Like far too many of us, I am currently involved in a snippy online war of words over politics. My husband's nephew, someone I have never met in person yet have come to love over the years we have been Facebook friends, is militantly Democratic, while I am lackadaisically nothing besides anti-Clinton. Naturally our war is a silly one since neither of us has the power to bring about change, any more than our running outside and shaking a fist at the sky will stop an oncoming tornado.
I hope my friendship with Keith survives, but who knows -- it may go down the toilet joining some others already in the sewer. For example Kathy, an old friend who disowned me for defending Ivanka Trump, a woman I have never met and never will and don't even particularly like. I have known Kathy for more than 30 years, but that ended when she said in a Facebook post that I was "someone she no longer wanted to know" because I had defended Ivanka's manufacturing of her designer label clothing in China. And way back in 2000, an equally old friend dating back to my college years also chose to disown me, ostensibly because I voted for George W. Bush over Al Gore. That was it. No discussion; it was over. And another one, the husband of my best friend, declared I "had no soul" when he learned I had voted for Bush and stopped speaking to me and my husband right then and there, in a Chicago hotel room where we had all come together for a shared vacation.
After long reflection I am convinced that all of these people had other reasons to escape our friendships and were using the election as an easy out. In the case of my Bush vote, one friend was weary of hiding an old skeleton in his closet and I was the only person who still heard it clanking away in there. The other was drunk at the time and still is, so I chalked it up to muddled thinking. The more recent one is less clear, but it seems obvious that nobody in their right mind ends a lifelong friendship over political differences so I can only conclude that poor Kathy is in the early stages of dementia. Or else maybe she just never liked me all that much to begin with.
Today one of my closest, oldest and dearest friends is a hard-core, card-carrying, bleeding-heart liberal who also has enjoyed a positive, personal business relationship with Hillary Clinton. Over thirty years we have argued, bantered and even yelled about our political differences, yet our friendship has not suffered one iota. If you find someone is ending a relationship based on who you voted for, look deeper. It's probably about something else entirely.