Someone I love thinks Trump’s an idiot but is leaning toward voting for him again anyway. To be fair, this person has contempt for most people. We argued. This script is sanitized and abridged. You can read the full version on my website.

Him: I contend that policies being put in place are precisely in line with my values, and the insanity of the policies proposed by the Democratic contenders are exactly opposite of what I want for my country. Me: You wrongly speak of Democratic contenders as monolithic.

Him: EVERY Democratic contender is pushing for the opposite. EVERYONE’s seeking power. NOT ONE is motivated by compassion, fairness; they are fools and liars. Me: Everyone? Really? Good thing we have the purity of the Republicans.

Him: Abortion, 50 MILLION dead babies since 1973, 10% in late term abortions makes this POLICY the equivalent of Jewish genocide. Me: You like emotional diatribe, not facts. Before conclusions, ask questions. Who gets abortions? What is the median age? Why? You might be surprised by the facts. Late term? Do you wish to talk to neonatologists who can’t stand governmental intrusion in dreadful medical decisions?

Him: Baby parts for sale, Planned Parenthood is the equivalent of Josef Mengele. Me: Tabloid nonsense. Planned Parenthood does more to prevent abortions than any other organization.

Him: VA hospitals, finally giving vets a choice. Me: Fine, if they can travel to the choice. I’ve had to drive vets an hour away. Our hospital handles some, but should vets get in line ahead of other patients?

Him: Taxes, my children benefited immeasurably from the tax cuts. Corporations are investing billions in growth. Government inefficiency is legendary. Me: Ours didn’t. We paid more. corporations investing in growth or stuffing pockets? Profit’s good, when equitable. Wealth gap, diminishing middle class, slowing economy, highest debt, small businesses hurt, damaging trade wars.

Him: Jobs. Millions more at work now. Me: Jobs, yes, this path has been improving since Obama, but let’s factor in those working 2-3 jobs, those dropping out of the work force. What are the wages, salaries, benefits?

Him: Health care, we have the best in the world. Health insurance, too expensive and too many bureaucrats dictating how it should be done. Me: For some. Our hospitals have absorbed costs for decades. Obamacare works — 80% of health costs for last years and first years. We overmedicate and overtreat. Which pending bills has McConnell stalled and prevented debate?

Him: Immigration, desperately in need of commonsense changes. We need to show massive compassion to those in need. We need to show zero compassion to the cartels who traffic humans. We need to help these people flourish in their homes and in their cultures. The debate is not about people — the left wants unfettered immigration not to help people but to get more control of voters. The right hates sharing. I hate the hypocrisy and the way these people are used by everyone. Me: Agreed. We need a Marshall plan for Central America. It might help if we stop destabilizing their governments, deporting our gangs to terrorize their streets, our corporations exploiting them. You’re wrong, the left (whoever they are) reject unfettered access. Which bills has McConnell stalled?

Him: Court system finally shifting back to bring constitutional scholars back to the bench. Me: What scholars? All fine jurists appointed by Trump, not an activist judge in the lot. Seems to me that Garland was a scholar.

Him: The EU’s been ripping us off for years, needs its butt kicked. Me: 75 years of peace, success and economic well-being. Why trash that except to please Putin?

Him: So, the sky is not falling because Trump won. The policies proposed by the contenders are both ineffective and a charade, they’re all about power. Me: No, the sky is not falling; the ground is heaving, the stability of our nation fissuring. Some contenders offer sane and solid policies. Come now, Trump isn’t about power at all: abuse of office, manic lies, betraying his supporters, greed, conspiracy theories, contempt for rule of law, collusion, autocratic authority, debasing the military, rotting the Republican party, nepotism, abusing allies, refusing transparency, corrupting the DOJ, deregulations endangering the environment.

Him: I don’t choose Trump, I chose policies that work to make lives better. Me: No. When you vote, you choose a person. Funny, because he doesn’t advocate the policies and values you want.

This someone hasn’t yet replied to my reply. I also noticed he didn’t talk about gun safety legislation.

The Rev. Robert Andrews is retired pastor of Grove Presbyterian Church in Danville. Read more of his work at robertjohnandrews.com.

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