. There is a lot of pressure to live in the right zip code, wear the right clothes, and attend the right Church. It seems very superficial, which coincidentally is an adjective I have used often to describe our President.