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.