Monday, November 16, 2020

She's sorry

My aunt is a Trumper, and very outspoken about it. Four years ago, it caused a rift between her and her oldest son and grandchildren that still hasn't healed. Her son (my cousin) has a hard time accepting that his mother is "a racist homophobe." I can see why he's disheartened, but I still refuse to believe it. Before he was born, when my aunt was still living at home with my grandparents, she had President Kennedy's photo in a frame in her bedroom. I insist on believing that if she ever watched anything but Fox or read a newspaper, she wouldn't be aggrieved and angry 24/7 and would regain a compassionate, real world perspective. At any rate, I have gotten around this problem by simply refusing to engage with her on politics.

I quit following her on Facebook months ago. I stay in contact with her, via email, but I stopped acknowledging or even looking at her social media feed. I assumed she had stopped looking at mine.

Well, last week I found that wasn't true. After Joe Biden hit 270, I opined that our (current) President is really not interested in a free and fair election. He is only interested in winning. I reasoned that his own election night criteria for questioning PA's results -- that Philadelphia is known for corruption and Pennsylvania is is run by Democrats -- also applies to FL. That state's results were also very close. It's not like corruption is unknown in Miami-Dade, and Ron DeSantis is such a Trump loyalist that Don Jr. gives him regular shout outs on Twitter. Why isn't he insisting on a second look at FL then? Oh, yeah, because Trump won FL. 

My aunt was livid. She thought I was saying that Florida's vote was "rigged." I wasn't. I don't think it was. I don't think Pennsylvania's was, either. My point is that our President is completely self serving and self interested.

She told me I "need to take this down." Um ... no. I really don't. She lectured me. She was unhinged and unreasonable. I didn't delete her comments, but I hid them. I didn't want my friends challenging her. That would not go well.

We went a week without contact. She may be my aunt and godmother, but on some level, we are both just women and she has no right to speak to me that way. I don't speak to her that way. I don't scroll up and down her Facebook feed and dress her down.

Today she reached out to tell me how excited she is about my birthday present. She tagged me on a jokey Facebook post about grammar. 

She is telling me, in her own way, that she's sorry. I accept it. I don't need to hear the words.

I wonder how many other families Trump has divided. 

I hope that, once we have a gentleman back in the Oval Office, we will be able to disagree again without the fury of the Trump years. I think his all-caps Tweets just overheat everything.


  1. I try to avoid politics on the blog for the most part. I especially avoid it when I know the other person and I don't share the same politics. I'm breaking my rule to comment here. I'm sorry your aunt is so angry about things in her posting and commenting. I know some Trump supporters like that, too, but most of the Trump supporters I know, including myself, I hope, are still kind people. Most of us are the same people we were before Trump. The majority of us are not racist or homophobic or any of the other catagories we've been lumped into. We work, we love our families, we love God, and we love our country. We might not agree with the Democratic vision for the future, but we aren't going to resort to violence. As for families being torn apart, mine has been. My son has rejected all of us...his parents, his sister and her family, his grandparents...without a word as to why. It began after the BLM riots early in the summer so we can only assume it's because while we agreed with the original protests, we just didn't support violence. Then I suppose it's that we supported Trump. We have never condemned him for having different beliefs than us and have made every effort to reach out to him and let him know we love him and that he is always welcome. We hear nothing back. This also means that we no longer see two of our grandchildren, which is an awful blow. But do I blame Trump? No, I don't. Personally, I think our society is imploding and our country is in real trouble. I don't agree with violence or hate from either "side" in this, but I do understand. Everyone is feeling that the core of who they are is being condemned and threatened. I'm don't think what's wrong with us is a problem the government can fix. I think it's a God problem. Please don't be angry, Gal. I'm not condemning you. I'm just sharing my experience and feelings about this mess. As you can imagine the subject of families being torn apart is a raw wound.

    1. My aunt has not seen her grandchildren either, though they are adults and it is their choice. In Fall 2017, she was invited to her grandson's wedding and was so excited, bought a new dress for her moment on the dance floor with the groom. She was hurt to discover that she traveled from Tampa to Chicago only for the wedding. She was specifically not included in the rehearsal dinner or any of the after-wedding festivities. I was sitting beside her when she received a TEXT from my cousin (her son) telling her that he had a migraine and didn't want to see his mother before she returned to FL. She absorbed it like a physical blow. Of course I felt terrible for her.

      I'm one of the only ones in the family everybody still talks to and I know what happened: She was only invited because they didn't think she would come. The bride has biracial and gay family members. The groom was worried that his grandmother would spoil his bride's day. He wanted her wedding day to be about HER, not Donald Trump.

      Do I believe my aunt would have shot her mouth off to her new granddaughter-in-law's relatives? I didn't, until she stripped me down on Facebook over something *I didn't even say.*

      I am going to Florida this year for Christmas but I'm not looking her up. I know she loves me, but I can't deal with this now.

      From Obama/birtherism to "Lock her up!" to "Pocahontas" and "Sleepy Joe," this President has loudly and proudly devalued individuals who disagree with him. My favorite uncle -- other side of the family -- had Parkinson's, exacerbated by exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. When I saw Trump cruelly mock that reporter who wrote about him (Imagine that! A reporter doing a news story about a candidate!), imitating spastic gestures like my uncle made, it broke my heart. This past summer I heard Lara Trump -- with my own ears -- make fun of Joe Biden for stuttering. ("Get the words out, Joe.")

      When he called the press "the enemy of the people," my President was actually quoting Stalin. The President of the United States! People responded not by rejecting Trump but by heckling reporters.

      Republicans could have voted for Jeb Bush, John Kasich or Marco Rubio in 2016. Each of them had similar conservative bona fides. (Kasich is far more conservative than Trump, actually.) Each of them managed to keep a civil tongue in their heads. Republicans chose instead to support this angry, cruel man.

      It's not hard to disagree with Kamala Harris -- lots of progressives do, in fact -- without making fun of her foreign sounding name. When Trump did that, I tried to think of how many Melanias or Ivankas I went to school with. He was being racist, and crowds laughed and applauded.

      I'm afraid, Stacy, that I think THAT is our God problem. The Golden Rule is being flouted every day on Twitter and from behind the Presidential seal, and it's made our political discourse coarser, more cruel and more heated.

      I have spent my entire life reading about Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. Honest. I read biographies of them right along with my Nancy Drew books and Beatle magazines, and I have biographies of both of them open right now. Therefore I have always believed, and still believe, that a President can speak to "the better angels of our nature." (It's not lost on me that they both got their brains blown out for their trouble, but I can't go there right now.) I pray Joe Biden will be able to do that. He is a man who has known and understands pain, and I think empathy is what we all could use right now.

      And no, I'm not mad. I appreciate you sharing your faith and your heart with me. I hope that, in the next four years, as the temperature is slowly dialed back, our families will heal.

    2. Sorry I haven't been back since posting a reply. It's been a bit crazy around here as our daughter and son-in-law wait for covid test results and our daughter is having severe back pain that they can't seem to find a reason for...of course no one wants to see her until the test results come back. Anyway...

      Look at us! We've just proved that Democrats and Republicans can have a conversation and not devolve into sputtering, name-calling, idiots. :) I hope you're having a good week...I know things have really tightened up in Chicago again. We are not far behind.

  2. I pray your family will heal through all this. Our family is divided too, but we chose to agree to disagree, and not discuss politics. In American we have the right to vote for who we want. So sad to see our country so divided. I am praying there can be healing both physically and spiritually.