We’re just two weeks away from a big Presidential election in the United States, and I can only describe the experience as bizarre and depressing. I don’t want to get too deep into political ideologies here, but I will just say that I am disgusted by Hillary Clinton and disappointed by Donald Trump. They are both lousy candidates for President, and I am disheartened by the fact that this is the best we can come up with to lead the country and serve as the leader of the free world. I feel sad.
I am further saddened by the way this election has torn friendships apart on social media. I admit that when someone says something that I find particularly ignorant, I have a strong urge to comment. Most of the time, I am able to quell the urge. Unfortunately, there are times when I can’t help myself and have to post a witty retort. Inevitably, I create a firestorm of outrage and am left smashing my palm into my forehead muttering that I need to keep my mouth shut next time. Usually, it’s people I don’t even know who are completely furious with me. My friends are more inclined to just roll their eyes and laugh at me.
Not all friendships work this way, and I have heard so many people talking about how they have lost friendships and watched friendships get destroyed online over this Presidential election. I remind my friends all the time that I may disagree with their political views but that our friendship is more important to me than how they cast their vote. I just don’t want to hear any complaints when their candidate screws things up even more. *wink*
I’m guessing that your friends share similar interests and ideas with you but that they are not identical to you in every way. I like having friends who share my interests but can also bring an interesting experience and perspective into my life. Along the way, you’ve learned about and accepted the ways in which your friends differ from you. Then we get to the 2016 Presidential election, and those years of friendship get thrown out the window. There are Facebook fights, defriendings, and disasters.
Step back and think about if getting enraged at your friend is going to make the world a better place. Is creating a chaotic fight online with a stranger going to make someone change their view or vote? The answer is no and no. So, unless you’ve discovered something truly heinous about your friend in a political discussion (like they think literally think we should wipe out a whole race or enjoy eating aborted baby fetuses), be polite and don’t insinuate that anyone who doesn’t agree with you is stupid. Nobody likes when you point that out. In two weeks it will all be over and done, and we can go back to complaining about our mutual disgust for the federal government.