By Paul V. DeMarco
Scene: It’s the autumn of 2032. Jessie, an 8th-grader excited about her government project, stops by her grandparents’ house.
Jessie (big smile, kisses him on the cheek): Hi Grandpa! I’m doing a project about the 2024 presidential election. Would you help me?
Grandpa: Sure, honey. What would you like to know?
Jessie: OK, first, who did you vote for in 2024?
Grandpa (smiling broadly): Donald J. Trump!! I voted for him three times! Best president in the history of America!
Jessie (crestfallen): But Grandpa, he was a liar!
Grandpa (scoffing): Who told you that! What are they teaching you in that school?!
Jessie: No one from school had to tell me that. Literally everyone knows he lied about 2020. His own attorney general said so. There’s never been any credible evidence he won.
Grandpa: That’s why he said the media was the enemy of the people. Don’t believe everything you read, sweetheart.
Jessie (excited): Oh, I didn’t realize. So tell me the real scoop, Grandpa. What really happened? Where can I go to find the real truth?
Grandpa: Well, I can’t point you to a single place. I just know there were lots of irregularities and inconsistencies.
Jessie (disappointed): Oh… everything I’ve been able to find says he lost. No conspiracy was ever uncovered, he lost over 60 court cases challenging the result, and none of the recounts showed any fraud.
Grandpa: All I know is that he was winning when I went to bed and losing when I woke up the next morning. Who knows what the Democrats could have done while I was sleeping?
Jessie: Election experts expected that to happen. More Trump voters voted in person and more Biden voters voted by mail. It took longer to count the mail-in ballots
Grandpa: Well, there was something fishy about that election.
Jessie: But Grandpa, how could you have voted for him in the first place? The way he talks about women! You wouldn’t have stood him talking about Mama that way.
Grandpa: That was just locker-room talk.
Jessie: Is that the way you talked about Mama in your high school locker room?
Grandpa (embarrassed): Well, no…
Jessie: I just don’t understand, Grandpa. He acts so ugly. I’ve heard you say you want a Christian in the White House, and I do too. I know how much you love the church and the special things you do for people.
Grandpa: Trump is a Christian! He got Roe v. Wade overturned.
Jessie: Being a Christian and being opposed to abortion are two different things. This Sunday when Reverend Jessup talked about the fruits of the spirit – let’s see if I can name them all – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness – and there’s one more…
Jessie: Right, self-control. You and grandma have all of those, but Trump doesn’t have any. There were so many better choices in 2024. Why not Nikki Haley or Tim Scott? They’re both from South Carolina. Or what about Mike Pence? I was sure you were going to say you voted for him. He’s so much more like you than Trump.
Grandpa: Jesse, you’re young, you don’t understand. The president isn’t our minister. He’s got to be tough to protect America.
Jessie: I get that he’s not our minister, but in 2016 and 2024 there were candidates whose policies were just as conservative as Trump but so much more decent.
Grandpa: But they didn’t fight like Trump.
Jessie (red-faced): So you didn’t want a minister, you wanted an MMA fighter! Grandpa, the rioters he sent up to the Capitol on January 6th almost prevented an orderly transfer of power. That’s the bedrock of our democracy. Trump acted like a spoiled brat, not the president. And then he lied and lied and lied about it. Is that the way you wanted me to act when I lost the election for class president?
Grandpa (voice rising as Jessie turns away): Jessie, honey, we’re not talking about middle school. We’ve got to keep the left from ruining the country!
Jessie (slow turning back to face him, quietly): Grandpa, what if I am the left? I haven’t made up my mind on a lot of issues, but I’m OK with gay marriage and I’m comfortable talking about both the great and the terrible parts of American history. I respect your view that abortion is always wrong, but I’m not sure that I’m willing to support making it a crime.
Grandpa: You know I’m not going to change my mind about those things.
Jessie: I’m not asking you to. Just remember, most of the people who disagree with you are a lot like me. You don’t need to elect someone like Trump to protect the country from us.
Grandpa: I’ll never apologize for voting for him.
Jessie: I know. Just vote for someone less dangerous this time. Have you decided who you are supporting this year?
Grandpa (smiling): After what you just put me through, you think I’m going to tell YOU!?
Jessie (laughing); Chicken!!