A couple weeks ago, about fifteen men from my church went on a weekend retreat, just before the first presidential debate was to occur. At one point a group of about eight of us were sitting around discussing the upcoming debate, and the two primary candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Everyone there were clearly on the side of Hillary Clinton. At one point the question was raised: Do any of us know someone who is voting for Donald Trump? None of us could name someone we knew would be a Trump supporter. The room went silent for a few seconds, and then someone said: “Isn’t that part of the problem? We aren’t talking to one another.”

Regardless who is elected president, this year’s presidential primaries and election have revealed a growing gulf between conservatives and progressives, and we aren’t talking to each other, even in the U.S. Congress and the state legislatures. We live in separate ideological and political worlds, and like those in my men’s group we hardly know anyone in the other group.

So I want to try an experiment. I may regret it, but I want to try. If you are a supporter of Donald Trump, I would like to know why. If the only reason you support Trump is because you don’t like Clinton, that doesn’t count. Those criticisms have been voiced and vetted. No, I want to know why you think Donald Trump will be a better president than the other candidates in the race.

Now I suspect that most of those who read this blog are on the more progressive side like me. So if you know someone who is a Trump supporter: a co-worker, a friend, a family member – forward this blog to them, and ask them if they could address the question: Why do you think Donald Trump will be a better president than anyone else in the race?

I promise I will not start an argument or a debate. I may ask a question for clarification, but I won’t try to argue any point you make. I am just interested in what you say. Maybe at some point we can start a dialogue, but that’s not my goal now. I don’t want a diatribe against liberals, or Hillary Clinton –  just the answer to the question: why do you like Donald Trump for president?

I await your response, and thank you.