Politics, Family & Friends

It really came out of the blue.  There I (Steve) was checking my Facebook feed when a post from a long time friend popped up.  I started to read it and saw that it was one of those posts that had the “See More” click link that opened another window to the complete and very long post.  Because I know this friend to be a good writer I clicked on the link and continued reading.

I really wish I hadn’t.

What started as, what I thought was going to be, an interesting opinion piece quickly turned into a rant against the OTHER side — people with political opinions that differed from the writer’s.  It wasn’t just a rant, it was chapter and verse from the talking points of those whose politics aligned with the poster.

I was stunned.

The person I’d known for many years was someone who was certainly capable of expressing their own point of view, but someone who always did it in a way that acknowledged that you might not agree and didn’t belittle your beliefs.

The person whose writing was on my computer screen would have none of that.  If you were not in agreement, you were the enemy and were complicit in causing the problems being highlighted.

You had no intelligence, probably very few, if any, morals and were finally being called out for all your sins.  A very wide net of hatred was being cast and the emotion behind it propelled the verbiage into a level of disdain I didn’t know my friend was capable of.

My first thought was that someone had hacked the account.  I was about to send a private message when I saw some comments showing up on my friend’s timeline.  It quickly became apparent that most of those commenting were in agreement.  I still wasn’t convinced that the account hadn’t been hacked and again started to send a private message when I saw my friend’s reply to several of the comments.  I could tell from some of the things said in my friend’s responses that the account had not been hacked and, in fact, the original post was from my friend.

Several years ago, Johnnie met my friend and they now, also, stay in touch on Facebook.  So, I pointed the post out to her and asked her to take a look to see if I was overreacting.  She did and agreed that I was not.

Both of us couldn’t get it out of our heads.

I’m well aware of the reality that people change.  That who you were at six, sixteen or twenty may or may not be who you are today.

But, this just felt and read — different.

With little regard for friends, my friend was making statements that could, and probably did, insult many.

All in the name of politics.

As I said at the top, this is a friend I’ve known for years.  But now, I’m not sure I know them at all.

I’ve intentionally not mentioned if this was a him or a her and I’ve intentionally not mentioned which side of the political divide my friend’s opinions were on.  It really doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that it’s becoming more and more the norm that politics and individual political opinions supersede everything else.

Even friendships!

Even family!!

I said at the outset of this missive that I really wish I hadn’t read my friend’s post.  But, I did … and now, I’m not sure I’m going to read many more.

Sadly, I’m not sure I’ll be missed.

About steveandjohnnie

Award winning Chicago Broadcasters, inducted into WGN radio's Walk Of Fame. Authors of the Les Paul memoir, "A Little More Les." http://alittlemoreles.com You'll find even more about us at http://www.steveandjohnnie.com/
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7 Responses to Politics, Family & Friends

  1. Faith Morley says:

    I have lost a couple of longtime friends over politics and both like someone I never knew with their views and I am sad.

  2. I’ve had people that I know do this also, and begin trying to convince you of a different position or opinion. It seems that these people were also recently convinced by someone to adopt a new opinion. So, this attitude of extreme seems to be contagious. I’ve found that you can’t successfully address this with them. The only successful process is to politely say “uh huh” and walk away, fast, and hope that they will be different in a few weeks or years. And, in time, you’ll see them again, and they’ll be fine. And, also, my cat follows the same process, too. Have a great day! I always enjoy your WGN drive-bys. Take Care.

  3. Joyce says:

    Sadly my husband and I are in the same boat and it includes both family and friends. Some people have gotten downright hurtful. The political environment we find ourselves in is like no other in my lifetime. It definitely is not how we had hoped life would be in our twilight years.

  4. Linda Johnson says:

    Dear Steve, One thing stood out in your excellent post…you asked Johnnie if you were overreacting…and…you were listening for her honest reply as if were a treasure…proving that you found a treasure when you found Johnnie…CONGRATS!!!!!!@

  5. Rob Douglas says:

    Agree entirely! I don’t know when we stopped being able to disagree without being disagreeable.

  6. JIm McNicholas says:

    I remember when you could disagree with one of your guests, and still ask cogent questions that furthered the discussion, sadly today it seems as if we are all going to our own corners and coming out of the corners swinging.

  7. Barbara says:

    One of the things I have learned in the last few years is the hate that is out there; I had no clue. I am old enough to remember Kennedy running for office and, yes, people disagreed but not the hateful name calling cruel insulting way people do now. I am facebook friends with a distant relative who is on opposite side. The various comments by his friends are so nasty that I thought about unfriending him. But decided I needed to know what the other side is thinking.

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