I accompanied my dad to the park by my parents’ house to walk their Greyhound, Lady, and on the way he jokingly threatened to turn on Rush Limbaugh. “I wouldn’t have stopped you,” I said. I pressed into the opening; we rarely speak of politics, and we’ve never spoken about Trump or last year’s election.
“You voted for Trump. So what is it about him that you like so much?” He answer was swift and clear.
“I like that he’s not a politician and that if says he’s going to do something he does it, like with cutting our taxes. I like that he’s standing up to Kim Jong-un. And I like that he’s going after those football players who are kneeling during the national anthem.”
Everything my dad likes about the president is an opening for an argument. Every virtue he sees looks to me like a vice, or at least a deception: he is a politician; he lies reflexively; he is intensifying a potentially catastrophic conflict for the sake of his ego; his opposition to NFL protesters is overtly racist.
But I kept those arguments to myself. Instead, I let curiosity lead. He remarked that, given all the terrible things he said during the campaign, his electoral win was a “miracle,” so I asked: what could the president say or do to lose your support? This answer was less swift but just as clear: