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Wed Mar 31, 2021, 02:00 PM

Trump's Presidency Is Over. So Are Many Relationships.


Joe Biden wants the country to heal from its political divisions. But some people say they aren’t ready to reconnect with their estranged friends and family members.

JOE PINSKER
MARCH 30, 2021

American political discourse was not exactly harmonious five years ago, but over the course of Donald Trump’s presidency, it corroded even further. What’s called the national conversation is really just millions of people communicating with each other, and if you could tune out all the yelling, you might be able to detect some of the silences that have arisen when two people stopped talking entirely.

One of those silences formed between Mary Ann Luna and a dear friend of hers from her federal-government job. By the time their relationship ended, after disagreements about Trump and the severity of the pandemic, Luna, a 74-year-old who lives in Gilbert, Arizona, and her friend had three decades of shared history. They ate lunch with each other every workday for about 15 years and once went on vacation together; when Luna’s daughter got married, her friend hosted a celebratory brunch.

Politics wasn’t something they talked much about until the 2016 election, when Luna says her friend started parroting Trump in daily conversation, making racist remarks and questioning Luna’s news sources. As her friend kept this up, Luna often tried to gently redirect the conversation. Their communication didn’t get confrontational until last year, when, among other things, her friend sent her a prayer for Trump, which upset Luna because her friend knew Luna didn’t like Trump. The last text Luna sent to her friend was in November, following a rare month-long silence between them: “I am sorry that your guy lost, but let’s leave politics out and just be friends.” She never heard back.

Luna was sad about losing a long-standing friendship but has come to accept what happened. During the Trump presidency, “she had crossed over to a side I had never known or seen before,” Luna told me. “I will miss the old person, not the new one.” Over the past five years, many other Americans have found themselves in a similar position, measuring the gap between what a relationship was like before Trump entered politics and what it was like after.

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https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2021/03/trump-friend-family-relationships/618457/

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Mar 31, 2021, 02:03 PM

1. There are two in my life that I doubt I will ever speak to again. -nt

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Mar 31, 2021, 02:04 PM

2. The stench remains long after the skunk is gone.

It lingers on for a long time.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Mar 31, 2021, 02:12 PM

3. it's like a disease...

walking zombies out of a horror film. How can so many people turn into such ugliness? Incapable of having a conversation without referencing the con, and other lies with such fervor. I do hope the pandemic has a part to play in all this. The last straw that turbo-charged the bullshit. At least then, there could be hope of restored sanity when life becomes social again. Maybe.

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Response to stillcool (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 31, 2021, 02:36 PM

7. HINT: They didn't "turn into such ugliness"...

They had that ugliness deep inside them all along, but covered it up (to themselves as well as other people) well. What Trump did was encourage them to bring it out in the open, to realize that it was “good” and should be openly celebrated, not hidden.

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Response to regnaD kciN (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 31, 2021, 04:38 PM

12. some have been raised on ugly from birth...

but there's all kinds mixed up in that ugly pot. I just can't get a grip on what this country has become. Entire states, professions, full of people burning up with hatred and rage, watching Fox news.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Mar 31, 2021, 02:21 PM

4. I will likely never see one of my best friends again because of this

It sucks but I did wave an olive branch several times.

Me turning into a right winger to appease the situation will simply never be an option.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Mar 31, 2021, 02:21 PM

5. In don't understand people who let their family life suffer over a politician

The reality is, none of us know the President. This one or that one.

They live hundreds of miles away. We never eat dinner together. We never hang out and talk about the good ole days. The President, even the ones you like is a stranger you'll never ever meet.

Even if your family changed their vote, or you did. The same President would have won or lost.

That stranger in washington will never send you a thank you for not talking to your mom or dad or brother. They still accomplished their goals - or didn't accomplish them. Your alienation of your family only affected you. Doesn't effect the stranger in Washington one iota.

Making enemies of your family over far away strangers who temporarily run the government is a dumb way to live.

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Response to fescuerescue (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 31, 2021, 03:04 PM

9. This misses the point. We know their darker sides better now. And that's just a little too

dark for me.

I can't un-know that they supported the cruelty and viciousness of the administration. I know better now. And it isn't just the vote. I can't have a conversation with my trumpy relative where he doesn't have to "own the libs." He thinks Limbaugh's disgusting comments about women are hilarious and insightful. And I am a woman. I could go on and on with the stupid, bigoted shit that he has to pompously inject into every interaction. For years I tried to ignore that shit, but I'm done ignoring it. If you can't be civil, I have no interest in being in contact.

Sometimes people are just shitty, even if they are family. In my long life, I have learned that when you become aware of that in a family member, you don't go back for more.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Mar 31, 2021, 02:26 PM

6. I know I'm repeating myself

But I have compared trying to discuss reasonably with these folk is like convincing a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan, no matter how bad the team is, to become a Dallas Cowboys fan. It’s impossible. There is no rationality to lifetime fandom other than it’s either inculcated geographically or ego/personal identification with a star of the first magnitude. I know full well. I’m a Philadelphian who bleeds Eagles Green.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Mar 31, 2021, 02:43 PM

8. I've dumped two fifty-year friends who went Trumpy.

It's sad to watch good people go bad.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Mar 31, 2021, 03:15 PM

10. Friendships come and friends go

When a person, a friend, changes so much that they today are one whom you would never choose to associate, to become friends with, it is OK to end the connection.

All else is simply attachment to old ideas.
Attachment stifles growth.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Mar 31, 2021, 03:47 PM

11. I have lost two long time friends

I don’t think I can ever trust their judgement for falling for MF45’s bs and picking up his hate for the” other”. Never have I seen a president so caustic that it has divided the country. Bush was a terrible president but never were relationships so severed like the MF45 days.

MF45 is a horrible, evil and who will go down in history as the worst person and president ever. I will never understand their adoration of him or those who think he is a man of God. It’s kind of blasphemous when I hear faux Christians say that!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Mar 31, 2021, 04:42 PM

13. I was glad to find out who they really were and excise them from my company

Racists and people who think making fun of handicapped people is hilarious are not people I wish to associate with, ever.

So I'm glad trump brought them out of the woodwork so I could cut them out of my life.

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