Social media in the Age of Donald Trump have claimed two more casualties … who happen to be members of my family.
I get that two such “injuries” don’t by themselves represent a trend, but I do believe they are indicative of the national mood that Trump has perpetuated since the day he rode down the escalator to declare his presidential candidacy.
These two fellows got into a beef over the Black Lives Matter movement and the behavior of police officers in relation to African-American citizens. One of them decided to “unfriend” the other from Facebook and vowed never to speak to him again. Not ever!
That outcome saddens me, as the two of them once were a lot closer.
This is the kind of thing that has erupted in families and other social circles nationally in this Trump Age.
Donald Trump promised to unify the nation. My goodness, he has done precisely the opposite. He has fomented division, increased the chasm between the political parties and his rhetoric has spawned the kind of anger — among family members, for criminy sakes! — that leads to severed relationships.
Social media haven’t helped, either. The various media have given us a shield behind which we can fire off angry messages, responses to messages, and responses to the responses. On it goes. It never ends.
I am acquainted with many individuals who become crazed ideologues when they sit behind a keyboard. For all I know, many of my friends think the same thing of me. If so, well … too bad.
Others, though, have actually become different people than I know them to be. One of my former friends cut our relationship off after he and another member of my family got into a snit about something; I cannot remember what it was. I took up for my family member. My friend became highly agitated with me — and we parted company. We haven’t spoken since.
These examples are what I am talking about.
Politics isn’t supposed to be a contact sport. At least that is what I long have thought and believed. At some level I still do. I choose not to engage good friends — actual friends — and family members in the nuts and bolts of policy disagreements. I try the best of my ability to let it all roll away.
It’s tough, especially in this Age of Donald Trump.
Thanks, Mr. President, for “unifying” us … my a**!