Lots of people have asked why I was so silent during the election. After all, I’m a historian and this election was one for the history books. It’s because it was painful.
I’m not talking about my candidate or political leanings, I’m talking about my circle of “friends.” The claws came out on both sides and it got nasty. Really nasty.
The things people were saying and doing to each other was insane. The dividing lines weren’t just drawn on the ground, they were freaking carved in stone, filled with gasoline, and set on fire. Not all of my “friends” made it through unscathed. A few lost friends. A few lost the respect of others. A few showed their true colors and all I could do was sit there and wonder how I had never seen this side of them before.
Here are some examples of my experience from my personal Facebook page:
- One friend had to be unfriended by me and several others because he began trolling through all the friends of his friends and attacking the ones that were Muslim, not white, or Democrats. It was nasty. He called one our mutual friends a “treasonous cunt” because her mother was Asian. He posted that another should be burnt alive because he married a Jewish woman. The last one I saw before removing and blocking him was when he said that a Muslim friend of ours would have to go back to whatever “Middle East Hellhole he crawled out of” after Trump was elected… Our friend was born in St. Louis, Missouri and our friend’s parents were born in St. Louis, Missouri. Even the guy’s grandparents were born in the US, so I’m not sure what hellhole he was talking about, unless he meant St. Louis – which would be Midwest, not Middle East.
- Another friend was removed after their political posts went from supporting their candidate to supporting concentration camps for political dissenters. What the hell? Surely they can’t mean that, right? After the seventh or eighth post about it, someone finally asked if they meant internment camps, like the Japanese were put in during WWII. Nope, they meant concentration camps, complete with forced labor, starvation, and mass murder. Part of the advantage of being an American is the right to disagree with the politics and anyone that supports mass murder as a form of political persuasion has some issues. They had to go. (I don’t support internment camps either, but at least they didn’t have oversized cremation ovens)
- One of my friend’s decided to post a political meme that poked fun at both Clinton and Trump. They were called everything from a terrorist to a communist. People reported the post and got the friend banned for a week from Facebook… over a joke… that didn’t take a political side…
- Finally, people that had been friends for years were blocking or unfriending one another because they supported a different candidate. Presidents come and go. Rarely does one get more than about a fifth of their proposed agenda passed into any sort of law. And our nation has survived some seriously questionable presidents, because it is greater than POTUS. Giving up on a real friendship because you don’t share political views is bizarre. It would be one thing if your friend was being hateful like the ones above, but a lot of these weren’t… They just couldn’t agree to disagree on this particular presidential election, as they had in previous elections where they disagreed.
For me, it was an election, not the birth of the antichrist. I don’t necessarily think Trump will make a good president, but I could say the same for Clinton. They are both dislikable, but they also have their strengths. We will have to do what we always do after an election; wait and see.