I wish it weren't true. But we're forever a divided nation.
Still, you and I are fine.
What I mean is I still love my family and friends who voted for him. Our relationship is bigger than any President. Even this President.
Of course I'll still chat with the dry cleaner or cashier or neighbor next door who voted for Trump, but we will not talk of him, ever. And if you bring him up and try to convince me why I'm wrong, I will politely ask you to change the subject.
Saying "Trump" has become our new "abortion." His name is a trigger that when uttered can only end badly for both parties.
You will not change my view of him. I won't change yours.
So instead I'll do my activist work outside the dinner table or parties or lunch with friends. I'll post my views on Facebook because it's my page and my personal statement, and I'll join the Resistance.
But I promise as a thinking engaged voting citizen I will do my best to listen to Trump on every issue. And when I agree, I'll go public on social media.
This is the best I can do to "give him a chance." Because for a long list of reasons that divide us, he is not and will never be, my President.
I'm sorry but we cannot "come together" about Trump.
Because really, what does that look like?
I won't suddenly agree with the Muslim ban or "alternative facts," or his claim about voter fraud or his inauguration crowd size or Steve Bannon or EPA Scott Pruitt or Betsy DeVos or pussy grabs or his "so-called judge" or tweeting about his daughter's treatment by Nordstrom.
I will, however, consider the merits of a wall and read more about the pros and cons of sanctuary cities and tariffs on businesses who ship jobs overseas. I will listen to each Trump official and thoughtfully consider where we agree.
But know this: on Trump The Person we will never agree. He is a very bad person. I know he's not all bad because no one is, but Trump is bad enough he shouldn't be running our country. That was clear throughout the election and yet, you shrugged.
And to your point that raising nice kids = a good guy, I don't know much about Trump's boys but I like and respect Ivanka.
But so what?
The good in Ivanka doesn't mean jack against the horrors of Trump. Ivanka isn't running our country. Neither is Bill. So please, drop the irrelevant arguments.
I believe with every fiber of my being that Trump is temperamentally unfit to lead our nation. I believe given his words and behaviors thus far, he is a danger. You've probably noticed from the more than 65 million Hillary votes that I am not alone or irrational in my protest.
I am not some fringe element or lone wolf or sore loser or conspiracy nut. I am the majority who voted against the person who now sits in our Oval Office having a love affair with Putin.
So if you can't see where I might have even a teensy point we have nothing to talk about.
This hurts me too.
I'd like to say something more encouraging. Because believe me I'm a Kumbaya let's-all-get-along kind of person, really I am, but I'm telling you this as much as I know anything, we can't come together on this one.
So let's just face that ugly reality right now. Then maybe some of you can stop insisting we "get over it" or "stop whining" or in the words of the more gracious Trump voters, "all get along so we can heal."
I understand. I also hate the fighting. But healing from Trump is not going to happen. He is the anti-thesis to nearly all I support in not just policy, but character.
I can't heal from a wound that is not only a festering boil but has turned gangrene and is eating me from the inside out. Our nation's limbs of decency and progress and protections for the vulnerable are falling off one by one, tweet by tweet.
But I know in order to move forward we must listen to each other.
Except I already know the reasons you voted for him. She was worse. The forgotten blue-collar voter. Another Obama. She had no real plan to bring jobs back and you'd like to pay your rent and eat thank you. He was refreshingly blunt and charismatic. The anti-elite politician determined to shake up Washington and protect the little guy. He promised jobs and a greater, whatever you think is great.
And while plenty of his words made you twitch because I know you're a good person, somewhere in the back of your mind you figured he's not really that bad, or he didn't mean it, or he didn't say what people said he said. You thought the good Trump would do to unwind Obama's damage would outweigh his narcissistic thin-skinned ego-driven reality show bluster.
And anyway, how much damage could he do in a nation of checks and balances?
And maybe you know all the reasons I voted for her. Progressive. A fan since 2008. Another Obama. Experience. Experience. Experience. Pro-choice. Pro gay marriage. Healthcare. Women and children. And somewhere in the mix, while I swear this wasn't my main reason, yes, to hire the first woman President.
Maybe you thought her support was wrapped up in convenient denial of her mistakes. But that wasn't the case for me. I looked at Hillary's screw-ups head on and determined her worst over three decades never came close to his in only a year and a half.
Let's face it, we can't mention Trump without viscerally clenching all we hold dear. You know it's true. You felt it before the election. You feel it even more now. The second someone mentions his name we feel uncomfortable and exposed inside the great divide.
The cohesive nation we wished for, those days are over, if they ever existed the moment he implied Megyn Kelly was on her period, disrespected a war hero, mocked a disabled journalist and called Mexicans rapists and drug dealers. And maybe for you, coming together as a nation ended during chants of not another Obama, no more Clintons and Lock Her Up.
We can't talk about Trump because our vote is tied to values we hold so deeply that to abandon them would mean we betray ourselves to ourselves.
So yes, the divide is that big.
I know why you want us to stop posting on Facebook. It's exhausting. Facebook is no longer filled with simpler times of happy quotes and puppy videos. The Resistance has overwhelmed your feed and the tribal warfare feels palpable. I love happy quotes and puppy videos as much as you do but my conscience calls me to speak up. Silence hurts more than the backlash against protest.
When the Tea Party formed I disagreed with their platform but I never told anyone to stop whining. I never insisted they accept my President. I know you can't turn someone against the righteousness of their core beliefs. Our beliefs define us, so when I question yours, I question you.
We're at a time of great pain and suffering in our nation. It feels tragic and ripped and dark. I know you feel beaten up and tired and defensive and mad. So do I. Once upon a time even when partisan battles got ugly they never got disgusting.
But we can't go back. Trump drew a clear line in the sand and he makes no apologies for the damage.
I'm fighting for rights I thought were already won. I'm fighting to stop the alarming rise in hate crimes after the words and tone Trump used during the election implied hate was not only okay, but all American.
And so I'm sorry we can't talk about Trump. But directly or indirectly this President has created a living nightmare for marginalized people all over our nation, some who are literally fighting for their lives.
And so let's agree to keep politics off the table. I'll do my work inside my political meetings and you do your work inside yours.
But please know this, that despite our differences I care about you in ways that have nothing to do with him. And I know you care about me in ways that have nothing to do with her.
I believe that's the best we can do inside this, our nation's permanent divide.