It is relatively easy for me to ignore Trump as long as it seems likely that he will lose the race, but I can’t ignore friends I’ve had for years (IRL) who are buying into many of the most extreme views and outright lies that are promoted by Trump and many of his supporters. These are long time friends who I have known to be decent, caring people; however, this awful stuff they seem to be compelled to share is like a poison secreted by a mutant virus. We knew we didn’t see eye to eye on many political issues, but suddenly some of them have turned into intellectual zombies who are compelled to try to eat the brains of everyone else. Even when it is clear that they are in mixed company and no one else wants to discuss politics, they just keep pushing their agenda at every turn.
I’d like to think I can respect their right to believe whatever they want, but I can’t help but feel our friendship is being irrevocably damaged. It isn’t simply that they are supporting Trump, it is that they so fervently support so much of the awfulness that is being pushed out by him and his camp. I can’t reconcile that with my existing belief that that they are decent caring people. I feel sick when I think about it. These people are my friends (I think), I can’t bear to extrapolate this to the wider population — it is too scary.