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Battered Voter Syndrome


The Safehouse organization offers support and services to anyone impacted by domestic violence. One of the most important services it provides is a shelter for victims. The Safehouse shelter location is a secret. I spoke to countless men on the phone who were desperate, despondent, and heartbroken. An abusive man would promise me anything if I would just let him speak to his beloved wife so he could convince her to come home. Their voices were so compelling, so sincere, that you'd have to have a heart of stone to resist them.

I resisted. I saw the broken bones, the double black eyes, and the bruises on the women they loved. And it was in my training for answering the phone that I learned an interesting psychology: The abuser isn't allowed to talk to his victim at the shelter because if he does, more often than not he'll talk her into coming home. A woman whose jaw was broken and wired shut would embrace the man who'd broken it and go back home with him. She'd end up in the shelter again, even more battered, or we'd get the news that she was in the morgue. The Safehouse counselors, wise as they are, know the desperate desire of human beings to believe they made the right choice, that their love is requited, that they didn't make a mistake.

Here is where I learned to understand liberals who cling passionately to their political leaders, no matter how much they are lied to and abused. Liberals, unlike conservatives, fall in love. They swoon over their president, they faint at rallies, they create artworks of devotion. They don't just admire their politicians; they adore them. They practically worship them.