Wednesday, April 13, 2016

You are different from me, so let's not be friends!

This election season, which pretty much started 3 years ago, has been particularly contentious. I can't believe we have another almost 7 months until the general election and then another almost 3 more months until the inauguration. Lord, help us.

But what bothers me even more than the bitterness, hate, and name-calling is when people say things like this on Facebook:
"If you support _____, unfriend me right now." 

If you have just met me or read my blog for the first time, the best way I can describe myself is a liberal Republican. Facebook reminded me a few days ago that my hubby had called me a "bleeding heart liberal" 2 years ago. Not surprisingly, my liberal friends were pleased and said things like "what a compliment" and "thank him." In fact, only one conservative friend made a comment, which was "If the shoe fits..."

As I have said several times here, my (somewhat confusing and conflicted) political leanings often put me on my own island. Alone. By myself. Some of my liberal and conservative friends are truly bothered by me because I am not what they are (I am pretty much like no one!) In fact, a few friends in those camps have unfriended me, most likely for those reasons.

But here is the thing: my politics don't define me as a person. 

I am an honest, ethical, hard-working, fast-talking, loyal, procrastinating, caring, sensitive, church-going, faith-wavering, open-minded, sports-loving (Steelers, Pens, Penn State, Pitt, Pirates), worrying, second-chance-giving, cluttered, pro-life, information-seeking person

I am 99 percent sure I am not going to vote for Trump. I won't say 100 percent because almost everyone I have supported is no longer in the running, and, for various reasons, I will not vote for Hillary if she is the last Democrat standing. But more likely, I will just write someone in come November. Wasted vote? Maybe. But (I hope) it feels better to vote my conscience. 

I can see merits of every candidate. I mean that (but some more than most). Even Donald, whom I do not care for in the least. I get why people support him, Bernie, Hillary, Cruz, and Kasich. Some reasons seem a little misguided and frightening, but some reasons are logical.

If people want to defriend (or stop being friends with someone IRL) because of their politics more so than how they are as a person, I cannot get behind that. Sure, if someone is a Donald supporter and is spewing hate, then don't be friends with them. But if you like Sally, are you willing to give up your 20-year friendship with her just because she is conservative and won't vote for a Democrat? Or just because Mikey thinks Bernie is the second coming of Jesus, are you going to ditch him just because you despised the Affordable Care Ac?

I want to understand the rationale, but I don't. Maybe someone can help a sister out.

Until then, I will do the exact opposite of my post title.