Do Fundamental Political Differences Kill Friendships?

Because I’m feeling that they do. Or that they can. But I’m not sure.

I like to think that I’m generally open-minded and consider differences to be part of the beauty of human existence. I mean, we can’t all be the exact same and think the exact same way – that would be boring and pointless. It would be stagnating.

Yet, the other morning, after receiving the strangest text ever from a friend, I’m struggling with what happens now.

We’ve been friends for more than 20 years and suddenly, I feel like she doesn’t know me at all.

I have never been reserved about my liberal leanings. We’ve talked at length over the years about the importance of equal rights and equal access to opportunities. We bonded over children’s rights and survivor rights. We’ve shared the horrors of our upbringings with each other and their impacts on our adult lives.

Now I know that she has never really been “into” politics. I don’t even think she votes despite my years and years of attempting to encourage her to register and do so.

And maybe – maybe that was a flag I overlooked because of all the other things we seemed to have in common.

But the other day, listening to her explain that she thought Frumpty-Dumpty was “the one to support us for war and this disease,” and later saying that she thought coronavirus and COVID-19 was just a hoax — I just can’t.

I can’t imagine how on earth we could possibly be friends. I can’t imagine how, knowing her history, that she could support this administration and be considering voting (for what I believe would be the first time) for this monstrosity.

And I understand everyone has their own thoughts and opinions, I do. But I just – my brain is reeling.

I absolutely have been registered as a democrat. And I have absolutely been registered as no party affiliation. I’ve spent most of my life aligning more with more liberal-leaning ideologies than any others. I definitely do not agree with all their positions, and I am definitely extremely upset with the DNC’s handling of things, but our system keeps insisting on pitting these two parties against each other and shutting out any others. So being ultimately forced to make the choice between just the two – it’s always been democrat.

Because in the grand scheme of things we are always forced to choose between two evils by the time general election rolls around.

And I really want to believe in the goodness of people. All people.

But I’m struggling – really struggling – with the idea that a friend of mine, especially one who has shared so many similar experiences, could support an incompetent, xenophobic, homophobic, egotistical, manipulative, racist, misogynistic, narcissistic pathological liar as the national leader of the United States.

What vision for the country does she have that those traits and the past four years of his administration support?

I mean, come on,  she asked me if I was a republican – was she ever really present for any conversation we ever had? And if she wasn’t – were we ever really friends?

Is the current political climate impacting any of your relationships? How are you dealing with it?

I don’t know where to go from here.

Your thoughts, comments or suggestions are always appreciated!

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