Memo, first off — thanks for writing this piece. As a supporter of Bernie Sanders, it puts in one place so many pieces of information that help put words to things I have felt and wondered about, but didn’t necessarily take the time to educate myself upon, piece by piece. This way, I have a starting point, and the chance to look up those bits that are compelling to me to learn and grow. Thank you.
Second — it sounds like you really want to have a conversation with — in this case — Lorraine. You are truly seeking to understand why someone would ardently support Hillary Clinton. Is that the case? Do you really want to have a conversation with her? Do you really want to know what’s going on to have her make the choices that she makes?
Recursively, if we seek feedback by making an argument and soliciting debate we will find those who are willing to argue and debate. We will garner their perspectives, and that is fantastic. But we will miss out on those who don’t want to debate. Who aren’t willing to argue. And these people have opinions and perspectives that are arguably even more valuable because it’s less common that you get to hear them.
While some of us feel safe enough to throw our opinion around, others do not. This tends to be related to our levels of privilege in our society. Whether due to the education we have received and thus all the stuff we have gotten to learn, or the social imperatives we are allowed due to being male, or even just being in a physically dominant position, we basically feel safe enough to speak up. How do we know if we are one of these people? We know when we are speaking up. Not everyone speaks up. As those who find ourselves able to speak up, who seek to foster community and create a world that works for all humans — because every person is sacred and is their own universe inside of a body —it is up to us to get related to those who might not want to speak so freely. If we seek to know, then it is up to us to cultivate the tools of learning from one another. In this case, it starts with earning the trust of another. How? By asking questions. By getting related to her world. By truly seeking to see what she sees, and understanding that if she grants your wish, that it is truly a privilege, because she doesn’t have to explain herself to anyone, certainly not you. It says nowhere that we must vote in a way that makes sense to anyone. Stop acting as if that’s the metric, or that it even *should* be. We humans are logical and rational beings, and we are also emotional beings, spiritual beings, and physical beings. None of these is above the other, despite our societal focuses on one or another, depending on your context. But I digress. All that to say that all the evidence in the world doesn’t help someone else feel safe enough to be real with you. All your words and rationales will only serve to push others away if they are written to prove a point. We don’t find new information by reinforcing our own perspectives. We find new things by letting go of our own, secure in their existence, and seeking to possibly be granted the privilege of view on the world of another.
Lorraine is a human being, with many years on this earth. She has quite probably done many amazing things that would blow my mind. I can only imagine she has lived a life that has culminated in a number of ways in her supporting Hillary Clinton. I would really love to know why, because I am too stuck in my perspective to see it from hers. If she grants me this request, I may actually get to learn and grow from the interaction. If I keep holding onto the idea that I’m right and why won’t you prove me wrong, then I will just continue to be congratulated by those who already agree with me anyways, and I will not learn anything truly new. Food for thought. Thanks for reading. And writing. Love.