How Trumpism Corrupted One of My Closest Friendships
No matter how much I try to evade, political rhetoric seeps into every conversation
My friend was a force of sanity in this crazy world. But now, it seems like she picks a fight every time we talk.
The reason? The lead-up and aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. If you’re a liberal American with Donald Trump-loving friends, you may have noticed this inevitable shift since Biden defeated him back in November. Even when you deliberately avoid talking about politics, it worms its way into every conversation.
To My Facebook Friends Who Voted for Donald Trump
It’s too late to preach to us about peace, love, and understanding
Since college, my friend has identified as an Independent, but I’m pretty sure she voted for Trump twice. She’s never admitted it, but she drops enough clues for me to do the math.
We’ve been friends for most of my life, but we never really talked about politics until the end of 2016, in a taxi on the other side of the world. A cab driver in Tasmania asked us what we thought about Trump, and I unloaded.
After I finished, my friend offered one of those “both sides” comments that always gives away political inclination. It’s a typical Republican deflection that echoes (and in her case, predicted) Trump’s infamous “both sides” comments after the deadly August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Afterward, I promised myself never to talk politics with her again. I knew our friendship — and my sanity — depended on it.
I’ve kept my vow, but ever since the 2020 presidential election, she’s been dropping hints of her Trump support like breadcrumbs. The first ones fell after Joe Biden was declared the next U.S. president.
After months of barely acknowledging the global Covid-19 pandemic or the crumbling state of the Union, she told me over the phone that she was looking into buying property abroad — just in case things in the U.S. went deep south.