A very good friend of mine lives in the South -that’s where we met years ago- and I know as a fact that she voted and believes in Donald Trump. She is a diehard conservative, and over the years we were able to block it out. We didn’t talk about politics at all, it was the elephant in the room, that we never mentioned.
Of course, she is the one who doesn’t have a clue because I know it
all better and needless to say, she believes just the opposite. We both voted wrong in the eyes of the other.
We talked the last time in November, right before the election, after that we texted a few times, but avoided contact. The time before Christmas is always very hectic in my line of work, that helped me to come up with polite excuses. She was busy as well.
How can we be friends, if our beliefs are so contrary?
She owns a few guns and believes we all should have as many weapons as we want to have, while I would love to see a strict gun control in place. She thinks Trump is the answer to all our problems, while I think he will be a disaster.
I have gay friends, I believe in religious freedom and I would love to welcome more refugees, while she would volunteer to build a wall tomorrow. Interesting enough, we became friends and have stayed friends over many years.
I am the foreigner, the first generation immigrant who has traveled the world -maybe seen too much- while my friend has never left her hometown in the South.
Somehow our friendship worked, we have many other things in common.
I watched this video with mixed emotions. I had to laugh when I saw the young woman sitting on the couch rolling here eyes. I have the same facial impression when I listen to people talk about Trump right now. I cannot understand where they are coming from, I cannot comprehend why anybody would vote for him. However, the other side feels the same about me, the don’t understand why I voted for Clinton.
I am not extreme in any form or way, but my behavior right now is, and that’s not me.
I believe in religious freedom and the freedom of speech. I don’t want to fight, but I will fight for the right cause. I don’t want to hate, but I dislike everybody who does. ‘Be better than the other side – reach out.’ I can almost hear the voice in my head, and I wonder about it. Did my Catholic upbringing leave marks after all?
I love diversity, yet right now I cannot stand it. I feel offended that I have to deal with Trump and his supporters. I take it personally -isn’t that insane?
It’s so easy to tell the “other side” that they are wrong all the way. Lately, it seems our Freedom of speech gives us the right to offend. No, it does not. Neither one of us has the right to hurt the other side, we should always respect each others opinion in a civil manner.
We can be critical, but we should never insult a person for their beliefs.
I will call my friend later on and will acknowledge the fact that we are different because after all that’s what I stand for. Perhaps we can talk about our differences and find some middle ground for the future of our friendship.
I don’t have to understand it all, I just have to accept it. Mutual respect of our different opinions, that’s important.
Not only does having friends with different outlooks on life enrich you, but it adds value to society as a whole. Promoting friendships between liberals and conservatives, the authors noted, benefits society by increasing “intergroup interactions” which can help people find common ground, rather than simply bleat their positions from opposite corners.
That’s one reason why I’ll maintain the relationships I have with my conservative friends; not because I believe I can change them, but because we provide each other with an alternative portal through which to view certain issues.
(Source: 2011 Boston College study (Can Friendships Be Partisan?)
Time to call!