The no-nonsense voice at the other end of the line offered the greeting as a statement, not a question.
Patty was born in 1926. At 91, she still lives on her own.
I told her who I was. Her grandson, one of my longtime friends, had prepped her for my call. He said the only thing I had to do in exchange was to start the conversation with an enthusiastic statement about his awesomeness.
“I know that,” Patty said in response to my extolling of her grandson’s virtues.
“Why did you vote for Trump?” Patty didn’t seem like one for superfluous chit chat.
“I live in Maine,” she said as if that should provide sufficient explanation.
“Ok, but why…”
“We all did. Maine voted for Trump. He said he’d help with jobs here, so we voted for him.”
I wanted to say, “You believe that?” But I bit my tongue. That was my own cynicism talking. I find it hard to believe any specific promises politicians make. For most of my adult life, our representatives in Congress have been battling one another as if their jobs are to keep legislation from being passed.
Patty obviously did believe Trump’s campaign promise—and that, by itself, struck me as significant.
I tried to get Patty to tell me other reasons she voted for Trump, asking this way and that. After a few minutes, I could tell she was getting annoyed.
She had given me her answer. What more could I want?
It occurred to me how Patty must see this endeavor to better understand Trump voters as a supremely ridiculous use of time.
When I thanked Patty and said goodbye, it was relief I sensed from her. She could hang up and not waste another second looking back.