How the 2020 Election Modified My Relationships

How the 2020 Election Changed My Relationships

I’ve by no means been a so-called “political” particular person, and that is as a result of I by no means needed to be. I grew up with white privilege in a (previously) conservative metropolis in Southern California the place speaking about politics was one thing previous white males did on the nation membership after a spherical of golf. Financial insurance policies benefited the principally white, middle-class neighborhoods round me and the conservative ideologies aligned with a lot of my city’s spiritual beliefs. Issues have been good so far as I knew, and since I lived in a bubble the place the federal government’s insurance policies instantly served me and people round me, what was there to complain about? It took me years till I noticed how most of the insurance policies and politicians within the U.S. have been (and nonetheless are) racist, sexist, homophobic, outdated, and even harmful.

America was based on the necessity for energy — whether or not that be over the land the pilgrims as soon as colonized or ladies’s our bodies right now — and that reality is tough to dispute, particularly if you take a look at who has been accountable for the nation for the previous 4 years. When Donald Trump took workplace, nobody knew precisely what to anticipate. A (now very much in debt) businessman and TV persona working probably the most highly effective nation on the earth did not precisely add up, however hey, what did I do know? As somebody who did not vote within the 2016 election (and really a lot regretted it), I knew it was time to become involved and educate myself as a lot as I might. In reality, it was lengthy overdue. It turned tougher and tougher to show a blind eye to the horrifying comments the President made about women, race, and sexuality (amongst different issues), and seeing those that regularly stood by his aspect was bewildering to me.

America was based on the necessity for energy — whether or not that be over the land the pilgrims as soon as colonized or ladies’s our bodies right now — and that reality is tough to dispute, particularly if you take a look at who has been accountable for the nation for the previous 4 years.

As a as soon as self-proclaimed “not political particular person,” issues started to vary because the coronavirus (COVID-19) swept throughout the nation. Earlier than the pandemic, I used to be pals with Trump supporters and tried to maintain the peace, however I shortly realized that could not be the case anymore. I observed myself changing into angered when individuals talked about supporting Trump, I might really feel myself eager to scream when individuals acted like sporting a masks was political, and I could not perceive or justify how some individuals twisted peaceable Black Lives Matter protests into riots and threats. Together with these emotions got here main changes to a few of my closest relationships — some for the higher and a few for the more serious.

Because the election loomed nearer, I searched for tactics to navigate relationships with a few of my closest family and friends members. In concern of being biased, I uncovered myself to totally different viewpoints on each side of the aisle, regarded into each candidate’s proposed insurance policies and beliefs, immersed myself in information reportings from retailers starting from CNN to Fox, and compelled myself to have an open thoughts underneath all circumstances. I talked with others about their views on the candidates, why they supported the one they did, and the place they noticed the nation going underneath them. I listened, I requested questions, and I discovered.

Because the election loomed nearer, I looked for a strategy to navigate relationships with my family and friends members

My relationships with my Democratic pals have been strengthened by the conversations and the willingness we needed to study from one another. I used to be in a position to achieve an understanding from their experiences and see why they leaned towards Biden and the way they noticed him fixing the brokenness of our nation. It was enlightening to see which insurance policies voters of various demographics backed and the way these insurance policies would instantly have an effect on them if put in place. My pals and I might discuss freely and overtly and share our emotions on sure points with out judgement. We grew collectively via our new insights and have been in a position to join on a deeper stage even when we nonetheless had differing ideologies. Our willingness to study, means to vary our minds, and openness to pay attention made {our relationships} a lot stronger.

However sadly, that wasn’t the case for each connection. Having totally different views throughout such a divided time will be exhausting to look previous. Discussions with some pals turned arguments, and seeing each side was typically hazy at greatest. When acquaintances or pals mirrored the President’s view of the coronavirus being a so-called “hoax,” regularly selected to not put on a masks, and have become a well being risk to these round them by not taking the pandemic severely, I refused to tolerate it. The individuals who talked wrongly in regards to the Black Lives Matter protests have been, in my view, selecting to not educate themselves in regards to the deeply rooted downside of systemic racism on this nation, and to me, that is inexcusable. Some individuals’s reluctance to see each side was too exhausting to disregard, which left me feeling annoyed and hopeless. I unfollowed former pals on social media and even went so far as blocking some numbers on my telephone. I’ve by no means ended a relationship over a politician prior to now, so I am nonetheless within the midst of navigating how you can absolutely come to phrases with it.

Whereas it is OK to have totally different opinions on sure issues, relating to supporting or backing Trump’s racism, homophobia, and blatant disrespect for individuals, that shouldn’t be OK. I misplaced pals and reduce individuals out of my life who used politics in the identical manner Trump had achieved to perpetuate hate and violence.

When politics turned a dividing drive in my relationships, it was much less in regards to the politics themselves and extra in regards to the hate that was behind them. In a time when equal rights, police reform, and a caring chief have been (actually) on the poll, I could not see the way it was justifiable to assist somebody who wished to remove rights, perpetuate systemic racism, and care just for themselves. Slicing individuals out of my life who did not see this as a problem was exhausting, but in addition liberating. There comes a time when private beliefs and values are necessary sufficient to trump former friendships.

If the latest election modified or altered any of your shut relationships, you are not alone. In a divided nation when conflicting views, totally different opinions, and inside turmoil are at play, it isn’t all the time potential to maintain relationships the way in which they as soon as have been. Preventing for ladies’s rights, taking a step towards ending local weather change, stopping police brutality, and correctly addressing a pandemic are just some of the issues I’ll stand by even when it means risking my relationships. Preventing for what’s proper goes past the poll on this election in addition to these to come back.


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