Updated: Feb 21
If you're one of those people who believes it's "politics" causing rifts in your friendships and relationships, you may be a bit naïve. You're not losing friends over your choice of political candidate, you're losing friends over your lack of humanity and empathy. And maybe your fear, but I'll get to that in a moment.
In 2016, several people claimed they would stand up for their friends and loved ones when or if policies interfered with their well-being. Well, where are you, now? You're still supporting the man and the people implementing those policies and you plan to vote for him again.
You're still standing up for the man suing to take away simple protections allowing me to carry health-insurance through an employer or purchased individually. This goes beyond politics to basic humanity. So yes, while Trump is a candidate, it's far beyond that. You're not choosing a "political" candidate - you're choosing the man and all that he stands for. There is a big difference for 2020.
A multitude of people on social media weigh in daily with their perspective of for whom you should vote based on any number factors: religion, vaginas, taxes, single-payer health care systems, abortions, (or not) who can yell the loudest, and so on. You get the point. But to expand your knowledge you have to step out of your comfort zone and speak with or debate those folks who seem diametrically opposed to your own closely held beliefs. And sometimes those closely held beliefs are allowed to be loud, allowed to be heard, allowed to be yours, and allowed to be respected. You are allowed to chose the side on which you stand, but understand what that means. You are not free from the consequences.
Make no mistake that people who support equal rights for LGBTQ+ folks, who believe in unity, who believe in our military and first responders, who know without a doubt that #blacklivesmatter, will always be on the right side of history. I've said goodbye (for good) to people I never thought I would say goodbye to. I look at others and try to disguise my disappointment and anger.
Supporting a racist, homophobic, dictator-loving, pussy-grabbing, anti-woman, psychotic-tweeting, lying, threatening, bullying, criminal is not political. It's the core of who this president is and if you're supporting him, still, it may be at the core of who you are - that, and fear.
I think you're afraid women are kicking ass all over the place. That people of color are speaking louder than ever and being heard. That being a member of the LGBTQ+ community is in your face.
I think you're scared the opinion of straight, middle-aged, (or older) white men just doesn't mean that much anymore - because it doesn't. I think you're full of fear and when you're scared you lash out, you become angry, and you react. Sound familiar? Sound like anyone you know on Twitter? And if you don't have the balls to admit any of this, you do it at the polls when you vote for any member of the GOP, especially this "president."
It sucks for us, too. Imagine being friends with someone for years and learning they're okay with everything this "president" has done. Imagine learning they really don't care about your well-being or that of others. That they're okay with your rights being taken away. That as a woman, they're fine with your choices being removed or outright banned. That as an LGBTQ+ person, they're okay with you not being able to adopt a child. It's heart-breaking. All of these reasons are why the climate in this country today is less about politics and more about humanity.
So the next time you think you're losing friends over politics, don't worry, it's deeper than that. You're losing friends because you've lost your way, and those who are walking away from you are being strong, confident, and ensuring they sleep well at night not catering to anyone or anything but themselves and their own conscience.