It is hell. In my case, it is my dad and brother.
We imposed a “no politics zone” during the holidays: no political talk, no Fox News (and, to be fair, no CNN/MSNBC). It is tense but we manage to get through, with occasional weird comments like: “I think Trump is the best president the United States has EVER had.” Even I was stunned by that comment, but that is how they feel. Unbelievable. Me? I despise that evil man with a white-hot anger. He is the WORST president we have EVER had.
Being so polarized from people you love is hard. But they can no longer even debate as they don’t accept any facts other than the trash dispensed by Fox and Breitbart and Alex Jones. It’s very frustrating, so my husband and I just shut down any political talk. They think I am a liberal, tree-hugging snowflake: I wear that label proudly!
Heartbreaking. Devastating. Disappointing. Embarrassing. I feel betrayed.
Everything I believed about my mother was dashed when she told me she intended to vote for him. I had thought she was smart, strong, courageous, and selfless. I have never been super close to her, but have always respected her. She had the strength to support two daughters (one of whom is special needs), after she split with her pervert, child-molester, religious zealot of a husband (he even called himself “The Reverend” even though he was never ordained). When I was little, she ran around town in a beat up truck with no AC (in Vegas summers!) and wrestled furniture into it on large trash pick-up day and sold it in yard sales every weekend, eventually opening up a furniture store. The store was on the fringes of the west side in Las Vegas (the predominantly black area of town), and I remember her complaining about the people that would come in around the first of the month “spending their welfare checks” and buying furniture. She also complained about the Mexicans from North Las Vegas. That should have been my first clue, but it was just the way she was-it was, after all, the 1970’s. She became successful in that business and went on to other endeavors with strength, intelligence and drive that I admired. She respected the earth. She loved animals, she respected personal choice. When I figured out that she was gay, she told me the truth about it and never tried to be anything she wasn’t. She had the courage to be gay before it was widely accepted. I even proudly stood up at her commitment ceremony. She accepted my own not-very-traditional lifestyle. She never went to church after she divorced “the (pervert) Reverend”, and never forced us kids to go, as she didn’t believe in it. She is practical, realistic, and centered. How in the world can a gay, pro-choice, atheist, female ever justify in her mind voting for Trump? She asked me if I’d really like to see another 8 years of Obama. “Hell yes!” I answered truthfully. She shook her head, like she couldn’t believe I’d be so dumb as to want such a classy, well-spoken, intelligent, well-qualified, competent man at the helm of our country. With all of the things that she was, I couldn’t figure out how in the world she could possibly be dumb enough to vote for Trump. Then it finally hit me. The racism in her was so deeply ingrained, she put aside everything else that made me respect the person she was, and decided to believe the lies. She thought the wall was a great idea. Wow. Just, wow.
Racism is a disease passed from generation to generation, but one I did not choose to succumb to. I’ve only spoken to her out of necessity since then, and am quick to unfriend people on Facebook who make pro-Trump or racist comments, and unfriend them in real life. Fortunately, my genes and upbringing do not make me the person that I am. I sincerely hope she doesn’t lose her Medicare, or my special needs sister doesn’t lose her Medicaid that helps her stay in a place well-suited to take care of her. I think a lot of the people that have this deeply ingrained racism left over from the 60’s and 70’s that clouds their common sense won’t live long enough to see the far-reaching damage of the hatred that made them ignore how deeply unqualified Trump is to run out country.