Yes, it’s a serious question.
I should explain- I’ve never been one to dissolve a friendship because of political or religious differences. In fact, I have several very close, longtime friends who are on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to both politics and religion. We manage to have valuable, enlightening, respectful discussions without anyone getting upset or offended.
Admittedly, I lost some acquaintances on social media during Obama’s first and second campaigns. But I was never the one who initiated the dissolution of a friendship because of different political views. And let’s be honest, liberals historically aren’t capable of tolerating different opinions, so it came as no shock to me when I noticed they hit the “unfriend” button on Facebook. No big deal. I can’t say I lost any sleep over it.
As polarizing as Obama’s reign has been, and as much as I’ve managed to respect my friends who supported and continue to support him, it is now, ironically, the Republican candidate causing me to reconsider my rule to never let politics get in the way of friendships.
Even as damaging as President Obama has been to this country, supporting him or not still comes down to political differences. Most of us want what’s best for the country, we just have different ideas of how to get there and who the best leaders are to lead us to that brighter future.
The Donald Trump nightmare could not be more different than that. We’re talking about someone who repeatedly proves himself to be a terrible person with no morals or class, a serial adulterer, a rude bully, a sexist pig, a possible Alzheimer’s patient, and a delusional liar. He lacks any true convictions on what would be best for the country because he’s only concerned with what’s best for Trump, as evidenced by his malleable positions-turned-suggestions and his previous support of all things Democratic.
This isn’t just a simple clashing of political beliefs. This is an issue of basic morals: what kind of morals (or lack of morals) must one have- not to merely enjoy him as a brash personality on a reality television show- but to endorse him to run our entire country, to represent us to the world’s leaders? And what’s worse, what kind of values would cause someone to defend his abhorrent antics as if it’s something our country should willingly accept from someone seeking to hold the highest office in the land?
Frankly, this is a position that is simply unworthy of respect. And so I find myself having to make a tough decision. Are these friends who I thought they were? Who are they and what are their true values? How do you continue a friendship with someone you can’t respect anymore? Not the people who simply believe they have to make a choice between two terrible options and may come to the conclusion Trump is the least scary, but the ones who openly believe he is a good presidential candidate.
These people have chosen hate over all else. They have chosen vulgarity over kindness. Fluff over policy. Ignorance over knowledge. Intolerance over understanding. Trump has given us a clear division of society: the dark and the light. After all that he has done to damage this country- without even being president- I’m just at a loss as to how the two different sectors intermingle anymore.
I believe in our country’s worth a hell of a lot more than supporting Donald Trump. I believe in country over political party. Trump has caused a divide in this country like never before, and I cannot in good conscience remain close to people whose morals are clearly so different than mine, or worse, non-existent. And so, it saddens me to say: the emergence of Donald Trump has ruined some of my friendships.