Earlier this week, I discovered that a long-time friend of mine unfriended me. I don’t know why. I don't know exactly when. Her mother passed away and when I reached out to her via phone, text and FB, I realized that, in her mind. we were no longer friends. She never returned my calls. She never acknowledged my reach. Forty-years of friendship degraded in an instant. I was teary-eyed for two days before anger began to replace mourning.
Today, I learned that a few months ago a friend of my husband’s stopped being friends with him because of my Facebook posts about Trump. He told my husband, “We don’t like your family’s posts.” And for the past several months he has not returned my husband’s phone calls. This was a person who was in our wedding. This was a person who had been friends with my husband for over thirty years. This was a person to whom my husband would chat on the phone with at least once a week.
I am shocked and deeply saddened…but not for the reasons you might think.
True, I don’t hide the fact that I think Trump is unfit to be the President of the United States nor that I find his sexism, racism and bigotry distasteful. That’s simply my opinion and is not stated in an attempt to alter anyone else’s opinion. Everyone is entitled to an opinion…at least, last I checked. On my Facebook page, I express my thoughts, rant about my frustrations, share my happy events, etc., because, well, it is my page; and no apology should be needed, nor will one be rendered.
What I find ironic is that this man wasn’t even Facebook friends with me… so he was either purposefully going to my page – as my profile is public - to read my posts, or a mutual friend was reading my posts to him. Childish behavior in either case.
I have many friends who support Trump. I have many Republican friends who don’t support Trump. I have Democrat friends who abhor him and Independent friends who simply shrug and shake their heads. The point is… my friendship with these people exists despite any of our political affiliations. I don’t like or dislike a person because of their political preference and I certainly would never unfriend someone who has been a good friend for years simply because I disagree with their Facebook posts.
This behavior is absurd, calloused and ludicrous at best; not to mention hurtful, self-righteous and belittling.
And let’s not overlook the fact that this man ended a life-long friendship with my husband because he didn’t like MY posts, not my husband’s posts. How much of a high-horse does one have to be on to deem a thirty-plus-year friendship no longer worthy over the fact that someone’s spouse doesn’t like the current President? Wow. Just. Fucking. Wow.
Yes, I dropped an F-bomb because I think it’s appropriate in this context. I’m sure it will offend someone…and you know what… I. Don't. Care. I’m offended by the manner in which my husband and myself for that matter have been treated… all because I voiced my opinion. So...what...I should sit quietly and smile, stifling my thoughts, feelings and revelations, so to make others feel comfortable and appeased, for when I am my true self, my friendship is for naught? That is the message that has been sent and painfully received.
I cried for two days and now I'm done with the pity party. I'm done with the tears and I'm done caring about what other people think of me. My opinions are mine. My thoughts are valid and my truth is real. If you don't agree with it, that's okay, for perhaps it isn't your truth. But what is not okay is to judge me and deem me intolerable and unlovable; and to throw my husband under the bus because of my political opinions is not even remotely acceptable on any level whatsoever. Pull the stick out of your stuffy ass, loosen your collar, unwad your panties and get a grip already!
Despite the fact that I have been berated for my opinion, called a liberal, a snowflake, told that I was going to hell, and had people walk out of our lives, etc., the facts remain evident. Fact: In almost every election I have voted for a Republican candidate. But, that’s not important. Let’s disregard the fact that my husband and I have moral and ethical values with regards to family and business. Let’s not look at the fact that my husband and I believe in showing kindness and love toward others, believe in teaching our children the fundamentals of faith, the commitment of a relationship, the meaning of family with God at the center of it all, that equality matters and that judging others is wrong. Let’s take every similarity we share with this man and with my girlfriend who dumped my friendship without even the decency of an explanation, and degrade and disregard it, void it and mark it irrelevant. Yes, let’s take every ounce of goodness that exists in me and my husband and toss it to the wind because I don’t like Trump as President. Again I say, “Wow.” Just. Fucking. Wow.
Fact: my husband didn’t deserve this and I predict that this man will come to regret his decision in time, because, you see, in four years (eight at the most) Trump will be out of office and another President will fill those shoes. It might be a Republican. It might be a Democrat. It might be an Independent Candidate. Who knows? But what is certain is that the friendship this person abandoned will not be there waiting for him when Trump is gone and he decides that my husband is suddenly worthy enough to be his friend. The truth is when you abandon someone in this manner it is you who is unworthy of their friendship.
I am outraged. I am wounded. I am repulsed.
I have close friends who support Trump and when I look at them, do you know what I see? I see them. I see the person, the heart, the mind, the soul I have loved for years. I see the memories of our friendship, the warmth of their smile, the quirks and unique characteristics that make my heart bond to theirs. I don’t look at them and see Trump. I don’t look at them and see a Democrat or a Republican or an Independent. My love for them transcends our political differences at the moment. Because in the grand scheme of things… what I believe politically and what they believe politically doesn’t change who they are and who I am. It doesn’t negate our history. It doesn’t void my affection for them.
If my close friends feel strongly about supporting Trump, then I think they should do just that. And if my close friends feel strongly in standing against Trump, then I think they should do just that. Educate themselves and then follow their convictions. Follow their heart. Stand for what they believe in. And they should do it without fearing that they will lose friendships over it. I would never leave a life-long friendship in the dirt because of political opinions. Never. The mere thought of it is degrading to the defining qualities of love. The mere act of it is anti-love.
So, to these two people in particular… I and my husband would never have left you, never condemned you, never judged you and always loved you. But now, standing at the threshold of your judgment, I only have one thing to say…
Kiss my ass.