Over the past few years I’ve unfollowed (but not unfriended) many FB friends whose posts have become tiredly predictable, if not occasionally outright offensive. And yes, they are typically Tea Party/Trump supporters. I’m not even sure most of them are aware I’ve unfollowed them, or whether they’d even care if they knew. The thing is that I know most of them personally, and I genuinely like them and respect them; they are smart, bright, and they are in fact good people. These are not loonies or racists. They are sincere in their beliefs. Hopefully they realize that I am sincere in mine.
But, man, some of the things they post, share, or like are just downright disheartening when they’re not outright ridiculous. I don’t say this to be condescending or holier than thou; it’s just how I feel. But I’ve come to realize that it’s better to avoid being tempted to engage them in the first place, because that will only lead to bitterness, so that’s why I’ve unfollowed them. (And not, as I’m sure some of them would claim, because I “can’t handle the truth”…as they see it.)
I’ve stumbled upon several posts and memes that they’ve shared since Orlando, and I’ve read the comments of their likeminded companions…and I genuinely despair over how wide the gulf has become between the two sides in this country, and it’s only growing wider. It’s like this whole other country that I’m having trouble even relating to anymore. Some of the things that are espoused and accepted as fact in that community…man, I can’t even begin. I’ve almost come to the conclusion there’s no point in even trying to bridge that gulf anymore; just leave everybody to their own beliefs and hope that the side that my political leanings favor has enough numbers to outvote them.
I can’t vote for Trump. Even well into the primaries I was actually leaving the door open just a crack, both in the interest of open-mindedness and in case he started to turn toward the middle once he secured the nomination, as is common with presidential candidates; I joked that he would start saying things that even I would agree with…but to say he’s doubled down on his incendiary remarks that are completely calculated to fan the flames of bigotry is an understatement. I think he’s a charlatan, an insecure bully, and a xenophobe, among countless other things that have been well documented. And I’m convinced he’d be a disaster for this country. Not that my vote will matter in the Electoral College, since Trump as a Republican will carry Kansas easily. But the popular vote has its own moral value, and I want to be counted in that.