Why I Won’t Unfriend, Unfollow or Block Those With Differing Political Opinions

Why I Won't Unfriend, Unfollow or Block Those With Differing Political Opinions

A lot of people unfriended or blocked those with opposing views on social media regarding the 2016 Presidential election. Unable to stomach their political rants, points-of-view or beliefs, fingers hit the ‘unfollow’ and ‘unfriend’ buttons daily, reducing their exposure to values that were painfully in contrast to their own. Here’s why I have not.

Why I Won’t Unfriend, Unfollow or Block Those With Differing Political Opinions

Today several are still unfriending those on Facebook and Twitter who are elated about or supporting our new President-elect Trump. But not me.

Yes, I disagree vehemently with most of the Republican mores, and have great disdain for President-elect Donald Trump. But as ugly as I may find it, I am not going to stick my head in the sand or close my ears and eyes to reality.

While hashtags such as #stillwithher and #notmypresident are trending on Twitter, we cannot change the fact that Hillary Clinton is out and Donald Trump is in.

The truth is the American people have spoken. And as shocking as it may be to myself and many of my liberal, tolerant, diverse and educated friends, it represents what the majority of people who live in this country now want.

While it’s at odds with my personal hopes for our future, the last thing I want is to be is in the dark about what my compatriots are doing now. Ignoring or denying what the bulk of the people in this country truly feel cannot be beneficial to those who want the best for it.

As an educated Jewish female who, among many things, opposes the death penalty and deportation, wants to ban plastic bags and guns, believes in legalizing marijuana and a woman’s right to choose, I am fearful. I am the minority. So what can I and those in my position do about that?

Now is not the time to disregard opposing values or beliefs. It is not the time to feel such exasperation that you give up or move to Canada.

Now is the time to take seriously what the people of power (and those who support them) in this country think and feel in order to either diffuse it, clarify it, combat it or change it.

Now is the time to be aware – even vigilant, in order to sustain a sense of humanity in the minds and hearts of all people, regardless of sex, race or political affiliation.

Now is the time to be exposed to opposition and to listen, so you can inform and educate others to ensure that the atrocities of history do not repeat themselves.

The point is to combat racism, intolerance, myopia and hate by exposing yourself to it and those who support it so you can respond intelligently, persuasively and affect change.

That is why.

3 thoughts on “Why I Won’t Unfriend, Unfollow or Block Those With Differing Political Opinions

  • at 12:55 pm

    Well said. I voted for Hillary, but I’m not a committed liberal by any means. I voted for her because Trump’s apparent inability to focus and disregard for common decency alarmed me. But I wavered at the last minute before filling in the oval next to Clinton’s name. My hesitancy was based on a fear of an ideologically homogeneous Supreme Court. In years past, I found that four liberals, four conservatives and Kennedy in the middle was effective in that every issue was fiercely debated and safe in that there was balance. There was no group-think. Now, the court may move too far to the right in the future, but at least for now it will be four vs. four and Kennedy the great mediator. My point here is that there are some things that come from the right are a plus. To the court balance, you can add Trump’s apparent commitment to infrastructure rebuilding and his focus on elevating the economic well being of the middle class. Thus, while educating and perhaps reforming the intolerant, racist and misogynistic among us is a worthy goal, listening to what some of the better thinkers on the other side of the spectrum have to say has great value as well. As Obama has said, moving forward together is critical, and to accomplish that the left must not only speak, but it must listen as well.

  • at 3:34 pm

    Laura, you are very brave for writing this post. Thank you for doing so.
    Democracy did not fail. It succeeded. The majority of the people did what they were supposed to do. They voted someone in. Someone I believe is totally unfit to lead. But the past is prologue and the rules matter. They voted. They won. I have friends who are Trump supporters and can tell you with a certainty that while I find some of their views misguided, they are not racist, homophobic, xenophobic, sexist, hateful assholes. Many of them are just totally fed up with our system and believe that whatever new system we have left after blowing it up will be better than we have today. They are angry. They don’t trust lying politicians, governments, or institutions of all kinds. I don’t agree with the methods by which the other party won. But there is no debating that our system is broken. The best I can do is to hold my nose and try to listen to the other side in case amongst all of their repugnant ideas there is a 1 good one. A political science professor at the university where I teach cited research today that showed only 30% of Clinton or Trump staff members had a family member or close friend who was voting/supporting the opposition. That means 70% of them had no access to the opinions of the opposition. This election proved that polarization is not a winning strategy. I can’t sit down at the table today with those I disagree with. It’s still too raw. But I won’t unfriend them or cut them out of my life. Because one day when the wound is starting to heal, I’m hoping we can have a passionate but civil discussion and learn from each other.

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