"How can anyone with a thinking brain vote for _____?"
The easy answer is that those people - the ones who frame every piece of national news in an ideological frame, the ones who believe that the Affordable Care Act is an inherent evil, who believe that MORE guns is the answer to gun violence - are all a clan of mouthbreathing, drooling fucking morons without an ounce of critical thinking skills and a sociopathetic lack of empathy or compassion. The easy answer is that the wealthy, white men who pass laws that marginalize the rights of women, of Gay Americans, of immigrants coming to this country for the promise of a better life, are simply mindless fucktards with a pyschopathic lack of human kindness.
The easy answer is...easy.
Theoretical people - the folks out in the world we know are there but have no personal impact on us in our day to day reality - all seem to fit into a nice, grimey box labeled "OTHER" and populate that grease-stained cardboard box with tiny, limited versions of actual human beings that bear only a passing resemblance to authentic humanity.
The theoretical ME is a Progressive Automaton, kneejerking against anything critical of Progressive Ideology, a strange This Size Fits All zealot ready to condemn any idea or statement that doesn't fit the prescribed worldview stenciled on my Team America Sweatshirt as racist or stupid or against common decency.
The actual ME is a bit more complex. I don't do religions anymore and have discovered in my lifetime that the One Solution to All Problems approach to Life is a sham. The idea that any difficulty I have in life can be overcome by Jesus or Socialism or the Softest Fucking Toilet Paper to touch my tender asshole is one born of living in a complex world with too much of it flooding my consciousness too fast and without a stop gap to give me time to process it all. The actual ME wants to find truth. The actual ME struggles with my baked in ideas. The genuine ME voted for Reagan, was a raging homophobe and was a Born Again Christian at one point in my life and, through living life changed his mind.
If I am honest, I have to confront the possibility that everyone - even the dipshittery of those still clinging to the Tea Party pathology - are exactly like me when pulled out of my "OTHER" cardboard box. That my box is overstuffed with theoretical humanity and that there is less box and more duct tape holding that thing together, with the number of tiny, boxed in, faux people than my box can hold.
I believe the solution - not in a One Size Fits All paradigm but in a Why the Fuck Not at Least TRY It sort of way - is to look inside your box of Theoretical People and go meet them in person. Have a conversation. Share a few stories. Eat a meal. Look your Theoretical OTHERS in the eye and, whether you agree with them or not on most Big Issues, force them out of your box and into your reality.
FACT: There ARE stupid people out there. There ARE damaged, angry monsters among us. Humans are a self centered bunch as a rule rather than an exception. But I have to believe that while there are always going to be fucking awful human beings in the world that MOST of us are not monsters. I have to believe that most of those Theoretical People are just like me.