Stop Blaming Trump Over Lost Friends

 

Trump Isn’t The Real Problem. His Haters Are, Mostly.

Go to your favorite internet search site – mine is duckduckgo.com – and search “friends lost over Trump.” Or some variation.

You will quickly find an array of articles of how anti-Trumpers have canceled friendships over someone’s support for Trump. Like this one, from a post by Doug McKinnon in The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper:

“One casual friendship abruptly ended last year because I would not acknowledge that Trump is a climate change denier who advances the insidious goal of killing off humanity. The person making that charge is an accomplished executive.

“When I politely asked over the phone if this person truly believes Trump’s ultimate ‘goal’ is to kill off the world — including his children, grandchildren, and future Trump generations — my friend screamed at me and then hung up, forever.”

And that’s pretty mild as the Trump-related cancellations have gone. This, from National Public Radio:

“I did straight up say, ‘Dude, I’m done. Lose my number,’ ” said Shama Davis from Los Angeles, recalling when he “unfriended” a guy he’d been friends with since high school 25 years ago.

“I just hung up on my end and proceeded to just block him in every possible way,” said Joni Jensen from New York, still fuming over the guy she felt compelled to dump.

And betraying just a tinge of regret about cutting off his cousins, Ricardo Deforest of Tampa, Fla., conceded, “I hate to say it because family is everything,” before unabashedly proclaiming, “I disowned them. In my mind they’re not family anymore.”

That’s pretty severe. And for the record, it’s not just anti-Trumpers canceling pro-Trump “friends.” Pro-Trumpers are doing it, too. This, from a New York Times op-ed from Apri 2016 by anti-Trumper and Republican Peter Wehner:

“While I haven’t lost any friendships during this Trumpian moment, at least not yet, I certainly haven’t been immune to the heightened tension. Several friends whose political views have often coincided with mine in the past have voiced their anger to me over my public opposition to Mr. Trump’s candidacy.

“One close longtime friend told me that my criticism of Mr. Trump stemmed from my desire for attention and notoriety and a longing for the favor of liberals. He was questioning not my reasoning but my motivations. His concern wasn’t about policy; it was about the state of my soul.”

Wehner thinks Trump is to blame for all this. “The candidacy of Donald J. Trump is not only fracturing the Republican Party, but it is also breaking up friendships as well,” he wrote in his April 2016 op-ed.

Is he? Or is it the state and condition of our friendships and our culture in general? Is Trump really to blame, or was he just a catalyst that exposed the shallowness of our own relationships, and more importantly, our inability to manage or talk through legitimate disagreements? Have we lost the ability to manage the inevitable conflicts we all have with each other, even our own family members?

How big is the problem? This, from The Atlantic:

In a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted a couple of months after Trump’s 2016 victory, 16 percent of respondents said they had stopped communicating with a friend or family member because of the election. Four years later, many such relationships are still in disrepair. Corin Goodwin, a 53-year-old communications consultant in Seattle, hasn’t seen her dad since October 2016, when they had a falling-out over the presidential race, in which he supported Trump and she supported Hillary Clinton. Since then, they’ve had only occasional email contact. “When he passes, I don’t know if I will even be informed, which really freaks me out,” Goodwin told me. (Goodwin and others mentioned in this article were not comfortable putting me in touch with the friends and family members with whom they disagreed, so I was unable to hear the other sides of these stories.)

Sixteen percent of Americans is roughly 30-40 million working-age and senior/retired Americans. That’s no small potatoes.

Confession: I have done my share of canceling. Not terminating friendships per se, but “unfriending” people on Facebook for their erratic, overly partisan, and unsubstantiated posts. I think of that as managing my Facebook feed, not defining friendships, but that’s now how people see it anymore (when did Facebook become the arbiter of “friendship?”) But yes, I have terminated communications with a number of people over their admonitions of me (to put it mildly), personally, for my refusal to repudiate Trump or mischaracterize some of the organizations that are allegedly supporting his “racist” and “white supremacy” ways. Of course, I largely reject that based on the totality of Trump’s history and record – including separating the man from the record – not what the media tells me.

When did Facebook become the arbiter of “friendship?”

And there is the problem. I carefully challenge people’s assumptions and beliefs (“have you considered. . .”). Many don’t appreciate that. Few – not all – are unwilling to consider that they may be misinformed, even wrong.

But am I willing to have my views and beliefs challenged? I hope so. I have always tried to remember to be humble and consider that I am wrong. It is part of my faith. I am open to correction, and my mind has changed on some issues over time. For example, I was so virulently anti-Trump in 2016 (I supported Rick Santorum, then Marco Rubio, then Ted Cruz in my state’s primary election) that I left the GOP for 13 months, registering as an Independent in Pennsylvania. I literally stared at my absentee ballot in 2016 for 3 weeks deciding whether to vote for Trump or another option.

A question: have we allowed too much - everything - to become overly political, or politicized? Can we not allow room for disagreement over politics while recognizing and respecting our basic humanity, our origins, our families, and our shared values?

I reluctantly voted for Trump in 2016 (I could never bring myself to support Hillary Clinton). And I enthusiastically supported him in 2020. I have no regrets, especially given what we’re seeing now.

I lost friends in the process. However, I discovered new ones. I deepened others. Others have written me off, including “friends” in the lobbying world, Republicans, who were all-in for Biden, I suspect for “economic” reasons. Money speaks loudly in Washington, DC, and Trump wasn’t friendly to traditional DC lobbyists. In other cases, cultural or social issues are a factor. For example, Critical Race Theory, and weak-minded Christians being sucked into its religious trappings, despite its Marxist affiliations.

And, of course, social circles. People like being liked and part of a club, and tend to migrate towards the views of their tribes. That’s true everywhere. And here in the Washington, DC, area, it’s become very, very, anti-Trump (folks here like retaining and expanding power inside Washington’s beltway – it’s a nice way to feather the nest). They’re helping the local elitists circle the wagons. That’s their tribe. Their source of income. Their friends. Their contacts. I get that. They now wear blue; I’m still on Team Red.

My great fear is that America is becoming overly tribal, and people are moving with their feet. Republican-minded voters in California and other blue states are moving in droves to neighboring states or places like Texas. Other conservative-minded people are departing high-tax northeastern states like New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania for friendly southern confines like South Carolina and Florida, even Georgia.

My wife and I are looking at new homesites, and one of my criteria is how the locals voted in 2016 and 2020, and who their US House member is. That is not healthy in the long term, but I have learned the hard way how difficult it is to be around people – even churches – who do not share my basic beliefs and values.

I may be part of the problem. But can you blame me? Does anyone want to live among people who not only don’t like them but will call the police over slights? It happens. Diversity is one thing; hostility, another.

Houston, we have a problem. We have lost the art and skill of communicating across political lines and lost the ability to trust each other despite differences. We have lost our focus on that which unites us. We need to find our way back. Fortunately, we have organizations like Braver Angels and the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution that are helping us do that. And they have a very heavy workload.

But here’s the thing: While I’m very open to building, or rebuilding bridges with my one-time friends, I strongly suspect the feeling is not reciprocal. After all, it is now not fashionable to have “pro-Trump” friends (defined as having voted for Trump at least once). The bridge-building, if they’re really interested, begins with them.

After all, you won the last election. Graciousness always starts with the winner. And we’re still waiting.

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  1. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Well written.  And timely.  I have broken off or not started romantic relationships over Trump.  At the same time, I see liberals and progressives as hopelessly naive.  I don’t have an answer to this issue.

    As for friends, I do my best to not exclude others based upon their stance on Trump.  I have a number of family and friends who voted for Trump.  I admire and respect them.  And I work hard to not argue Trump with them.

    I used to watch 3-4 hours of the Fox News Channel a day during the week from the mid 1990’s.  That ended in 2016, except for Special Report.  After FNC fired George Will and Charles Krauthammer died, I stopped taping Special Report.  My only FNC show I listen to now is Fox News Sunday, and sometimes the Journal Editorial Report.

    I used to listen to Rush 24/7 everyday and catch up with what happened that day.  That too ended in 2016.  I missed the old Rush, and I wasn’t willing to follow his Trump swerve.

    Some say that Trump is the great disrupter.  I disagree.  I see him as a destroyer of anyone who does not pledge fealty to him.

    This reminds me of a joke.

    “What does Trump call someone who had agreed with him 99% of the time?”

    “A traitor.”

    • #1
  2. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    While much is said of our divided nation, it has long seemed to me that the division, and the divisiveness, is driven almost entirely by one side. And that makes sense: the gap between us is caused by one group moving away — progressing, if you will — from the status quo. Most of us would prefer to be left alone, to stay where we are. Those who want change need us to join them, because their vision is that the country be “fundamentally transformed,” to coin a phrase. And that can’t happen unless essentially all of us take part.

     

    • #2
  3. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Kelly D Johnston: After all, you won the last election.

    That’s their assertion, but they don’t seem to want to prove it, or even defend it.

    • #3
  4. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    When some fool starts ranting about Trump to me, my response is, “Shut the [redacted] up”. What happens after that is up to him/her. I’ve been dropped by a couple and my life is better without them. 

    • #4
  5. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Kelly D Johnston: And here in the Washington, DC, area, it’s become very, very, anti-Trump (folks here like retaining and expanding power inside Washington’s beltway – it’s a nice way to feather the nest

    People who work for the government shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    • #5
  6. Chris Oler Coolidge
    Chris Oler
    @ChrisO

    Had a friend ask via Facebook for anybody who didn’t actively oppose Trump to un-friend her. I’m a good friend, so I did. 

    I was just fed up with the talk and saw her post.

    Shortly after, I stopped checking Facebook at all. It’s a platform where every unhealthy impulse receives validation. It could be a more positive thing, but as I recall, Facebook was purposely affecting a negative tone in its algorithms.

    We put Trump signs in our yard. One neighbor is a little less friendly.

    • #6
  7. Brian Wyneken Member
    Brian Wyneken
    @BrianWyneken

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Kelly D Johnston: And here in the Washington, DC, area, it’s become very, very, anti-Trump (folks here like retaining and expanding power inside Washington’s beltway – it’s a nice way to feather the nest

    People who work for the government shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    Not allowed:  Military members? Police? Firefighters?

    Allowed:  D.C. Lobbyists?

    • #7
  8. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Did Mr Trump ever come over to some group of buddies and demand that they break up their friendships?

    One searches in vain for such an anecdote.

    That never happened. Rather, people who are so insecure in their politics, world views and self-respect that they can’t tolerate the slightest differences from their own opinions have chosen to break off or restrict their friendships.  

    Mr Trump did not ruin any friendships. Mr Trump did not coarsen American politics.  Mr Trump did not cause us to become tribal. People reacting to Mr Trump did all of those things.  

    Shame on them all, deep deep shame, for what they have done to America.

    • #8
  9. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Brian Wyneken (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Kelly D Johnston: And here in the Washington, DC, area, it’s become very, very, anti-Trump (folks here like retaining and expanding power inside Washington’s beltway – it’s a nice way to feather the nest

    People who work for the government shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    Not allowed: Military members? Police? Firefighters?

    Allowed: D.C. Lobbyists?

    Heinlein thought they shouldn’t be allowed to vote until they no longer worked for the government.

    • #9
  10. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Brian Wyneken (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Kelly D Johnston: And here in the Washington, DC, area, it’s become very, very, anti-Trump (folks here like retaining and expanding power inside Washington’s beltway – it’s a nice way to feather the nest

    People who work for the government shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    Not allowed: Military members? Police? Firefighters?

    Allowed: D.C. Lobbyists?

    Heinlein thought they shouldn’t be allowed to vote until they no longer worked for the government.

    It might be suggested that city employees shouldn’t vote in city elections, state employees shouldn’t vote in state elections, etc.  But it’s all so entangled now, that distinction may be irrelevant.

    • #10
  11. Brian Wyneken Member
    Brian Wyneken
    @BrianWyneken

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Brian Wyneken (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Kelly D Johnston: And here in the Washington, DC, area, it’s become very, very, anti-Trump (folks here like retaining and expanding power inside Washington’s beltway – it’s a nice way to feather the nest

    People who work for the government shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    Not allowed: Military members? Police? Firefighters?

    Allowed: D.C. Lobbyists?

    Heinlein thought they shouldn’t be allowed to vote until they no longer worked for the government.

    It might be suggested that city employees shouldn’t vote in city elections, state employees shouldn’t vote in state elections, etc. But it’s all so entangled now, that distinction may be irrelevant.

    I have heard that the largest employer in the state of Minnesota is the State of Minnesota. Now, would I tend to favor the electoral outcome after preventing all these people from voting in state elections? Probably yes, but I cannot imagine this being advanced as a serious suggestion. Imagine trying to advance this as legislation. Beyond that, the “working for the government = support for big government” while likely common is not universal. For what it’s worth, my government employment was in the military and in federal law enforcement – all of it remote from the beltway. From what I could discern I would estimate that at least 70% of my co-workers in these arenas were well right-of-center.

    • #11
  12. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Brian Wyneken (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Brian Wyneken (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Kelly D Johnston: And here in the Washington, DC, area, it’s become very, very, anti-Trump (folks here like retaining and expanding power inside Washington’s beltway – it’s a nice way to feather the nest

    People who work for the government shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    Not allowed: Military members? Police? Firefighters?

    Allowed: D.C. Lobbyists?

    Heinlein thought they shouldn’t be allowed to vote until they no longer worked for the government.

    It might be suggested that city employees shouldn’t vote in city elections, state employees shouldn’t vote in state elections, etc. But it’s all so entangled now, that distinction may be irrelevant.

    I have heard that the largest employer in the state of Minnesota is the State of Minnesota. Now, would I tend to favor the electoral outcome after preventing all these people from voting in state elections? Probably yes, but I cannot imagine this being advanced as a serious suggestion. Imagine trying to advance this as legislation. Beyond that, the “working for the government = support for big government” while likely common is not universal. For what it’s worth, my government employment was in the military and in federal law enforcement – all of it remote from the beltway. From what I could discern I would estimate that at least 70% of my co-workers in these arenas were well right-of-center.

    Would you have objected if you couldn’t vote until after you retired?

    • #12
  13. Brian Wyneken Member
    Brian Wyneken
    @BrianWyneken

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Brian Wyneken (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Brian Wyneken (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Kelly D Johnston: And here in the Washington, DC, area, it’s become very, very, anti-Trump (folks here like retaining and expanding power inside Washington’s beltway – it’s a nice way to feather the nest

    People who work for the government shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    Not allowed: Military members? Police? Firefighters?

    Allowed: D.C. Lobbyists?

    Heinlein thought they shouldn’t be allowed to vote until they no longer worked for the government.

    It might be suggested that city employees shouldn’t vote in city elections, state employees shouldn’t vote in state elections, etc. But it’s all so entangled now, that distinction may be irrelevant.

    I have heard that the largest employer in the state of Minnesota is the State of Minnesota. Now, would I tend to favor the electoral outcome after preventing all these people from voting in state elections? Probably yes, but I cannot imagine this being advanced as a serious suggestion. Imagine trying to advance this as legislation. Beyond that, the “working for the government = support for big government” while likely common is not universal. For what it’s worth, my government employment was in the military and in federal law enforcement – all of it remote from the beltway. From what I could discern I would estimate that at least 70% of my co-workers in these arenas were well right-of-center.

    Would you have objected if you couldn’t vote until after you retired?

    Yes, and likely would not have been willing to voluntarily join the military if disenfranchisement was part of the deal. Imagine further if the draft was active and draftees were also to lose their right to vote.

    • #13
  14. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    If this ends a relationship, they were never your friend to begin with.

    • #14
  15. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Kozak (View Comment):

    If this ends a relationship, they were never your friend to begin with.

    It does seem to be another thing where Trump didn’t really change anything, he just revealed what was already there.  Often by causing the other side to expose their true selves.

    • #15
  16. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    “What does Trump call someone who had agreed with him 99% of the time?”

    “A traitor.”

    • #16
  17. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    I called my 82-year-old sister a year ago last May to wish her a happy birthday. Her husband is a retired radiologist and she is a retired well-educated businesswoman who has always been very left in her political views. She has never, ever voted for a Republican anywhere, at any time, for any office. I know that, so I never bring up politics when conversing with her. She, however, cannot help herself. So, in the middle of a casual birthday well-wishing she says that Trump told everyone to drink chlorine and she wished he would die. She knew that I supported and admired the President. I told her that I was sorry to have called her and I hung up. This year I just sent her a Happy Birthday email. Relationships have difficulty surviving political differences. Those that do can become very shallow.

    • #17
  18. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    cdor (View Comment):

    I called my 82-year-old sister a year ago last May to wish her a happy birthday. Her husband is a retired radiologist and she is a retired well-educated businesswoman who has always been very left in her political views. She has never, ever voted for a Republican anywhere, at any time, for any office. I know that, so I never bring up politics when conversing with her. She, however, cannot help herself. So, in the middle of a casual birthday well-wishing she says that Trump told everyone to drink chlorine and she wished he would die. She knew that I supported and admired the President. I told her that I was sorry to have called her and I hung up. This year I just sent her a Happy Birthday email. Relationships have difficulty surviving political differences. Those that do can become very shallow.

    Others may think there’s equal blame to share, maybe just to assuage themselves, but I don’t think it’s equal at all.

    • #18
  19. davenr321 Coolidge
    davenr321
    @davenr321

    The problem I had with friends – longtime friends, decades before Facebook – is that to even attempt to point out that “Trump didn’t actually say that…” or “the article you’re quoting says the opposite of what you’re saying it says…” or anything corrective, or even asking a question – and you’re unfriended. My friends do some pretty cool stuff outside of being communist dupes or true believers, and I’m interested in sharing about that cool stuff. But… I gave up Fbook two years ago, just stopped even logging-in. LinkedIn is going to be next, but there are an awful lot more reasonable people there; nevertheless I give it one more year.

    • #19
  20. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    The issue of ideological intolerance is bigger than Trump; to some extent it predates Trump, though it has certainly intensified in recent years. I’m not sure the extra intensity is the result of Trump, as opposed to the general trend of aggressive progressivism.

    I’ve been observing for several years that, while we may be a nation roughly evenly divided between those who consider themselves generally on the left and generally on the right, it seems true that one side feels much more comfortable expressing its views than the other. I can’t count the number of times someone in a group of relative strangers has expressed a view lifted straight from the conventional wisdom of the left, and done so in a way that few of us on the right would feel comfortable emulating. The assumption seems to be that, well, of course sensible, decent people will find this position unobjectionable.

    I chalk it up to a media environment that pushes a lopsided narrative that leads many people to simply assume that we’re all in agreement.

    We aren’t all in agreement.

    • #20
  21. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    In the past, we had fights break out in Congress. Personally, I would like to see more of that, instead of them being all buddy buddy. Not savage beatings, but a nice fist fight. Of course, in the past, we did not have a congress on anti-dementia medication. 

    • #21
  22. BillJackson Coolidge
    BillJackson
    @BillJackson

    Great post and interesting comments. It seems like many of you had at least one face-to-face interaction that led to the change which is not what happened to me. I just got canceled … and never spoken to again.

    To the overall premise of the post: Trump was just a catalyst. As I look back on the last several years, I can see the way I acted and just my general nature probably accounted for 70 percent of the reason my friends and I drifted apart … [the other 30 percent just being human nature of having differing interests.]

    But I do think Trump/politics is 100 percent the reason for the outright cancelation. Once he was elected, I was just “dead” to everyone. No returned phone calls, texts that were “missed,” I was blocked on social media. They just disappeared because they knew I was conservative in my views, I guess? They never said. I just stopped reaching out and dealt with it. 

    Which is what led to me to Ricochet! I’m in suburban Illinois, in a very lefty suburb, so I have zero friends. As in: Literally zero people I interact with outside of work and my personal trainer. So I love it here and I appreciate all the posts and views … it’s much more diverse than with my previous environment. I love my job now [I used to work with the friends who canceled me], I’m starting to feel “at home” in the suburbs and I truly am happier than I was with those people in my life.

    I guess it proves something that Robin Williams said [roughly] “The worst thing isn’t being alone, the worst thing is being surrounded by people who make you feel alone.”

    • #22
  23. James Salerno Coolidge
    James Salerno
    @JamesSalerno

    It doesn’t help that so many forms of escapism have been politicized. You used to be able to form bonds around movies, TV shows, sports, etc. to get away from politics. Now, it’s very difficult to discuss hobbies and interests without revealing your colors.

    • #23
  24. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    it seems true that one side feels much more comfortable expressing its views than the other. I can’t count the number of times someone in a group of relative strangers has expressed a view lifted straight from the conventional wisdom of the left, and done so in a way that few of us on the right would feel comfortable emulating. The assumption seems to be that, well, of course sensible, decent people will find this position unobjectionable.

    This happens to me at least ten times per day: friends, coworkers, and library patrons are (apparently) champing at the bit to tell me what they think about politics/the state of the world. I never initiate these conversations. It’s terribly depressing that so many of my fellow citizens want everything to be political. As @jamessalerno says in #23 above, there are fewer and fewer places to hide, or even to be neutral.

    • #24
  25. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    it seems true that one side feels much more comfortable expressing its views than the other. I can’t count the number of times someone in a group of relative strangers has expressed a view lifted straight from the conventional wisdom of the left, and done so in a way that few of us on the right would feel comfortable emulating. The assumption seems to be that, well, of course sensible, decent people will find this position unobjectionable.

    This happens to me at least ten times per day: friends, coworkers, and library patrons are (apparently) champing at the bit to tell me what they think about politics/the state of the world. I never initiate these conversations. It’s terribly depressing that so many of my fellow citizens want everything to be political. As @ jamessalerno says in #23 above, there are fewer and fewer places to hide, or even to be neutral.

    Depending on the situation, my response is often to politely say something to the effect of “you and I probably disagree about that, and maybe about a lot of things, but disagreement is okay.”

     

    • #25
  26. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    it seems true that one side feels much more comfortable expressing its views than the other. I can’t count the number of times someone in a group of relative strangers has expressed a view lifted straight from the conventional wisdom of the left, and done so in a way that few of us on the right would feel comfortable emulating. The assumption seems to be that, well, of course sensible, decent people will find this position unobjectionable.

    This happens to me at least ten times per day: friends, coworkers, and library patrons are (apparently) champing at the bit to tell me what they think about politics/the state of the world. I never initiate these conversations. It’s terribly depressing that so many of my fellow citizens want everything to be political. As @ jamessalerno says in #23 above, there are fewer and fewer places to hide, or even to be neutral.

    Depending on the situation, my response is often to politely say something to the effect of “you and I probably disagree about that, and maybe about a lot of things, but disagreement is okay.”

     

    That’s good advice, but sadly I am a coward about this sort of thing, and very much prefer to remain closeted.

     

    • #26
  27. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    it seems true that one side feels much more comfortable expressing its views than the other. I can’t count the number of times someone in a group of relative strangers has expressed a view lifted straight from the conventional wisdom of the left, and done so in a way that few of us on the right would feel comfortable emulating. The assumption seems to be that, well, of course sensible, decent people will find this position unobjectionable.

    This happens to me at least ten times per day: friends, coworkers, and library patrons are (apparently) champing at the bit to tell me what they think about politics/the state of the world. I never initiate these conversations. It’s terribly depressing that so many of my fellow citizens want everything to be political. As @ jamessalerno says in #23 above, there are fewer and fewer places to hide, or even to be neutral.

    Depending on the situation, my response is often to politely say something to the effect of “you and I probably disagree about that, and maybe about a lot of things, but disagreement is okay.”

     

    That’s good advice, but sadly I am a coward about this sort of thing, and very much prefer to remain closeted.

    Well, your situation is also quite different. You’re effectively captive to your various audiences, whereas my encounters are almost invariable such that I can walk away whenever I wish. That, and my insufferable reactionary nature is pretty much priced in to all my relationships: everyone knows what I am and has either come to terms with it or resolved to avoid engaging me.

    • #27
  28. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    James Salerno (View Comment):

    It doesn’t help that so many forms of escapism have been politicized. You used to be able to form bonds around movies, TV shows, sports, etc. to get away from politics. Now, it’s very difficult to discuss hobbies and interests without them revealing your their colors.

    That seems more accurate.

    • #28
  29. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    BillJackson (View Comment):

    Great post and interesting comments. It seems like many of you had at least one face-to-face interaction that led to the change which is not what happened to me. I just got canceled … and never spoken to again.

    To the overall premise of the post: Trump was just a catalyst. As I look back on the last several years, I can see the way I acted and just my general nature probably accounted for 70 percent of the reason my friends and I drifted apart … [the other 30 percent just being human nature of having differing interests.]

    But I do think Trump/politics is 100 percent the reason for the outright cancelation.

    I like your comment and agree with most of it, but I don’t think Trump was the catalyst.  Why would Trump, one man, an outsider, in an outwardly functioning society, be a catalyst for such incivility and outrage?  An analogy for a catalyst of an unseen societal breach might be said to be an unnoticed untied shoe string: you walk long enough and you eventually trip over the loose string and the whole person comes tumbling own.  This makes sense on its own, as if society was ready to trip for decades; while this is true-ish, I think it is insufficient to what really happens, or to why such a thing would ever happen.

    Why did something close to 50% of the US population come, virtually overnight from loving Trump (a rich celebrity “winner”) to hating him with an unholy passion?  I think that (as incredible as it is for me to believe) the population that so quickly came to hate Trump and all he stood for, and all those who supported him, were propagandized to do so — like being hypnotized into it, or having their eyes suddenly opened to a monster in their midst.

    If we look at who Trump really helped, and what policies he put into place, and his outsized celebrity, it seems unfathomable that nearly half the population really deep down hated all he stood for.  As it is, this near-half the country ate up the FBI’s CIA-inspired Russia Conspiracy; suddenly a man who was amicable with gays, women and blacks, was detested as a “homophobe”, misogynist and racist.  Virtually overnight.

    I think its all due to God was not in their hearts [or at least they abandoned foundational Christian morality], truth was not in their education, and coordinated lies were spouted from politicians (both the left and right as well), from every every media source, from social media, and google proved it’s claim that it can sway public opinion and behavior (as demonstrated by voting results where they’ve tried it) beyond its wildest dreams.

    In other words, the thoughtless and credulous were maliciously duped.  Trump was just the MacGuffin.

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  30. Cosmik Phred Member
    Cosmik Phred
    @CosmikPhred

    James Salerno (View Comment):

    It doesn’t help that so many forms of escapism have been politicized. You used to be able to form bonds around movies, TV shows, sports, etc. to get away from politics. Now, it’s very difficult to discuss hobbies and interests without revealing your colors.

    True. I have self-reinforcing hobbies of military/aviation history, aviation photography, and scale modeling.  Interest in things that kill, carry stuff to far off lands to kill or train people to kill doesn’t attract many progs.  The digital photo frame I had in my cubicle at the non-profit I used to work at with its repeating images of warbirds and air racers probably didn’t go down well with the gender studies crowd.

    On the other hand, my hobbies allow me to consort with normals at the model club or at air shows with my mates.

     

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