When did we decide to put politics above relationships?

I love the Facebook “memories” feature, but at times it is also painful. Between 2016 and 2021 I was quite vocal (both in person and on social media) in my opposition to Trump; my conscience would not permit me to remain silent about the terrible things happening to our nation.  In the months since those dark days finally ended, I have tried to return to being mostly apolitical on Facebook.  But the memories feature regularly reminds me of the friends and relatives which I used to have,–and interact with regularly–who chose their love for Donald Trump over their relationship with me. I will forever be sad about that. 

In 1980, I wanted Jimmy Carter to win and some of my friends preferred Ronald Reagan.  But a funny thing happened after that election: we still liked and respected each other.  In those days there was no expectation that Christians would monolithically vote for one party.  Those civil, mutually-respectful political times have long since ended.  

Today we tend to put political affiliation above relationships. Obviously, those people, who unfollowed, unfriended, or in some instances BLOCKED me (to be sure that we can never be friends again) are not reading this post and so won’t know how saddened I am by the dissolution of those relationships.  But I guess I wanted to say it anyway, and to thank those of you who are still hanging in there with me.  Not all of us see eye-to-eye politically, but we care enough about each other to refuse to allow some politician to end our friendship. And for that, I am grateful.

And to all of us…is there any path back to civil political discourse and friendships that transcend politics? Back to the united in United States?

Published by timnichols

First and foremost, I’m a dad. After that, by day I am a professor of Education at Alfred University, by night I'm a dog lover, a cancer survivor, and a daydreamer. Here are some thoughts and lessons learned from my journey…

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