Stop defriending people. They need you. You need them.

I have seen way too many of my friends announcing that they have defriended people who have voiced their support for Donald Trump.

Stop doing that, you knuckleheads.

First, let me say that I am soundly in the “Donald Trump is probably going to be the worst President in history, we should all be embarrassed, and so help me God if he actually follows through with the worst of the things he’s said, I’mma lit things on fire!” camp.

THAT SAID, one of the great lessons of the election is that there is a giant portion of the electorate who have been utterly invisible to the powers that be. If you can’t level with those people who see the political realm different from you, you will NEVER get them to hear how painful it will be when your rights are taken away or are never amplified, etc. You want to continue your pattern of isolation as a result of their point of view, when that isolation is precisely the problem! BY DEFRIENDING PEOPLE YOU DON’T AGREE WITH, YOU ARE CONTINUING THE CYCLE OF TRIBALISM FOSTERED BY OUR INTERNET BUBBLES!

Moreover, if you are only panicked about your side, you won’t hear the 100% valid complaints from the other side. If you don’t think the other side has valid points, you are being arrogant and willfully wallowing in your own ignorance. You’re better than that.

If you’re committed to your point of view, DEFEND IT. 
Use reason. 
Post links. 
Cite sources.

Compel that person you would otherwise have defriended to see things from your vantage point. If they make a good point, MAYBE it’s worth relinquishing the death grip you have on your opinion to allow for some nuance.

Your vote might not count for much. But your friends list is a heck of a lot smaller than the USA. You might be able to change someone’s mind. You might be able to help them see the world through the lens of your anger, pain, and frustration, (or your hope, your optimism, or nonchalance!) and going forward you might be able to help them spread the gift of your understanding through their own lives. If you defriend them, that chance of exposure drops through the floor, given the dramatic weight that defriending has acquired in 2016. Sure, you can always give in to the cynicism and apathy that says that arguing on the internet is futile. I say that’s lazy. It’s craven. I refuse to believe that thinking people can’t be exposed to ideas and unearth the truth in them, even if they are born in acrimony. This is where our minds can meet! This is where we can engage with each other and field our ideas before people who are at least like-minded enough to have landed on our friends lists.

Or you can just continue to isolate yourself from people who don’t think like you and don’t believe what you believe and know they’re wrong. That’s definitely the most intellectually defensible thing to do.

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