I remember, not so long ago, when political disagreements could easily come to a “let’s agree to disagree” conclusion. You could stay friends with someone with different beliefs than you, because it’s all just a spectrum anyway, and just because one person leans more right and one leans more left, that doesn’t mean you can’t be cool.
I feel like that has changed, though. Is it because the arguments are less abstract? Probably they were never abstract, so is the answer that more of us are less naive? Is the left leaning further left and the right leaning further right?
When someone disagrees with me on women’s rights or LGBTQ rights or immigrant rights or children’s rights or health care…I don’t feel like I can be like, Eh, that’s fine, we can just not talk about it anymore. Because it’s become abundantly clear that people are being harmed by far-right approaches to these issues. So if someone tells me that they believe in suppressing these rights, that immigrants should all go home and women’s access to health care should be restricted and everyone should have free and open access to guns, then I have one of two thoughts: either I need to speak up and try to make you see my side…but probably that’s never going to happen, in which case I don’t really see where to go from here but to part ways.
So I’ve become more liberal (ha!) with the unfollow and unfriend buttons on Facebook, even if, as I do it, I’m solidifying the echo chamber I live in 90% of the time. There’s a right and a wrong side to history, and while it’d be great if as many people as possible could be on the right side, I’m not going to waste more time than necessary on that second group.