I write today broken-hearted because I lost a dear friend, not to COVID or from a fight or argument, but from the tragic polarization that politics has caused in our nation. She is a [President Donald] Trump supporter, I am not. Over the past years, we have weathered adversity together, enjoyed riding our horses together, and even gone on memorable vacations together.
I had been reaching out, concerned that I hadn’t heard from her in some time when I got this response. “Hi – I don’t want to be confrontational, but I am choosing to surround myself with friends who are like-minded and appreciate the goodness of this country. I am choosing to be with people who respect individuality, individuals, Liberty, freedom, and personal responsibility. I want to be with people who are not victims and blame others for their challenges.”
I too respect individuality, individuals, liberty, freedom, and personal responsibility. I don’t see myself as a victim, blaming others for their challenges, just because I disagree with the way our President is leading this country. But so much of the politically charged fog being spread today seems purpose-built to further divide our nation, and divide “them” against “us” rather than respecting alternate points of view.
Other friends have given me comfort for my grief saying this decision is her loss – it is certainly her right. But tonight I am crying for both the loss of my friend and also the politics which are breaking our country apart. Will we ever heal as a nation?
I love you K. and wish you well. I am so sorry you feel this way and will miss you. Your friend, Alison
Editor’s note: the letter represents one of several reports Ark Valley Voice and its journalists have received, of friendships abruptly terminated during this divisive election season. While this is surely not the first election to fracture friendships, the ability to maintain friendships and debate positions on issues with others who might not agree with one’s viewpoint is not just mature, but this lies at the base of our democracy. Closing oneself off from those who may have a different point of view — developing a “them” versus “us” mindset, would seem to eliminate the opportunity to learn, grow, or advance one’s mind.