Here I sit, the winner of my own private civil war, and what have I gained?

Bombs were thrown and insults were lobbed back and forth.  “Liberal Demoshit.”  This was a fight in the family, so relatives jumped in.  “Well, you’re a right wing piece of shit.”  The battle had to end with the final shot–the unfriending.

Granted, the guy in question is an asshole.  He has a virulent hatred of the President and the First Lady.  And he doesn’t do a very good job of hiding the fact that his hatred has a lot to do with their skin color.

It should be easy to crow over how stupid he is.  But there is no feeling of triumph after a debate with a Trump supporter.  There’s no satisfaction in having to cut off a part of my family.  There’s only an empty sensation.  I hate conflict.  I hate fighting and mudslinging.  My “uncle” hit me with a low blow, but I allowed myself to get dragged down there with him, and became just as much of an idiot as he was.

And it’s a bad sign of what’s been happening, more and more, to all of us.  We can’t be friends if we’re on the opposite sides of the political party divide.  And now it’s even difficult for members of the same party.  I bite my tongue and stay quiet about the worries I have about a potential Bernie presidency, because I don’t want more unfriendings in my life.

I get the premonition that someday we’ll be standing there, looking at the charred, smoking remnants of our homes, our family relationships, our country.  We’ll shake our heads sadly and say:  “Yeah, it all started with an online argument….”

 

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Really?  Do even the holidays have to turn into a war?  And I don’t mean in a “War On Christmas” sense of the word.

All this week, the airwaves have been filled with advice for the holiday season, and it hasn’t been advice on how to make the season more charitable or more caring.  “How to browbeat your conservative relative at the holiday dinner.”  “How to annoy the liberals in your family.”

Seriously?  I say this as someone who’s got very strong opinions–I don’t get it.  It’s the holidays.  This is the time to enjoy the company of your family and excessive amounts of food.  Are we really not able to lay down our respective ideologies for a few hours in order to do that?  So there are going to be people at your table who have different political and religious views from you–so what?  We can agree to disagree.  Not everything in life has to be part of some great battle, and if you believe it is, then I feel sad for you.  It means you’ve got issues, and your need to inject drama into every situation probably comes from a psychological source that goes way deeper than politics. 

And even if you believe that the holiday dinner is just another skirmish in the eternal war between good and evil–with all the relatives who disagree with you representing “evil”, naturally!–it is still an age-old military tradition to have a Christmas ceasefire.  I, for one, intend to lay down my weapons while at the family feast, and I wish all of us luck with doing the same.