"Friendships" in the Age of Trump

"Friendships" in the Age of Trump
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<p>Sign from the Women’s March in NYC 1/21/17</p>

Sign from the Women’s March in NYC 1/21/17

Anthony Otero

I think I’ve reached a point in my life where friendships are based on common grounds like sports, comic books, and which Star Wars movies are the best. But now, all those relationship are specially filtered through political affiliation. I can’t even explain how exactly this happened but I can tell you where it happened.

Facebook has become a battleground of opinions and shared news (both real and fake) for years. Here is where you can see a person’s affiliation. Here is where you know where people stand. I’ve tried my best to surround myself with like minded people and as much as that sounds like the best idea, I knew that it was possible that I was putting myself in that bubble we were all talking about after Election day. Truth be told, we all have different opinions and I don’t expect everyone I know to be homogeneous in thought.

However, it gets very difficult when someone you know and love, supports someone that you fundamentally disagree with. Personally, I thought that voting for Hilary Clinton was a no brainer. Donald Trump has said so many things that were so blatantly racist and sexist that I was very sure he would never be the leader of the free world. But, I was wrong and those who follow him rejoiced. It left me questioning my choices about the people in my life.

I posted this tweet on my Facebook and got some questions.

Why would you let this ruin friendships?

There is a fundamental misunderstanding about how we live our lives. When it comes down to it, I cannot condone Nazis in the White House and anyone who can turn a blind eye to that means they are willing to sacrifice a few million people in order to make America great again. Even if you’re against the 90 percent of the things Trump said and voted for him because you protested Hilary, you are still condoning everything he does. I could never consider those people friends because I have Muslim friends and family. I know people that are undocumented that I’ve worked with.

Why can’t you give him a chance?

My response has and always will be that I will give him the same chance the GOP gave Obama. I’m perfectly okay with losing friends on Facebook. I lose very little sleep over blocking people that wanted a change so much that they would watch everyone else burn in order for themselves to feel great again.

Did you give up friends over Obama?

Actually, I did. Who knew that I would have conservatives on my friends list that felt that Obama was not a legitimate president. I actually tried to understand the thinking to some of my former “friends” but they insisted that 44 was coming for their guns. How did that work out?

Let’s be honest. Facebook is a place where you brag about the food you eat or where you took your latest trip (assuming your life matches your persona because we all know people like to pretend they’re happy and thus the birth of fake news). Facebook is not a place for a plethora of real friendships because only the people in our pictures are probably the ones we rock with. So purging some of my former high school and college friends from my list doesn’t hurt one bit.

Yes. This is a divisive time in America but that line was drawn a long time ago. When the country decided that Black Lives don’t really Matter, or that its completely okay to try to ban Muslims, or that it’s fine to still have no clean drinking water in Flint, Michigan... then it decided to draw a line that cannot be easily erased. So yeah, politics can ruin a friendship.

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