I thought that I was going to escape the election without losing any friends. Alas, it was not to be. Doubly sad since I only have (had) two friends.
I made a terrible mistake. For various reason you need not be bored with, I didn’t talk to Bob much during 2016 and not all about politics. After the election, however, I saw him posting on social media that he was “upset” about Trump winning. Well, that doesn’t sound right, I thought, Bob wouldn’t vote for Hillary. So I asked him why.
By the end of the conversation he was yelling at me. Bob voted third party since Trump is a horrible evil monster. Almost every argument he gave against Trump was ad hominem and the more I objected, the angrier he got.
I’m never going to talk to him again.
That sounds petty but the issue isn’t that I voted for Trump and he didn’t. My other friend didn’t vote for Trump either. We talked about it. Nobody yelled about anything. The issue isn’t Trump. The issue isn’t disagreeing about something. The issue is that Bob threw a fit when I responded to his arguments. The issue is that he started shouting when the conversation didn’t go his way. Trump isn’t the cause of lost friendship but it’s more that he acted as the impetus to show that there wasn’t a friendship left. My relationship with Bob had been deteriorating for years; I simply didn’t want to admit it.
I thought that my friends were more logical than emotional, but hindsight being 20/20, it’s clear now that Bob’s overreactions on certain subjects should have been a give away. The discussions I’d had with him on the subject of politics and religion clearly had been the sort that didn’t touch him personally so that he could look at it more objectively. Something about Trump triggered him–what I’ll never know.
In a way this came at an opportune time. The friendship was dead. I was in denial on this count. Bob had been my friend for more than ten years; he was my friend during a very trying time. I would expect some serious amount of pain from realizing the end has come but it was so gradual, slipping away by years instead of by days or weeks, that when there was no denying it any longer, I feel nothing. It’s better to be rid of deadweight than to cling onto something simply because of an historical emotion attachment.