‘It’s just better to leave it alone’
Only one member of the family watched the entire debate between Arizona’s Senate candidates on Oct. 6: Mr. Broe. Everyone else had made up their minds already.
Mr. Broe was eager to hear the Libertarian candidate, Marc Victor, and liked his performance so much he decided to vote for him (Mr. Victor later dropped out of the race).
Like his wife, Mr. Broe voted by mail this year in late October, casting his ballot primarily for Republicans. He proudly notes that he never voted for Mr. Trump; his wife proudly notes that she voted for him twice. Typically, Mr. Broe approaches politics with a kind of attitude honed from years of meditating, which he does regularly in a backyard crowded with Buddhist statues. “I could make my points, and it doesn’t change her mind at all,” he said. “And it doesn’t make living here any easier, so it’s just better to leave it alone.”
The family mostly works from home. Ms. Broe teaches dozens of students piano, cello and viola and runs several performance groups. Mr. Broe is trying to start a new small business in addition to teaching. JeanRené designs art on commission. Jasmine earns money with pet-sitting gigs.
Back in 2016, the family had debated, fought over and analyzed every imaginable political issue. Jasmine, then 20, thought that her mother was making an immoral choice by voting for Mr. Trump. Two days before the election, her mother decided to cool off by getting a room at a hotel nearby.
The home’s atmosphere had hardly calmed four years later in 2020. Ms. Broe had only grown to adore Mr. Trump even more. Though she never placed a Trump sign in the front yard, a calendar featuring Mr. Trump was displayed in the kitchen year-round. Jasmine and JeanRené were still frustrated that Senator Bernie Sanders had lost the Democratic primary. Mr. Broe knew he would vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate. For months, the siblings had hardly left the confines of their household bubble, but when they could not bear to hear any more talk of politics, they fled to the movie theater.
Not long after the 2020 election, Jasmine was watching a YouTube video on the flat-screen television in the family’s living room. The video explained that the unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud would not change the outcome of the presidential election. Her mother walked by and remarked, “You know that’s just their opinion, sweetie.”