America’s and Americans’ division this year and specifically over Trump since 2015 has cost me another loved one. I’ve heard this loved one say, “I hate Trump.” And because he knows I’m a firm Trump supporter, I represent that which he hates.
I opened my Gmail yesterday to encounter one of the saddest messages I’ve received.
It was from my birth father, who I made contact with only last year, November 2019. We met in person earlier this year. It was wonderful. He also helped me connect with my birth mother, about whom I had dreamed of meeting since I was 5 and learned I’d been adopted. That was more than half a century ago. In early February of this year, I met the man responsible for my being. I met my birth mother the very next day. It changed my world.
Then COVID. Then the election.
My birth father said that he had agreed to disagree, and though he’d seen my posts on Facebook and read this website, and though I know he’s written “rants” to the editor of his local newspaper and has let me read them, which I’ve done with an open mind (truly), but a specific post I wrote on my Facebook put him “over the edge.”
He said in his email, “I was absolutely floored by your 11/19 post ranting…”
And he concluded the note with:
…I wish you and your family the best and will always cherish our past relationship, but I am unwilling to have any further contact with you. You are welcome to have the last word, but it will be the last word.
Billreceived 12 December 2020 in my Gmail
I chose not to respond. What good would it do?
Do I think it’s the “last word”?
I doubt it. But it will have to come with time and perhaps healing. Between now and then, I strongly believe we are in for a hard struggle. It will be a struggle of words, of venom. Maybe of armed conflict. I don’t know.
The post I wrote was, in my opinion, not particularly controversial. In fact, when I write on Facebook about Trump and know that my very diverse friend base will see it, I include disclaimers along the lines of, “I am willing to admit I am wrong about Trump, and I am willing to accept the consequences…”
[The post he reacted to and which I had included in the original article has since disappeared, because I deleted my Facebook account.]
One thing I’ve found, and though it’s a generalization, I’ve seen enough anecdotal examples to see a longitudinal truth:
But until then: