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Sunday, July 16, 2017

It's Not Your Politics that Ended Our Friendship

I have friends of all types- young, old, rich, poor, black, white, brown, native, immigrant, gay, straight, bi, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Democrat, Libertarian & Republican.

I like smart, kind, funny people.

Your resume, voting record and bank account don't matter to me.

During the very divided year in American politics, many people that I've known for decades decided to become political.

Normally, that would be a great thing that I encouraged.  I love political debates.

But when people start pretending to be political, have no clue on what they speak and source their information from Alex Jones and Bipartisan Reports, I get irritated.

ESPECIALLY when I show them that they are fake news sites.

ESPECIALLY when I give them information on how to determine if a news source is reputable.

But even that, I can roll my eyes and move on.

What I can't forgive, however, is blatant racism and sexism.

I'm not talking about Trump saying Marcron's wife is in good shape.  An odd and inappropriate greeting from a world leader to another's wife, but sexist- meh.  More like a drunk uncle comment.  He didn't slap her on the ass when he said it.  Baby steps.

Cheering the fact that Trump talked about grabbing pussies... dismissing it as locker room talk... thinking it made him a cool guy... condoning it...


Whether he did it or not is one thing.  I have my opinion.  I wasn't there.  Neither were you.

But cheering it?  Laughing at it?

That's on the people posting & commenting on it.

Because condoning it,  IS disgusting.

You can say "I don't think it happened and he still has my vote."  I'm fine with that. 

You can't say "It's no big deal.  Every guy does that." I'm not fine with that.

They don't.  But YOU thinking it's okay... I'm sorry, I don't want to be your friend.  You're a pig.  I have a daughter.  What would keep you from doing that to her?  I mean, in your mind, there's nothing wrong with it, right?

We found out someone that we sometimes socialized with posted that all Muslims should be lit on fire and burned.

That's a lot different than saying "I support the President's increased scrutiny and delay of visas from countries that have a higher rate of terrorism."  I would reply "What about Saudi Arabia? "  and point out that more people die from domestic violence than terrorism in the US.  I probably won't change your mind and that's okay.  Let's talk about it.

You can say that you think it's wrong for us to take in Syrian refugees. I might respond with facts about refugees or appeal to your humanity.  You can still disagree and we'll still be friends.

But I honestly have no response to lighting human beings on fire.

Because that is messed up.

Really messed up.

You say "Screw people on Medicaid- they can get jobs"- and when I show you data on who those people are- disabled, elderly, etc- and you really, really don't care- not even "Well, there has to be a better way to stop abuses"- you just don't care.

We're not going to be friends.

Maybe back in 1983 when we were in study hall together, I knew you weren't the sharpest knife.  I didn't know you were an asshole.

Now I do.

Bye.

You commented on Obama for 8 years because you didn't like his policy?

I get it.  I didn't like EVERYTHING.  Let's discuss the good and the bad.  We're friends.

You want to debate how he's really a Kenyan Muslim who hates white people?

I can't.  Because that's your hatred based on nonsense.  I don't have time for that.  And it absolutely carries over into every single thing you say after...

I'm sorry. It does. 

I have friends that voted for Trump.  Some regret it ("Wow.  You were right.  He's clueless. I honestly thought he'd quit tweeting.").  Some don't ("I disagreed with Clinton's platform and his inability to do anything is better than her doing things I disagree with completely.")

We are still friends.  In many cases, very good friends.

Because those are POLITICAL differences.

Their vote did not diminish our friendship- at all.  Honestly, it didn't.  I don't think they are fools or deplorables.  They don't think poorly of me for my vote.  One friend jokingly said she happily tolerated my liberal views because I grow tomatoes and make her laugh.  Oh- and we do talk politics.  Happily.  Passionately.  It's fun.

But your pure hatred of Obama and Clinton and Mexicans and "the gays" and Muslims and blacks...

Those are core differences in our values. 

And if we have different values, we are not going to be friends.

My conservative friends and I agree on most things- everyone should have equal opportunity for health, wealth, safety and religious freedom.  We disagree on the policies to get there.

That's fine.

Thinking that you deserve more than someone else because well, you just do?

News flash:  You don't.

Saying ridiculous things is absolutely your right to free speech.

Me, thinking you're an awful person and not wanting to be your friend any longer- that's my right.

This past year, I thinned the herd of my "friends."

Yes, the election brought it out.

But not ONCE was it ever over politics.

It was over our very different core values.


In short-

It never was your "politics."

It's you.