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Politics and Friendship

At our son’s wedding, my husband and I met a lovely couple. They were funny, charming, and warm. We felt an instant rapport.

So, when they were passing through our city, we didn’t hesitate to invite them for dinner. We had a delightful evening with them, laughing and talking about our mutual interests in animals, music, and our growing families. By the end of the night, we were lamenting that they didn’t live closer, so we could get together with them all the time. Clearly, these were our kind of people.

But when I mentioned to my son that we’d gotten together with these folks and had so much in common with them, he said, “You know they voted for Trump, right?”

“What? I don’t believe it! They’re so nice, so family-oriented, so… so kind.”

“Yeah, well, they’re also lifelong Republicans.”

I tried to imagine these folks voting for a candidate who assaults and denigrates women, insults every possible group in America (with the possible exception of working class whites), lies whenever his lips are moving, and threatens to undermine our very democracy.

And yet apparently they had. And undoubtedly, just as we felt we cast the best possible votes for our country, they did too.

Ever since the election, I’ve felt so incredibly angry and bitter toward “those people” who voted for Trump. But this experience has reminded me how important it is not to demonize people whose politics mystify me. Our out-of-town visitors are genuinely good people. They’re not the devil incarnate. They’re our friends.

1 Comment

  1. Marty Stiffler on December 19, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Very well put, Lynn. I was at lunch with fantastic people who had done only one thing in their lives that mystified me: voted for Trump. I believe that, on all sides, we need to stop the demonizing. Thank you for your thoughtful post.

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