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Thu Nov 8, 2012, 05:39 PM

Email from a Republican friend: Congratulations!

The last time I got together with this very good friend was April 2011. We had lunch together and talked about a lot of things including politics. He had been a Democrat back in the 60's and 70's, even resigned from a college fraternity because it wouldn't accept blacks at the time (early 60's) and I was so proud of him for doing that. As we were discussing likely candidates to run against President Obama, he finally said he would vote for "anybody but Obama". Me: "Even Gingrich? Palin?" Over the next few months he sent me several emails which...well, I'm sure some of you have received similar ones that you couldn't believe a friend would send you knowing that you were a passionate Democrat. So in Sept '11, I emailed him back and told him that I would not open any of his emails until after the election. After that email to him, his emails to me were much less frequent until they completely ceased. I deleted every single one without opening any, even though some of the subject lines looked non-political.

Throughout all this time I've been sad and hurt that I had lost this particular friend, that I had cut him out of my life because of our different political views. I really missed him. We'd been best friends in college and even though we haven't always lived in the same state, we never lost our connection, our closeness, our love for each other.

So you can imagine my surprise and conflicting emotions when I saw an email from him within an hour after President Obama was declared the winner Tuesday night. The subject line said No Subject. I remembered that I had said I wouldn't read any of his emails until after the election. Well, it was over and here was his email. It contained one word: Congratulations! I took that as a conciliatory gesture and responded with a Thank you and question of renewing our friendship. And this was his response within minutes:

I’ve always loved you and I look forward to talking to you again. I am sure I can be “less passionate” about my political views. I am ALREADY trying to “let it go and accept what’s going forward”.
Love you,
PS I’ve missed not talking to you over the last ?? months!

I'm sharing this because it's made me think about some others from whom I've withdrawn over the past few months and how the subject of politics has affected our friendship and how many of you have mentioned loved ones lost because of politics. Our friends and family members are not bad people. We share similar backgrounds, interests, dreams, quirks, joys in life, family relationships, jobs, disappointments, commitments, whatever. And if I, in my small way, can't begin to heal what I've lost with them, how can I expect more from our leaders in the healing of our nation?

So.....I will look forward eagerly and joyfully to receiving more of those thoughtful, funny, charming, informative, caring emails from my college friend and I will be less vocally passionate about my political views with my Republican friends in the hope, yes, I said hope, that they can start to accept that we are all united in our commitment to making this work.

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Reply Email from a Republican friend: Congratulations! (Original post)
beveeheart Nov 2012 OP
rivegauche Nov 2012 #1
Mme. Defarge Nov 2012 #2

Response to beveeheart (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 05:55 PM

1. Aww, great story.

Congrats on getting your pal back. You've inspired me to send an olive branch to my right-wing brother, who I love but haven't been able to handle for a few months.

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