Most can’t be talked out of their convictions

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My father was a life-long Republican, a conviction I unsuccessfully tried to talk him out of on numerous occasions. My mother usually neutralized his vote.

My dad taught me that it’s pretty near impossible to talk anyone out of their convictions. The way they see the world is the way the world seems to be ... for them. For some, it’s the way they feel compelled to try to make others see, though, but that always qualifies as a fool’s mission. Never been short of fools.

I months-ago turned off my television for the duration of the campaign because I’ve reached that age where I don’t really need anyone to tell me what to think, especially when those telling me seem to have a whole lot more money than horse sense.

The papers have been full of the usual outrage whenever a candidate starts shaving the truth, just as if the purpose of campaigns wasn’t to shave truth balder than any eagle should tolerate. We tolerate.

On television, someone can seem to paint a whole neighborhood with a lazy wave of the hand. Politicians think they can paint their opponents whatever color they want them to be, too, but they seem at best sloppy painters.

Apparently, the will to power holds sufficient attraction to encourage even otherwise decent people to lie their fool heads off to gain it. They’ll talk about how broke we are when we aren’t. They’ll disagree with accepted science because it serves their will to power. They promise until their lips ignite without disclosing a hint of how they might find real political capital to deliver.

I — like my dad used to — made my mind up before the primaries, long before the campaigns ever started. I generally vote for the Democrats because they have a better track record, whatever they promised and whatever fate cast in their paths before delivering.

I’m one heck of a lot better off than I was four years ago, as I watched my father dying and we watched together, in his final days, a Republican-encouraged bubble bigger than either of us take our nation to its knees. We’re making decent progress in spite of the dedicated roadblocks our Republicans in Congress seems determined to construct.

We’re likely to survive whoever wins. I suspect there won’t be a close second next time.

David A. Schmaltz

Takoma Park, Md.

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