friendThe collateral damage of the Trump presidency: Friendships.

While many people note that they will never let politics upset their friendships, indeed pundits Mary Matalin and James Carville are married, though diametrically opposed politically, the fact is, politics and friendship make strange bedfellows.

Let’s be honest. We often make friends with people because they share a common interest, a common occupation, a love of the same art or food or wine. We become friends with people because our kids are friends or because we simply live next door or work in the same industry.

But usually there is something else that binds us to a friend and that is often not seen and not so obvious and it is something called values. We share the same values. We can disagree on political parties but we agree on wanting our nation to be economically strong, to be fair, to be decent, to be innovative, to be well thought of in the international community, to cherish freedom and human rights.

Now Republicans and Democrats might differ on how to get to those goals, but as long as they share those goals there are ways friends of differing political parties work around the differences in how to get to point B from point A.

The waters of friendship become much more treacherous, however, when the ways of getting from point A to point B include methods that fly in the face of our values and our core beliefs.

When others are willing to tread on the rights of the poor, minorities, members of the LGBT community, less fortunate immigrants, and insult, debase and degrade these people in the name of getting to point B, then we need to take a second look at who among our friends is willing to support that.

If we have friends who are Black, Gay, Latino, poor, catastrophically ill or otherwise disadvantaged, how can we in good conscience remain friends with someone who would support a candidate or party or President who would harm these people, our friends?

When you support Donald Trump, when you laud his counselors, assistants and lieutenants, when you praise those among his group who are clearly anti-Semitic, racist and leaning toward Nazism, then we no longer have anything that important in common that makes me want to continue being your friend.

So no, I am not so big as to keep my friends and my political feelings separate. And I consider that to be a badge of honor, even if we never speak again. And yeah,  I guess that lunch is off.

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