Thinking through and writing about issues that rouse
This was written as a way to understand and respond to the great divide in our country between Trump supporters and resisters. I don't really think this friend will read this, and I don't intend to send it to her. I just wanted to get my thoughts out there.
I have not seen you since high school. I did not know you very well back then, but I do remember being jealous of you because you "got" the gorgeous new boy in high school whom you eventually married, and later divorced. I am really getting to know you now on Facebook, in the Trump era, as we are on opposite sides of this ballgame. While others may un-friend those who are so adamantly opposed to their own views, I have not done that. You are one of a few friends I have who provide me with a window into the world of a Trump supporter. I wouldn't really consider you a true friend because we only are connected through FB, but I am worried about you.
I am interested in what you say because I do believe that the way out of this deep divide in American politics and culture is talk to those with whom we disagree. You have said other people have unfriended you for your beliefs and even called you an idiot. I choose to be curious about your views. Though sometimes, I just can't deal.
You seem to have a fearful view of the world. Number one on your list of things to be scared about is "globalization" or "globalism." Connected to that is the association with George Soros, which you seem to equate to evil. You must think it is your duty to inform your FB world about these evils, as those of us who don't share these fears, are either brainwashed or ignorant of the truth. It seems that you only recently learned about the "globalism-Soros" conspiracy, and it seemed to fit into the Trump narrative, to make America great again, a very nationalistic, non-globalist viewpoint.
But why am I worried about you? I know that this kind of doom and gloom is not good for your health or spirit. You deal with it by proclaiming to be a Christian and with Christ at your side and in your heart you can endure all this abuse. Still, it seems that you are not at peace with the world. You seem to be so angry about the resistance to Trump, even about the election results in France, and any semblance of "progressive" values, such as compassion for undocumented immigrants and the women's march.
But even your Christian perspective is conveyed in a negative way. You refer to a Christian woman doing work in human trafficking as a "real feminist" as opposed to those "marching with pussy hats wearing vagina costumes fighting for tax payers to pay for their abortions." ALL those women who marched are not "real" feminists? Never mind that we who marched were expressing our concerns over the direction of the country, not just for choice, but against a regime that doesn't appear to value our rights, doesn't seem to value what we think is important, such as equality, human and civil rights, and care for the earth.
I am worried about you because you are worried about something that is not even close to becoming a reality, this fear you have about a "One World Order." You see the resistance to Trump as a sign that this is what we on the left are ushering in. We are not warriors for globalization. We are focused on real, pressing acts that the president is ushering in: environmental abuse, more wealth for the wealthy at the expense of those of us who just get by, evident in this new Trumpcare proposal. We are worried about the demise of democratic institutions, such as a free press and public education, just to name a few.
I suppose you may say that I am doing what I accuse you of doing, being alarmist about things that are so far from becoming a reality. We both think we are right. This is why I don't un-friend you. It's a puzzle that I want to solve - how to relate to people with whom you disagree. We can only keep looking for proof (real facts) of the justification of our fears and then discern what to do with these facts. I admit to wanting to get you to see reason and sometimes needing to correct misinformation. At any rate, we have been able to be civil to each other, and that is a good thing.
I wanted to write this because for some reason, I am concerned about this divide in our country. And you and I are a microcosm of it. I don't know what to do about it, but I know it's a problem. But I hope that you continue to live with Christ in your heart, because I believe that He can bring peace and inspire compassion. Just as you are expressing compassion towards our current president and vice president and all his supporters, I hope you will open your heart to embrace and understand those who are standing up to him.
Diane Aoki is a writer who explores other modes of creativity as her intuition leads her.