Why We Can’t Be Friends
A response to those who believe that their Trumpism is merely a political position or a matter of personal opinion.
by David Todd McCarty | Sunday, November 8, 2020
Originally posted on Facebook as a response to several comments. I decided to repost it here.
I was going to write a more thought-out piece on this, but I wanted to at least make a brief comment directed at anyone who thinks it’s silly that I would ever “unfriend” a person on social media because of a difference of political opinions.
This morning I witnessed a women’s bible study group chat having a “serious discussion” about whether or not Biden was the Antichrist. A few days ago a Facebook “friend” explained that she believed Biden was a corrupt pedophile.
This isn’t a difference of opinion on public policy, or the role of government in America, this is weaponized hate. It’s the way one group attempts to demonize another that so often turns into civil war and genocide. It’s the worst sort of tribal evil that results in violence.
You aren’t just saying my candidate is not your particular cup of tea. You’re saying they’re evil and that by extension, that I am evil. My friends are evil. My family is evil. We’re all involved in a nonsensical plot to traffic children in some bizarre sex cult, or we’re too stupid to understand that the media (a few million individuals with their own thoughts) have duped us.
The gaslighting is pretty intense, especially when you recognize that the right wing media bubble amounts to a single cable news network, a few thousand bloggers with zero accountability and your crazy uncle Ernie and his bowling league on Facebook. But we’re the ones being duped by the media?
My distain for your faulty ideas and my ridicule of your preposterous faith in a corrupt system SHOULD be offensive to you. I find it completely without redemption of any kind. It’s hateful. I have no tolerance for it and don’t care that you believe that is somehow hypocritical for someone who preaches tolerance. Just because you used the word twice in the same sentence does not mean you made a valid point.
I do not detest you for who you are, or what you believe. I reject you because you reject me for what I believe. These are not reciprocal. Try to wrap your addled brain around this concept. You don’t hate me because I hate you. You hate me because I love another.
It doesn’t matter to me any longer that you don’t understand. I’m done with you. When I see you post pro-Trump propaganda, clothed in the self-righteousness of evangelical Christianity, I also see the things you don’t say publicly. The things you don’t say to my face. The fear and anger and pious self righteousness. The sheer arrogance and stupidity. But mostly I see the hate. You traffic in hate.
You would not stand beside me as a friend if they ever came for me. Like Peter, you would deny you ever knew me. Because someone told you on television, who was good and who was bad. Who to love and who to hate. It wasn’t enough to say you should disagree with me, you had to hate me in order to win. Because if I won, you would lose.
You’re either ignorantly complicit or willfully enthusiastic in this theatrical charade and either way I have no desire to associate with anyone of such low moral fiber.
Life is too short. There are others who might desire my friendship. Hurt, broken people who need love. Not the well-heeled, country club types or the ladies auxiliary, your prayer group and your outreach team. You don’t need my friendship because you believe yourselves to superior already. I know you think that’s also hypocrisy on my part, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
We ridicule you for being stupid because you are so easily fooled. It’s true. But you demonize us because you believe that your ignorance grants you some moral superiority. We find that laughable and without moral redemption. Your attempted claims of exceptionalism are transparent, brittle and weak. Your faith is capricious and your god is too small to explain a world you don’t understand. Your humility is nonexistent and causes your hubris to overshadow your humanity.
It doesn’t have to be this way. You can have differences of opinion without intruding on the lives of others. You can worry about the beam in your own eye before pointing out the speck in mine. I can do the same. But when the discussion leaps from the concept that government might use taxes to care for the poor and you respond with an unfounded accusation that someone is sexually abusing children, we are no longer having a reasonable conversation about a matter of opinion. You are assaulting me.
And that is why I unfriended you.
Follow David Todd McCarty on Twitter @davidtmccarty and The Standard @capemaystandard