I don’t think any less of you. I am not angry with you. I will not spew generalized hate about half the people in this country because we disagree. I respect your liberty, your choice, and your vote. I am sad to know that respect does not flow both ways. I am sad to read reposts claiming that anyone who voted for Trump is racist, bigoted, misogynistic, and homophobic. I am sad that because of who I voted for, I am no longer worthy of your friendship. I am sad to know that politics can destroy relationships.
In the same breath, I want to thank you. I want to thank you for showing that it is not the Right who harbors hate in their heart. I want to thank you for displaying that you are intolerant and judgmental of half of the people in our country because of their politics. I want to thank you for cutting off your Trump voting friends, because no one deserves friendship so conditional, superficial, and fragile.
As we wade our way through this historic election, our country is in a state of disarray and division. That is why the election is so close anyways; it perfectly displays the division we’ve seen clogging our newsfeeds and timelines for months. Politics is divisive by nature. We have developed a two-party system (that our forefathers warned us against) that creates a rift between “us” and “them.” Never before in my lifetime has that rift been so wide and so apparent. I could get into a long, scholarly analysis about lack of public trust and interest and the integrity of our democratic republic, but I will spare you the pain. The bottom line is that we cannot heal, recover, or collaborate to solve any problems under this political climate. We cannot come together to serve the common interest of our entire country when blanket generalizations are being made about tens of millions of people.
You know I voted for Trump. You might hate me for it. But you only know because I told you. I can’t even begin to count the number of messages I’ve received just today from people who voted for Trump, but would never post or say anything about it because they fear the hate that would be slung their way from their Biden-supporting friends and family. Saying that they have seen the vile reposts their Biden-voting friends are sharing, and fear if they admitted they voted red they would lose meaningful relationships in their lives. That is the saddest result of this election – that people who voted for Trump are being bullied into silence by a population of people who accuse the Right of being the hateful ones. People are scared to be called racists, bigots, misogynists, and homophobes because in reality, they are the farthest from any of those things. People are scared to be judged on their supposed “moral values” by people who are morally bankrupt.
So next time you’re scrolling through posts to share condemning anyone you know who voted for Trump, threatening and even begging for those friendships to end, and calling half of the country hateful, racist, or bigoted, take a moment to consider who the hateful one truly is. Take a moment to consider that your friend who hasn’t posted anything about the election might have voted for Trump. Take a moment to ask yourself why your entire opinion of someone and desire to have them in your life as a friend would change the instant you found out they voted for the candidate you didn’t like. Take a moment to consider that your hateful generalizations are pushing people away from your party, not towards it. And finally, take a moment to consider cutting off your Trump supporting friends by talking with them directly instead of hiding behind a cowardly repost.
I don’t owe you an explanation for my vote. You don’t owe me an explanation for yours. I thought we owed each other mutual respect either way, but evidently not. If you want to exit my life because we disagree politically then be my guest, but don’t be a coward. I hope you enjoy your new echo chamber and that you enjoy the validation you’re curating for yourself by eliminating anyone with a dissenting viewpoint. If you realize someday that you made a mistake, I will be right here where you left me; surrounded by people of all different opinions, viewpoints, thought processes, and political ideologies.