Post Election Fallout

by Dan Leadbetter

I’m on Facebook … a lot. I’m fascinated by the impact its had on our society and how in many ways, it’s connected and re-connected people who otherwise may have never met. For example, about 2 years ago, I re-connected with my grade school playground supervisor. Strange, huh? I doubt that had it not been for Facebook, I probably would never had seen/heard from her again.

The other side is how dark and destructive a force that platform can be. Now I’m not one for politics, I rarely talk about them, I don’t like discussing them, and to be honest, it really doesn’t matter to me one way or another what side of the fence you’re on. I have friends who are Republican, Democrat, Green Party, Anarchists, Independent, and┬áLibertarian. To me, your choice of political affiliation holds about as much weight with me as your choice of clothing style. Well, I draw the line at man-rompers, but that’s another blog for another time.

Since January of 2016 through the first several months of 2017, I’ve watched countless relationships destroyed, discarded, and unfriended over the course of the last political season. Like, no kidding. People who’ve been friends for generations suddenly are at odds over which candidate they are backing. No one asking questions, no inquiry, no curiosity, just hatred, preference, and self-righteousness.

It was/is a sad time. Is a particular candidate who’s only going to be in office 4 or 8 years a reason to abandon or sever a relationship? I don’t think so.

Just because someone has a different opinion or belief than you doesn’t mean your values are threatened. If we really going to talk about being tolerant, how about we start with our friends? Be inquisitive, ask questions, and above all, LISTEN. Seek to understand why, how, and when. It doesn’t mean you have to take the same stand or agree with the person, but to really strive to hear and discover what’s up for them.

Here’s my challenge for you. If you’ve dropped, abandoned, or terminated a friendship, put down your pride and position and go repair it. Own your part of the breakdown and fix things. Trust me, you (and they) will be glad you did.